MSC Cruises USA is ringing in the new year with several major trade program enhancements for travel advisors—including protected commission levels, new "Get On Board" perks and an enhanced group program—as well as a new Wave Season promotion for consumers.
On the trade side, "we are grateful for the continued enthusiasm, trust and support of our dedicated partners, and we’re thrilled to toast the start of 2021 by bringing them more value and opportunity to grow their business," said Michelle Lardizabal, the line's senior vice president and commercial sales officer.
“We know our partners have worked incredibly hard over the last year and are motivated to continue pushing forward in 2021," she noted. "We want them to know that we’re here to offer our support in every way we can."
Most notably, MSC Cruises is protecting travel advisor commission levels within its "True Partnerships" program. Commission levels earned at the start of 2020 (from sales achieved in 2019) will be protected for 2021. In addition, the line has expanded trade benefits for its "Get On Board" program that allows advisors to personally experience a cruise first-hand at a sizably discounted rate. The line then fully reimburses the advisor for that cruise fare once they've booked 10 FIT cruises.
What's new? "Get On Board" cruises now include a balcony stateroom, free unlimited drinks and Wi-Fi. In addition, it's easier to claim reimbursement since qualified bookings have been expanded to all three-, four- and seven-night cruises from Port Miami and Port Canaveral, FL.
Separately, for advisors booking groups, MSC Cruises has aligned deposit requirements across all destinations and added Wi-Fi to the list of group amenity options.
Wave Season Promotion
Now through March 31, 2021, MSC Cruises is also offering consumers a "Your Cruise, Your Choice" promotion for Wave Season. Passengers receive up to a $400 spending credit per stateroom to use how they choose when booking 2021 and 2022 cruises in the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mediterranean and northern Europe.
That spending credit can be used toward Wi-Fi, drink packages, specialty dining, spa treatments, shore excursions and activities ashore at MSC Cruises’ private island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Also, the line's "Kids Sail Free" program is offered on many sailings.
In addition, through April 30, 2021, MSC Cruises is offering up to a 50 percent discount off all cruise fares for healthcare professionals. This discount for healthcare heroes can be combined with the Your Cruise, Your Choice promotion.
Separately, exclusive to members of MSC Voyagers Club loyalty program, through January 18, the line is offering up to an additional 15 percent discount on top of the 5 percent discount they automatically receive on all cruise bookings, plus $50 onboard credit per member, based on their membership level.
New Ships On the Horizon
“With the start of the new year, travelers are eager to make 2021 and even 2022 vacation plans and there is tremendous anticipation for the resumption of cruising," said Ken Muskat, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MSC Cruises USA.
He emphasized that the line has two new ships on the horizon including MSC Seashore, arriving to PortMiami in November 2021, plus new three- and four-night itineraries and week-long cruises from both Port Canaveral and Miami.
Those options and the line's winter 2021-2022 cruises recently opened for sale have created an "uptick in demand that we expect to continue during Wave Season," said Muskat.
Muskat also cited "Total CruiseFlex," which applies to new bookings made through January 31, 2021 for sailings departing through April 30, 2022. Guests have the flexibility to change their plans with no penalty up to 48 hours prior to departure.