Florida's attorney general has reached a resolution with six cruise lines over the imposition of a retroactively-imposed fuel surcharge on cruise passengers.
Bill McCollum said Carnival and its five subsidiary cruise lines have agreed to refund approximately $40 million to consumers nationwide who were charged the fuel surcharge after they had booked their cruises.
Other affected cruise lines are Holland America, Princess, Costa, Cunard and Seabourne.
The agreements were reached after the Attorney Generals Economic Crimes Division received several hundred complaints from around the country about the entire cruise line industry because cruise lines were retroactively charging a fuel supplement charge after cruises had been booked and deposits had been made by consumers.
Under the agreements signed today, all consumers who were retroactively charged a fuel supplement will be refunded the full cost of the surcharge. In the future, the cruise lines must also ensure clear and conspicuous disclosure of any fuel supplement charges at the time the reservations are made, as well as in their advertisements.
The agreement with Carnival and its cruise lines will affect more than 1.1 million bookings.
Carnival will contact consumers eligible for refunds and must report to the Attorney Generals Office on the status of refunds within 30 days.
Consumers who believe they have been improperly charged surcharges may file complaints with the Attorney Generals Office by calling the fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226 or by visiting the Attorney Generals website at myfloridalegal.com.
A similar settlement was reached last month with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, resulting in another $21 million in consumer reimbursement.