Honestly in response, and I am discussing this on my own thread re how tight money is...and it is going to get tighter I feel.
"Today one airline indicated it would charge for each bag checked in"
That will become the norm for all airlines or they will reduce the hold baggage allowance to a level so low, that you will no option but to pay an excess if you’re over say 18KG bag to place it in the hold.
The price of oil affects planes, cars, ships and what you pay back home for EVERYTHING including food and electricity.
How the lines deal with this is a different problem, and I am sure right now across the board rooms of the cruise lines they are discussing it as the number one issue, and not “how big can we make the next ship”. They are bricking it regarding how do we fill the ones we have, never mind building new ones in this economic environment.
Problem is, they were already working at bulk low or nil margin to fill bunks, but they could still make money in some areas, drink,, shore trips, ,gambling,,,,,mmm okay. But personally my feeling is, if global scenarios do not change,,,,,the day of the cheap cruise has gone. The price of oil to sail that ship has to be paid for, and that price comes from you and me.
I personally hope the price goes back on the cruise fare and no more relying on drinkers, gamblers etc to make up their profit, as that "loophole" is one that a lot of folks take advantage of...having paid litttle or nothing for the "cheap cruise and food",,,,,,,,, then spend NOTHING else to subsidise their cheap cruise fare.
And just an aside, three out of the top four posts on this thread have the same theme, plus Paul M's on other thread. People must be getting concerned as to what you will get for your buck in a years time.