Carnival to roll out simpler fare structure

Carnival Cruise Lines said it will roll out a simplified fare structure this fall, responding to complaints by travel agents that the current system is too complex with too many categories.

"Travel agents are telling us that Carnival used to be the easiest cruise line to book with and now we're the most difficult," said Lynn Torrent, executive vice president of sales at Carnival. "Simply put, we want to be easy to book with again."

Torrent said the change resulted from initial feedback from the line's Carnival Conversations outreach to agents.

Last December, Carnival increased the number of fare codes from four to seven. Agents said the added features took longer to explain to clients, lowering productivity.

Carnival argued that the additional categories and features gave passengers more choice about what they wanted to pay for, and gave agents more potential for upselling.

Details about how Carnival will simplify the fare structure are still being worked out.

The line is making a push to solicit travel agent feedback through a series of road shows and online dialogues at its GoCCL portal for agents.

Carnival Corp. has also hired former Carnival Cruise Lines president Bob Dickinson as a consultant on distribution and marketing issues facing all of its brands.
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