PRINCESS CRUISES is offering bonus commissions--on
the noncommissionable portion of the cruise fare--for the early
Caribbean sailings of the redeployed Grand Princess. Executive vp
Dean Brown said the line was in search of a "unique" incentive to
get agents to fill the 2,600-passenger ship. Agents can earn
commission on the full, published fare on voyages between May 4 and
May 25, on cruises booked by March 14. Last month, Norwegian Cruise
Line said it will pay commissions on previously noncommissionable
portions of its cruise fares to agents who double their sales
volume. Brown said the Princess move was "entirely different."
ALOHA! Clients will be able to sail interisland
Hawaii cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line by summer 2004, the line
said. An appropriations bill, signed by president George W. Bush,
includes a provision that gives the line an exemption from the
century-old Passenger Services Act, which prevents foreign-flagged
vessels from operating directly between two U.S. ports. The
provision allows NCL to complete the construction, in a foreign
yard, of two unfinished "Project America" ships that were being
built with federal subsidies for the bankrupt American Classic
Voyages, and register them under the U.S. flag. It also allows NCL
to re-flag a current foreign-flagged ship under the U.S. flag.
>NCL CHIEF Colin Veitch said the line will continue to
make calls to Fanning Island, the foreign port it uses for its
Hawaii cruises. The line's first U.S. flagged ship will be the
first Project America ship, which is under construction at Lloyd
Werft in Germany and will be ready for its Hawaii debut by
mid-2004; the ship will operate with U.S.-sourced crews and be
subject to U.S. tax laws. Veitch said NCL did not meet with the
provision's sponsor, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), to discuss
interisland cruises until after NCL agreed to purchase the
partially built Project America hulls. "It was a calculated risk
that we took," Veitch said.
SEVERAL CRUISE LINES caught the cancellation
protection bug last week:
• Costa Cruises waived cancellation penalties on all spring
transatlantic and 2003 Europe cruises. Guests can receive a full
refund on their cruise-only fare, as long as they make the decision
to cancel by April 30.
• Radisson Seven Seas Cruises president Mark Conroy said the line
will refund the penalty portion of a canceled cruise as a cruise
credit good for one year, less a $200 administrative fee.
• Oceania Cruises upgraded its standard protection program. For an
additional $149 per guest, passengers on cruises through Oct. 31
can cancel up to 24 hours before departure and receive a cruise
credit valid for any sailing within 36 months.
RADISSON'S Mark Conroy was on his way to Europe
to take delivery of the line's newest 700-passenger luxury ship,
the Seven Seas Voyager. He told Travel Weekly the line is looking
at expanding its 2003 lineup in Bermuda and trimming some sailings
off its Baltic program on the Seven Seas Navigator. "I think we're
going to have the ship go over later and connect into the fjord
cruises and then come back; run those two cruises and add some more
Bermuda cruises," he said.
OVER THE RAINBOW: Carnival Cruise Lines'
interior designer Joe Farcus has picked his latest design
theme-rainbow hues--for Carnival's upcoming ship, the Carnival
Glory. From the Colors Atrium to the Amber Palace show lounge, the
Blue Bar jazz club and the "Liberace-like" White Heat Dance Club,
each room will play off a different color theme. The Glory will be
Farcus' 22nd design for Carnival. He said it will be "spectacular
in a quiet, unassuming way."
CUNARD LINE debuted an $8 million ad campaign to promote its
still-under-construction Queen Mary 2. The "Can you wait?" theme,
the line's senior vp-sales and marketing said, is "all about
anticipation." The campaign debuted this week, mostly in print