SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Travel agents were split on the news that Renaissance Cruises would begin paying 10% commissions.

While some agents flat out refused to take back the prodigal line, others, like Linda Bosch owner of Just Cruises in St. Charles, Mo., were more forgiving.

Will you forgive and forget? Post your comments in the cruise forum.

"There's some bad blood there and it'll take a little while to earn back my trust," Bosch said. "But if they're paying [standard] commissions, I'll look at the product."

But Bosch said she wouldn't be going out of her way to sell them.

"I don't think I'll be doing any full marketing efforts in order to support Renaissance Cruises," Bosch said.

"But if the product fits the need of the customer and there isn't a preferred supplier that works for them, I'll look at Renaissance."

Pamela Waddell, owner of Seven Seas Cruises and Tours in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., also was willing to accept Renaissance's olive branch.

"As long as they follow through and start paying, I have no problem booking them. We've had a couple of people go on them, and they found them to be everything a cruise should be."

Waddell emphasized that Seven Seas does not currently book Renaissance itineraries.

"I just thought we should support companies that support us," she said.

But other owners weren't so willing to forgive and forget.

"Let's put it this way: If my wife cheats on me, she better not come home," Chris Myers, owner of Houston-based 4 a Vacation, said.

Myers said he feels so strongly that he will not even carry a Renaissance brochure in his agency.

"They're going broke and now they want our support," Myers said. "I won't even touch them. I see this is a desperate measure by Renaissance."

Meanwhile, Dan Chappelle, co-owner of Royal Cruises and Tours in Austin, Texas, said his company used to book Renaissance Cruises, but stopped because they were so disappointed with the service relationship between agent, cruise line and consumer.

"Commissions is just about a third of their problems. The service level from the company is pitiful ... their policies are [still] stringent and, I think, unfair to consumers," Chappelle said.

"They're constantly changing their policies," he added. "Their CEO may have resigned, but their top brass is still there. This [announcement] is little more than lip service. We prefer not to sell them."

ASTA calls move a 'step in the right direction'

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- ASTA supported Renaissance Cruises' new agent-friendly initiative and said it was "a testament to travel agents' power in the marketplace," according to Joe Galloway, president and chief executive officer of ASTA.

"We look forward to Renaissance taking further steps to win back the loyalty of travel agents and cruise customers," Galloway said. "We wouldn't be suprised if it took some time to win back loyalty."


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