Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are both
cutting pay to travel retailers who advertise non-approved rates on
Carnival was first with the announcement that it will cut
compensation to retailers who publicly advertise
non-Carnival-approved rates and promotions, effective Jan. 1.
Carnival said the plan would ensure consistency in pricing in
public mediums, including the Internet. The level of compensation
reduction will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Repeat
offenders will be placed on a “do not book” status, the line
“Travel agent partners should emphasize the service and
expertise they provide to consumers ... rather than just focusing
on price,” Carnival CEO Bob Dickinson said.
Royal Caribbean, meanwhile, followed the move and said it will
cut co-op support and base commission pay to agents who advertise
non-published or non-contracted rates starting today. The program
affects rates in ads for both Royal Caribbean International and
Celebrity Cruises in mediums like TV, newspapers, radio, catalogs,
direct mail and online vehicles such as search engines, Web sites,
e-mail, banner and pop-up ads. “We really feel that rebating is
damaging our distribution system,” said Lisa Bauer, RCCL’s senior
vice president of sales.