THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003
May 20, 2003
RCL "outraged" by Miami lawsuit
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL; Oslo) issued a brief statement yesterday in response to a lawsuit filed late Friday regarding the taxes and fees it charges cruise guests.
The suit was brought by Miami lawyer Tom Tew who said yesterday he was seeking class-action status for the lawsuit filed in a state court in Miami, which would allow him to seek damages on behalf of more than 5.7 million people who have traveled on any of the company's 25 luxury ships since early 2001.
The lawsuit charged that Miami-based Royal Caribbean added $15 to $25 per passenger in extra fees onto legitimate taxes owed to immigration and other U.S. agencies
"We are outraged by the actions of the attorneys filing this suit," said Lynn Martenstein, Royal Caribbean's vice president, Corporate Communications. "Our figures show they are dead wrong in their facts, and we feel they are hugely irresponsible in using the media to sensationalize a nonexistent case."
"We actually pay more in government taxes and fees than we charge our guests," she explained, citing a preliminary analysis of guest charges and payments made to government.
Using actual figures paid by two of the plaintiffs as examples, the company said they were charged $26 and $40, respectively, for government taxes and fees. The company, in turn, paid out approximately $45 and $58, respectively, to cover such taxes and fees.