PCL and Oceania (and another that is escaping me right now) don't even allow US or Canadian agencies to book forign nationals on their cruise ships unless they have a US or Canadian address.
Don't know the reason for sure but am told it's financial. They get higher rates from overseas agencies. This even applies to the online booking agencies based in North America, which 99.99% of them are. Some agents here get creative and break out a phone book for sizable bookings and give them an address. If such cases are caught the commissions are withheld from the agent and agency.
Hurts when you get a call for an Oceania Suite, those are big $$$.
It's not really illegal, it just is not tolerated. Anyway, the OP was not singled out by his national origin. Apparently he was rather "not included" in the scope of the companies policy regarding a captain's dinner for repeat cruisers. Too bad.
Chef Ken - I am sorry but not allowing certain nationalities to take part, in free of charge, programmes aimed at rewarding faithful repeat clients IS discriminating!
To add insult very often these countries where cruising may not be as popular as in the US get hit a second time as cruiselines take a cut off the foreign exchange too.
Lets take cruisers from the UK for example. The GBP hit 2 USD today... Now you are paying 1.000 USD for a cruise, a cruiser from the UK won't be paying 500 GBP but rather 600 maybe even 800 GBP for exactly the same cabin!!
Now our poster from downunder gets nailed even worse - not only does he get to pay a premium, he has to fly forever to even get to the cruise but he doesn't get the little things you do as member of the Repeaters Club.
It may be legal but I bet it would upset you too if it applied to you.
Cruiselines are looking to expand their markets so they need to look at their incentives too.
it may be something beyond the cruise lines control. In the US, certain promotions are not legal in certain states and it could very well be that certain countries prohibit certain membership "perks or kickbacks." I do not know but it might be worth asking if that is the case. If I was the cruise line, I wouldn't care what country you were from as long as you came back!
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First off, if Carnival is really doing this, they're cutting off their nose to spite their face unless it's some kind of legal problem. Secondly, if it is a legal problem, then they should rectify it with a membership club for Australians. Third, the so called "perks" don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the price of a cruise, so it's really not worth getting your panties in a wad over. Could this possibly be a drive by poster?