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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Default Fuel Surcharge -- Why no alert?

As many of us are aware, Royal Caribbean instituted a fuel surcharge effective on all sailings subsequent to 2/1/08; however, upon further review of the fuel surcharge policy (went into effect on 11/16/07); it appeared that if you are scheduled to sail on a cruise subsequent to 2/1/08 and already happened to "pay in full" your final cruise payment, that the fuel surcharge would be WAIVED.

While I understand the surcharge and reason for waiving the fee for those who paid in full, I'm challenged with the fact that Royal Caribbean did not have the common sense to at least alert passengers that may be effected (e.g. via travel agent, web posting, etc.) announcing the effective date. As such, if many of would have known that if we paid our final payment by 11/16/07, we would have paid up to avoid the surcharge. Instead I find it a bit sneaky that they put the policy in place on 11/16/07, which is the same day they announced; whereby, not allowing anyone time to coordinate final payment. Obviously it was a way to avoid a large group of folks avoiding the surcharge; however, if they waive the fee for some, I believe they should have provided the opportunity to others to participate in attempting to get the fee waived as well.

Taking the aforementioned information into consideration combined with the maximum of $75.00 per cabin cap, it’s really not going to make or break anyone’s ability to sail; however, it’s more of situation whereby some people (out of dumb luck) got out of paying it, while others have to pay. I believe I’m more concerned over the perception and messaging they are sending out to passengers when levying these kind of “except for? rules.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Sure glad I paid for my next RCL cruise in full.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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While I do see your point and agree with you, you probably heard that Carnival was the first to start the fuel surcharge.

It would only be the natural next step that the rest would follow. It raised an immediate red flag to me & I knew the other cruise lines would follow suit. If they haven't, they soon will. They are just like the airlines...
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm actually not surprised at all that the fuel surcharge was levied, I'm just challenged with the "except for" rule that they placed allowing some to not pay it and others having to pay it. If they had said, "anyone" sailing after 2/1/08 must pay it, then I wouldn't really have a problem with; it's just the fact that some folks are getting out of the fee (good for them), bad for anyone who was unaware.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:06 AM
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Why breach an existing contract? Prior to Nov 16th, there was no paragraph #21, but there was brochure language guaranteeing the price once deposited, with the exception of taxes and government imposed fees, and there was that 1997 Fl AG settlement which disallows the initial advertised price changing except for taxes and government imposed fees against X.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 10:11 AM
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By no means am I suggesting those who have already paid should have to pay the fee, what I'm challenged with is the fact that they did not provide anyone with advance notice to provide others with the opportunity to pay-off the cruise prior to the levy. For example, if they provided a press release 1 week prior to enacting the policy change, then folks who choose to could have paid off the cruise to avoid the fee. This has more to do with customer service than it does legal liability.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondMember
By no means am I suggesting those who have already paid should have to pay the fee, what I'm challenged with is the fact that they did not provide anyone with advance notice to provide others with the opportunity to pay-off the cruise prior to the levy. For example, if they provided a press release 1 week prior to enacting the policy change, then folks who choose to could have paid off the cruise to avoid the fee. This has more to do with customer service than it does legal liability.
My point is, no one should have had to pay off their cruise early to avoid a fee -- the contract locked in the price, no surcharge, for all who deposited, before RCI changed the contract on Nov 16th. Your quandry would be moot if they had followed the contract in existence.

I know that those who were within days of final payment when RCI decided to attempt (because it isn't over, yet) to change the contract, are particularly aggrieved, and they should be. Their rule changes put the cut off on Nov 15th, with an announcement to the media, but not the TA's or their direct bookers, on Nov 16th! What an outrage!

The Fl Attorney General has opened an investigation because, if the complaints to the Maritime Commission can be used to judge, thousands have complained. Where this is on the AG's "burner" depends on how many more we can get to make a complaint.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Default Seems you are forgetting one key point!

You are given the option of cancelling!

I urge caution with the Florida AG. If there is a TV camera anywhere in the area, you stand a good chance of getting trampled as the AG rushes to get in front of that camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Seems you are forgetting one key point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasmunk
You are given the option of cancelling!
Yes you are! However the cruise company knows that many of it's passengers will have already paid for airfare to arive at the port city which is not refundable. This greatly limits one's option of cancelling.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Seems you are forgetting one key point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasmunk
You are given the option of cancelling!

I urge caution with the Florida AG. If there is a TV camera anywhere in the area, you stand a good chance of getting trampled as the AG rushes to get in front of that camera.
A basic tenet of contract law, is that the parties should get the benefit of the bargain. Allowing one to cancel without penalty if they are inside the penalty time frame does not cure the problem, because the cruiser has lost the benefit of the bargain, ie a firm price upon deposit with the exception of taxes and government fees which could be issued AGAINST the cruise line.

Attonrey Generals are political animals, for sure, which is why they tend to respond to large outcries by voters. If they cure the injustice, and get good pr as a result, it's ok with me.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra
While I do see your point and agree with you, you probably heard that Carnival was the first to start the fuel surcharge.

It would only be the natural next step that the rest would follow. It raised an immediate red flag to me & I knew the other cruise lines would follow suit. If they haven't, they soon will. They are just like the airlines...
Odd to me that both cruiselines, one who hedged fuel (RCL) and one who did not hedge fuel (Carnival), both within a week of each other instituted the exact same amount of a fuel charge.

Since Carnival did not allow already fully paid cruises to be exempt, I never guessed that RCL would, so didnt pay off anything. Getting hit from all sides on this one.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Seems you are forgetting one key point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasmunk
You are given the option of cancelling!

I urge caution with the Florida AG. If there is a TV camera anywhere in the area, you stand a good chance of getting trampled as the AG rushes to get in front of that camera.
OK so you got a contract to buy a house and have your deposit down. Does this mean if the seller said they changed their mind, they now want more money, but they would allow you to cancel, it would be ok with you too?

I have not seen any lauguage in the RCL terms prior to this announcement allowing them to add the surcharge to already deposited cruises.

Ill pay the surcharge, but Im thinking they went about this the wrong way and RCL might live to regret it if some lawsuits arise, which sounds likely imo, but who knows?
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