Carnival Caves On Fuel Surcharges

Carnival Corp. will refund $40 million in fuel surcharges to customers of its cruise lines. The refunds will go to passengers who had already booked their trips when the charges were imposed Nov. 7.

"I think Carnival’s being a good corporate citizen, and I’m pleased with it," Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum told the Orlando Sentinel. I guess some companies are born to good corporate citizenship and others have it thrust upon them. Because Carnival didn’t give this one up without a fight.

Carnival and its subsidiaries – Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises – imposed the $5-a-day surcharges even on customers who had paid in full f or upcoming cruises. (The husband and I got whacked for $120.)

Now those fees will be refunded, but not those added to fares booked after the surcharge was announced Nov. 7 .

The attorney general’s office argued that imposing the fees retroactively violated an earlier settlement about the way cruise lines  disclose charges. Carnival argued that it had disclosed the possibility of fuel surcharges in its advertising brochures, and further that the attorney general’s office had signed off on the fees when now-Gov. Charlie Crist was attorney general.

McCollum conceded that there was an agreement with Crist’s office about fuel surcharges, but said Carnival violated even that.

The folks on the Cruise Critic boards seem pretty happy with this. To quote one of them: "Yesssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


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