CARIBBEAN CRUISES (RCCL) is discontinuing its key account
fares, a controversial policy that gives top accounts access to
group rates for individual bookings. The company, which includes
the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity brands, also is working on a
revised group policy to discourage agencies from blocking so-called
speculative group space and filling it with individual travelers.
The goal is to attract true affinity and promotional groups.
NOT ALL THE
DETAILS of the new policies are in place, said Lisa Bauer,
Royal Caribbeans vice president of North America sales, including
what types of marketing programs might replace key accounts and
when the changes will go into effect. In an interview last week,
Bauer said Royal Caribbean is working to come up with a program
that will definitely recognize key account status and address
components that include marketing and interesting ways to work
together but will not have a price advantage.
RCCL NEWS, long-time President Jack Williams is leaving
the company. Williams, who joined Royal Caribbean in 1997, has for
several years been the joint president of both Royal Caribbean and
Celebrity brands. Two weeks ago, the company created separate
presidents for each brand -- Adam Goldstein at Royal Caribbean, Dan
Hanrahan at Celebrity -- and made Williams the president of the
parent company. Williams said he will turn his attention to charity
CORP. had another banner quarter, reporting net income of
$345 million, a 70% increase over first-quarter 2004, on revenues
of $2.4 billion, a 21% increase year over year. The revenue
increase was driven by a 15% increase in capacity and a continuing
improvement in revenue yields, which increased 7.2%. The
cancellation of the 2005 world cruise of P&O Cruises Aurora
dragged down earnings per share by about four cents.
CORP. is considering raising capital for its newbuild
program through a public offering, either this year or next year,
CEO Colin Veitch said during the Seatrade Cruise Shipping
Convention. The equity offering would be a separate listing in the
U.S., Veitch said; NCL Corp.s parent company, Star Cruises, which
currently is publicly traded in Hong Kong and Singapore, would
retain a majority stake in NCL Corp.