The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report

 
 
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
The Ocean Cruise Report Card
      for Travel Agents
 The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies

                                                         2017-2018
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
MSC Meraviglia
                  Best New Cruise Ship

       Meraviglia means wonder. From MSC
  Meraviglia’s stunning indoor Mediterranean-
 style promenade with the most spectacular LED
 screen at sea to the unique Cirque du Soleil TM at
 Sea shows, it’s no wonder that she was awarded
 “Best New Cruise Ship” by Cruise Critic UK, the
        world’s leading cruise reviews site.

     #1 CRUISE LINE IN EUROPE
        AND SOUTH AMERICA

Call 844-336-0729
Visit msccruisesagent.com
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
“BEST NEW CRUISE SHIP”
      MSC SEASIDE
                  - Cruise Critic -

                            MSC Seaside
                          Best New Cruise Ship

               Her iconic design is awe-inspiring.
               Her spectacular amenities are like
               no other. That’s why MSC Seaside
              was awarded “Best New Cruise Ship”
              by Cruise Critic, the world’s leading
                      cruise reviews site.

                7-NIGHT CARIBBEAN CRUISES
                       FROM MIAMI

            Call 844-336-0729 Visit msccruisesagent.com
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
Letter from the Editor
   2017-2018

               Dear Travel Agent,

               Welcome to the second edition of Travel Market Report’s Supplier
               Report Card for Ocean Cruise Lines, our inside look at the practices
               of cruise lines.

               Our inaugural edition of The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel
               Agents was published in early 2017. This edition, which follows The
               River Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents that was published in
               early January, includes up-to-date information, different editorials,
               and more cruise lines than last year’s edition (Azamara Club Cruises,
               and Seabourn have been added).

               All of these report cards seek out information about how the major
               suppliers in each sector of our industry interact with their most
               important partners, the travel professionals.

               With this edition, we hope to provide you with a resource you can
               use when dealing with your clients who are booking ocean sailings
               all over the world. We want you to know which suppliers truly have
               your best interest in mind.

               We invite you to take a look and to keep a copy at your desk during
               your day-to-day dealings with clients and suppliers. Not all of the
               cruise lines we invited to participate chose to do so, but we’re still
               very excited to show you just how valuable you are to the biggest
               companies in travel.

               We also invite you to write us if you experience a different policy
               than what the cruise lines listed in the following pages.

               Sincerely,

               Daniel McCarthy
               Editor-in-Chief
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
Table of contents
                                                                                                                                        The Ocean Cruise Report Card

Letter from the Editor .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4
Chart One: Sales                    Percentage .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 6
Chart Two: Commission                               Percentage .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
Chart Three: Commission                                 Types  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8-11
Chart Four: Cruise                      Accreditation .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 12-13
Editorial: How Important is Training to Agent Success? .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 14
Chart Five: Commission                             Payment Schedules .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 16
Chart Six: Overbooking .                           .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 17
Chart Seven: Non-Commissionable                                              Fees .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 19
Editorial: Selling Ocean Cruises: Part 1 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20
Chart Eight: Website                         and Commission Issues .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 22-29
Editorial: Selling Ocean Cruises: Part 2 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 30
Chart Nine: Co-op                     Marketing  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 32
Chart Ten: Referral                      Program .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 33

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5
Chart Eleven: Fam                        Trip Policy  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 34
Chart Twelve: Types                         of Training .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 35
Editorial: Cruise Lines Reveal New Products Debuting in 2018  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 36
Chart Thirteen: How                          to Sell More Cruises  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 38

                                                                      participating suppliers
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
chart 01

                                sales percentage
                                Despite an increase in online bookings in other segments of the industry, travel
                                agents continue to be the most important distribution channel for cruise lines
                                everywhere. Here’s what cruise lines had to say about how much of their sales
                                come from agents:

sales percentage
        Ocean                        What percentage of your sales are from travel agents?

   Cruise Line
       Azamara Club Cruises       88%

         Carnival Cruise Line     Declined to answer.

            Celebrity Cruises     Vast majority

              Crystal Cruises     Crystal has one of the highest percentages of business from travel agents of any cruise line.

                MSC Cruises       Approximately 80%

       Norwegian Cruise Line      Vast majority

             Oceania Cruises      95%

        Paul Gauguin Cruises      90%

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises       80%

Royal Caribbean International     Vast majority

                   Seabourn       Approximately 90%

            Silversea Cruises     80%-85%

                Viking Ocean      The majority of Viking’s business comes from travel agents.

            Windstar Cruises      Travel agents are Windstar’s largest and most important distribution channel.
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
chart 02

                                                                                                                          The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
 commission percentage
        Ocean
                                                                                 Is there a maximum
                                  What is your base commission
                                                                                 commission percentage you pay?
                                  percentage?
   Cruise Line                                                                   If so, what is it?

       Azamara Club Cruises                         10%                                          16%

         Carnival Cruise Line                       10%                                          16%

            Celebrity Cruises                       10%                                          16%

                                                                                                                          7
                                           10% for non-affiliated,
              Crystal Cruises   12% for Crystal-affiliated consortia agencies.
                                                                                                 17%

                MSC Cruises                         10%                                          17%

       Norwegian Cruise Line                        10%                          Tiered, based on revenue productivity.

             Oceania Cruises                        10%                                          17%

        Paul Gauguin Cruises                        10%                                          15%

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises                         10%                                          17%

Royal Caribbean International                       10%                                          16%

                   Seabourn                         10%                                          16%

            Silversea Cruises                       10%                                           No

                Viking Ocean                        12%                                          18%

            Windstar Cruises                        10%                                   Declined to answer.
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
chart 03

 commission types
        Ocean                                     Base
                                               Cruise Fare
                                                                    Government
                                                                       Taxes
                                                                                        Ancillary
                                                                                        Services
                                                                                                               Spa
                                                                                                             Services
                                                                                                                         Dining
                                                                                                                        Packages
   Cruise Line
       Azamara Club Cruises                                                                 N/A

          Carnival Cruise Line                                                              N/A

             Celebrity Cruises

                Crystal Cruises                                                             Some                        Not offered

                    MSC Cruises                                                                    3               3             3

       Norwegian Cruise Line                                                                       1

               Oceania Cruises                                             4

        Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises                                                                                                      4

Royal Caribbean International

                       Seabourn                                                             SOME

             Silversea Cruises                                                                                          Not offered

                   Viking Ocean                                                                                         Not offered

             Windstar Cruises                                                                      5                    Not offered

     1	Depending on the service provided. For example, should a           3   If pre-booked and pre-paid
        client need to rent a mobility scooter, etc., for the cruise, a
                                                                           4 	Included in cruise fare
        commission would be paid by Special Needs Group, but not
        NCL.                                                               5 	 On select packages
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
chart 03

 commission types

                                                                                                                                     The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
        Ocean                                   Shore
                                              Excursions
                                                                         Port
                                                                        Charges
                                                                                           Insurance        Gratuities   Transfers

   Cruise Line
         Azamara Club Cruises                            6                                                         4

           Carnival Cruise Line

              Celebrity Cruises                          6                                                               Sometimes

                 Crystal Cruises                         4                                                         4            4

                    MSC Cruises                          3                                           3                          3

         Norwegian Cruise Line                                                                                                  2

                                                                                                                                     9
                Oceania Cruises

          Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises                              4                                                         4            4

Royal Caribbean International                            7

                        Seabourn                                                                                                2

              Silversea Cruises                                                                                    4

                    Viking Ocean

               Windstar Cruises                                           N/A

     2	If clients purchase a bundle package that includes air and/or           6 	 On group bookings
        hotel, transfers, etc.
                                                                                7 	If booked through RCI
     3    If pre-booked and pre-paid
     4 	Included in cruise fare
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents - The Resource for Agents on Ocean Cruise Line Policies - Travel Market Report
chart 03

 commission types

                                                                                                                                                      The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
        Ocean                                      Airfare
                                                                             Hotel
                                                                        Accommodations
                                                                                                  Pre- & Post-Trip
                                                                                                       Tours
                                                                                                                                    Other

   Cruise Line
         Azamara Club Cruises

           Carnival Cruise Line                                                                                               Future Cruise Credits

              Celebrity Cruises                    Sometimes                Sometimes                  Sometimes

                 Crystal Cruises                                              varies                     varies

                    MSC Cruises                            3                           3                          3

         Norwegian Cruise Line                             2                           2                          2

                                                                                                                                                      11
                Oceania Cruises                            4

          Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International                              8

                        Seabourn

              Silversea Cruises

                    Viking Ocean

                                                                                                                                  Drink pckgs ,
               Windstar Cruises                                                        9                                        internet pckgs 9

     2	If clients purchase a bundle package that includes air and/or       8 	Indirectly as the revenue generated from booking air through
        hotel, transfers, etc.                                                  our Air2Sea program is added into the overall revenue
                                                                                generated (cruise + air) by the Travel Agent; therefore, enabling
     3    If pre-booked and pre-paid
                                                                                the Travel Agent to reach the next commission tier faster.
     4 	Included in cruise fare
                                                                            9 When pre-purchased
chart 04

cruise accreditation
      Ocean                                                CLIA       ARC       IATAN

 Cruise Line
        Azamara Club Cruises

          Carnival Cruise Line

              Celebrity Cruises                                   2         2       2

                Crystal Cruises

                    MSC Cruises

        Norwegian Cruise Line                                     3         3       3

               Oceania Cruises

         Paul Gauguin Cruises

           Regent Seven Seas

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line                                       2         2       2

                        Seabourn                                  2         2       2

             Silversea Cruises

         Viking Ocean Cruises

                        Windstar

    2	Not required
    3    With copy of appointment letter or certificate
chart 04

cruise accreditation

                                                                                                                                  The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
      Ocean                                ACTA                      ASTA
                                                                                     Consortium
                                                                                      Affiliation
                                                                                                                   Other

 Cruise Line
       Azamara Club Cruises                                                                                           7

         Carnival Cruise Line                                                                                         6

             Celebrity Cruises

               Crystal Cruises                    1                         1                  1                   TRUE

                  MSC Cruises

       Norwegian Cruise Line                      4                                            3

                                                                                                                                  13
              Oceania Cruises                     1                         1                  1

        Paul Gauguin Cruises

          Regent Seven Seas                                                                                           5

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

                      Seabourn                    2                         2                  2                      8

            Silversea Cruises                                                                                      TRUE

        Viking Ocean Crusies

                       Windstar                                                                                    TRUE

   1	With proof of CLIA, ARC or IATAN     5	Any agency with a W-9 and business     7 	Agency verification document and valid
                                              license qualifies to be a new vendor       W-9.
   2	Not required
                                           6	TRUE, ABTA, ATOL, ABN, TTA,            8 Business license and pseudo number.
   3    With copy of appointment letter
                                              Travel Business License or Seller of
   4 	Need copy of TICO license or GST,      Travel License
       not ACTA membership, although we
       encourage same
How Important is
Training to Agent Success?
   Vital, Cruise Lines Say
                                             by Daniel McCarthy

                  New learning opportunities and incentives for travel agents are being
                             offered by almost all of the ocean cruise lines.

With an increasingly crowded market       an impactful way that complements       insight into MSC’s brand history,
in ocean cruises, it’s more important     how learning has evolved.”              sailing destinations, the MSC
than ever for travel agents to get to        After graduating the bachelor and    Voyagers Club, onboard experiences
know ships and itineraries, and learn     master levels of Royal Caribbean        and more. The academy also offers
how to sell them. That’s why almost       University, agents will be eligible     a forum for all travel agents to pool
all ocean cruise lines are upping their   to receive a variety of rewards         notes and resources, creating an area
travel agent training options             such as CLIA credits, a Passport to     to share knowledge with others in
for 2018.                                 Savings booklet, onboard credit,        the industry.
   “Travel agents are our most            complimentary VOOM WiFi, and               For home-based agents, MSC
valued partners, and providing them       opportunities to attend Seminars at     is also offering one-on-one time
with the right tools as well as the       Sea and inaugural sailings.             with its business development
best training is a very important            Also this year, MSC Cruises          manager team.
part of our commitment to their           launched its new MSC Academy,              “Travel agents stand to gain
success,” said Vicki Freed, senior        which Senior Vice President of Sales    from the rapid growth of the cruise
vice president of sales, trade support,   Joe Jiffo said, “allows us to educate   industry, with more product than
and service for Royal Caribbean           all travel agents on MSC Cruises’       ever before being introduced to the
International.                            offerings and teach them how to         market on an annual basis,” Jiffo
   This year, Royal Caribbean             effectively merchandise the brand.”     said. “With new product comes new
University, the cruise line’s travel         The new program takes agents         updates and information, and it’s
agent training portal, was relaunched     through training courses, quizzes,      vital for agents to be properly trained
with a new interactive and mobile-        and checkpoints that are all designed   and kept up-to-date in order to
friendly program. According to            to get agents up-to-speed on what       effectively grow their businesses by
Freed, the portal was specifically        MSC is offering.                        offering the right product to
redesigned “to be robust and                 The program offers videos,           their clients.”
informative while also fun and            voiceovers and an audio                    Also new this year is Norwegian
engaging to serve up education in         pronunciation guide to give agents      Cruise Line’s NCLU, which was
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
launched just a few months ago.           amongst our community skyrocket,
The new program, which is mobile-         with many partners actively                   “Travel agents are
and tablet-friendly, allows travel        participating in discussions of
agents to earn four different levels of   NCLU content on a daily basis,”
                                                                                        our most valued
certification — Associate, Bachelor’s,    Olivere added.                                partners, and

                                                                                                                         15
Master’s, and Ph.D. — depending              Carnival Cruise Line also has              providing them
on courses taken. More than 20            training news for 2018 — a brand
electives, including opportunities        new GoCCL.com that debuted in
                                                                                        with the right tools
to earn destination expert status,        November 2017. The website now                as well as the best
are available.                            has an updated design based on
                                                                                        training is a very
   “The reception from travel             travel agent feedback, including an
partners has been overwhelmingly          improved navigation bar.                      important part of
positive,” Senior Vice President             “Agents have really embraced the           our commitment to
of Sales Camille Olivere told             new GoCCL.com. We’ve seen nearly
                                                                                        their success.”
Travel Market Report. “The new            double the users and usage since
platform is helping us better serve       we launched our completely                    — Vicki Freed, senior vice
our agent community with user-            redesigned travel agent portal last           president of sales, trade
                                                                                        support, and service for
friendly, concise courses that feature    November,” Adolfo Perez, Carnival
                                                                                        Royal Caribbean International.
meaningful content that help our          Cruise Line’s vice president of sales
partners grow their businesses.”          and trade marketing, told Travel
   Also new with NCLU is the NCLU         Market Report.
Student Union, a private Facebook            According to Perez, the “redesign    partners,” including interviews with
group exclusively for agents enrolled     was a true collaboration between our    partners and input from thousands
in NCLU. “We’ve seen engagement           teams and our valued travel agent       of agents.
commission schedule
                                          Few things are more troubling for agents than having to track down
chart 05                                  commission checks that are due them. Most of the cruise lines maintain
                                          a strict schedule for paying agents their fair share.

commission payment schedules
      Ocean                       What is your schedule for paying travel agents commission?

 Cruise Line
     Azamara Club Cruises      At final payment for FIT and 30 days after sailing for groups.

                               Weekly schedule for commissions earned. For individual bookings, this occurs once payment is
       Carnival Cruise Line    made against the full gross amount. For group bookings, commission is paid seven days after
                               bookings sail return date.

           Celebrity Cruises   Base commission is paid when booking is paid in full.

             Crystal Cruises   Two weeks before sailing.

               MSC Cruises     For FIT bookings, once final payment is received and for group bookings, two weeks before departure.

     Norwegian Cruise Line     As soon as final payment is made, the commission is automatically sent one week later.

            Oceania Cruises    Commission is paid 30 days prior to sailing.

      Paul Gauguin Cruises     Commissions are paid out two weeks prior to sailing.

        Regent Seven Seas      Commissions are issued starting at 30 days prior to sailing.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line    Base commission is paid when booking is paid in full.

                               The commission is paid out after the final payment is made. Typically takes 7-10 business days
                  Seabourn     to process.

           Silversea Cruises   Approximately 14 days prior to sailing.

      Viking Ocean Cruises     29 days prior to departure date.

                               Commissions begin processing the week that the cruise departs and is generally received by agents
                   Windstar    2-3 weeks post-cruise departure.
7 out of the 13
                                         lines who responded to whether or not they overbook                    7         13
                         answered “no.” Of the lines who didn’t, all have policies in place that
chart 06                look to protect travel agents commission in the event of overbooking.

                                            overbooking

                                                                                                                                  The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
                                            Overbooking continues to be a major issue in all segments of
                                            the travel industry. While many of the lines questioned said they
                                            don’t book over capacity, some still do. Here’s the rundown:

overbooking
      Ocean                            Do you overbook? If so, how do you handle commissions?

 Cruise Line
     Azamara Club Cruises           No, we do not overbook.

       Carnival Cruise Line         Declined to answer.

                                                                                                                                  17
           Celebrity Cruises        No, we do not overbook.

             Crystal Cruises        Yes, commission will be paid according to the category paid by the guest.

               MSC Cruises          No, we manage to the ship’s capacity.

                                    We conservatively and smartly manage our inventory based on past booking trends and current
     Norwegian Cruise Line          market conditions.

            Oceania Cruises         Yes, commissions are paid on sailed business.

      Paul Gauguin Cruises          No, we do not overbook.

        Regent Seven Seas           Yes, commissions are protected.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line         No, we do not overbook.

                  Seabourn          Yes, situation is handled on a case-by-case basis.

           Silversea Cruises        N/A

      Viking Ocean Cruises          Minimal overbooking and travel agents don't lose commission due to overbooking.

           Windstar Cruises         Not currently
Out of all the participating ocean cruise lines,
                                                                            only Viking Ocean Cruises
                                                                  sells a fare without any products and services
                                                                           that aren’t commissionable to agents.
chart 07

                               non-commissionable fees
                               No cruise line surveyed pays agents commission on every single item in which

                                                                                                                             The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
                               they play a role. Here’s what cruise lines don’t pay agents for:

non-commissionable fees
      Ocean
                                   Do you offer products & services            What services and products
                                       to consumers that aren’t                   are included in your

 Cruise Line                      commissionable to travel agents?             non-commissionable fees?

                                                                            Anything purchased onboard (except future
                                                                            cruise booked while onboard), ChoiceAir,
     Azamara Club Cruises                                                   airfare, shore excursions or government fees
                                                                            and taxes.

       Carnival Cruise Line                                                 Declined to answer.

                                                                                                                             19
                                                                            It's just the non-commissionable portion of
           Celebrity Cruises                                                the cruise price, it's not specifically to pay
                                                                            for anything.
                                                                            Air and shore excursions on Symphony
             Crystal Cruises                                                and Serenity.

               MSC Cruises                                                  Anything purchased onboard.

                                                                            Shore excursions, dining packages and
     Norwegian Cruise Line                                                  other add ons that are included in part of a
                                                                            promotion are reflected in the cruise fare.

            Oceania Cruises                                                 Declined to answer.

      Paul Gauguin Cruises                                                  Shore excursions, air and taxes.

        Regent Seven Seas                                                   Government fees and taxes.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line                                                 Declined to answer.

                   Sebourn                                                  Declined to answer.

                                                                            Shore excursions reserved in advance and
           Silversea Cruises                                                specialty restaurants.

      Viking Ocean Cruises                                                  N/A

           Windstar Cruises                                                 Declined to answer.
Selling Ocean Cruises
  PART ONE: Issues for Agents
                                             by Marilee Crocker

       Discounting by big box stores and OTAs, a deluge of fare promotions, uncertain geopolitics and
        catastrophic weather events – these are among challenges facing cruise-selling travel agents.

Ocean cruises have long been the            Michelle Fee, founder and CEO          top of everything.”
lifeblood of many leisure travel         of Cruise Planners, also cited this          Explaining cruise fares or
agencies. And for good reason.           issue. “Right now, some of the big        revised rules to clients is also time-
Ocean cruises are a perennially          box stores have an advantage. It’s        consuming. Libbie Rice, co-president
popular product that agents can          not just that they’re giving customers    of Ensemble Travel Group, cited the
count on to deliver high levels          rebates on cruise fares; in some          recent addition by some cruise lines
of customer satisfaction, repeat         cases, they’re doing so with credits      of nonrefundable deposit fares. “The
bookings and steady commissions.         or cash cards for use inside their own    cruise line might have two prices,
   But selling ocean cruises isn’t       store, she said. “They’re earning         one more amenity-driven, one price-
always smooth sailing. There are         dollars on that, where if we give back    driven. First, you have to explain
obstacles. Some are a direct result      a credit we don’t earn any dollars on     that to the consumer. Then, there’s
of cruise line practices, while others   it. That is not an even playing field.”   another layer of ‘if you pay now
stem from marketplace conditions.                                                  it’s cheaper but it’s nonrefundable.’
   We asked executives from six          Flood of promotions                       It’s not a bad thing – agents like
agency groups what they consider         and fares                                 the nonrefundable fares – but it’s a
the top issues currently facing travel   Keeping track of multiple cruise line     little longer sell time, a little more
agents who sell ocean cruises. Here’s    promotions and incentives, then           explaining,” Rice said.
what they said.                          factoring them all in to find the best
                                         value for the client is often daunting    Direct bookings
Rebating and discounting                 for agents, said John Lovell, CTC,        Persistent consumer misperceptions
Rebating by big box stores and OTAs      president of Travel Leaders Network       about the cost of booking through
probably represents the largest          & Leisure Group.                          an agent are a hindrance, Fee said.
loss of volume to agencies, said            “There’s so many offers out            “There’s so many cruisers out
Nicole Mazza, chief marketing officer    in the marketplace at any given           there who feel that by going direct
of TRAVELSAVERS, The Affluent            time,” Lovell said. “From an agent’s      they’re going to get the better
Traveler and NEST. “The big box          perspective, it’s just a deluge of        deal, the better amenity. I feel that
retailers and the OTAs continue to be    information. Especially in Wave           this challenges the travel agent
a problem, with them being allowed       Season, everybody wants that              community the most,” Fee said. “As
to rebate and to offer promotions not    share of their mind at the same           an industry, we need to be doing a
in the marketplace or prior to their     time. The biggest challenge is            better job of coming together and
[general] release.”                      time management and staying on            making the public more aware.”
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
   In some cases, the cruise lines          Matthew Eichhorst, president of           about the benefits of cruising.
themselves are the problem. In-             Expedia CruiseShipCenters.                   “Roughly 80 percent of the
house sales teams at certain cruise            “For example, in the wake of           population has never cruised. The
lines are overly pushy when it comes        the devastating hurricanes last fall,     biggest challenge is how to raise
to consumer-direct sales, even when         customers didn’t have the confidence      awareness for the value of a cruise
the customer already has a travel           to travel to the Caribbean, which         vacation with those that have never
agent, said Mazza.                          impacted many travel agents offering      cruised, and create excitement and
   “If the consumer has called the          cruises to the region,” he said.          demand. To me, it’s the core of

                                                                                                                                21
cruise line, even if it’s to get a little      In the Caribbean example, the          everything,” said Daly.
information, or if they sign up for         media focused on the devastation,            “It’s up to [agents] to be active in
emails, they get a call within 30           with little if any reporting on the       their communities and talking about
minutes,” explained Mazza. “Even if         many areas that were spared, and          it. The best thing you can do as a
the client says, ‘I’m working with an       that exacerbated the problem. In fact,    small business owner is always be
agent,’ they are extremely aggressive       cruise clients are still confused about   a communicator of that product and
[with offers].”                             whether the Caribbean is open for         what it provides.”
                                            business, said Rice. “Consumers are
Global conditions                           calling trying to understand what’s       Continuing to grow
From geopolitical turmoil and               the status of the Caribbean and is        Whether they’re selling cruise
terrorism to catastrophic weather,          the cruise line going to change           or non-cruise vacations, the
the unpredictability of global              my itinerary.”                            most pressing issue facing agents
conditions is always an issue.                                                        today is to grow the business,
   “Vacation choices are often              Attracting non-cruisers                   said Lovell.
influenced by environmental and             For Drew Daly, general manager               “The true challenge is to remain
economic factors. Depending on the          of network engagement and                 relevant. The agent needs to really
current state of the world, this can        performance for CruiseOne, Dream          work hard to attract new clients.
impact where customers choose to            Vacations and Cruises Inc., the top       The business owner is looking for
go on vacation, the sort of vacation        hurdle facing cruise-selling agents       growth. The way you grow is to
they choose, or even if they decide         also represents their top opportunity     attract and maintain new clients on
to go on a vacation at all,” said           – educating the traveling public          an annual basis.”
chart 08

 website & commissions
        Ocean                              Does your website have a travel agency
                                          section that allows agents to register and
                                                                                       Does your website offer white-label
                                                                                          solutions for travel agents?
   Cruise Line                                  track bookings and revenue?

        Azamara Club Cruises

           Carnival Cruise Line

              Celebrity Cruises

                 Crystal Cruises                                                                            5

                    MSC Cruises

       Norwegian Cruise Line

                Oceania Cruises                                    17

         Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

                        Seabourn

              Silversea Cruises

                    Viking Ocean

              Windstar Cruises

      5	Not currently, but is planned.
     17 Bookings tracked not revenue.
chart 08

 website & commissions

                                                                                                                            The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
                                                 Do you currently take consumer            Do you run promotions to
        Ocean                                   email addresses from travel agent
                                              bookings to use for direct-to-consumer
                                                                                         encourage consumers to book
                                                                                       their next trip onboard and retain
   Cruise Line                                       marketing campaigns?                     agent commission?

        Azamara Club Cruises

           Carnival Cruise Line                                      11

              Celebrity Cruises

                 Crystal Cruises                                     11

                    MSC Cruises

        Norwegian Cruise Line

                                                                                                                            23
                Oceania Cruises

         Paul Gauguin Cruises                                        11

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

                        Seabourn                                     11

              Silversea Cruises

                    Viking Ocean                                     11

               Windstar Cruises                                      11

     11	Only to past guests and we always include a
         “Contact Your Travel Professional” call to action.
chart 08

 website & commissions
                                                                                      If you do direct-to-consumer
        Ocean                                   When marketing to agency clients,
                                               do you include the booking agency’s
                                                                                       marketing, do you include a
                                                                                     “call your travel agent” call to
   Cruise Line                                            call to action?
                                                                                           action all of the time?

        Azamara Club Cruises                                    N/A

           Carnival Cruise Line

              Celebrity Cruises

                 Crystal Cruises

                    MSC Cruises

        Norwegian Cruise Line                                         11

                Oceania Cruises

         Paul Gauguin Cruises                                         1

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

                        Seabourn

              Silversea Cruises

                    Viking Ocean

               Windstar Cruises

      1 Only if they’re part of the co-op program.
     11	Only to past guests and we always include a
         “Contact Your Travel Professional” call to action.
chart 08

 website & commissions

                                                                                                                    The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
        Ocean                               Is your commission range different
                                            if an agency belongs to a marketing
                                                                                   Do you offer other channels
                                                                                  (OTAs, for example) a different

   Cruise Line                                      group or consortium?               commission range?

        Azamara Club Cruises

                                                               Declined                        Declined
          Carnival Cruise Line                                to answer                       to answer

              Celebrity Cruises

                Crystal Cruises

                   MSC Cruises

       Norwegian Cruise Line

                                                                                                                    25
               Oceania Cruises

         Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

                       Seabourn                                       19

                                                                                               Declined
             Silversea Cruises                                                                to answer

                   Viking Ocean

              Windstar Cruises

     19	Our commission structure ranges from10-16% and changes
         based on revenue earned, not based on marketing group or
         consortium.
chart 08

 website & commissions
        Ocean                              Do you allow agencies to
                                           mark up any cruise fares?
                                                                               Do you allow agencies to
                                                                                rebate to their clients?
                                                                                                                   Can commissions be
                                                                                                                 netted against checks in

   Cruise Line                                                                                                     a weekly summary?

       Azamara Club Cruises

          Carnival Cruise Line                                   6                                6                                   7

             Celebrity Cruises                                                                    18                                  9

                Crystal Cruises                                                                                                       15

                   MSC Cruises

       Norwegian Cruise Line                                     16

              Oceania Cruises

        Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises                                                                       14

Royal Caribbean International                                    16                                                                   12

                       Seabourn

                                                                                                                              Declined
             Silversea Cruises                                   13                               14                         to answer

                  Viking Ocean

             Windstar Cruises                                                                     2

     2 Not encouraged.                               9	Must submit an agency check for the net        date of booking. Net payment does
                                                        amount prior to the final payment date         not include commission and must be
     6	All rates other than Approved Rates
                                                        of booking.                                    submitted by agency check.
        require the express written authorization
        of Carnival before being offered in         12	If a Travel Partner wishes to pay the     13	If the agency is packaging cruise
        any media.                                      net amount due on the booking, they           with land.
                                                        must submit an agency check for the
     7	Only for commission overages on a                                                         14	However, they can offer a value add that
                                                        net amount prior to the final payment
        respective booking with this condition.                                                       does not exceed 5% of the cruise.
chart 08

 website & commissions

                                                                                                                  The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
        Ocean                                 Do you add a surcharge on credit
                                               cards to cover merchant fees?
                                                                                 Do you prominently display the
                                                                                  agency’s name and phone in

   Cruise Line                                                                   confirmations and documents?

        Azamara Club Cruises

          Carnival Cruise Line

              Celebrity Cruises

                Crystal Cruises

                   MSC Cruises

       Norwegian Cruise Line

                                                                                                                  27
               Oceania Cruises

         Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

                       Seabourn

              Silversea Cruises

                   Viking Ocean

              Windstar Cruises

     15	A group summary can be requested and
         it shows commissions.
     16 For groups.
     18	We allow funded value add ons as a
         booking incentive.
AUTHENTIC ADVENTURE TRAVEL
                      Your Clients Will Sail With a Team of 11-19 Experts of the Highest Caliber
                        They will enjoy lectures, workshops, zodiac trips and guided nature walks.

                     One of the Highest Crew to Guest Ratio in the Expedition Cruising Industry
                          The team includes a variety of experts such as biologists, naturalists,
                        anthropologists, geologists, historians, and photographers hand-picked
                             for their knowledge. As well as butlers and distinguished staff.

                                            Get Ahead With Group Programs
                         Fastest growing segment of the travel industry, a lot of first time cruisers
                             interested in expedition, repeat business, and high commission.

                                     Reap the Rewards of a High-Value Transaction
                                          Silversea pays commission on more.

                                              Invaluable Support Programs
                                            Take your agency to the next level.

                               SILVERSEA EXPEDITION’S ALL-INCLUSIVE LIFESTYLE
   All-suite Accommodations | Butler Service in Every Suite | Fine Dining Options Wines and Spirits throughout the ship
Onboard Gratuities | Complimentary parka for polar expeditions | Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®

                         FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL SILVERSEA AT 888.978.2856,
                              OR VISIT SILVERSEASPECIALISTREWARDS.COM
chart 08

 website & commissions

                                                                                                                              The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
        Ocean                                          Do you pay commissions
                                                     on non-refunded cancellation
                                                                                    Do you make your product and prices
                                                                                    fully available in all GDSs, B2B web-

   Cruise Line                                               monies paid?           sites, call centers, and other portals?

        Azamara Club Cruises                                           10

           Carnival Cruise Line                                                                             8

               Celebrity Cruises                                       10

                 Crystal Cruises

                     MSC Cruises

        Norwegian Cruise Line

                                                                                                                              29
                Oceania Cruises                                        4

         Paul Gauguin Cruises

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Royal Caribbean International                                          10

                        Seabourn                                       10

              Silversea Cruises

                    Viking Ocean

               Windstar Cruises                                        10                                   5

      4	Only on 100% penalized bookings.
      5	Not currently, but is planned.
      8	Qualified partners who complete relevant data, security and
         technology reviews.
     10	Only within the full cancellation period.
Selling Ocean Cruises
 Part TWO: Advice for Agents
                                             by Marilee Crocker

                           Agency group executives offer travel agents practical tips on
                              how to successfully increase their ocean cruise sales.

Develop close relationships with            But that doesn’t mean some              Knowledge is power
selected cruise lines, stay current      ocean cruise lines aren’t overly           Matthew Eichhorst, president
with product and promotions,             aggressive about selling direct            of Expedia CruiseShipCenters,
and talk up the value of using an        to consumers. Because intimate             considers the global geopolitical
agent. Those are among steps             knowledge of their own promotions          climate and the constantly evolving
travel agents can take to succeed in     allows in-house sales staff to be          nature of the cruise industry as the
selling ocean cruises in the face of     particularly tactical in their approach,   two biggest issues facing agents
persistent obstacles like rebating,      agents need to work hard to stay           selling ocean cruises. In both cases,
aggressive consumer-direct sales         current with cruise line product and       he said, “the remedy is for agents to
and challenging global conditions,       promotions.                                educate themselves.”
according to executives of leading                                                     “If agents are aware of the global
travel agency groups.                    Focus your efforts                         geopolitical issues, they will be in
   To be fair, the conditions for        “An agent needs to educate                 a better position to provide their
selling ocean cruises are arguably       themselves almost daily,” said             customers with vacation options.
better for travel agents today than in   Nicole Mazza, chief marketing officer      For example, Europe is a popular
recent memory.                           of TRAVELSAVERS, The Affluent              vacation destination, but there is a
   For one thing, ocean cruise lines     Traveler and NEST.                         vast difference between Turkey and
more consistently support the travel        Given the flood of often short-         Norway from a tourism perspective
agency channel, and they do a better     term promotions, it’s nearly               these days,” he said.
job of minimizing cross-channel          impossible to stay current on all             “In another example, there were
conflict, agency group executives        cruise lines, so Mazza advises agents      many islands in the Caribbean that
told Travel Market Report.               to focus on a small handful of cruise      were spared from the hurricanes.
   “They used to forget to add the       line partners and to build close           Agents who were aware of this
tagline ‘Or call your travel agent,’”    relationships with them. “Choose           would be able to offer their
said Michelle Fee, founder and CEO       one or two cruise lines and ensure         customers alternative Caribbean
of Cruise Planners. “The cruise lines    you know their promotions every            holiday plans.
have come a long way over the last       morning. Be a really good partner to          “Likewise, if agents keep up-to-
few years in better understanding        them so you can build their volume         speed with new ship innovations,
that we all have to work together.”      and work on special incentives.”           cruise line offerings and promotions,
The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
they will be knowledgeable enough           Remember to be active on social       that goes a long way to ensuring
to offer their customers a high-value    media during your own travels,           the agent’s continued relevance to
vacation suited to their needs,”         Daly advised agents. “Remind             consumers and their cruise partners.
Eichhorst said.                          customers socially when you’re              “The travel agent’s job is to make
   Regarding geopolitical issues,        traveling. Share that on Facebook,       sure that the client who wants to
particularly the threat of terrorism,    Twitter and Instagram. That’s going      take a deep water cruise is getting

                                                                                                                            31
Drew Daly, general manager               to help people visualize themselves      on the right product at the right
of network engagement and                consuming.”                              time and finding the best possible
performance for CruiseOne, Dream                                                  price and amenities out there. That’s
Vacations and Cruises Inc., noted        Talk up the benefits of using            where the agent serves a great need
that agents are always faced with        an agent                                 for consumers, cutting through and
customer concerns about safety and       Agents also need to be vocal about       finding what brand is right for a
security. He urges agents to remind      the value of using a travel agent.       particular family. That’s where the
customers that “a cruise vacation is     “When the consumer goes direct,          travel agent really does provide
the safest vacation.”                    it’s largely because the agent hasn’t    great value,” said John Lovell, CTC,
                                         made an extraordinary experience         president of Travel Leaders Network
Promote the value of cruising            for them. They need to be professing     & Leisure Group.
For Daly, the most pressing              that travel agents save you time,           Cruise lines recognize this value
challenge for agents selling ocean       energy and money, and that a             as well, said Fee of Cruise Planners.
cruises is spreading the word about      cruise vacation offers a great value     “I think the cruise lines agree that if
the value of a cruise vacation to        alternative over a land vacation,”       you put the customers on the right
members of their communities who         Daly said.                               product, they’re going to have a
have never cruised. “It’s almost as if                                            better experience, and they’ll have
an agent today has to go back to the     Make the right match                     more repeat cruisers. It’s about a
basics of how agents 30 years ago        At the end of the day, the agent who     total experience, and I think we can
built their businesses on cruising by    does their job well delivers value to    provide that better than going direct
doing cruise nights,” Daly said.         the client and to the cruise line, and   or online.”
of lines surveyed do offer some
                                                                     co-op marketing. Most require a conversation
chart 09                                                             with a business development manager or an
                                                                     approved marketing plan to take advantage.

co-op marketing
      Ocean
                                     Do you
                                   provide co-op                   How does an agency qualify?

 Cruise Line                        marketing?

                                                   Prior sales with Azamara, as well as potential opportunities
     Azamara Club Cruises                          discussed with local Strategic Business Development Manager.

       Carnival Cruise Line                        Declined to answer.

                                                   Based on conversation with Celebrity Sales Manager and a
           Celebrity Cruises                       marketing plan.

                                                   By contacting their Strategic Business Development Manager and
                                                   providing a market plan that shows viability for both partners to
             Crystal Cruises                       invest funds likely to result in a favorable return on investment for
                                                   both parties.

                                                   The agency builds and comes up with an agreed upon marketing plan
               MSC Cruises                         together with their BDM.

                                                   A conversation with a Business Development Manager, illustrating
     Norwegian Cruise Line                         a business plan or a plan against a specific revenue goal, or proven
                                                   revenue productivity.

                                                   Review the opportunity with the local Regional Sales and Marketing
            Oceania Cruises                        Director or Business Development Manager for approval.

                                                   The Directors of Sales have a co-op budget which enables them to
      Paul Gauguin Cruises                         develop marketing plans with individual agencies.

                                                   Any agency qualifies for co-op marketing, and we analyze all plans
                                                   submitted for effectiveness, however, the decision to participate is
        Regent Seven Seas                          managed by our Directors of Sales and Marketing or our Business
                                                   Development Managers using variables such as the medium, target
                                                   audience, reach and level of agency production.

                                                   The territory strategic account manager and the agency owner
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line                        review their marketing plan and co-op advertising opportunities and
                                                   agreed-upon marketing initiatives.

                                                   Agency to submit Marketing Plan to Business Development Manager
                  Seabourn                         for review. Generally, one determinant for plan approval is revenue from
                                                   previous year.

           Silversea Cruises                       We look at the sales potential of the agency.

                                                   Contact their Director of Business Development who will assist in
      Viking Ocean Cruises                         creating a marketing plan.

                                                   Agencies should submit marketing plans to their Regional Sales
           Windstar Cruises                        Manager for review.
chart 10

                                                                                                                         The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
referral program
                                 Does your website/

      Ocean                     company have a travel
                               agency referral program
                                                                 If yes, how do agents get onto the
                                                                       referral/preferred list?
 Cruise Line                   for preferred agencies?

     Azamara Club Cruises                                Based on sales.

       Carnival Cruise Line       Declined to answer.    Declined to answer.

                                                         To qualify for this listing, an agency must have a minimum
                                                         of $5,000 in sailed revenue for the Celebrity Cruises brand,
           Celebrity Cruises                             during the previous 12 months, and reservations must be
                                                         booked under their own agency phone number, not a host
                                                         phone number.

                                                         We offer an Agent Locator on our website that allows
             Crystal Cruises

                                                                                                                         33
                                                         prospective guests to find an agent via a zip code search.

               MSC Cruises                               N/A

                                                         If they are registered in Norwegian Central, they will be
     Norwegian Cruise Line                               included.

            Oceania Cruises                              N/A

                                                         PEARLS Partners selling $25,000 or more in revenue per
      Paul Gauguin Cruises                               year are featured on the “Find an Agent” tool on our website.

                                                         The request would need to be reviewed by the Director
                                                         of Sales and Marketing. Agencies are considered on level
        Regent Seven Seas                                of production and commitment to selling Regent Seven
                                                         Seas Cruises.

                                                         To qualify for this listing, an agency must have a minimum
                                                         of $5,000 in sailed revenue for the Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line                              International brand during the previous 12 months, and
                                                         reservations must be booked under their own agency phone
                                                         number, not a host phone number.

                  Seabourn                               Agencies qualified based on revenue.

           Silversea Cruises                             Based on revenue.

      Viking Ocean Cruises                               N/A

           Windstar Cruises                              N/A
chart 11

fam trip policy
      Ocean                       What is your fam trip policy for travel agents?

 Cruise Line
                               Must have sold at least one booking in the past 12 months on any of the three brands: Azamara,
     Azamara Club Cruises      Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International.

                               Discounted travel agent rates are distributed to all individual travel agents who are signed-up
       Carnival Cruise Line    to receive Carnival e-mails (agents may sign-up at GoCCL.com). Rates are subject to availability
                               and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

                               We have Seminar at Sea availability throughout the year to help travel agents learn and
           Celebrity Cruises   experience our product. Travel agents must work with their Celebrity Sales Manager to learn
                               how to join us on one of these seminars.

             Crystal Cruises   We post agent rate cruises on our agent site year-round.

                               MSC offers seminars at sea multiple times throughout the year as well as ship tours when any of
               MSC Cruises     our ships are docked in their homeport. All can be coordinated through the travel agent’s BDM.

                               At BDM discretion or offered to travel partners through headquarters. We want every travel
     Norwegian Cruise Line     partner to experience our product.

                               We offer travel agent reduced rates and more information can be found in our Travel agent center at
            Oceania Cruises    https://www.oceaniacruises.com/agent/agent-login/

                               We offer reduced rate travel to industry partners with verification of employment. Confirmation is
      Paul Gauguin Cruises     typically given inside 30 days of sailing.

                               All agent partners may submit requests for reduced rates with confirmation from 30-7 days prior
        Regent Seven Seas      to sailing. Agent rate depends on agency production.

                               We have land familiarization events that are planned through the local Strategic Account Manager.
                               Typically an invitation is sent to the travel agency advising them of the fam opportunity. In addition,
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line    we provide a Seminar at Sea experience which creates and combines both classroom learning and
                               the cruise experience. Travel agents can partner with their local Strategic Account Manager for an
                               invitation throughout the year.

                               FAMs are invitation based for agents registered for the Insider (TP Newsletter) who completed
                  Seabourn     the Seabourn Academy.

                               Travel Agent Center of our Website offers list and form of Travel Agent Reduced fares. Fares vary
           Silversea Cruises   by category and voyage.

                               Fam trips are available based on availability and demand. Travel agents can contact their
      Viking Ocean Cruises     Director of Business Development and/or Inside Sales for availability.

                               Windstar regularly offers reduced rates for our travel agent partners. A downloadable PDF of
           Windstar Cruises    the most current rates as well as the terms and conditions of this offer is available via our
                               Agent hub: https://agenthub.windstarcruises.com
chart 12

                                           training
                                           Training is the bedrock on which agents build their
                                           business. Knowing a product inside and out is the first step
                                           toward being able to recommend and then sell it. Here’s
                                           what the cruise lines have to offer in terms of training for
                                           travel agents:

                                                                                                                The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
types of training
                                                                                    Tele-

      Ocean
                               Seminars        Regional                                         Certification
                                                                  Video         conference/
                               In Agency        Training                                        Program As
                                                                 Training         Webinar
 Cruise Line                     Office        Seminars
                                                                                  Training
                                                                                                 Specialists

     Azamara Club Cruises

       Carnival Cruise Line

                                                                                                                35
           Celebrity Cruises

             Crystal Cruises

               MSC Cruises

     Norwegian Cruise Line

            Oceania Cruises

      Paul Gauguin Cruises

        Regent Seven Seas

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

                  Seabourn

           Silversea Cruises

      Viking Ocean Cruises

           Windstar Cruises
Cruise Lines Reveal New
     Products Debuting in 2018
                                             by Jessica Montevago

            From new ships and itineraries to over-the-top entertainment and amenities, the cruise
                     industry is offering something for every guests’ taste and budget.

Azamara Club Cruises                        a platform cantilevered off the side      four waterslides, ropes course, and
The line’s newest ship, Azamara             of the ship. The Celebrity Eclipse will   ziplines. The 4,132-passenger ship
Pursuit, will go into a wet dock in         begin five sailings in Dublin; and the    will feature 11 eateries, including an
Belfast, Northern Ireland, this spring.     Celebrity Constellation’s seven-night     upscale seafood restaurant and a
Following renovations, the ship will be     Mediterranean itineraries are back. In    steakhouse.
fitted to accommodate 690 guests. The       addition, Celebrity Solstice in Alaska
official christening will take place on a   has a longer season and more time         Norwegian Cruise Line
short sailing from Aug. 28-30, 2018.        spent in port.                            The 4,004-passenger Norwegian
    Azamara also expanded its Cuban                                                   Bliss will begin sailing this
itineraries, adding four new sailings       Crystal Cruises                           summer in Alaska, becoming the
and two additional maiden ports of call     Set for redesign, the Crystal             largest vessel ever to cruise to the
in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.         Serenity will go into dry dock from       state, before moving to Miami in
                                            Oct. 14 to Nov. 10. The ship will         November. Offerings range from
Carnival Cruise Line                        get 36 additional Penthouses and          a 1,000-foot-long go-kart race track
The 3,954-passenger Carnival                two additional Penthouse Suites,          – the largest at sea – to a laser
Horizon, sister ship to the Carnival        plus new restaurants and other            tag area on the top deck, to water
Vista, will take its maiden voyage          improvements. Crystal’s other ocean       slides that go out into the ocean.
on Apr. 2. The ship boasts a                vessel, Symphony, completed its           Several new dining concepts will
Dr. Seuss-themed water park,                renovation late last year. Onboard        be introduced, including an upscale
800-foot-long sky ride around its           both ships, Lido Café is getting          version of authentic Texas barbeque,
top deck, and IMAX Theater. New on          replaced with a marketplace during        an a la carte chocolate-themed
Horizon will be a Guy Fieri-themed          the day and a Brazilian-style             dessert eatery, and Norwegian’s
barbeque eatery and Japanese-               restaurant at night. Crystal will also    first full Starbucks. Like sister-ships
style Teppanyaki restaurant. It will        provide unlimited complimentary           Joy and Escape, Bliss will have
sail four- and eight-day itineraries        WiFi to all of its passengers.            Tony Award-winning production
out of New York to Bermuda or the                                                     shows including Jersey Boys and a
Caribbean, until it moves to its final      MSC Cruises                               restaurant-line boardwalk.
scheduled homeport of Miami at the          Sister-ship to the brand new
end of September.                           MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview will             Oceania Cruises
                                            sail seven-night itineraries in the       Oceania Cruises will offer a complete
Celebrity Cruises                           Western Mediterranean. Extra-wide         circumnavigation of Australia on the
In November, the Celebrity Edge             promenades will provide ample             684-passenger Regatta on Dec. 13,
will sail seven-night itineraries in        outdoor space, in the form of eating      2018. The 34-day voyage will begin
the Caribbean. The ship boasts the          and lounge areas. Designed for            in Sydney with port stops including
new Edge Stateroom with an infinite         warm-weather destinations, the top        Brisbane, Alotau, Komodo, Perth,
veranda and first-ever Magic Carpet,        deck will offer an Aqua Park with         Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island),
Adelaide, and Melbourne, as well as          restaurant; and new Broadway-             Silversea Cruises
visits to Indonesia and Papua New            caliber entertainment, including          Culinary- and wine-themed Enriched
Guinea. It will be Oceania’s third           Hairspray and an original production.     Voyages kick off this year, offering
circumnavigation cruise of Australia.        For families, the two-level Ultimate      passengers guided market-to-plate
                                             Family Suite has everything from a        excursions, cooking demonstrations,
Paul Gauguin Cruises                         slide to a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall     special tastings, and private tours
The 332-guest m/s Paul Gauguin will          to a theater-style TV room, complete      to vineyards and wineries. Over a
be the first cruise line to visit the port   with a popcorn machine and a library      dozen itineraries feature the culinary
city of Vairao in Tahiti Iti, the smaller,   of video games.                           enrichment program, including on
eastern peninsula of the archipelago.            Royal Caribbean will also roll        the Silver Muse, Silver Wind, and

                                                                                                                                    The Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents
Tahiti Iti is scheduled on the seven-        out new itineraries. Cruises sailing      Silver Cloud. Four sailings offer
night Society Islands & Tahiti Iti                                                     wine voyages.
voyages and a special 10-night                                                             Silversea Cruises also introduced
Society Islands & Tuamotus.                    ...the cruise industry                  the inaugural 2018 Couture Collection,
    Paul Gauguin Cruises will also                                                     a portfolio of nine pre- and post-cruise
                                                     is offering
begin offering wedding ceremony                                                        land programs of five- to 11-day
and vow renewal packages at Motu               something for every                     journeys, as an extension to select
Mahana, the cruise line’s private                                                      Silversea cruises. It includes activities
                                             guests’ taste and budget.
islet off the coast of Taha’a, or in the                                               ranging from private helicopter
glass-bottom overwater chapel at the                                                   service in Mongolia to vintage rail in
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort &          to Cuba will include overnights           India, and Gulfstream jets in and out
Thalasso Spa.                                and new ports in Cienfuegos and           of Antarctica. Each program is fully
                                             Santiago de Cuba, with Majesty of         escorted and includes most meals and
Regent Seven Seas Cruises                    the Seas and Empress of the Seas.         luxury accommodations.
The Seven Seas Wellness                      It will return to New Orleans for the
program will be expanded from                first time since 2014, with Vision of     Viking
the Mediterranean to other global            the Seas’ seven-night cruises from        In July of this year, Viking’s fifth ocean
regions, though those are yet                Galveston, Texas.                         ship, Viking Orion, will debut. She

                                                                                                                                    37
to be determined. It launched                                                          will spend her maiden year sailing
aboard the Seven Seas Voyager                Seabourn                                  itineraries in the Mediterranean, before
with 11 excursions, ranging from             The 600-guest Seabourn Ovation            making her way to Asia, Australia,
Vinyasa yoga on Monte Carlo to               will make her debut, sailing in           and then Alaska. Additionally, Viking
hydrothermal therapy in the Thermal          the Mediterranean and Northern            recently announced the name of
Baths of Popes.                              Europe in the summer and fall             its sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter,
    The all-suite, all-balcony Seven         before moving to Asia for the winter.     which will sail new itineraries in South
Seas Mariner will go into dry dock           Like sister-ship Seabourn Encore,         America in 2019.
in April for a bow-to-stern ship-wide        Ovation’s contemporary interiors
refurbishment. When it reemerges             were created by regarded designer         Windstar Cruises
in May, it will debut completely             Adam D. Tihany, who drew from the         Six new Signature Expeditions will
refreshed suites and a new modern            feeling of a private yacht. Each of the   give intrepid passengers an up-close
French specialty restaurant, as well         300 cabins will be suites with private    experience of Alaska, including a
as reupholstered soft furnishings of         balconies. Ovation boasts a Wellness      hiking tour through Wrangell, Zodiac
all public spaces.                           Spa with Dr. Andrew Weil, restaurant      tour of the Inian Islands or Kenai
                                             helmed by Chef Thomas Keller, and         Fjords National Park, and kayaking
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line                  casino. On the ship’s top deck, there     expedition through Misty Fjords.
The world’s largest ship, Symphony           is an Observation Bar and a cabana        Starting in May, six expert guides
of the Seas, will make its debut             area with a hot tub, spa cabana, and      will be onboard each of Windstar’s
in April. Onboard, passengers                lounge chairs. Restaurant options         cruises in Alaska for the entirety of
will find the Ultimate Abyss, the            will range from Seabourn Square, a        the voyage, where in addition to
tallest slide at sea; Hooked, Royal          cafe area; a sushi restaurant; and the    leading the excursions, they will
Caribbean’s first dedicated seafood          Colonnade for casual dining.              provide commentary and insight.
chart 13

how to sell more cruises
      Ocean                     What can travel agents do to more effectively sell your product?

 Cruise Line
                               Engage with local sales manager; participate in monthly webinar series; complete the Azamara World
     Azamara Club Cruises      Academy; follow @AzamaraClubCruises and @LarryPimentel on social media; review travel agent rates
                               on CruisingPower.com; take advantage of our turn key trade tool kit hosted on CruisingPower.com.
                               Participate in Carnival Passport learning program, available on GoCCL.com; Join a Carnival
                               Conversations event (Schedule available at GoCCL.com), Attend a ship inspection or join Carnival’s
       Carnival Cruise Line    e-mail list to receive the latest calendar; Subscribe to Carnival’s e-mail list to read Carnival’s
                               Onboard with You agent newsletter.
                               Work with their Celebrity Sales Manager and register for Five Star training. Learn about our brand
           Celebrity Cruises   to build their business; leverage all the tools and resources that Celebrity Cruises provides such as
                               Cruisingpower.com.
                               By being a focused partner with regard to ongoing staff training, product promotion, and marketing in
             Crystal Cruises   as many media as the agency has the ability to do so effectively.

                               The number one thing travel agents can do is work with their BDM to become educated on all things
               MSC Cruises     MSC Cruises. The BDM will help them put together a sales and marketing plan.

                               Most important: That we build our promotions around value, not price. They are intended to give travel
                               partners something to base their conversations on other than the ‘cheapest cruise’. Our Free at Sea
                               promotion gives agents what they need to increase commission earnings by opening the door to a
     Norwegian Cruise Line     value conversation versus price. Other important things to remember: Enroll in NCL U and learn every-
                               thing about the product and the brand – and possibly earn a free cruise. Reach out to your BDM and
                               build a business plan. Sail with us, or if not possible, visit one of our ships in a home-port near you.

                               Become a specialist by completing our Oceania Sales Specialist Academy that can be found at our
            Oceania Cruises    Travel Agent Center: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/agent/agent-login/. Travel Agents should also
                               connect with our sales team to create a customized marketing plan.

                               Participating in our PEARL’s program will give an agent the knowledge, marketing support and ongoing
      Paul Gauguin Cruises     training to better sell Paul Gauguin Cruises.

                               Highlight our inclusiveness and compare it with the costs of our included items on other premium and
                               luxury lines. Our value proposition resonates with our guests who appreciate the ease of booking and
                               having most everything included in one price. Familiarize themselves with our Travel Agent Center,
        Regent Seven Seas      which provides many sales and marketing resources including training courses, product videos, sales
                               tips, agent spotlights and the ability to order current brochures. Our Travel Agent Center also offers
                               Marketing Central, a platform providing the ability to customize flyers, email, and other advertising
                               templates as well as social media posts they can share.

                               At Royal Caribbean we have many resources and tools to assist any travel agent to learn about our
                               brand and to build their business such as partnering with their Strategic Account Manager and
                               Business Development Specialist; leveraging all the tools and resources that Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line    provides such as Cruisingpower.com, www.LoyaltoYouAlways.com (Travel Partner website), new
                               education site within cruisingpower.com called – Royal CaribbeanUniversity, utilizing Espresso
                               (Royal Caribbean’s booking tool), participating in regular webinar events and more.

                  Seabourn     Market to luxury-travel based guests and be knowledgeable about promotions.

                               Participate in our training programs and webinars by reaching out to their local Area Sales Director.
           Silversea Cruises   Also become certified by taking our Travel Agent University course online.

                               They can contact their Director of Business Development for marketing support and product training
      Viking Ocean Cruises     support. Viking also recommends travel partners register and complete all available courses on the
                               Viking Travel Agent Academy.

                               Learn more about us! Take our Star Specialist program, available on our Agent Hub
                               https://agenthub.windstarcruises.com. Join us onboard for a FAM. Reach out to your Regional Sales
           Windstar Cruises    Manager for individual or office training. Agents should learn about what sets us apart so that they
                               can properly match their clients to our brand.
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