NEW YORK -- As agents deal with zero commission from the airlines,
several cruise lines announced enhancements to their travel agent
incentives, including increased pay, contests, seminars and
A sampling is as follows:
• Cruise West enhanced its commission structure
for travel agencies participating in its Small-Ship Partners
program. Commission levels can reach up to 15%, based on the
agencies' bookings the year before, Cruise West said.
Other additions include increased help on sales promotions like
direct mailings and cruise nights, and an accelerated schedule for
earning free fam trips.
For more information, visit www.cruisewest.com.
• Meanwhile, MSC Italian Cruises raised its
base commission rate to 12%. The company operates cruise vacations
in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and South Africa on mid-sized,
"classic ships," according to the line.
For more information, call (800) 666-9333 or visit www.msccruisesusa.com.
• On the contest front, Crystal Cruises
launched the "Enchanted Europe" travel agent contest, with a 12-day
2003 Mediterranean cruise aboard new Crystal Serenity during its
inaugural season as the grand prize.
The two travel agencies generating the highest sales revenues on
Crystal Symphony's June through October 2002 European sailings will
win penthouse accommodations aboard Crystal Serenity's Oct. 1, 2003
voyage from Athens to Venice.
For more information, call (800) 446-6620 or go to www.crystalcruises.com.
• To keep agents up-to-date on its programs, Windstar
Cruises rolled out its schedule for the line's annual
Seminars, hosted by Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and
sales, and Ken Devones, director of sales, will be offered in more
than 30 cities through July.
Sessions will feature the 148-passenger Wind Song's return to
Tahiti; will include all-inclusive cruise packages; tips and sales
tactics; and fleet details. The presentation will include
complimentary breakfast or lunch.
Agents can find current information on dates and locations for the
2002 seminar series by visiting the travel agent section of the
Windstar website at www.windstarcruises.com.
• In another move to keep agents happy, Carnival Cruise
Lines will continue to keep its travel agent reservation
centers open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Carnival started
keeping 'round-the-clock res center hours two months ago on a trial
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Lines' VIP check-in service, known as
the "Skipper's Club," is available in six new cities. Previously
only offered in Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., suite guests can
bypass the regular check-in line and get "expedited embarkation"
service in Los Angeles, Tampa, New Orleans, San Juan, Galveston and
For details, view the Web site at www.carnival.com.