Carnival Cruise Lines announced today that it will maintain travel agency commission tiers for 2010 at the current level, which marks the seventh year in a row the cruise line has held steady on commission thresholds despite the addition of six new ships during that period.

Carnival bases its commission levels on passenger volume versus dollar volume, which protects travel agents from negative impact when the cruise industry experiences down pricing cycles.

“Carnival’s commission structure is simple and makes it extremely easy for travel agents to move up the earnings ladder while not penalizing them unfairly when larger economic factors impact overall cruise pricing,” said Lynn Torrent, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and guest services. “After careful review, as part of our annual planning process, we decided not to make any changes to our commission structure for 2010. This decision is a further indication of Carnival’s desire to help our travel agent partners during this difficult economic period.”

For commission purposes, passengers are counted on a seven-day equivalent basis. So, for example, a guest sailing on a seven-day cruise counts as one; a guest sailing on a three to five-day cruise counts as one-half; and a guest sailing on a 14-day cruise counts as two.

Commission levels start at ten percent and travel agents are able to move to 11 percent with only 25 sailed guests within a one-year period. Fifteen percent commission requires 150 sailed guests, which represents as few as seven bookings a month, and a 16 percent commission level can be attained with 600 guests.

Once a travel agency reaches the number of sailed guests required to move up to the next commission level, the new commission percentage is reflected within Carnival’s reservations system within one week and applied to new bookings from that point forward.