Several of the major cruise lines have decided to stop playing the competitive game to win your vacation dollars by instituting new restrictions on the travel agent's part to discount the deal. Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Celebrity have halted the competitive fighting and put new pricing policies in place.
What does this mean for the consumer? Simply put - fewer deals and perks from your favorite travel agent or online travel site. Travel agents will now be restricted to offer only the cruise line's preset minimum and are forbidden to go lower. Norwegian's "price advertising policy" will no longer allow agents to advertise anything but Norwegian fares.
Before such policies went into effect, agents could sacrifice percentages of their commissions in order to beat their competition and win the sale. With that opportunity removed, bargain hunting for super cruise prices will be limited to those cruise lines that have not gone along with the new restrictions.
Anne Campbell, editor of CruiseMates.com, told MercuryNews.com, "With a bit of effort, you can still find a cheap Carnival cruise because agents can rebate as long as they don't advertise it." So all hope isn't gone, it will just take more work on the consumers part to find the bargains.