New NCL Incentive

Industry Inquiry: Are you or your agency buying into Norwegian Cruise Line's new play-to-pay incentive of 10 percent commission on NCFs if you double your production? Sheila Hyman, Tanforan Travel, San Bruno, Calif. No, I would rather they took better care of my clients while on board. Having to


Industry Inquiry: Are you or your agency buying into Norwegian Cruise Line's new play-to-pay incentive of 10 percent commission on NCFs if you double your production?

Sheila Hyman, Tanforan Travel, San Bruno, Calif.

No, I would rather they took better care of my clients while on board. Having to wait two months for a reply to problems is also not in our best interest. The client’s needs are more important. It’s a nice gesture, but that’s all it is.

Susan Pisani, Cruisin Easy, Santa Maria, Calif.

Our agency has not been a large producer for NCL. With that being said, we are giving them a second look with what we deem an improved product with their newer ships and this offer for 10% on NCFs if we double our production. We see this as a good opportunity to help our bottom line as every booking has NCFs. It definitely would be a welcomed addition to our bottom line.

As for NCL’s new air commission policy (5 percent or 10 percent if you double your production), we sell very few air seats through the cruise lines, so this is not a big issue for us. The 10% on air was not really an incentive to sell NCL over our other suppliers.

We applaud NCL for trying something new. We hope travel agencies support this offer and it will show cruise and tour vendors that agencies can move market share and we are a valuable part of their marketing.

Linda Lane, Cruise World, Seattle

Regarding NCL’s “fabulous, earthshaking, not to be missed” announcement as you can surmise, I am not impressed, for us to increase by 85% our sales in today’s market is unrealistic. They have set the “from only” pricing so low that the NFCs are equaling the cruise fare.

I think we all expected the air commission to be cut, in keeping with their competitors. But, I was hoping for something really new and exciting, like maybe they would be able to cruise Hawaii without the 2000-mile detour [to Fanning Island]. NCL had always been an innovator in the industry, but I believe this new incentive goes nowhere. Journey Journal

M. Greg Stathakis, TravelWorld, Santa Barbara, Calif.

On a whim, and to just get away from the day-to-day stress, I bought a ticket to the Dominican Republic. Why this island? I have been to many Caribbean islands, but never DR, and I had seen an insert in TravelAge West that piqued my interest.

I was totally surprised and satisfied with my decision.

Upon arrival, I found customs and immigration the fastest of any place I’ve been to in many years. Within minutes of exiting the plane, I was in an air-conditioned taxi on the way to my hotel. The roads and bridges on the way to the Inter-Continental were modern and efficient.

Then there’s this fact: the Latin American country with the highest Gross Development Product growth over the last 10 years is the Dominican Republic. I know there’s poverty in the country, but Santo Domingo was the freshest, cleanest, most prosperous city I’ve seen in awhile.

One night in bed slightly after 9 p.m., I heard loud music emanating from a park down the street. I thought, well, it’s my last night, maybe instead of resisting the music, I should try to discover the source and enjoy the evening with a nice, tropical walk. What did I find? A street party! The choreography lifted me back to the fun of the late 1960’s and 1970’s and all ages of people in the park were moving with a lilt, dancing, having a good time, all without apparent drunkenness or malice in the air. There was an energy that loosened my spirits and reminded me to enjoy life, cut loose, move to the rhythm, and to return to enjoy more of the Dominican Republic someday soon.

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