Carnival Adds Third SoCal Ship

New Mexican Riviera and Hawaii itineraries to sail from Los Angeles; rebate controls also tightened


The Carnival Spirit will sail out of Los Angeles beginning in September 2011. // © 2010 Carnival Cruise Line

The Carnival Spirit will sail out of Los Angeles beginning in September 2011.
// © 2010 Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Lines will return to Los Angeles for the first time in eight years when the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit launches a series of five- and nine-day Mexican Riviera cruises from September 2011 to January 2012. In addition, the Carnival Spirit will offer two 15-day Hawaii sailings departing roundtrip from Los Angeles and San Diego in 2011 and 2012 for the first time.

Carnival also operates two ships year-round from nearby Long Beach, Calif.: the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise, sailing three- and four-day Baja cruises, and the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor, sailing seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.

The company also announced that, effective Aug. 1, it is modifying its pricing policy to permit only Carnival-approved rates to be offered in any form of communication between agents and consumers. This is an expansion of the line’s 2005 policy, which affected advertised rates in mass media.

Joni Rein, vice president for worldwide sales, said that agents asked for the policy change.

“It’s one of three things that come up every time,” Rein said. “It will give the advantage where it should be — to agents who sell based on service, expertise and relationships.”

Rein said private-price rebating has been “rampant” and added that one of the primary means of policing the new policy will rest on the agent community itself. Carnival will also monitor payments applied to bookings.

The new policy, Rein noted, has teeth. Violation can bring penalties from elimination of co-op marketing support to reduction or elimination of base commission and placement on a no-booking status.

According to the new policy, all cash value-add items and those exceeding 5 percent of the complete cruise fare or $25 — whichever is greater — require submission of a sales and marketing plan and pre-approval from Carnival, and the value of the giveaway item must be less than 10 percent of the complete cruise fare. Agents are advised to e-mail Carnival’s team at ad_compliance@carnival.com for more information.

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