Celebrity Presents Persuasive New Group Booking Program

Travel agents interested in learning “where in the world” they can find some of the best opportunities to boost their business and profits through group bookings need look no further than Celebrity Cruises.

“We are constantly focused on introducing new programs to help educate our travel partners and help them succeed, even in challenging times,” said Celebrity’s Senior Vice President of Sales Dondra Ritzenthaler. “Our new ‘Where in the World Does Celebrity Cruise?’ program pairs a new and lighthearted deployment education program with a fantastic opportunity for agents to increase their profits through group bookings.”

The three-month “Where in the World Does Celebrity Cruise?” program focuses on Celebrity’s 2010 Caribbean, Bermuda and Panama Canal sailings this month; Europe itineraries in September; and Alaska cruises in October. Among the program’s educational tools for agents are online video presentations, an itinerary reference guide, a “Why Sell Celebrity?” document, and a list of frequently asked questions to assist travel partners in promoting the new offers.

For a full week at the end of each month, travel professionals will have the opportunity to block group space with the following robust series of pricing advantages: $25 per stateroom for 3- to 5-night cruises; $50 per stateroom for 6- to 9-night itineraries; and $100 per stateroom for sailings of 10 nights or longer.

“We’re offering these pricing advantages in addition to our existing Group Amenities Plus (GAP) points,” said Ritzenthaler. “All of this is effective for the life of the group blocked, and on all sailings of the products featured each month, as opposed to select sailings, making this the richest groups promotion currently available. We also will allow participating partners the opportunity to advertise the special pricing to help them drive more business.”

Travel agents will receive the pricing advantages in addition to price protection. Berths in a qualifying group booked at a higher fare can receive the difference between that fare and a lower fare advertised or offered by Celebrity in the form of an onboard cruise credit or reduced fare. The travel agency must request an adjustment to their fare by contacting Celebrity Cruises Group Department at 1-800-437-3111 at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time for the associated cruise. The lower fare must be available for the same ship, sailing, and category as the current booking, and available at the time the request for rate conversion is made.

The booking windows for “Where in the World Does Celebrity Cruise?” run from August 24-31 for Celebrity’s 2010 Caribbean, Panama Canal and Bermuda sailings; from September 28-October 4 for 2010 Europe and Transatlantic voyages; and from October 26-November 1 for 2010 Alaska vacations.

Through CruisingPower.com, the company’s dedicated web site for travel agents, travel professionals can access real-time group pricing and inventory of Celebrity Cruises sailings and instantly create group bookings; allocate staterooms; make payments; and manage individual bookings within a group through CruiseMatch. For more information on booking group travel, the Group Travel portal on CruisingPower.com – found under the Trip Details drop-down menu – offers details about Celebrity’s Groups policy, GAP, and instant group report requests.

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