Carnival Cruise Line has rolled out a new series of programs aimed at supporting travel agents.
The latest updates include the addition of four U.S. sales territories, a new “Independent Agent Program,” and a dedicated group desk to support travel agents with questions on group bookings.
Four business development managers will be assigned to the new sales areas, which are:
- Boston and Rhode Island
- Jacksonville, Florida
- The Four Corners border region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah
- West Texas
The new “Independent Agent Program” will offer local trainings, webinars, newsletters and other targeted support. Sales Directors Alicia Steuart and Sheila LeBlanc will lead the program, with the support of sales managers based in various regions across the country.
The new group desk was launched earlier this month as part of Carnival’s contact center service team. The desk is available to travel agents Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. U.S. eastern time, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. It can be reached at 800-327-5782.
In a written release Carnival Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing Adolfo Perez said the growth of the cruise line’s independent agent channel, as well as in the areas covered by the new sales territories, made it the right time to expand its resources for travel agents. He also pointed to the line’s new preferred supplier agreements with TRAVELSAVERS/NEST, Signature and Ensemble.
The new programs are the latest in a series of new travel agent support initiatives from Carnival. Earlier this month the cruise line announced it would kick off Wave Season 2018 with an expanded “AMP UP Commission Program” that will allow travel agents to increase their commission rate to up to 15 percent for the rest of 2018. That program, which will be based on bookings made from January 1 – March 31, 2018, builds on the line’s earlier “AMP UP Commission Challenge,” which ran in September.
This summer, the line also made some changes to its commission policy. Carnival began offering commission on Future Cruise Credits applied to new bookings, allowing travel agents to calculate their commission based on the value of the cruise prior to the application of the Future Cruise Credit. Before the new policy went into effect on July 10, the line had calculated commission on these bookings after the Future Cruise Credit was applied. In May, Carnival updated its Future Cruise Vacation program to allow guests and travel agents to take advantage of promotional rates up to two weeks following a guest’s cruise, and in June the line launched the Carnival EasyPay installment program.