Over two months have passed since the March 1 deadline for travel agencies to become PCI DSS compliant. With the dust now settled, how are agents feeling about the whole process? Was it as ...
Few specialties can propel a home-based agent to sales success quite like cruising. Carnival Cruise Lines’ new payment plan gives cruise specialists another tool to help swing the sale, especially in the price-sensitive Canadian market.
Carnival Easy Pay is pay-over-time program that allows guests to pay for their cruise in three monthly installments, a move that’s being regarded as the cruise industry’s first layaway program.
Travel agents can also sign up for Carnival EasyPay to process payments on behalf of their clients. Guests can also register for the program at carnival.com or via the line’s call centres.
Cruise payments are automatically deducted from the credit card on file and applied to their current balance, interest-free, over a three-month period. Guests make their initial cruise deposit and then the balance of their cruise is charged in three equal payments, which are taken out automatically on the same designated day for three consecutive months.
“A Carnival cruise is already the most affordable and value-packed vacation there is and with Carnival EasyPay we’re making budgeting and paying for a cruise even easier and more convenient,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “Rather than having to remember to pay for their cruise, Carnival EasyPay provides guests with peace of mind knowing that their payment is being processed automatically. Carnival EasyPay certainly lives up to its name.”
Guests must make a required deposit on their cruise fare to be eligible for Carnival EasyPay. Additionally, the deposit due date must be at least 90 days before the final payment date. The first installment is charged to their credit card 30 days from the date of the deposit, with two additional monthly installments thereafter.
Carnival EasyPay is available at no extra cost, however guests are responsible for any interest charges by their credit card provider.
Guests are prompted to select Carnival EasyPay in the ‘How Would You Like to Pay’ section of carnival.com when ready to make payment on their booking. They can also sign up for or cancel Carnival EasyPay after the initial deposit is made by visiting the ‘Manage My Booking’ tab on Carnival.com.
Booking groups and events on cruise ships is big business too and more home-based agents are finding this a natural leap from leisure FIT cruise bookings, even for groups and events that skew to the corporate side of things. CLIA says its Meetings & Events at Sea Certificate Program, now available online, will help travel professionals become experts in booking events onboard cruise ships.
The certificate program, designed in partnership with Meetings Professional International (MPI), explores the advantages of hosting groups and events on cruise ships as opposed to traditional venues.
Agents can get insight into incentive trips and examine logistics and variables to consider when hosting an event at sea, from the comfort of their own computers, says CLIA. The program also explores the types of meetings or events that should be conducted onboard, in addition to offering valuable cost comparisons.
“At CLIA, we are always looking for ways to make our training more accessible for our travel agents across North America,” said Stephani McDow, Director, Membership & Professional Development. “We’ve already had great success delivering this certificate program at our live training events and we are excited to be able to offer agents the opportunity to take this course online, and at their own pace.”
This is the first certificate program to be offered as an online course for CLIA Travel Agent Members, and has been previously offered as live-training. CLIA members receive US$100 member savings on the online version, which is available at $199 for non-members and $99 for members.
CLIA Certificate programs supplement CLIA’s existing Certification Programs to help travel professionals expand their knowledge of travel and cruise specific topics to grow their clientele and sales.
For more information about CLIA Certificate and Certification Programs visit clia.org/careerseascape.