Crystal Cruises paying past customers big bucks for referrals

By Donna Tunney
Crystal Cruises is paying cash incentives to past customers for referrals that result in bookings by new customers. Those making referrals can earn up to $6,000.

The promotion applies to any remaining 2011 cruises plus 10 sailings in the first quarter of 2012.

Crystal rolled out the offer in Passport, a magazine mailed to members of Crystal's loyalty program, Crystal Society.

If the referred customer books a cruise of at least eight days for two people, the person making the referral gets $2,000 in cash. Crystal will pay $1,000 for single-occupancy bookings. The limit is three referrals per person.

For seven-day cruises, the Crystal Society member receives $1,000 for double-occupancy bookings.

The new customer booking a cruise of at least eight days receives a discount of $250 per person off the cruise fare. Those booking seven-day cruises save $125 per person.

Crystal said travel agents are eligible for the promotion if they previously have paid for a full-fare Crystal cruise.

If they aren't eligible, however, agents can still earn commissions if the new customer books with them, Crystal said. The new customer's discount is subtracted from the commissionable fare.

"Besides the tremendous bonus for our guests, this is an amazing tool for our travel agent partners, which can translate into a lot of new business for them," said Nitsa Lewis, Crystal's vice president of marketing.
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