In an effort to deal with the sharp increase in fuel prices, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the implementation of a fuel supplement of $5 per guest per day for sailings that depart on or after February 1, 2008.
“I thank our guests for understanding our need to implement this fuel supplement,” said Brian Rice, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We have gone to great lengths to minimize the impact of rising fuel costs, for example, designing and building more fuel-efficient ships, installing energy-saving lighting, and using air conditioning more efficiently. Unfortunately, as fuel prices have reached record highs, we are forced to take this extraordinary step to offset those costs.”
The company has taken measures to soften the impact of this decision. For example, the company will not apply the supplement on any bookings where the guest has already paid the full cost of the cruise. In addition, guests who were booked before November 16, and who do not agree to pay the supplement, may cancel their reservation prior to December 7, 2007, for a full refund of all monies they have paid to the company, and they will not be subject to any cancellation charges that would normally apply. Those guests who do not cancel their reservation and pay in full will receive one logo item per stateroom, onboard their cruise. Finally, the supplement will apply only to the first and second guests in each stateroom and will not exceed $70 per person, per sailing.
The supplement will assist the company in offsetting the widespread increases in fuel prices, which have more than doubled in recent years. The supplement will be periodically reviewed, with the intent of being temporary, and may be adjusted as fuel prices fluctuate.
The company will provide travel agents with an administrative fee of $12 per existing booking to help offset the costs associated with contacting guests with existing reservations and collecting payment of the supplement for each booking that sails on or after February 1, 2008.
The charge will involve three Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. Pullmantur Cruises, the Madrid-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd, has also implemented a fuel supplement of €50 for its tours and cruises that depart on or after January 1, 2008.
“We know the rising cost of fuel has affected everyone, and, unfortunately, our company is no different,” Rice said. “We hope the options we are providing, including additional time for guests to finalize vacation plans, will underscore our commitment to our guests.”
The supplement is effective for new and existing North American bookings. The company cannot predict the impact of the fuel supplement on its earnings, as it does not know the number of new or existing bookings that will accept the proposed supplement.