February 20, 2008

A week after Florida's Attorney General's office launched an investigation into fuel surcharges implemented by multiple cruise lines, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of New York resident Jason Ablelove and anyone who purchased a cruise ticket that included a surcharge from the named defendants. Seven cruise companies were named in the suit: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Carnival Corp., Norwegian Cruise Line, Ambassadors International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Oceania Cruises. Hollis L. Salzman, a partner at Labaton Sucharow LLP in New York City, said the cruise companies "need to be held accountable for the unreasonably high surcharges that they forced upon cruise ship passengers as they purchased tickets." A statement from Carnival said, "We believe our fuel supplement complies with applicable laws. The lawsuit in question is completely without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against this claim." The lawsuit also names the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, alleging the defendants "had the opportunity to conspire" during the 14th Annual FCCA Caribbean Cruise Conference & Trade Show in October and that "the FCCA was aware of, coordinated and facilitated the unlawful conspiracy." A representative for the FCCA said, "I don't know why we were named," and had no response to the allegations.