Rockland, cruise line lock horns over passenger fee

Posted June 27, 2010, at 1:49 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Maine coastal communities love the tourism dollars that cruise ships bring, but a flap over passenger fees in Rockland underscores a delicate balance.

Royal Caribbean isn’t happy that Rockland has increased its fee from $1 to $6 per passenger. Its Jewel of the Seas, with 2,300 passengers, is scheduled to return to Rockland this October.

But Melissa Maker, chairwoman of the Harbor Management Commission, says the fee increase is needed to compensate for costs imposed on the community by cruise ship visits. She says Royal Caribbean was informed last year that the fees would be going up for this summer.

For now, there’s a standoff. Royal Caribbean tells MPBN that the fee increase “is excessive and ill-timed given current economic conditions.” It wants the original fees to be restored.

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