Agents snap up free Carnival cruises in less than an hour

By Tom Stieghorst
Carnival Cruise Lines said more than 25,000 travel agents called to take advantage of the offer of a free cruise, far more than were available.

Carnival's vice president of worldwide sales, Joni Rein, in a thank you message to agents said all of the familiarization cruises were booked in about 45 minutes.

The promotion opened Wednesday to Travel Agent Rewards program and Carnival Passport members, and was scheduled to go live for general travel agents Thursday. Some agents complained about being frozen out of the opportunity so quickly.

Carnival said it filled about 1,000 cabins with the complimentary cruises.

Carnival said it would look at additional opportunities to do similar promotions.

The free cruises were offered in conjunction with Carnival's ongoing Carnival Conversations campaign to address travel agent needs.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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