If asked what is their least favorite part of their job, chasing down commissions would top the list for a majority of travel advisors. Few things are more troubling than having to track down payments that are due to them. Unfortunately, it is a necessary task that happens more often than it should.
While most ocean cruise lines maintain a strict schedule for paying agents their fair share, it can be difficult to stay on top of which line is paying what and when. In our ongoing effort to assist travel advisors with their research on the supplier policies that affect their business most, we have gathered together the commission payment schedules of fourteen of the major ocean cruise lines. This list has been pulled from Travel Market Report’s Ocean Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents, which is one report in a series of supplier policy resources that we have developed to help make the job of being a travel advisor easier. We hope it does just that.
When asked what their schedule was for paying travel agent commissions, this is what the cruise lines said:
Azamara Club Cruises – At final payment for FIT and 30 days after sailing for groups.
Carnival Cruise Line – Weekly schedule for commissions earned. For individual bookings, this occurs once payment is made against the full gross amount. For group bookings, commission is paid seven days after the booking’s sail return date.
Celebrity Cruises – Base commission is paid when booking is paid in full.
Crystal Cruises – Commission is paid two weeks before sailing.
MSC Cruises – For FIT bookings, once final payment is received; for group bookings, two weeks before departure.
Norwegian Cruise Line – As soon as final payment is made, the commission is automatically sent one week later.
Oceania Cruises – Commission is paid 30 days prior to sailing.
Paul Gauguin Cruises – Commissions are paid out two weeks prior to sailing.
Regent Seven Seas – Commissions are issued starting at 30 days prior to sailing.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines - Base commission is paid when booking is paid in full.
Seabourn – The commission is paid out after the final payment is made. Typically takes 7-10 business days to process.
Silversea Cruises – Approximately 14 days prior to sailing.
Viking Ocean Cruises – 29 days prior to departure date.
Windstar – Commissions begin processing the week that the cruise departs and is generally received by agents 2-3 weeks post-cruise departure.