Disney Cruise Line drops fuel surcharges

Following this autumn's plummet in oil and fuel costs, Disney Cruise Line announced this today that it is dropping its fuel surcharge for all new cruises booked starting today.

For cruises that have already been booked, the company is willing to offer a rebate in the form of an onboard credit, depending on market circumstances.

Face with what had been $120 per barrel fuel costs, Disney first started charging fuel surcharges in April. The surcharges  of $8 per day were levied on the first two passengers in a stateroom, up to a maximum of $112 per person per vacation. In addition, any additional passengers in each cabin were charged $3 per day, up to a maximum of $42 per person per vacation.

Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also tacked on fuel charges. Carnival announced in October that it would eliminate fuel surcharges for 2010 sailings.

Today Disney was willing to offer the onboard credits for previously-booked cruises, under circumstances that were spelled out like this:

If the closing price on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) of West Texas Intermediate fuel is below $70 a barrel two weeks prior to the beginning of the calendar quarter (dates specified below), the company will refund fuel surcharges paid in the form of an onboard credit.

The quarter that the cruise falls in will be based solely on the sailing date.  The entire cruise will be considered to be part of the quarter that the sailing date originates in.

Fuel Price Determination Date   Quarter of Possible Fuel Surcharge Refund      
December 18, 2008       First Quarter 2009    
March 18, 2009  Second Quarter 2009   
June 17, 2009           Third Quarter 2009    
September 17, 2009      Fourth Quarter 2009   
December 18, 2009       First Quarter 2010    
March 18, 2010  Second Quarter 2010   
June 17, 2010   Third Quarter 2010    
September 17, 2010      Fourth Quarter 2010   

The elimination of the fuel surcharge for new bookings applies to sail dates through the end of 2010.  The company will continue to closely monitor fuel prices.  Reinstatement of a fuel surcharge may be necessary in the future.


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