Travel agents wanting to sail on Carnival
Cruise Lines at a reduced rate will have to sell a minimum of five
cabins in a 12-month period to qualify, under new eligibility
requirements set by the cruise line.
The line cited a
limited number of available reduced-rate cabins and a desire to
reserve those cabins for agents who sell Carnival as its reasons
for setting the new rule.
"There are so many
different business models out there in the travel distribution
system now that it is becoming increasingly important to ensure
that only professional travel agents who are actively promoting and
selling cruises are receiving travel agent discounts," said Vicki
Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and guest
bookings must have already sailed or be fully deposited within a
12-month period and booked by the agent requesting the travel
Freed said that
Carnival's new quota was not implemented due to any abuse of its
"Travel agents did
not always understand that we were very selective and careful about
who got on our ship at reduced rates," Freed said. "We always
looked at productivity and qualified it here."
Freed said that
Carnival had previously denied agent rates to about 30 travel
agencies with agents who were solid producers and others who were
not. The new policy puts sellers from those companies on the same
playing field as other agencies.
"With these large
groups, there is volume. Somebody is selling it," Freed
explained. "We just want to make sure
that we are not rewarding people who just are members of this
group. We want to identify the professional travel
"We have such limited
space," she added. "I think we needed to say that the few cabins
that become available have to go to the right people."
contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].