Disney Cruise Line has made a policy change that will affect the amount of commission travel agents receive for onboard bookings. Before the change, if a passenger booked a future Disney cruise while they were on their cruise, travel agents earned a maximum of 16% commission. From now on, Disney has announced that they will only pay agents a flat 10% commission for such rebookings. Many travel agents encourage their clients to rebook while onboard a Disney ship because the traveler receives a discounted fare, a shipboard credit to use on that future cruise and pays a reduced deposit.
Quick to respond to this policy change was Royal Caribbean International, whose vice president of international sales, Vicki Freed, stated, “We believe that those future bookings made onboard are the most valuable bookings we can get. … You should have the full commission. And when a competitor makes a move like [Disney] did yesterday, it concerns us because we don’t want to ever misbehave. And I don’t know of another way to word that. We never want to misbehave with our travel agent partners. Our success is dependent upon your success. We’re not stupid. We are having the best year ever, our stock’s about to hit $100, and that’s thanks to the support of the travel agent community.”
In fact, Freed said Royal Caribbean would try to find a way to increase travel agents’ commission of onboard rebookings. According to Travel Weekly, “Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley told her, ‘Vicki, find a way to pay travel agents even more for those bookings that are made onboard. Let’s do some incentives. Let’s give them back-end overrides.’”
A Disney spokeswoman said “the change is one of many adjustments the company makes in its business.”