Cruise Lines Protecting Commissions Hailed As "Huge Lifeline" By Travel Agent
In the latest round of service suspensions announced by cruise lines for sailings extending beyond May 2020, commissions are being protected by Princess and Holland America Line. Travel advisors are being paid on cancelled bookings if booking was paid in full.
Earlier this week, Carnival said it would also protect commissions for its extended pause of operations. Agents report NCL is protecting commissions on its cancelled sailings forNorwegian Sun.
A top agent gave Cruise Week his take on this week's developments: "Protecting commissions is a big deal. Every round where that money is protected is a huge lifeline to the retail industry. We won't know how the other cruise lines will act regarding commissions until they make announcements regarding their second round of moratoriums.
"All the lines have made it clear to me that they're not going to keep protecting commissions forever, because they can't afford to. However, if and when that kicks in, and in what way, remains to be seen.
"The cruise companies want to keep the trade alive, because they feel like they will need the trade to get out of this. I think they're right and I applaud them for making a big, big financial sacrifice to help the trade. And it's going to make a difference. It absolutely already is making a difference.
"We're going to go through a period of no revenue at all, no bookings. I don't know how long it's going to be, we call it the revenue desert internally, because just as a metaphor you have to make it through the desert.
"And even when they start sailing again we won't have cash right away, although there will be a lot of last-minute bookings so full payment with a lot of those will happen right up front."