Eight months after introducing new cruise fares, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that they plan on simplifying the fare structure for easier booking. When the new fares went into effect on December 3, 2012, Carnival was hoping that lower entry-level price points would help lure in passengers to sail with them. However, too many fares became confusing and a headache for potential passengers and travel agents.
Lynn Torrent, executive vice president of sales at Carnival said, ” Travel agents are telling us that Carnival used to be the easiest cruise line to book with and now we’re the most difficult. Simply put, we want to be easy to book with again”.
Cruise Fever reached out to a travel agent to ask them about the many cruise fares that Carnival currently offers. He brought up a current group reservation that he has booked on the Carnival Liberty to show how many different fares were offered. The fares offered were: Fall and Winter Sale, Past Guest, VIFP, Interline, Military, Fun Saver, Easy Saver, Fun Select Plus, Group Rate, Senior Citizen, and Tariff Rate. Each fare was a different price and had different terms such as cancellation fees, upgrades, price protection etc.
Carnival said that the change resulted after they started a new program called Carnival Conversations, an outreach program for travel agents. The news has been welcomed among travel agents who hope for an easy, streamlined booking system.
The new structure is set to roll out this fall and Carnival has not yet specifically said which fares will remain and which ones will be taken away.