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     Booking process
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     ACTA, CLIA, and IATA
     FAMs & perks

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There are many cruise lines in the world and you have access to all of the most popular ocean, river, and expedition brands for booking.

See the Master List for cruise line-specific information, including who sets up which user accounts, etc.

If you are not familiar with cruising and would like a general overview, see our ocean cruising guide.

Cruising 101

The best place to learn about cruising is from the cruise lines. Nearly all of them have their own training programs, which cover their ships, itineraries, policies, booking tools, marketing, and more. These are available in their agent portals, which are also used for booking.

Cruise line BDMs are generally very engaged and offer webinars, have their own Facebook groups, and maintain mailing lists. Some cruise lines have online groups for travel agents (see below).

To have the most control over a cruise booking, you'll want to book directly with the cruise line. For your first cruise bookings, especially if you aren't familiar with cruising, it's a good idea to call into their reservations department. They can help walk you through all the various rate codes, stateroom/cabin options, and requirements.

Pay careful attention to which currency they are in when you quote and book, as some are CAD, some are USD, and some let you choose. Some may require you to log into a different portal to access USD pricing if you need it.

Booking a cruise generally involves more than just the cruise. Your clients may want help with shore excursions, on-ship activities, packages (dining, beverages, spa), pre and post stays, flights, and insurance.

You may also book cruise packages through approved suppliers on the Master List. These include TravelBrands (Encore), Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing, and Transat.


Ensemble OneConnect also has a cruise search option.

Some suppliers over air and cruise protection options, where if you also book flights with them, they guarantee they'll get your client to the ship in case of air delay. The terms for these programs varies supplier to supplier, so it's always best to consult their websites/reservation desk for the most up-to-date information.

Be sure to review all of the fine print when booking directly and with a reseller, as cruise lines have different payment schedules than other suppliers. 

If you intend to sell cruise, you may want to consider joining the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). Please see the CLIA page for more information.

Some cruise lines may offer additional incentives for selling their product (rewards programs), travel agent discounts, or reduced price cruises for doing their training and/or meeting sales goals. 


Most cruise lines also offer their own version of travel insurance. If you are licensed to sell Manulife, be sure to compare the two.

Cruise-specific Facebook Groups

Carnival Independent Advisor Team

Carnival Cruise Line Travel Agents Rock

NCL Student Union

Princess Travel Advisors

(this is just a small selection - use the Search tool on Facebook if you are looking for other cruise lines)

Shore Excursions


You may also be asked to help your clients with shore excursions for their cruise. On some lines, these may be included. On others, they are not. There are several instances where cruise-line sponsored excursions are not commissionable. You can also look at these suppliers for shore excursion options. With suppliers like Viator, TravelBrands, and Expedia TAAP, you'll want to ensure these are specifically shore excursions and not just tour, and they will generally pick up from the cruise port and offer guarantees that guests will be returned to the ship on time.

Shore Excursions Group


Expedia TAAP
Resort For a Day (see ML)

Ensemble also generally creates headquarter groups that you can book into. There's training in the Ensemble portal on this (in the U of E Expert Certification).


For information on cruise groups, see the Groups page.

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