MSC Cruises continues to integrate its product into the North American cruise market. The line will implement several changes to its booking, cancellation and travel agent discount policies in an effort to align itself better with competitors.
Beginning May 1, 2016 required deposits will be $200 per person (up from $100) for sailings of 14 or fewer nights and $300 for cruises of 15 nights or more.
There will also be changes in the cancellation window for voyages of fewer than 15 nights. Previously, travelers were able to cancel without forfeiting anything within 60 days of sailing. Now, those who do not give at least 90 days' advance notice when canceling, will lose the amount of their deposit.
Ken Muskat, MSC Cruises' executive vice president, said:
"The adjusted cancellation and deposit policies are meant to help us manage inventory - particularly as we open sales 18 months to two years in advance of a sailing - and ensure that consumers are serious when booking a cruise with MSC."
Passengers will have just 60 days to transfer their bookings made directly through the line to a travel agent. The booking must be outside the final payment window and not paid in full yet.
Under the new policies, travel agents will not be able to sell sailings for fares lower than the offered by MSC. However, value-added perks like prepaid gratuities and onboard credit are still allowed.