|by Erik Torkells||Cruises||197|
It's unheard of, right? You agree to a price and pay, and that's it. Not in the cruise industry. Pretty much every North American cruise line has added a fuel surcharge (of $5 to $8.50 per passenger per day; some cap it $70 per person per voyage). While many cruise lines are applying the surcharge only to passengers who have yet to fully pay the fare, or for bookings made after the surcharge was announced, others are behaving less reasonably. Carnival, Costa, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, and Seabourn are all adding the $5 per passenger per day surcharge to the bill of anyone cruising after February 1—even those passengers who had paid in full months ago. It seems to me that this is borderline outrageous, and I can't think of any other industry that operates this way. (Even the airlines haven't tried such a thing!) Here at the magazine, the cost of paper and postage are always going up, but we don't start billing subscribers more in the middle of their subscription.
UPDATE 11/28 See a list of the cruise lines and their fuel surcharges.