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Ken Muskat - Book Now will be clean and modern with innovative, interactive features

MSC Cruises US rolls out new agent booking engine, sets 18-city road show

MSC Cruises became the latest line to create a new travel agent booking engine for the US, timed to capitalize on the company's growth in the North American market. The line will launch MSC Book with an 18-city road show.

'As MSC Cruises continues to grow in North America, it’s critical that we provide our valued travel agent partners with the tools they need to efficiently do business with us,' Ken Muskat, evp sales, public relations and guest services, said in announcing Book Now at the cruise3sixty travel agent show.

To go live in June, Book Now will have a clean and modern look with innovative, interactive features, Muskat said.

Highlights include the ability to book a cruise in four steps, including selecting cruise and stateroom, with the ability to select up to five staterooms. Agents can also find flights and hotels, and add pre-paid special services such as spa, shore excursions, specialty dining and beverage packages.

They can save clients' itineraries as favorites to be quickly viewed later and receive a quick quote or quick option at any point during the booking process.

They can quickly find the best cruise options using search by price range, destination, departure date or embarkation port. Agents can also search for their clients' MSC Club loyalty status by name or MSC Club number.

It will be possible to compare prices, dates, itineraries and any additional items included in the price for up to three cruises on a single page and print or email to clients.

Via an interactive deck plan, agents can browse by deck and stateroom position and quickly see availability for the category selected. They also can view stateroom photos and layouts, and detailed descriptions and videos of the 12 ships in MSC's fleet.

Commission and other accounting reports will be readable on a new and improved dashboard.

Plus, agents can request a group directly from MSC Book and then use the booking engine to manage the group.

They can send or print customer booking confirmations and e-tickets, too.

Following their 20-city road show last year, MSC Cruises sales executives will be visiting 18 cities across the US during 2015 to focus on training agents to use MSC Book, provide company updates and engage in dialogue, Muskat said.

The road show will take place between June and September. Cities include Boston; Albany and Nassau County (Long Island), New York; Lancaster and Scranton, Pennsylvania; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Baltimore; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Chicago (Schaumburg), Detroit (Troy), Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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