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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 11:40 GMT
Royal Caribbean refunds cruisers
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
Royal Caribbean announced fuel surcharges in November
One of the world's biggest cruise operators has agreed to refund fuel surcharges to some of its customers.

Royal Caribbean will refund passengers who paid a deposit on a cruise before fuel surcharges were announced on 16 November and departed after 1 February.

Since February, passengers have been charged an extra $5 (2.48) per person per day to cover rising fuel costs.

The settlement with the Florida Attorney General affects 300,000 bookings, and $21m will be returned.

Three hundred customers complained that they had been forced to pay the charges despite not having been made aware of them when they made their bookings.

"There's gonna be a lot of happy cruisers," said Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for Florida attorney general Bill McCollum.

People who have already sailed will receive cash refunds, whilst everyone else will get on-board credits.

Most cruise operators, as well as many other travel operators and airlines, have introduced fuel surcharges to help cover the ballooning cost of oil.

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