Fuel surcharges: Royal Caribbean does the right thing

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There was a minor uproar in November when most cruise lines announced that they were adding fuel surcharges even to bookings that had already been made. (I may have contributed to the uproar during an appearance on Fox Business.) The Florida Attorney General's office started looking into the matter, and lo and behold, one cruise line--Royal Caribbean--has just announced that it won't tack on the surcharge to those passengers who booked before the Nov. 16 announcement. (UPDATE: I just learned that Celebrity has announced the same position as Royal Caribbean.) To check out Royal Caribbean's press release, click here. For some background on the fuel surcharges, keep reading....

• To cope with the rising cost of fuel, 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, but others don’t.

• Many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, are applying the surcharge only to passengers who have yet to fully pay for the cruise, or for bookings made after the surcharge was announced.

• On the other hand, Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines—Carnival, 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. People who booked a March cruise a month ago will see the surcharge added to their tab.

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