Fuel surcharges are something I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, what difference is $5 a day compared to the price of a cruise? ($70 for a two week cruise. Oh, OK, that does add up.) On the other hand, cruise companies should take possible future fuel prices into account when deciding what amount they should set the fares. Are their margins so slim that they need to nickel and dime passengers? Or do they want to attract clients by having the lowest fare and just add on charges if necessary?

There has been some discussion of this on cruise forums and boards, and some people don’t mind the charges, while others resent the cruise companies tacking on extra charges after a cruise has been booked. It does seem sneaky to say to a confirmed passenger “By the way, you are going to have to pay more than the agreed upon amount because, um, we failed to plan ahead, and just ’cause we say so”.

The Attorney General of Florida agrees. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azmara will be refunding fuel surcharges.

UPDATE: Elwood makes an excellent point in the comments: Seems like double-dipping to me. I’m sure these cruise lines hedge their fuel costs through the use of futures contracts. It would be possible to “ferret” out the nature of these hedges if the company is public, such as Disney or Carnival.

"Fuel Surcharges to be Refunded" by was published on March 18th, 2008 and is listed in Cruise Tips.

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Comments on "Fuel Surcharges to be Refunded": 2 Comments

  1. Elwood Blues wrote,

    Seems like double-dipping to me. I’m sure these cruise lines hedge their fuel costs through the use of futures contracts. It would be possible to “ferret” out the nature of these hedges if the company is public, such as Disney or Carnival.

    btw, great blog!!!!

  2. Julie wrote,

    Thanks, Elwood! Great point about the futures contracts — I should update the post.

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