Royal Caribbean Knuckles Under On Fuel Surcharge

Royal Caribbean, under pressure from the Florida attorney general, will refund $21 million in fuel surcharges it imposed in November. No official word yet from Carnival.

"We’re still in discussions with the attorney general’s office,"  Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher told  the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The cruise lines announced the fuel charges in November, and applied them retroactively to cruises that had already been booked. The fine print in the cruise contracts seems to permit that, but the Florida attorney general’s office said it violated a previous agreement to disclose all such fees in advance.

Royal Caribbean, and subsidiaries Celebrity and Azamara, will refund the surcharge on all bookings made before the surcharge was announced on Nov. 16. The charge will still apply to reservations made after that date.

(Royal Caribbean had already waived the fuel surcharge on bookings that were paid in full before Nov. 16, but Carnival did not. )

It seems pretty likely that Carnival will cave on this next, along with its subsidiaries: Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises.


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