Florida Couple Charged $100k for Cruise Ship Dinner – Fair Credit Billing Act

The United States inflation peaked at 8.3% last month, and the consumer price index rose to 13.5% in August 2022, the most significant yearly increase since 1979. Prices are increasing considerably everywhere, but one such news made a media frenzy when a Florida couple got charged exorbitantly for a cruise ship dinner.

Let’s explore the details of the news with Ehline Law and our cruise ship injury attorneys.

The Story of a Florida Couple Charged $100k for Cruise Ship Dinner Unravels

When you book a cruise trip with the SW Florida cruise line or any other cruise company, you don’t expect to spend much, considering most of the activities and food are included.

You can view deck plans and scheduled activities with a quick station app download and enjoy plenty of free meal options available on cruise ships at their local restaurant that will have you drooling.

Cruise Ships Offer Fancy Dine-in Experiences but at a Price

If you’re in the mood for something fancy or birthday treats, you can have sushi, steaks, burgers, pasta, and many more at one of the specialty restaurants aboard the ship. One such couple decided not to eat free and received a substantial dinner bill that would stop anyone in their tracks.

Florida Couple Decides to Eat at a Specialty Restaurant

Alex and Alicia, a Florida couple, decided to go on a holiday by booking a seven-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas.

Instead of enjoying the delicious free meals onboard, the couple decided to treat themselves to a fancy restaurant, one of the cruise ship’s specialty eateries, Jamie’s Italian.

Now we know what you’re thinking. Jamie’s Italian food is worth paying every cent for, but hold onto your high horses as the story gets a little more interesting.

Starters Followed by Main Course and Then Desserts

The couple dined at Jamie’s Italian and ordered a multi-course meal, including fried calamari and deliciously baked garlic bread for starters, a tomato pasta known as penne Pomodoro and parmesan salad for the main course. They even decided to have desserts, including a tangy lemon meringue cheesecake and decadent hot chocolate with gourmet vanilla ice cream to finish their dinner.

The Multi-course Meal Costs the Couple an Arm and a Leg

Alex and Alicia retreated to their room after enjoying the delicious meal, only to find that the cruise ship charged them $98,638.93 on their shipboard account.

Shocked and confused at the situation, they decided to confront the restaurant’s management about the excessive bill.

Royal Caribbean Reversed the Charges upon Investigation

Upon investigations, the management found that someone entered their ID number in the gratuity box rather than the correct tip amount. Admitting their mistake, Royal Caribbean reversed the charges levied on the couple for their lavish dinner. However, that wasn’t the end of their concerns.

Florida Couple Could Not Use Their Credit Card on the Trip Due to Previous Authorization

According to a news channel, the couple found out that they could not use their credit card as there was a hold on it from the previous authorization, locking up the available credit.

Imagine having no access to money while on a cruise. It’s going to affect your vacation experience.

Although the issue was not the fault of the server working at Jamie’s Italian but a tech problem, it did cause the couple serious inconvenience. Maybe next time, the couple may consider bringing Taco Bell or eat free at the local restaurants on their next day cruise.

Cruise Ships Exposed: Big Hidden Costs and How to Avoid Them

Although cruise ticket price covers most of the costs, there are some additional fees travelers should be wary of.

Let’s look at how cruise ship profit from additional services.

Internet Access Is Not Included in Your Ticket

When you’re on a cruise, many of us avoid interactions with our phones and enjoy the calm waters as we travel to our next destination. However, that’s not possible, especially if you have a running business or are working at a company. Checking and responding to emails is essential for executives, so you need internet access at sea.

Only the highest-end cruises offer internet services in their ticket price, but most charge additional fees. Passengers can save a lot of money by avoiding connecting to the ship’s internet and waiting to arrive at the port, where they can often find free Wi-Fi.

Room Service Costs Extra

Many cruise ships are now charging extra for room service, with most billing their passengers $6 or more regardless of the order size. Having breakfast on the balcony can be a great experience, but now passengers have to pay extra to enjoy that “luxury.” Check if your cruise ship charges extra before ordering a late-night snack.

Additional Fee for Lounging

Cruise ships have a few adult-only areas where you can relax and enjoy your time without being surrounded by hyped-up kids. Unfortunately, some bill additional fees to passengers looking to enjoy quiet time in adult-only lounges.

Gym Facilities May Be Added to Your Bill

Just as you have to pay for adult-only lounges on many cruise ships, you may also have to pay if you wish to use gym facilities on the vessel. With all the free food and nowhere else to go at sea, cruise lines understand many passengers’ need for a gym which is why they may charge additional fees.

Disputing Credit Card Charges under Fair Credit Billing Act

The couple can dispute the excessive credit card charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) by sending a letter to their creditor within 60 days of receiving the first error bill. The creditor now has 30 days to acknowledge the letter upon receiving it and 90 days to resolve the dispute.

What If the Couple Suffered Injuries During Their Trip and Had No Money?

If the couple suffered injuries during the trip due to someone else’s fault, they might qualify for compensation. But the main concern for Alex and Alicia isn’t compensation following an injury but how they will pay for the medical services when their credit card does not work anymore.

We understand it can be challenging to arrange financial resources to pay medical bills following an accident. Besides legal representation to recover compensation, our attorneys can help injured victims locate a lien doctor in California to get them the treatment they need.

If you suffered injuries in an accident that was not your fault, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation with our legal experts.


Michael Ehline

Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest maritime law settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC