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December 8, 2008

Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line Announced Suspension of Fuel Supplement Surcharges - Other Lines Likely to Follow Suit:

Carnival Corp. announced that it will suspend fuel supplements for its six North American brands effective for all voyages departing on or after December 17, 2008. "As the price of oil has dropped to $46 per barrel, it has now reached a level where we are able to suspend the fuel supplement," said Bill Harber, director of marketing for Carnival Corp.

In a similar action, Royal Caribbean (RC) announced they have suspended their fuel supplement for Royal Caribbean International sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, anywhere in the world.

Effective Monday, December 8, Royal Caribbean guests making new bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will not be charged the fuel supplement.

Guests already booked on RC sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will receive a refund of any fuel supplement paid, as follows:
  • Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are currently paid in full, will have the supplement automatically refunded to them in the form of an onboard credit during their sailing.

  • Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are not yet paid in full, will have the supplement automatically removed from their outstanding balance.
Royal Caribbean advised they reserve the right to reinstate fuel supplement charges if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeds $65 per barrel, on the quarterly milestone dates mentioned in the company's October 24, 2008, press release (described in the CruiseCompete "Currents" dated October 27).

In their October 24, 2008 announcement, Royal Caribbean advised that no fuel supplement would be charged for new bookings made on or after November 10, 2008, for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2010, unless there is an upturn in fuel prices. Today's announcement does not affect those previous terms.

These decisions by Royal Caribbean/Carnival reflect the recently sustained lower price of fuel. It is anticipated that other cruise lines may follow suit and similarly suspend their fuel surcharge supplements.

Sweet deals for this year's holiday cruises

Challenges to the U.S. economy may be many, but there are still a few deals to be had out there. Among them... holiday cruises, with prices that have never been so low!!

Consider the following 7-night cruises priced well under $1,000 per person:

Christmas Cruises

New Years Cruises

Seven reasons to take the entire family on a last-minute cruise this year:
  1. The Unforgettable Gift – When was the last time you got – or gave – a gift as memorable as a cruise? The memories your loved ones will gain will be as unforgettable as your generosity.

  2. Family Memories – what adult or child will ever forget a holiday excursion on the high seas, spent with loved ones who are never more than a few minutes away on-board?

  3. Value – Consider an all-inclusive cruise vacation, featuring accommodations, food and unique entertainment, for a price that can't be matched by any land-based excursion. In challenging economic times like these, the value proposition of cruising has never been more important.

  4. Say Goodbye to Stress – As exciting as the holiday season can be, the hustle and bustle can make it hard to celebrate. And it's been a challenging, stress-filled year for almost everyone – what better time to take a well-deserved cruise where all of your family's needs are taken care of for a few blissful, unforgettable days.

  5. Kids' Entertainment – Every child, of every age, will find fun and fascination with the innumerable activities found on every cruise ship. Swimming, rock climbing, beachcombing, water sports, games, music, exploring…the list is as endless as a child's imagination.

  6. No Snow (Tropical Weather!) - Cold weather has set in for most of the U.S., but that will be of no consequence for your/your loved one's cruise. The only Christmas trees you'll see on a Caribbean or Mexican cruise will be palm trees, drenched – like you – in the perpetual sunshine of the tropics.

  7. Picturesque Ports – every port has something different to offer, and each is as memorable as the next. Sandy beaches…historic monuments... gala shopping opportunities for merchandise seldom seen in the States…there is something for everyone at every port, regardless of age.

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