Retailers will now be able to hold options for up to 12 weeks before making a financial commitment while payment terms have been relaxed so balances can be paid in staggered steps up to 15 days before departure.
Additionally, group bookings now start at 10 cabins with no restriction on the maximum group size. Previously MSC Cruises started groups at 15 cabins, with a maximum of 200 cabins.
MSC Cruises head of sales UK & Ireland Janet Parton said: “The new group policy is a great example of our Travel Agent Advisory Board in action. Our agent partners have provided fantastic feedback about how they sell groups and what they need from a cruise line. We have worked hard to make the new policy travel agent friendly and I am sure they will love the changes.
“Selling groups offers a brilliant opportunity for agents and for us. In the past our approach was a little too prescriptive, so we have tried to remove as many barriers as possible. By becoming more flexible we hope agents will see us as the ‘go-to’ cruise line for groups.”
Other changes include fixed rates until the end of the option; a 15% deposit once the booking is confirmed; and commission – for both cruise and add-ons – as per the individual agent’s agreement.