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Carnival Accused of|Deceptive Fee Practices

(CN) - Carnival Cruise Lines deceptively created certain fees and inflated others charged to customers trading in timeshare "points" for discounts, a class action filed in Miami-Dade County claims.

The lawsuit in the latest action filed by Daniel Finerman, a Flagler County, Fla., resident, who sued Marriot Vacations Worldwide Corporation, and International Cruise Excursion Gallery Inc. in September 2014, claiming the companies overcharged members of it time-share program through bogus fees.

That case was filed in the Flagler County circuit court, but was later removed to the Jacksonville Federal Court. In November, Finerman voluntarily dismissed claims against the International Cruise Excursion Gallery. His claims against Marriot are pending.

In his latest complaint, Finerman says he and his wife booked a six-day Caribbean cruise with Carnival using accumulated points from his Marriot Vacation Club timeshare. The cruise was scheduled to depart from Ft. Lauderdale on November 9, 2014.

"In addition to his points, plaintiff paid to Carnival Corporation the sum of $566.17, which consisted of the following: $159 each for Port fees, $114.11 each for government fees, and a processing fee of $19.95," the complaint states.

Finerman says he contacted Marriot Vacation Club to question the high charges, and was advised the extra fees were not covered by his timeshare points, and that they were assessed by Carnival Corporation.

Still questioning the additional costs for government and port fees, Finerman says he then checked the Carnival website, and followed online the booking steps for the same cruise.

Finerman claims that "when booking through the Carnival Corporation website, rather than through Marriot Vacation Club, the total governmental and port fees quoted for plaintiff and his wife on the identical cruise amounted to $253.08."

Therefore, he says, he was overcharged $311.14 when he booked the cruise using his timeshare points.

Government fees are taxes assessed by the government, and it varies depending on the itinerary. On the other hand port charges are taxes charged by the port so that ships can tie their pier.

The complaint says that "both fees are charged per person, and are the same for each passenger on the particular cruise. "

Finerman claims Carnival deceptively charged he and other members of the purported class illusionary government and port fees to increase its profits, violating the Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

He is represented by John A. Yanchunis from Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group.

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