Miami – Feb 25, 2008 — NCL Corporation (NCL) announced today that it has completed a number of enhancements as part of Partnership 2.0, the company’s major travel partner initiative that was announced in December. Partnership 2.0 involves major changes to the way NCL does business to strengthen its relationships with travel partners, at all levels. The initiative has been driven by quantitative and qualitative feedback from travel partners and has been enabled by Apollo’s billion dollar investment in NCL and Star Cruises continued commitment and vision.
NCL has put in place a Partnership 2.0 Steering Committee, led by NCL’s Senior Vice President of Revenue Management and Passenger Services Crane Gladding, and comprised of business process owners from various areas within the company, including four former travel agents with more than 55 years of experience among them. This team is leading the implementation of changes and recommending future enhancements that will make NCL better partners with the travel partner community.
“Since the announcement of this initiative, we have been working diligently to make a number of changes and improvements to our policies and business processes so that we can be the best partners with our travel partners,” said Crane Gladding, NCL’s senior vice president of revenue management and passenger services. “We want our travel partners to know that we have listened to their feedback and that we will continue to do so.”
Enhancements completed and implemented to date include:
-NCL is processing group commissions five weeks earlier with processing commencing seven days prior to sailing.
Reservation Agent Knowledge:
-All NCL reservation agents have received additional training on policies, pricing, promotions and products.
Improved Credit Card Policies:
-Any declined credit card receives a call directly to the booking agent;
-Canadian credit cards are processed during the call with immediate approval status.
Simplified Pricing Quotes and Ensuring Consistency:
-NCL has eliminated close to 1,000 promo codes to ensure travel agents get the same price quote every time they call in;
-A dedicated team is in place shopping the GDS system for consistency and accuracy;
-An expanded dedicated team is in place shopping internally for pricing consistency with training and team member development;
-Expanded external mystery shopping from NCL’s external quality assurance partner is in place.
Enhancements to Confirmations:
-On-board credits now appear on confirmations for those reservations that have received an on-board credit;
-Air for infants now displays differently. The air gateway no longer appears for infants traveling on parents’ lap. The gateway will only appear if an air seat was purchased for the infant.
Premium Air Desk
-The premium air department is now available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, for real time assistance with custom air requests.
Suite & Villa Bookings
-A 24-hour option has been added on the booking of suite and villa categories (A1-A4, including AA).
-Every travel partner check issued by NCL will automatically generate an e-mail to the travel agent, informing them a check is being processed. This e-mail will be sent out 72 hours after the check is created, and will contain the check number and the amount.
In addition to the above, the Resolution Desk, a cross-functional team with diverse backgrounds who are fully empowered to resolve issues, is currently in a beta-testing phase and is scheduled to be formally introduced in early March. Early feedback from travel partners who have utilized the Resolution Desk has been positive.
NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line.
NCL plans to build two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400-passenger Norwegian Gem.
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