The results are in from our Fuel Surcharge Survey with 75 responses (poll is still open so number may go up):
If you combine the results from the two similar answers, “Good Idea” and “Good Idea and will go away”, You’ll see that a full 40% of our readers are at least tolerant of the fuel supplements. However, You can see from the results above that many of our readers, 32% find them to be just another profit making extra fee, and the other readers feel that the lines should have just increased the cruise fare, or not raised prices at all.
I personally was not happy with their introduction, and was a disappointed to see they way they were implemented. However, to be fair to the cruise lines, they were rather slow in enacting them. Domestic gas prices in the U.S. moved an average price of 1.46 a gallon in 2002 to $2.80 a gallon in 2007. It wasn’t until the prices reached that mark of around $2.80 per gallon in 2007, that the cruise lines enacted the fuel supplements.
At the time they thought that they would be able to apply them to existing bookings, however the courts in Florida overruled that practice, which left the lines only able to apply them to new bookings. In 2008, when prices peak at a price of around $4 a gallon, most of the lines increased the fuel surcharge per day as well as the maximum surcharge per cabin.
However, at some point, it would seem that the cruise lines would be able to incorporate the surcharges into the cruise fare. I believe that they are retaining the separate charges for the flexibility that they offer in that they can adjust them up or down with the fluctuating fuel markets. I would be surprised to see the fuel surcharges go away unless gas prices drop down to at or around 2003 prices.