This Week in Cruise: Lines Update Agent, Consumer Policies

Travel Agent
Photo by Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This week cruise lines have announced a number of major updates to policies affecting travel agents and their clients.

Norwegian Cruise Line is adjusting its final payment schedule in a move it says will help travel agents receive their commissions 30 days earlier. Effective December 18, all seven-night or longer cruise bookings will now require final payment 120 days prior to sail date. For one- to six-night cruises, final payment will be due 90 says prior to sail date for non-suite stateroom categories, although bookings in The Haven and suites will continue to require final payment 120 days prior to sail date.

Norwegian said that the adjustment will help align a consistent schedule amongst stateroom categories for the majority of the cruise line’s itineraries, as well as simplify the booking experience for travel agents.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., meanwhile, has added a number of new features to its Espresso travel agent reservation system, which includes the company’s Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises brands. New features include category swaps, interactive deck plans across all reservation types, and tour conductor (TC) credit notifications.

Royal Caribbean has been continuously updating Espresso since its launch, and more major new features are planned for next year.

Finally, in consumer policy news, Carnival Cruise Line is increasing the price of its Cheers! all-inclusive beverage package. Starting January 1, 2018, the package price will increase by $2 per day, to $51.95 per day if purchased pre-cruise and $56.95 per day if purchased onboard. The price does not include gratuity. Available for guests 21 years of age or older, the package includes a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for a flat daily rate.

Related Stories

Nearly 80% of Agents Say 2017 Cruise Sales "Up" Over 2016

Malfunction Cancels Silver Cloud’s First Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Carnival Rolling Out Fleet-Wide Shopping Update

American Cruise Lines’ Newest Riverboat Is Ahead of Schedule