Florida's attorney general is reviewing whether cruise lines such as Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. adequately disclosed surcharges they started billing passengers this month to offset rising fuel prices.
Attorney General Bill McCollum has received 150 complaints from customers regarding the fuel surcharge, spokeswoman Sandi Copes said Tuesday. The charge was announced in November by both cruise lines and it began to be applied on voyages beginning Friday..
"We are reviewing complaints about whether cruise lines can retroactively impose a fuel supplement/fuel surcharge to passengers," Copes said. She added that the primary concern is "the adequate disclosure of surcharges and whether or not consumers are aware of surcharges up front at the point of sale."
The Attorney General's Office was reviewing whether the charges were applied to passengers who had booked a cruise when the announcement was made. Both cruise lines have said they provided customers with enough time to cancel their sailings with no penalties.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the world's top two cruise operators, both began a $5-per-person, per-day fuel "supplement." Both cruise lines, based in Miami, said the charge applies only to the first and second guests in each stateroom, and does not exceed $70 per person, per voyage. Other cruise operators also have added fuel surcharges.