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  #1  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Default NCL pricing policy change

Coming soon to a discount TA near you (and this one will certainly be discussed)
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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Coming soon to a discount TA near you (and this one will certainly be discussed)
Any details?
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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alwalaska View Post
Any details?
Here's a quote from a letter I got just a few minutes ago from a large online TA:

"recent policy changes issued by Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line. Carnival and NCL will prohibit travel agencies from offering discounted cruise prices as of August 1st, 2010."
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  #4  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mbisson View Post
Coming soon to a discount TA near you (and this one will certainly be discussed)
I had heard Carnival was adopting the "no discounting" policy, but I hadn't heard about NCL, although if Carnival is going to do it, it is pretty likely NCL will follow.
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  #5  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by njhorseman View Post
I had heard Carnival was adopting the "no discounting" policy, but I hadn't heard about NCL, although if Carnival is going to do it, it is pretty likely NCL will follow.
HERE IS WHAT I GOT FROM A LARGE ONLINE AGENCY:

"Carnival and NCL will prohibit travel agencies from offering discounted cruise prices as of August 1st, 2010.
In lieu of discounted pricing we will offer you the choice of FREE insurance

Onboard credits, Insurance, Wine, Gifts & more.
You can also choose to receive free travel insurance protection for your cruise. We currently offers the Picture Perfect policy from iTravelInsured. This policy includes trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, emergency medical and dental while traveling, emergency medical evacuation, baggage, and more! "
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  #6  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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I received the same notice from my cruise agent. I wonder if other brands under the Carnival corporate structure (Princess, HAL) will also prohibit discounts.

My also stated:
In lieu of discounted pricing, (name left out) will offer you the choice of FREE insurance and points that are redeemable in our exclusive Choice Points store towards bonuses like onboard credit. (This promotion is what we currently offer on Royal Caribbean brands.)
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  #7  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbisson View Post
Coming soon to a discount TA near you (and this one will certainly be discussed)
Mongo know how to make gal's day. Mooder like her TA!
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  #8  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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It could be interesting in a few weeks, to see how those who use discounters feel the value between the lower fares & the free gifts/OBC etc compare
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  #9  
Old July 16th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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I think that RCCL already does this. I seem to recall a policy in which Travel Agents are not allowed to undercut the price of booking directly.

Of course, a $100 onboard credit is pretty much the same as a $100 discount.
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  #10  
Old July 16th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CT Cruiser10 View Post
I think that RCCL already does this. I seem to recall a policy in which Travel Agents are not allowed to undercut the price of booking directly.

Of course, a $100 onboard credit is pretty much the same as a $100 discount.
Agreed! But sometimes I've seen some really LARGE price differences. Even big enough to the point of "Damn, how will I spend all that?" LOL
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  #11  
Old July 16th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Looks like we frequent the same online TA. Their discounts were the best.
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  #12  
Old July 16th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Where is the official NCL release on this policy change???



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Old July 16th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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WOWWWW that will change things...my TA gives GREAT discounts good thing i have my next 2 cruises booked (at GREAT deals)!
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  #14  
Old July 16th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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I hate to say this but I think my next cruise I will go directly through NCL. My TA is never available and when I do call I am on hold for 20 minutes and get someone who has no clue. TA is attentive when you are ready to purchase but after you have paid in full they lose all interest.

The price through NCL is a bit better than what I paid through the TA
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  #15  
Old July 16th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big green View Post
Where is the official NCL release on this policy change???

BG
Here's an email I received from NCL just a few minutes ago:

Dear Travel Partner,

With our legacy as champion of the travel agency distribution network, today we are announcing an upgraded and more clearly defined rebating policy which encourages travel partners to grow as marketers and not as discounters.

The new policy prohibits rebating in the form of price. Alternatively, travel partners will need to formulate a marketing plan, utilizing value-add opportunities, and submit it to their sales representative for approval. Funds to cover the marketing plan will be deducted from the travel partner's commission.

Here are the new guidelines, effective August 1, 2010:

Travel partners may offer a discretionary value-add, provided...
  • It is not cash or cash equivalent
  • The value or perceived value does not exceed 10% of the total cruise fare including non-commissionable fares (NCFs)
  • The dollar amount or percentage of the value-add is not included in any marketing or advertising with the exception of onboard credit.
Value-add opportunities and marketing plans must be approved by Norwegian Cruise Line in advance of promotion launch. Your partner in structuring a value-add opportunity is your Business Development Manager or Business Development Specialist. If you are not sure who to contact, please send an email to sales@ncl.com and we'll put you in touch.

We have included with this letter the formal policy statement as well as a list of frequently asked questions. You may have a few additional questions unique to your business model and we encourage you to direct them to your Business Development Manager or Specialist at sales@ncl.com.

Best Regards,

Andy Stuart
EVP, Global Sales and Passenger Services


Rebate Policy
Effective as of August 1, 2010, the following policy must be adhered to when selling,
advertising or marketing and/or promoting Norwegian Cruise Line sailings.

Norwegian Cruise Line requires all credit card payments to be made to Norwegian
Cruise Line at the Gross Price due for all bookings made on or after August 1, 2010

Travel Partners may offer value-adds to passengers at the time of booking.

Travel Partners must adhere to the following guidelines when offering a value-add to the
passenger:

a. Obtain prior written approval from the Norwegian Cruise Line Sales Department
regarding the terms of the value-add
b. the value-add cannot be a cash or cash equivalent (except OBC)
c. the value or perceived value of the value-add offer cannot exceed 10% of the
total cruise fare including ncf's
d. the dollar amount or percentage of savings offered as a result of the value-add
offer cannot be included in any marketing or advertisement (only onboard credits
can be listed in any marketing or advertisement).

Travel Partners must contact their sales representative and submit a Sales & Marketing
plan for approval. Following the submission of the Sales and Marketing Plan, the
Norwegian Cruise Line Sales Department will approve one of two options:

A value-add promotion that does not exceed 10% of the total cruise fare including ncf's
and that is not cash or a cash equivalent (except for an onboard credit). The Travel
Partner will be able to select the value-add offer which they would like to include in the
promotion from Norwegian Cruise Line's list of available value-add offers.

Or

Norwegian Cruise Line will offer a menu of acceptable value-adds that can be used for
marketing purposes in conjunction with a "Sale or Promotion" pre-approved by the
Norwegian Cruise Line Sales Department with the following parameters:

a. Booking period will be defined in the Sales & Marketing plan which
requires approval of Norwegian Cruise Line
b. "Sale or Promotion" can be inclusive of all product or specific product
and/or specific meta categories

Once the Norwegian Cruise Line Sales Department approves the "Sale or Promotion",
Norwegian Cruise Line will program the internal systems to support the promotion and
automatically add to all bookings made with in the promotional time under the agreed
upon terms, the value-add offer.

In the instance that any Travel Partner violates any terms of this Policy, such Travel
partner shall be subject to penalties up to and including a stop sell. In addition,
Norwegian Cruise Line may pursue any and all legal remedies available to Norwegian
Cruise Line against such Travel Partner.

Rebate Policy Questions and Answers


Q. All of our marketing is in line with the guidelines but at the time of closing the sale
we would like to offer a discount, is this acceptable?
A. The marketing guidelines apply to the selling of the cruise as well. If you can not
advertise the discount it cannot be offered. The only time the value-add can be
included is when it as been pre-approved by Sales as part of a specific Sales &
Marketing promotion.

Q. Can rates below the approved Norwegian Cruise Line rates and or value-add
dollar amounts be advertised to a private membership base, club membership or
private opt-in email database.
A. This is considered advertising rebated rates. Even in a closed environment, this is
against policy.

Q. If we are affiliated with a National Account can we advertise a value-add?
A. Your corporate office would have to select the product and the offer along with the
booking window required. The promotion would be set up for all affiliates to book into.

Q. What is an acceptable value-add?
A. Anything from our promotional menu or items from our amenities list or anything
that is pre-approved by Sales.

Q. Can I offer a gift card from a retail store?
A. Cash or cash equivalents can not be offered.

Q. Can I offer category upgrades to my clients as value-adds?
A. Upgrades are not permitted as there is a perceived cash value.

Q. Will Norwegian Cruise Line accept less than the gross due for final payments via
credit cards?
A. All credit card payments will be required to be paid at Gross. We will not accept
payment for less than the Gross Amount due.

Q. Will Norwegian Cruise Line accept less than the Gross Due when making final
payment on a group?
A. Our policy on this has not changed for group bookings due to the TC's and
amenities that are associated with groups.

Q. If an agency has a group with amenity points, can the rates along with the value
add be advertised?
A. Yes and we highly recommend that amenity points be assigned at time group is
blocked to take full advantage of the value-add.

Q. What if I do not want to use any items from the Value-Add menu?
A. With prior approval from Sales you can offer a value-add item that does not exceed
10% of the total cruise fare and is not cash or a cash equivalent.

Q. How do I set up a promotion?
A. Contact your sales representative and have a Sales & Marketing Plan ready for
their approval.
Q. What about Norwegian Cruise Line coupon booklets? Are they considered a value-add under this program?
A. No. The coupon booklets are a value-add supplied by Norwegian Cruise Line and are not considered a part of this program.
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  #16  
Old July 16th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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New policy also says -- not more than $25 onboard credit can be issued.
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  #17  
Old July 16th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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[quote=vickila;25223375]New policy also says -- not more than $25 onboard credit can be issued.[/QUOTE


I did not see that in the policy -- I read it as being is no more than 10% of the cruise value--if you paid $5000 it would equate to $500OBC--that is the way I understand it???

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  #18  
Old July 16th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamer View Post
Looks like we frequent the same online TA. Their discounts were the best.
I'm thinking I use the same TA, what bummer this change will be
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  #19  
Old July 16th, 2010, 05:15 PM
can'twaittogoagain can'twaittogoagain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamer View Post
Looks like we frequent the same online TA. Their discounts were the best.
Ditto to that, we use them too and got the same email. I don't really understand it. They buy blocks of cabins and pass on the savings to us. Everyone wins. Except NCL? I don't know...I am wondering what other changes we might see in pricing structure.

Well heck.
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  #20  
Old July 16th, 2010, 05:28 PM
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I thought I was waking up from a bad dream when I saw new NCL policy changes so soon as CCL announced its policy changes. One thing I will say, RCL has been doing this for years, yet TA's have always found ways to keep clients happy and I have always found a way to support my TA. I hope this continues to be the case.

If NCL is making it harder to find competitive pricing, those that own stock with other companies will be looking more closely as those lines...I know I will. NCL is a privately held company and offer no perks for booking direct (balcony upgrade aside). While I like the freestyle concept, just knowing that OBC is still available on CCL and RCL even if the best pricing is not, gives me a reason to look there.

I really hope NCL has thought this one through.
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