Carnival, Pilots Disagree on Ships' Volumes

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Carnival Corp. filed suit against the Virginia Pilot Association this week, seeking to recoup about $350,000 in what it says are overcharges by the pilots, which steer ships between the Atlantic Ocean and docking points in the port of Hampton Roads, according to a report in The Virginia-Pilot.

At issue is how to properly calculate the volumes of the Fun Ships that Carnival has sailed from Hampton Roads several times a year for the past decade. The Pilot Association uses those volumes - based on the ships' length, width and height - to assess the fees it charges for its services.

When determining the heights of the cruise ships, the pilots have been measuring from the vessels' bottoms to one of the uppermost decks of the towering ships. Carnival has been insisting that, according to the Pilot Association's rules, the height of its ships should be measured only to one of the very lowest decks.

In 2004, the matter tumbled before the State Corporation Commission, which said in a ruling issued last December that Carnival was being overcharged. However, the commission did not order the pilots to refund any money.

Carnival filed the lawsuit Monday. Besides the Pilot Association itself, the suit also named as plaintiffs each of the group's 43 pilots. That was done because of the group's structure as a partnership, a Carnival spokesman said in a statement.

In the news account, the president of the Virginia Beach-based Pilot Association declined to comment on the lawsuit.

(Source: The Virginian-Pilot )

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