Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Carnival pares fare structure to three core categories

Carnival pares fare structure to three core categories

By Tom Stieghorst
Carnival Cruise Lines announced a long-anticipated simplification of its fare structure, paring the core categories from six to three.

The new structure preserves an Early Saver category that had been both praised and panned by agents. It gives passengers a price-protection guarantee that means agents have to adjust fares when prices fall. Carnival said it is ideal for closing early business because it closes three months prior to sailing for cruises of five days or less and five months on cruises longer than that.

Guests choose cabin assignments and there is a non-refundable deposit and $50 fee for changes to the reservation.

After Early Saver fares close, Super Saver fares kick in. Deposits are non-refundable but the cabin assignment is Carnival's choice.

The third major category is Fun Select. It offers a two-category upgrade and the fare is fully refundable before final payment. Guests pick the cabin.

Carnival said the Fun Select Plus, Easy Saver and Instant Saver fare codes have been eliminated.

“Based on input from our travel agents, we modified the core fare structure to include those fare codes that offered the customer value and choice,” said Brenda Yester, senior vice president of revenue management for Carnival Cruise Lines. “By offering three fare choices instead of six, it simplifies the decision-making process and makes the overall sales experience easier for our travel professionals and their clients.”