After consulting with both travel professionals and potential sailors, Virgin Voyages has revealed details of how the cruise line plans to be “brilliant to do business with” for all parties involved.
In an effort to abolish long-standing pain points expressed by travel advisors, Virgin Voyages confirmed the elimination of non-commissionable fares (NCFs). In addition, no part of a booking with Virgin Voyages is non-commissionable, so First Mates—as the cruise refers to its travel advisors—will earn across their client’s entire transaction. This includes all add-ons like flights, hotel stays, voyage protection, Shore Things (shore excursions), spa treatments, any premium package, and Sailor Loot (onboard credits), as well as taxes and fees. Base commission on the entire transaction will be 10 percent. In addition, all First Mates or affiliated organizations can earn a Red Hot Bonus paid annually on sailed revenue up to an additional six percent if they meet certain production thresholds.
“While the debate is often about this percent versus that one, the underlying issue travel professionals have is not being compensated for their hard work on the entire sale. With Virgin Voyages you will be,” said Stacy Shaw, v.p. of sales for Virgin Voyages, in press materials. “With our combination of premium pricing that includes so much more, no NCFs and the ability to earn on everything you sell, total dollars earned on every sale with us will be more. Percentages don’t matter, total dollars do.”
Virgin Voyages has also upped the ante for potential sailors with its pledge to eliminate the nickel and diming of its guests and alleviate a major pain point for consumers: gratuities. The base ticket fare for all Virgin Voyages sailings will include all eateries, group fitness classes, basic beverages and gratuities in the voyage fare. These things are always included and not tied to a short-term promotion. With a more inclusive Rebellious Luxe experience, First Mates have the opportunity to sell voyages based on the total value proposition rather than price.
Virgin Voyages has also confirmed that it is eliminating penalties and change fees. Booking policies have been designed to appeal to sailors who are serious about sailing, but also offer flexibility after booking. First Mates and their clients can hold cabins for 24 hours with no money down, and once they’ve placed a 20 percent non-refundable deposit, they’ll have a grace period of seven days when they may change their mind for any reason at all. Sailors and First Mates may also change voyage dates and names on bookings without penalties or fees.
For more information, visit virginvoyages.com.
Firstmates.com is currently registering travel agencies and individual travel sellers to do business with Virgin Voyages in advance of the company opening voyages for bookings on Feb. 14, 2019. For more information on the tools available on this advisor website, plus the sweepstakes for those who register early, click here.