Daily Archives: February 7, 2008

Cruise Fuel Charges Challenged

The attorney general’s office in Florida is looking into the fuel surcharges that several cruise lines added to fares they had already sold.

The question is whether the charges violate the conditions of an earlier agreement requiring cruise lines to fully disclose port charges.

The cruise lines keep citing statistics like those put forward by Micky Arison, the CEO of Carnival. He says that over the past three years the price of fuel has increased 140 percent. I believe that. But I think it’s more relevant to consider how much it increased between September, when I put a deposit on a cruise, and November, when Carnival billed me and the husband for another $120.

I didn’t get nearly as angry about this as a lot of other cruise passengers did, especially those who had paid their fares in full. (Royal Caribbean exempted those passengers, but Carnival and its subsidiaries did not.)

Still, I don’t have a problem with the cruise lines having to answer to somebody about the legality of this maneuver.