As I posted in another thread, while I understand cruise lines should pay some taxes in the U.S. since they have been using loopholes not to, I think fair is fair.
Rockefeller has spent his whole career using insider information to buy stocks and make himself richer while figuring out ways to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. Plus he is a big supporter of the federal subsidies (that's our taxpayer's dollars) we give to big oil companies even though they make over $60billion in profit every quarter or something obscene like that! So one has to ask where his loyalties lie and what are his objectives in presenting this bill.
If they changed the law to make all these very rich Rockefellers pay their fair share and the oil companies pay their fair share, perhaps the rest of us wouldn't have to pay much at all!!
But hey, it's better to make the cruise lines pay their fair share, which will result in higher cruise fares, which means less people will be able to afford a vacation!
That's okay - we can all give up a vacation to make sure Rockefeller keeps growing his wealth and the big oil companies continue to make huge profits - seems fair to me.
But to answer your question, any taxes imposed on cruises will be passed along to the passengers in the form of higher fares.
Now here's what I think is probably going to happen: As we all know, the total cruise price is actually made up of three fares; the cruise fare, port fees, and taxes. Commission is paid to agents based on the cruise fare only. So, when the cruise line wants to make more money but not pay out more commission, they will increase the port fees (also called non-commissionable fees or NCF's). RCCL just did this on the Oasis-class ships. The NCF's were $159, then went up to $175, now they're $225!! The thing is that the actual port fees themselves have not gone up. So there's nothing to support this increase and the cruise lines will not provide specific detailed information on this subject. It's one of those deep little secrets nobody talks about.
If these taxes are imposed, the cruise lines will simply increase the taxes they charge the passengers. So, while the overall cost to the passengers will increase, the cruise lines will not suffer at all - it will cost them nothing, except maybe a couple of extra people in the accounting office to make sure the taxes are paid to the government.
The cruise fare will not change, so the commissions will not increase.
Bottom line is the price will go up, so those passengers who want to cruise will have to pay more. Of course, a higher price will mean some people will not be able to cruise or won't cruise as often. This will result in less business for the agents, so their commissions will decrease.
In the end, the only one who makes out in the end is the government because they'll get more in taxes.
So, I go back to what I said earlier, if the Rockefellers and the oil companies paid their fair share, the rest of us could still afford a vacation.