The Skinny On Cruise Fuel Surcharges

Travelers who subscribe to Travel Weekly — billed as “The Travel Industry’s Trusted Voice” — may have noticed that cruise lines are experiencing an unexpected drop in fuel prices despite that turmoil in many oil-producing countries. As a result, cruise lines are enjoying better bottom lines.

For example, Norwegian is paying less for fuel this year than last even though it has added the Getaway to its fleet. Carnival’s comparative fuel expense is down $28 million from last year. Royal Caribbean has experienced a more modest saving, according to Travel Weekly.

So…

The tendency is to think that cruise lines should drop the price of cruising that reflects the drop in cost of fuel, because when the price of oil rises sharply they implement a surcharge.

Not true.

Cruise lines have a fuel surcharge that they can add to the cost of your cruise ticket. That doesn’t mean it’s a given that it will happen.

We’ve been cruising regularly for the last five years. During that time, here is what the per-gallon cost cruise lines pay has done:

May 2010 — $1.67
May 2011 — $2.39
May 2012 — $2.52
May 2013 — $2.24
May 2014 — $2.26

In other words, with the exception of 2013, it has gone up every year. Not once during that time have we experienced the dreaded “fuel surcharge.”

Today at portsandbows.com: Internet deals from Oceania

Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas
7 nights
November 8, 2014
Venice (return): Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Santorini, Olympia
Inside: $628
Cost per day: $89
www.royalcaribbean.com

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