Friday, October 10, 2008

Carnival Brands Drop Fuel Surcharge For New 2010 Bookings- UPDATED

In a move that I felt was long in coming...as I felt was the drop in oil prices...Carnival Corp. has announced today that effective October 31, 2008 it will eliminate the fuel supplement charge on all new 2010 bookings on any of its lines (Seabourn, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Carnival and Costa) and will, instead, institute a modest price increase. 

If you have booked a cruise with a fuel supplement you may be entitled to an onboard credit dependent on the future price of fuel.  Essentially, for any 2008, 2009 or 2010 cruise where a fuel supplement has been charged, if the price of light sweet crude oil on NYMEX (a primary oil trading exchange) remains below US$70 per barrel for 25 consecutive days ending 5 days before your cruise departs you will receive an onboard credit equal to the fuel supplement already charged.  But if the price fluctuates above US$70 a barrel for even one day during the period, the fuel supplement remains.  Put another way, starting 30 days before your cruise if the price stays below US$70 until at least 5 days before you cruise, you get your money back.

Considering that (a) most people just want to know the price of their cruise and do not care about the breakdown of the cost, and that tacking on a charge that has normally been included in the cruise price seems a bit offensive (even thought it was necessary), and (b) the cruise lines do not want to be seen as profiting from the unanticipated fall of artificially inflated oil prices, this reversion to the "old ways" makes a lot of sense.  Hopefully the other cruise lines will follow.