"If we are indeed in an era where oil is around or above $100 a barrel then we believe that the cruise industry needs to rethink its strategy towards substantial shipbuilding programs," the broker said. "We believe that fuel surcharging has no material impact on offsetting this pain. With rising shipbuilding costs exacerbating this issue, we believe that Carnival needs to shift to a returns-driven philosophy, where the group raises cruise prices and reduces commissions."
Agents should note that Carnival has not commented on the matter and they have not decided to cut commissions. This has merely been a a recommendation from an analyst.
Several of our readers reacted immediately, sharing their opinions by posting comments on our website. Here are a few notable statements from fellow travel agents.
On September 26, Tina wrote:
As if anyone would put their trust in what a bank says anymore! But beyond that, reducing travel agent commissions would be very short-sighted of Carnival to do, as we are their primary conduit for educating the consumer about the benefits of cruising. As Carnival's commissions are already bare-bones as it is, especially in light of the hours of research, customer education, and paperwork we put into each cruise booking, I think they know if they follow this advice we will direct our clients to other cruise lines. Obviously this is advice given by some high-paid "expert" who really knows nothing about how travel agents work.
Later that day, Marie added:
"HELLO" is this broker from Deutsche Bank on drugs? First of all the banks are the reason this county is in the mess we are in! My agency has been a cruise only agency since 1985. I have watched my commission drop from 18% to less than 10% because of the NCF. By the way,does anyone know what that really means, or how much of those charges are bogus? I do not think the cruise lines will let that happen, they know it's the agencies that generate the business. Look at CCL's profits this quarter. They didn't lose $$$, why should we! Watch how fast agencies can switch their business if it does. Agencies would like to make money too! I will become a Tour Only agency! Eat that Mr "DUH" broker!
Earlier today, Tracy Smith commented:
I think it is disastrous to not pay agents commissions.....look what has happened to the airline industry... failing miserably... People booking on line have no idea of documentation, I had a client who was going to take a flight that arrived Miami at 300pm as the ship left a 400pm not realizing that it is impossible! There is just to much to know and advise clients on.....paying 10% is not alot... they need to make cuts elsewhere or
sell ships and sail full.
Pat Johnson made the latest comment, stating:
Somebody already tried that...remember Renaissance Cruises? Where are they today?
We encourage our readers and their peers to continue speaking out on the matter and sharing their opinions below.