Refund For Cruise Passengers After AG Lawsuit

Posted on November 6, 2008

Passengers traveling on one cruise line have a refund coming thanks to Florida’s Attorney General.

Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit this week against Imperial Majesty Cruise Line. The company is alleged to have added a fuel surcharge of $20 to $30 secretly onto customers’ bills. Most people thought these were government fees.

Many customers complained to the AG office alerting him to the practice. Customers said they had no idea they would be asked to fork over extra money until their arrived for their cruise.

The extra charge amounted to about $4 million over the past two years. McCollum announced the lawsuit at a news conference Wednesday. He is asking for a refund of about $4 million and for the advertising practices hiding the charges to be reversed.

McCullum has also gone after Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise lines over the same issue during this past year.

The cruise industry pumped $6 billion into Florida’s economy last year making Florida the cruise capital of the U.S.

Not only fuel charges, but the five million cruising customers who left from Florida’s five ports need to read the fine print on their ticket so they are thoroughly informed about what the ticket contains, which is actually a contract between the consumer and the cruise line.

An injury at sea falls under maritime and admiralty laws which cover all types of sea vessels including commercial boats, recreational water crafts, and cruise ships.

Customers need to consider what will happen to them if they are sick onboard.

Does the contract allow them to be airlifted to the nearest hospital? Does it allow them to return home if they are sick? Also be aware, that doctors and medical personnel onboard are not employees of the cruise line generally, but are independent contractors. That protects the cruise line from liability.

Also, if you need to file a lawsuit, see which court the cruise line specifies must be used. If you live in Seattle, it might be too expensive to appear in a court in Miami.

Know what you are agreeing to before you cruise. #

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.