As the travel industry continues to deal with the implications of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), some cruise lines are stepping up to help advisors keep commissions as cruise cancellations increase.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands on Monday announced that they were adding commission protection to both cancellation reservations and future bookings made with a cruise credit that was given after cancellation — commissions will not be recalled on canceled bookings and new commissions will be issued on sailings booked with cruise credits.
“As you may recall, when announced on Friday, the policy protected commission on the future sailing where the Future Cruise Credit will be applied. NOW – we’ve shifted gears and will be protecting commission on both ends – including the canceled reservation and the future booking,” Royal said in a message to its trade partners.
Royal Caribbean is also now allowing guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing with a full future cruise credit refund.
The policy is for all bookings, even new ones, with a sail date on or before July 31, 2020. The credit can be applied to any new booking in 2020 and 2021.
A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line, who updated its cancellation policy to a 48-hour one this week, told Travel Market Report that Norwegian is doing something similar with commission protection under its “Peace of Mind” policy.
“Under the Peace of Mind policy, the commission is protected on the canceled booking if commission has already been paid out to the agent. This agent will also receive commission on the new booking using the FCC,” the spokesperson said.
MSC Cruises this week announced its Cruise Assurance program that allows guest to cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive a 100% future cruise credit to use for any future sailing departing on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
According to MSC, “if the client chooses not to sail prior to 48 hours to sailing, and the agent registers for Cruise Assurance, the agency commission will be paid.”
“During this temporary policy change, commission on new bookings where the Future Cruise Credit is applied will be paid in full,” the new policy reads.
Carnival Cruise Line’s letter announcing its new cancellation policy last week also promised advisors that “your commission will be protected for all affected reservations.” A Carnival spokesperson confirmed to Travel Market Report that that means protecting commissions on both the canceled sailings and the future cruise credit.
Aside from its cancellation policy, Carnival has also added some incentives to help keep bookings intact.