Monday, October 13, 2008

Cruises and fuel supplements

Back in August I asked the question (or posed the question) as to which cruise line would be the first to look at the fuel supplements they were charging since the price of crude has been steadily declining. We now have the answer. It's the Carnival Corp Brands - Carnival, Princess, Holland America Line, Cunard, Costa & Seabourne.

Beginning October 31st, fuel supplements will be eliminated for new 2010 bookings on the brands. Don't get to excited though. Prices will also be going up on 2010 sailings. But at least, fuel will not be a separate "line item" that both agents and consumers have to deal with.

For 2008 and 2009 sailings, there may also be an adjustment to the fuel supplement but this is going to be tied to the market price before the cruise departs.

This is from the Carnival Press Release:

"For 2008 and 2009 departures, if the price of light sweet crude oil according to the New York Mercantile Exchange Index is $70 per barrel or less at the 2:30 p.m. close of business as reported by Reuters on each of the 25 consecutive trading days ending five trading days prior to the guest’s cruise departure date, the fuel supplement will be refunded in the form of a shipboard credit. Guests who book a 2010 cruise prior to Oct. 31, 2008, will be charged the current fuel supplement but will also be eligible for a refund in accordance with the same fuel price conditions being implemented for 2008 and 2009 departures."

So is there a fuel supplement? Yes, but when you do go on the cruise, maybe not. I trust the cruise lines to figure this out and as an agent, no, I'm not going to follow this fuel index every day. Sure, I keep up with news and events and I guess I will sort of know where the prices are and for everyone, I hope they continue to come down and stay down (even after the election) but I can't chart every cruise departure date, for every cruise line.

But kudos to the Carnival Corp for taking an honest look at these supplements and at least making an attemp to eliminate them, especially in these trying times. So when will the others follow suit? Time will tell.

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