This week in the cruise industry a number of cruise lines announced policy updates for travel agents and their clients.
Oceania Cruises made a number of changes timed to coincide with OceaniaNext, its ongoing fleet enhancement project for its Regatta-class ships. The line changed its cruise credit policy to allow agents and their clients to use the shipboard credit prior to departure for excursions and land tours, onboard beverage packages, culinary classes, and dining experiences at La Reserve and Privée, and it updated its website to offer streamlined navigation. The cruise line also launched a new pre-cruise savings program and partnered with the Luggage Forward specialty luggage forwarding service.
Also this week Carnival Cruise Line signed a preferred supplier agreement with WESTA, the Western Association of Travel Agents consortium. The new partnership will become effective January 1, 2019, and will offer a program with Carnival business development managers engaging with WESTA members to define shared strategies and marketing plans, and initiate Carnival brand and product training, the cruise line said. The new partnership will coincide with the positioning of the new Carnival Panorama in Long Beach, CA, marking the first new Carnival ship introduced on the West Coast in decades.
The WESTA agreement was not the only policy update from Carnival this week. The cruise line also raised the price for its Steakhouse Specialty Dining Menu by $3. A full dinner, which includes appetizer, salad, entrée, side dishes, dessert and coffee or tea will new be $38. Children 11 and under will be able to order off the children’s menu at $12, and children who are guests in Family Harbor will be able to eat free. The price increase reflects higher food costs, especially higher prime beef prices, a spokesperson for the cruise line said.