I would like to comment about Alaska's new "do-not-visit," $50-per-person tax on cruise ship passengers. While I am sure this tax sounded good to residents of Alaska who make lots of money, to the average person an additional $50 makes a big difference. For a family of four that's $200.
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Alaska already has one of the highest port charges in the world at $274 per person for only four ports-of-call. I recently sailed around the British Isles on a 10-night cruise with eight ports-of-call and only paid $260.
Let me tell you what the results of this new tax will be. I am a group leader and always have a large group sailing with me. A large group is sailing with me to Alaska next year. If they now feel that they are unwanted by Alaska as I do, we will just go someplace else.
I always try to book shore excursions through local companies rather than booking them through the cruise ship. That way our money goes entirely to local people. Well, now that I know that Alaska doesn't want us to visit, I will go ahead and spend our money on the cruise ship's excursions. I will also remind my group members of your new "do not visit" tax and suggest that they just purchase $50 less in souvenirs at the local stores.
I hope you make lots of money now because in a few years, after all the glaciers melt, few people will want to visit there.
Come visit Florida - we don't charge you to visit here.
Madeira Beach, Fla.
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