My first DQ trip in 1973 was a 3 day, $60 a day. In today's money that would be $273.65 a day. There was no single penalty - we had the share basis on any category of room. I was in a C, which then was one of six rooms without its own bathroom. This category has been gone since 1984, which is when they started allowing a share only on midrange and up rooms. My fare in 1983 was $105 a night, and had I booked something in '84, it would have jumped to $240 a night minimum. That spike happily coincided with my getting the job on the Natchez(at $3.45 an hour). So the current fares aren't too out of synch with the inflation rate, except for the singles penalty. My problem is my income, even before retirement, didn't keep up with inflation. This year I'm over $11,000 short of being even with my pay in 1973 vs. the cruise fare rate. Hence I've only done 2 trips since retiring - another note: back in my beginning cruising days, we had 3 day cruises. Now almost all are at least 7 days, so it ups the basic expense beyond the realm of possibility for me. Next year's fares we know are only going one way, and it isn't back toward us common folk...back in the 70s a kid yelled up to me at a lock, "Are you all rich?" My reply was that no, we weren't. The trip wasn't cheap, but we weren't rich either. Next year I don't know if one could answer that question in the same manner... (depends on the definition of 'rich', 'affluent', etc. too but its a heck of a lot more money than I make!)