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The Carnival Spirit will sail out of Los Angeles beginning in September 2011. // © 2010 Carnival Cruise Line
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 [email protected] for more information.