Even in the post-pandemic era, when the share of direct sales in total cruise bookings has increased, the idea of scrapping NCF for business partners “feels like a big, warm hug”; said Danny Genung, CEO of Harr Travel in Redlands, California. The
schedule is similar to that of sister brand Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), which removed NCF from eligible advance bookings last fall. But Oceania’s President Frank A. Del Rio said Oceania’s motivation for scrapping the unpopular tax is to become more competitive in the area of higher premiums.Oceania, he said, is the only brand in the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) family with competitors that have never had an NCF, like Viking and the new Explora Journeys.
“To be honest, we felt like it was becoming too much of an obstacle,” Del Rio said in an interview. “If you’re doing math, there’s no point in anything getting in your way. It’s time to ditch the whole NCF thing.”
NCL has a different motivation and hopes to attract loyal and loyal customers.The data showed that passengers who book later are more likely to book with both the brand and the consultants and, on average, report a higher satisfaction rating. As such, the NFC program has been structured to only apply to bookings made at least 120 days in advance.
Harry Sommer, the new CEO of NCLH and CEO of Norwegian after the NCF policy change, expressed confidence that Oceania will eventually abandon the NCF.
“Provided it works, which we certainly will, we will find ways to make it available to all of our partners around the world,” Sommer said.
Genung said the NCL program has helped his agency achieve financial results and its participation in the Oceania study has already resulted in “significant growth.””
Other flight attendants said participation in the program so far has not resulted in an increase in bookings in Oceania, but added that it is still in the early stages of a testing phase.