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FLORIDACARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION Executive Committee
THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE
Micky Arison Chairman & CEO Carnival Corporation
Second Quarter 2012
16 2012 is Guatemala A year of change with a focus on tourism.
Daniel J. Hanrahan President & CEO Celebrity Cruises 20 Discover the Wonders of Curaçao at the 19th Annual Cruise Conference and Trade Show
Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. Kevin Sheehan FCCA Chairman, CEO Norwegian Cruise Line Stephen A. Nielsen Vice President, Caribbean & Atlantic Shore Operations Princess Cruises
Ana M. Benitez Membership Administrator Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President James Kazakoff Senior Director, Event Operations Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant Justin Paige Manager, Communications, Research & Marketing Michele M. Paige President Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Suite 201, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 • Fax: (954) 441-3171 Website: www.f-cca.com • E-mail: email@example.com Cruising Magazine © 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited. To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Photo Credit: Guatemala Tourism Board
24 The Importance of Value and Operating Costs for Cruise Lines and the Negative Impact of Destinations’ Increased Fees
10 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights 50 Faces in the Industry
33 Cruise Line CEOs Discuss Trends and Upcoming Developments During 2012 Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry Address
50 Ship Profile 52 Meetings and Greetings with the FCCA
Cruise Terminal Construction Begins in Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza Serves CEOs, Cruise Executives and Industry Players with Festivities and Networking Opportunities
The Making of A Forum - The Inaugural Professional Women in Cruise Forum
The Art of the Upsell: A Snorkeling Excursion Model
FCCA Member Lines AIDA Cruises • Azamara Club Cruises • Carnival Cruise Lines • Celebrity Cruises • Costa Cruise Lines • Cunard Line Disney Cruise Line • Holland America Line • MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. • Norwegian Cruise Line P&O Cruises • Princess Cruises • Royal Caribbean International • Seabourn The information in this publication is provided "as is." FCCA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.
Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 5
C R OW N B AY S T. TH O M AS
W ES T IN DI AN
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ED FR ED ER IKST ST. CRO IX
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A GREAT CRUISE STARTS WITH A GREAT PORT. OR FOUR. Head toward a cruise destination both you and your passengers will appreciate. The four ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands offer well-established cruise destinations with newly renovated and fully appointed facilities. Additionally, St. Croix offers highly efficient bunkering services. Plus, our white sand beaches, turquoise waters and picturesque towns offer all the island experiences your passengers are looking for. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
800.372.USVI ÂŠ2012 United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
President’s Letter “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!” –Jonathan Winters They say that good things come to those who wait, but those are also the ones to find themselves passed by and overlooked. Instead, it is often the first person to act that reaches their goal – the early bird finding their worm and the victor getting the spoils. In business, sometimes we would prefer to just wait and hope for the best, but we know we must often embrace a shark’s constant movement to stay alive. Rushing water creates a stream while stagnant water yields algae. By sitting on an idea or project, waiting for someone to respond, we lose Michele M. Paige with Roberto Borge Angulo, opportunity cost and sometimes a spot in the market. We Governor of Quintana Roo, Mexico must stay perpetually proactive in all of our business dealings if we want to stay ahead. Fortunately, we are in an industry that understands this, which is why a record 16+ million passengers cruised in 2011, with an annual occupancy percentage exceeding 103%, thanks in part to the proactive push of 12 new, innovative, feature-rich ships in 2011 alone, an expanding market of international ports of call and convenient departures from proximal embarkation cities. The continued growth of the cruise industry coupled with the constant efforts to nurture this growth puts all those who cater to or interact with the industry in a unique and beneficial situation, for we can optimize the advantages of the increased capacity and passengers while learning from the business model, one that would never lead to algae. In this edition of Cruising, you will see some of the ways that the lines and industry partners are swimming ahead of the pack. You will learn about what the cruise lines’ CEOs said during Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry; get an up close and personal look of the gathering of executives and CEOs at the annual FCCA Gala; discover that Carnival Corporation has partnered with the Rannik family of Grupo B&R to begin a joint project to reestablish Maimon Bay and the Dominican Republic’s north coast as a popular cruise destination; learn that Royal Caribbean is increasing its Puerto Rico presence by homeporting Jewel of the Seas in San Juan; and gain some insight about the important economic impact of passenger calls and port costs, along with the direct relationship they have. I hope that you find something to motivate, educate or entertain you in this issue of Cruising, and remember to keep on moving. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President, FCCA
Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 7
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights PortMiami Expecting Strong 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 Seasons PortMiami is anticipating another strong cruise season in 2012/13 when it welcomes two new cruise brands and three new build vessels. Miami’s newest offering of cruise brands includes Disney Cruise Line, which will join the Miami lineup in December 2012 with Disney Wonder. This is the first time a Disney ship will operate from a south Florida port. Additionally, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will join its sister company, Oceania Cruises, at PortMiami with Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator. Of the four new build cruise vessels entering the U.S. market in 2012, Miami will homeport three of them, Carnival Breeze, Celebrity Reflection, and Oceania’s Marina, all arriving winter 2012. The exciting news continues in 2013/14. Already confirmed for Miami’s lineup is MSC Cruises’ move to Miami with its newest vessel, MSC Divina, in winter 2013. Additionally, Norwegian Cruise Line will homeport its new build, Norwegian Getaway, in spring 2014. JAXPORT is Florida’s Vacation Port! Visitors and residents already know north Florida offers beautiful beaches, world-class golf and history. Now, everyone’s discovering the pleasure and ease of cruising out of Jacksonville. Carnival Cruise Lines offers weekly passenger cruise service from Jacksonville, Florida to The Bahamas aboard the 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination. The ship offers four-day cruises to Freeport and Nassau and five-day cruises to Half Moon Cay/Key 10 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
West and Nassau. In May 2013, Carnival is offering a one-time, sevenday sailing from Jacksonville aboard Fascination with stops in Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. JAXPORT recently welcomed the onemillionth cruise passenger and set a record last year, with nearly 200,000 passengers sailing on cruises departing from JAXPORT. Carnival and its customers consistently give JAXPORT high marks for quality assurance and customer service. Ninety five percent of passengers surveyed said they would consider choosing Jacksonville for their next cruise departure. Each of our voyages averages 120 percent occupancy. (A cruise ship is considered 100 percent occupied when two passengers are booked per cabin.) All cruises sail from the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal, located in north Jacksonville. Visit jaxport.com for more News from the Mobile, Alabama Cruise Terminal By Sheila Gurganus, General Manager Hello from Mobile, Alabama. Past homeport of Carnival Holiday, Fantasy and Elation! Future homeport of your cruise ship!! We here in Mobile are patiently waiting for that day you tell us your ship is coming! We hope that will be very soon! We have just been chosen by Airbus to be the location for their new assembly plant for the building of A320 airplanes. It will bring over 1,000 jobs to the Mobile area. Spring 2013 will bring the grand opening of our Gulfquest Maritime Museum. This should bring over 350,000 visitors to our city per year. You should stop by and check it out! Our city is still the beautiful, historical and hospitable place it’s always been. Please visit us and consider our port for
your cruise ships. I know we can offer you a great incentive package, and we can make you happy you came! Sansouci Offers Access to Santo Domingo, a Hip Metropolitan City in the Caribbean…
Urban and cosmopolitan experience, 500 years of colonial history and endless fun can all be found by cruising to Santo Domingo. To share a glimpse of this, Sansouci offers more than 25 tours in 4 categories: entertainment, sightseeing and history, sustainable tourism and adventure. Don’t miss: Dominican Fiesta: a combination of Dominican cuisine and music; Dominican Baseball: exhibition of Dominican baseball; Rum Historical Center: a journey into the elaboration of rum; Chocolate & Clay: enjoy organic cocoa in the countryside; and Discovering the Taino Trail: natural jacuzzis & waterfalls in the last known Taino settlement. In the upcoming season, Sans Soucí Port will launch the “Cruise Friendly” program with a local university with qualified tourism students trained to provide assistance to passengers on the terminal and in the city. Finally, Sansouci will launch a new, exclusive website for cruise guests: www.cruisesantodomingo.travel. Minimizing Risk Through Tour Guide Certification
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Caribbean destination you’re looking for. Dolphin Cove Gives an Experience of a Lifetime
Guests on cruise shore excursions face a multitude of possible risks, and the tour operators that operate those excursions must take steps to prevent and handle any issues that arise. It is critical for the tour operator and the destination to ensure that they have taken all the necessary precautions, including preventative measures and training personnel to minimize risk and handle situations effectively, thereby minimizing negative publicity and potential litigation. Aquila’s International Tour Guide Training and Certification program is an important component in a cruise tour operator’s risk management plan. The tour guide is generally the individual on site and in charge when emergencies happen on tour. They also have a great deal of influence towards ensuring a positive guest experience, which goes a long way to prevent complaints from being made public, which can damage reputations of the tour operator, destination and cruise line. In addition to practical risk management information throughout the course, one entire lesson in Aquila’s International Tour Guide Training and Certification program is devoted to handling difficult situations and risk management. See excerpts at www.TourGuideExcellence.com St. Vincent & the Grenadines Taking Home Awards St. Vincent & the Grenadines has won
several 2012 tourism and travel awards, which include: • 2012 Caribbean Advertising Federation (CAF) ADDY® GOLD Award: St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ Tourism Logo in the category Elements of Advertising • 2012 Caribbean Week Award “Best Consumer Newspaper Feature” category by Kahn Travel Public Communication Relations and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation • 2012 Most Excellent Small Resort: Cotton House, Mustique, St. Vincent & the Grenadines • 2012 Most Excellent Eco Resort: Palm Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines by Condé Nast Johansens 2012 Awards for Excellence, The Americas, Atlantic, Caribbean & Pacific • 2012 3rd Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012 by Travel + Leisure • 2012 5th in World’s Top Destinations for 2012 by CNN • Toronto Star “50 places For 2012” • New York Times “45 Places to Go in 2012” • Today’s Travel Show “Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012” • Travel Channel “Best ‘Unplugged’ Vacations 2012”
Dolphin Cove, with locations in Jamaica and Grand Cayman, continues to give an “experience of a lifetime.” “A San Diego couple visiting Jamaica for the first time found their groove at Dolphin Cove Negril. Khadijah and Malik Bullock had the “experience of a lifetime.” Malik, a 12year Marine Corps veteran, had to delay his honeymoon celebration with his beloved. “This was the most wonderful, thrilling experience this side of the western hemisphere. Everyone in our group experienced the dolphin kiss, dolphin touch and belly ride,” said Khadijah. “It was a once in a lifetime experience. The dolphins are super intelligent and have lots of personality - ‘icing on the cake!’ This experience would teach my children how to appreciate these marine mammals in their natural environment,” Khadijah continued. “This experience proved why Dolphin Cove, is Jamaica’s ‘number one’ attraction. It is fun for the whole family.” The Great House Fifteen minutes from the newly launched Port of Falmouth is Chukka’s beautiful 2000-acre location — Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 11
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights • MSC Cruises will interport with MSC Lirica The port authority will invest 2 million US dollars this season to improve facilities for the cruise terminal, the cruise lines and their guests. Chukka at Good Hope Estate. The new location is already making its mark, winning industry awards and hosting royalty and stars like Prince Harry of Wales and Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes Jones on the hit Fox TV musical series Glee.
L’Express Des Iles ticket for two and a gift certificate to dive with Al Dive & W.A.T.E.R Sports. Aruba Ports Authority Pulls Resources to Make a Difference in Community
The tourism board is working on several programs to give best services to passengers, such as: • Special training programs for tour guides • Special training programs for taxi drivers Dedication Leads To Success
Cruise ship passengers easily access and enjoy Chukka tours, such as the Zipline Canopy and River Tubing combo, Chukka ATV Safari, High Tea at the Great House and Good Hope Estate by Horse and Carriage. Most recently, Chukka has launched their new Adventure Pass and Heritage Pass for Good Hope, allowing visitors to experience more for less. At Chukka – It’s time to play! To learn more about Chukka’s active adventures, culture and leisure excursions and team building, call toll free 1-877-4-CHUKKA or visit www.chukkacaribbean.com.
Aruba Ports Authority strongly believes that corporate leaders today have a responsibility that goes beyond simply expounding on the particular trends in their particular industries. We believe that a successful company is one that not only increases profits by maintaining the highest standards, but also one that increases social value at the same time. Josianne Leogal has been an active and dedicated tour guide with Whitchurch Tours for over fifteen years. Josianne was the first guide trained for Whitchurch Tour’s “Community Garden and Creole Cooking Tour.” Through her efforts, the culinary tour has gained popularity with the visiting cruise lines.
Home Porting in Guadeloupe Islands The 2012-2013 cruise season in the archipelago of Guadeloupe islands will be one of the best seasons that we have had for many years. We will receive 300,000 passengers from several cruise lines: Royal Caribbean International, Costa Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, etc.
Her in-depth knowledge coupled with an unwavering job dedication demonstrates genuine commitment to the development of Dominica’s tourism product. Josianne’s team playing, initiative and dedication have earned her the Whitchurch Tours ‘Tour Guide of the Year’ award on several occasions.
This season, the homeporting and interporting will increase significantly: • Costa will homeport with Costa Luminosa • RCCL will interport with Brilliance of the Seas
Josianne’s commitment to her job, giving cruise passengers a superb tour experience, gained her the 2012 Tour Guide of the Year award from Discover Dominica Authority. In addition to her award, she received a
14 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
Through its Platinum Membership with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the Aruba Ports Authority requested and received a substantial donation for Arco Iris Kleuter School. The building that houses the primary educational institution, previously Magriet School and Beatrix School, will be 60 sixty years old in 2013. We are therefore making this donation available for the maintenance of the structure that accommodates hundreds of children and educators. We are convinced that by pulling together our resources, our knowledge and our expertise like we have done here, we can make a difference in our society. We are committed to leveraging our ability to improve the lives of people in Aruba. Jimmy Buffett’s Cozumel
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights the present, with ancient lands full of wonders and endless stories of its friendly people. The Port of Progreso, Yucatan offers plenty of fun and services to make your stay a unique experience. It is your starting point to the Mayan World, a major attraction for visitors in search of tranquility, nature, folklore and a culinary experience. Live a whole experience while in the island. We are famous for Cheeseburgers in Paradise, but our menu also features the best of local Caribbean cuisine joined by delicious concoctions and surprising boat drinks in a fun and familiar atmosphere. There’s also a lot of fun and FREE activities. Snorkel gear is available for both kids and adults; jump onto our giant trampolines; climb our floating iceberg; dive into the blue waters of the Caribbean; or just chill out sipping a perfect margarita on our seaside deck. Free snorkels and towels!!! Giant screens and lots of plasmas are available to enjoy all major sports events all year long. If you arrive on a cruise ship, Margaritaville is only a short 10-minute ride from any pier or even walking from Punta Langosta Pier. The weather is beautiful here. The Port of Progreso Is Your Entry to a Magical Land
The State of Yucatan has everything; it’s a magical land where the past meets
The cruise terminal is equipped with many amenities to accommodate the visitors, such as artisan shops, tour guides, bars, taxis, tour agencies, and immigration and customs facilities. Just minutes away by bus, you will find downtown Progreso, as well as well prepared tours to full ancient archeological sites like Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Dzibilchaltun. Areas full of mystic historical surroundings, with lush tropical forests and breathtaking underground caves full of fresh pools of water. Yucatan is diverse; its streets, homes, museums, architecture and churches radiate its diverse history. Playa Mia Grand Beach Park® New Project
The investment on this extraordinary project has been focused on adding and generating unlimited fun, enjoyment and entertainment to all visitors arriving to our beautiful island. Tropical Tours Provides Charity with Salsa and Salsa Tour
Tropical Tours is proud to announce over $20,000 in donations made through the popular Salsa and Salsa tour. “Passengers target a different charity monthly,” said Richard Turrentine, manager of Tropical Tours. All contributions and progress can be followed though a dedicated website, www.salsalela.com.
Playa Mia Grand Beach Park ® is one of the largest, most modern and most visited theme parks located in Cozumel, Mexico, with an outstanding experience of 28 years of fun and excitement for tourists of all ages.
All cruise line donation photos are taken and uploaded weekly. People of all ages are kissing, hugging and holding Lela, the ceramic piggy bank. “People want to help and make a difference,” replied Sunny Irvine, owner of Tropical Tours when asked about Lela.
It has been distinguished by having more than 400 feet of fine white sand, handicap accessible areas, more than 20 services and attractions such as aquatic activities, kid’s club, lounge chairs, fully equipped bathrooms, shopping center and massages.
Through Tropical Tours, Salsa and Salsa donations have reached flood and earthquake victims, medical research, veterans and various humane shelters world wide.
Coming soon, fully modern and innovative facilities with water slides, snack areas, swimming pools and Buccaneer Bay Water Park, will place us in the highest level of quality and entertainment in Cozumel.
The “Salsa and Salsa” tour received the Certificate of Excellence Award from Trip Advisor for the Cabo San Lucas location, along with the over 700 positive comments from all our satisfied guests across the country. Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 15
Discover the Wonders of Curaçao at the 19th Annual Cruise Conference and Trade Show
he beautiful island of Curaçao is well known for its recognizable authentic Dutch architecture, pastel-colored houses and lively atmosphere. The capital, Willemstad, is a mix of nostalgic impression, being a UNESCO world heritage site, with energetic vibes coming from upscale bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shops and casinos. In fact, Curaçao is an island of contrasts. It welcomes a variety of tourist from different parts of the world, from Europe to North and Latin America, and most of the locals can communicate in four languages: English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu, the local Creole language. But still, it never seems too touristic. You can seclude yourself from the 20 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
everyday routine and take yourself off the beaten path to tranquility and relaxation by exploring the island on your own. Curaçao has been chosen as the favorite Caribbean destination for 2012 by About.com; is one of the top 10 destinations of Frommer’s; and was appointed as the Honeymoon Hot Spot for 2012 by Condé Nast Traveler. These awards say more than enough about this tiny, yet bustling island. But what makes this island so special? Is it a blend of the diverse cultural influences from the early European colonists, Jewish settlers and African slaves, with the more recent Oriental, Arab, Iberian and Caribbean population? Is it because
European-based waltzes and African originated ‘tambú’ sound as familiar as Latin salsa and meringue, while West Indian ‘soca’ and ‘dancehall’ and international grooves from hard rock to hiphop and techno pulse are also native? Is it the culinary adventure, from iguana soup to goat stew and cornmeal, or the Asian cuisine, from Indonesia to India and China, along with fine dining from French-Burgundeon gastronomy to US prime beef and succulent seafood? Or is it the abundant array of activities nature lovers wish to see and do, from scuba diving in one of the region’s riches underwater coral gardens to hiking in rugged but beautiful landscape surroundings or exploring nature, from
caves with artfully-formed stalactites and stalagmites to national parks, like the Christoffel Park and the Shete Boka National Park with different geological origins and unique flora and fauna? Or the wide scale selection of attractions that visitors can partake, like ATV tours, canoe adventures, powerboat rides or horseback trails? Is it just being entertained, ‘infotained,’ or encountered by visiting the many appealing attractions the island has to offer, from the Curaçao Sea Aquarium and Dolphin Academy to the Ostrich Farm, Aloe Vera Plantation, Hato Caves, L’Aldea Rainforest Mystery, Curaçao Liquer Factory, and the many museums, like the Curaçao Maritime Museum, Kura Hulanda, Museo Tula and the Mikvé Israel Immanuel Synagoge, or the Plantation Houses that have open houses?
Perhaps it’s the many events and festivals celebrated annually, such as the vivacious Carnival celebration, the electric Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, the thrilling Heineken Regatta, the stimulating art festivals and many more. Maybe the easy-going, relaxing side of the island beckons with its many beaches featuring unique historically relevant names, such as Jan Thiel, Kas Abou, Knip/Kenepa, Porto Mari and Boka Santa Cruz. Or the middle path with world-class shopping in the numerous brand stores and niche malls, selling European, Latin American and US quality merchandise could be your fancy. It is all of that! It all depends on you, as Curaçao can be tailor-made for the exact measurements of its visitors.
Curaçao is undoubtedly the ultimate travel experience, where northern Europe meets southern Caribbean, where every visitor can wonder, explore and experience in a safe environment with friendly people without needing to worry about the headaches from daily life. If you want to isolate yourself for a moment from the rest of the world or party the night away with live entertainment and do everything in-between, you definitely must visit Curaçao. And this is precisely why it has become a mecca for cruise tourism; why it is hosting the 19th annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show; and why you will have the chance to witness everything Curaçao has to offer while there October 1-5, 2012 with the decision makers of the cruise industry. Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 21
An Experience Like Nowhere Else.
Thrill seekers, get ready for Aquaventure, the Caribbeanâ€™s largest and most spectacular waterpark. With acres of exciting water slides and river rides, you can take on the Power Tower, plunge from the Mayan Temple, or ďŹ‚oat on a mile-long river journey before unwinding at one of pools. Delight in a Beach Day, along miles of white sandy beaches. Feeling lucky? Try your hand at the hundreds of slots and table games in the Caribbeanâ€™s largest casino. Retail enthusiasts can shop the Crystal Court for haute couture or stroll Marina Village, a quaint, cobblestone plaza, surrounding the world-class Atlantis Marina. million gallons of fun awaits you at Atlantis. Will you come out and play?
80 Table Games
To learn about all the exciting ways to spend your day at Atlantis, please visit our cruise partnersâ€™ websites: Carnival Cruise Lines | Disney Cruise Lines | MSC Cruise Lines | Norwegian Cruise Lines | Royal Caribbean International Or to begin oďŹ€ering these Atlantis Excursions through your cruise line, please contact PIDemail@example.com.
The Importance of Value and Operating Costs for Cruise Lines and the Negative Impact of Destinations’ Increased Fees
ruise lines have always benefitted from having a moveable commodity; the ability to change itineraries has allowed them to avert crises like hurricanes and civil unrest. It also gives the cruise industry a unique opportunity to maximize value through optimizing itineraries and penetrating untapped markets.
become a foundation for the industry. It is why people were still able to cruise, many for the first time, despite the economic woes of the recession; why ships still maintained over 100% occupancy in a time when leisure travel plummeted; why many ports, destinations and companies serving the industry were able to expand in times of shrinkage.
“Movable assets helped us survive,” told Dan Hanrahan, CEO of Celebrity Cruises, when discussing how the industry was able to persevere through the recession and other times of turmoil, such as the Iranian revolution, 1980s oil crisis, launch of Desert Storm, 9/11, etc. Like any business, financial performance is a significant determining factor for the cruise industry, and the industry is fortunate to have a product that is able to target the most profitable markets and destinations while routing around the storms.
Recent travel agent studies show that cruises rank highest in consumer interest and perceived value when compared with other vacations. This is well-warranted, as Jan Swartz, executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line and marketing chairwoman for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), shared that cruising can offer up to a 40-50 percent savings over comparable land-based vacations.
Value is another vital factor. It has 24 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
This is one of the main reasons why many people booked cruises when it
became important to scrape every cent out of a dollar and why the cruise industry was able to actually thrive and grow during the recession. But this fundament of the industry is just another reason why operating costs are so crucial for cruise lines; optimizing these prices is pivotal to perpetuating the value that cruising has become known for. Gerry Cahill, CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, shared some of the importance of value and some of the changes that the lines make in order to uphold it for passengers: “Customers will continue to focus on value. We have not cut back on our product, but have reallocated our marketing spending, and automation has helped us reduce our operating expenses.” Thus, operating costs are a significant factor for the lines, and a large element
of these costs are the fees charged by a port/destination. Yet sometimes destinations do not realize the price equation and get into the mode of thinking that a ship is visiting their land solely because of their product, which cannot be replicated anywhere else. Though the destination product does play a role in deciding itineraries, it is flawed thinking to believe that a ship will not go elsewhere if a destination becomes fiscally unviable. As Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises (USA), said, “Wherever there is a population and water, there is a chance to have a ship.” There are numerous destinations in competition for ships, and if one starts to charge too much, there will be another willing to alleviate costs or provide incentives to draw in cruise ships. Cruise lines want to have lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the destinations, but a rise of fees can quickly shorten the affair. As soon as new taxes are proposed at a port serving the cruise industry, lines discuss other options, and the options and competition are growing even wider and tighter with the rise of a more global industry, with the surge to Europe (163% increase in the past decade) and growth of markets like Australia and New Zealand, Asia, South/Central America, Africa and the Middle East. Some destinations have already learned this the hard way. When the Bahamas imposed a series of tax increases in the early 1990s, lines began to shift large portions of their fleets, mainly to Cozumel, which then rose as a prominent cruise destination. After the Alaskan market/pricing viability was threatened by its raised taxes and incorporation of new taxes in 2006, it began to see a significant repositioning of ships that had served there. It has recently amended some of the taxes in order to regain those lost ships.
Though it is understandable that destinations want to optimize their revenue, it is essential to realize that their best means of generating income is from the actual passengers and crew once they are on land through spending via shopping, shore excursion purchases, taxi and restaurant patronage, etc., and not from the fees, charged to the cruise lines. For example, in Aruba, it would cost a 3,300-passenger, 115,000-GRT ship between $10,800 and $15,750, depending on incentives and not including water or garbage disposal. Based on the 2009 Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies, and assuming that 85% of the passengers and 40% of the crew disembarked, passenger spending for that call in Aruba would total $245,858.25, and crew would contribute $31,896.40 to Aruba’s economy during that call. So we see direct passenger and crew spending for that call to be $277,754.65, which is 1,6642,472% more than the port costs. It is easy to see where the most significant economic impact of a cruise call comes from for a destination when considering this example, and this also makes it almost expected to learn that in the aforementioned BREA study, passenger and crew spending accounted for 87.7% of the $2.275 billion of total cruise tourism expenditures throughout the 29 destinations studied. However, these direct expenditures only scratch the surface of the advantages that a cruise call presents for a destination. One of these is through employment generated from cruise tourism. With Cozumel, for instance, we see a total employment of 7,089 persons and a wage income of $52.8 million in the same BREA study. Overall in the destinations studied, the cruise sector created 56,271 jobs and a total employee wage income of $723 million.
Another benefit that cruise tourism offers a destination is harder to quantify; it is the return of cruise passengers as stay-over guests. CLIA’s 2011 Market Profile Study showed that a large majority of cruisers once again agree that vacations are a good way to sample destinations that they may wish to visit again, staying constant at the 80% posted in CLIA’s 2008 Market Profile Study. This shows that the economic impact brought by the cruise lines extends past the direct expenditures, as destinations can see a further impact by passengers returning for land-based vacations. With these significant contributions, it becomes hard to understand why some destinations would risk losing any portion of their capacity for increased fees. It must be remembered that this cost is substantially more impactful for the cruise lines that are already struggling to keep prices low and value high for passengers and have had to find other ways to cut costs in a time of other escalating charges (e.g. fuel prices). Many destinations do understand this and offer lower fees coupled with incentive packages in order to attract lines and receive a part of the economic impact that transcends the actual fees, i.e. the aforementioned passenger/crew spending and employment impact. Certainly, relationships between the cruise destinations and cruise lines are important for both parties, and both want to optimize the impact and costs. But this certainly cannot be done by capriciously raising fees, as cruise lines are going to use their advantage of movable assets to maximize value. However, if a destination is able to work and negotiate with the cruise lines, they can find mutually beneficial solutions that will lead to viable costs for the lines, significant contributions for the destinations and a lasting relationship. Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 25
Cruise Terminal Construction Begins in Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
arnival Corporation & plc and the Rannik family of Grupo B&R have begun construction on a joint project aiming to reestablish the Dominican Republic’s north coast as a popular cruise destination, reviving it from its 30-year dormancy. The project—the two-berth Amber Cove Cruise Center—represents one of the largest investments that the cruise industry has ever made in the Dominican Republic, weighing in at a whopping $65 million. Scheduled to open in 2014, this new facility will be able to
28 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
accommodate up to 8,000 cruise passengers and 2,000 crew members daily. In its first year of operation, Amber Cove Cruise Center is projected to host more than 250,000 cruise passengers, and it should see approximately 600,000 passengers in the first three years. There will be ample room for the passengers in the 30 acres of waterfront property that Amber Cove encompasses, and there will be no shortage of retail and touristic offerings, including a marketplace for locally sourced Dominican crafts
and souvenirs, an exciting water attraction and a wide range of themed restaurants and bars. A transportation hub will also be present to allow visitors easy access by land and sea to the surrounding destinations and attractions that will be available. Some of these attractions and tour offerings already exist in the area’s current and exciting infrastructure and offerings in place, such as Ocean World Adventure Park, historic Puerto Plata and its 4-mile boardwalk, Amber Museum, historical fort and much more. There are also many sensational future soft-adventure eco tours coming soon.
cruise passengers an exciting destination that is already thriving, but will soon have even more to offer. This is a project that shows the value of partnership and mutually beneficial relationships, so it is only appropriate that it stemmed from a presentation given during the FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show.
“This is a glorious day for the Dominican Republic. It is already being inscribed in the annals of our recent economic history as one of the most significant steps we have taken to assure the transformation and development of Puerto Plata, the northern region, and the entire country. With this cruise terminal, tourism and economic activity in Puerto Plata and the north region will rise to occupy a preeminent regional position in the entire Caribbean, showing that a combination of natural beauty, a supportive government policy, investment by a world-class company determined to put its trust in our country, and above all, the quality of our people, are key factors that can secure present and future generation sample growth opportunities in the tourism sector,” said President Leonel Fernández Reyna. “Carnival Corporation & plc is very pleased that this significant milestone has been reached, and we look forward to our continued cooperation with both the government of the Dominican Republic and local community to ensure we deliver a world-class destination when we welcome the first cruise visitors in 2014,” added David Candib, Carnival Corporation & plc’s vice president of port and destination development. The project was sparked to life during the 17th annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show, where the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism, spurred by President Leonel Fernandez and led by Francisco Javier Garcia, minister of tourism, made their case to the Member Lines’ executives and CEOs in attendance. “While at the FCCA Conference, we made a presentation of the province of Puerto Plata to the cruise lines executives. This is the most complete destination in the Caribbean. This presentation motivated Carnival Corporation executives to make this project,” said Minister Garcia. Indeed, the Amber Cove Cruise Center will have a great economic and touristic impact for the region of Puerto Plata and Dominican Republic as a whole while also offering
Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 29
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Cruise Line CEOs Discuss Trends and Upcoming Developments During 2012 Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry Address Despite concerns and controversy, the cruise industry is poised to continue its growth, riding the back of an expanding global market.
uring 2012’s Cruise Shipping Miami, the best-attended annual cruise gathering in history, attendees and cruise executives again congregated for the State of the Industry Address, where six cruise line executives discussed the significant topics and trends in cruising today. While January’s Concordia disaster and its impact still weighed on the minds of many, along with the possible effects of measures by the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) and the lingering economic woes, the executives delivered a positive message, one of record passengers; likely growth through widening penetration in markets such as China and India; establishing new destinations; developing and equipping new onboard technology; building innovative ships and revitalizing older ones; and relying on one of the industry’s secret weapons: travel agents. Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO
of Carnival Corporation and chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), served as the keynote speaker of the address and opened by saying the Costa Concordia tragedy affected not just one company, but the entire industry and offering his deepest sympathies for the families and loved ones of the victims, many of whom he has personally met through his travels. He also visited and paid tribute to the heroic efforts of Concordia’s crew, commending them on their efforts to evacuate more than 4,000 people, and the residents of Giglio Island, who opened their homes to passengers. Still, Frank spoke with pride about Costa’s brand, his commitment to Costa’s management, its heritage and even Italy’s deep-rooted maritime history. He also spoke with conviction about Costa’s route to return to prominence, especially in light of the announcement of Preziosa, which will
debut in 2013, and displayed this confidence and optimism on his lapel, where he had been wearing a Costa Cruises pin since the tragedy. He also spoke of the global response to the Costa Concordia catastrophe and how safety is the industry’s number one priority, mentioning a top-to-bottom industry safety review, result in a mandatory muster of all embarking passengers prior to departure. The new policy exceeds existing legal regulations and was voluntarily initiated by cruise line members of CLIA, the European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association. This safety is part of the responsibility of those in the industry, according to Frank, as is the safety of the environment. However, he reminded the attendees that they also had the privilege of bringing joy to passengers, and this joy was delivered to a record 16 million Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 33
passengers in 2011. Yet he does not see this record standing very long with the expected continued growth (some of which will be discussed later, but he also pointed out that bookings for the line were ahead of where they were at the same time last year, despite the Concordia disaster), so he advised the industry to look to the future before transitioning to the panel chat, which featured top cruise executives from Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America, alongside the panel moderator, Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. The address took on a different format this year, with the CEO panelists taking part in a round-table discussion, instead of making individual presentations. The discussion began with industry safety and regulations policies. Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, spoke about bridge management and the need for continuous improvement in safety practices, despite the industry’s excellent record. He mentioned that Royal has gone as far implementing a new training program in Fort Lauderdale, FL to bolster their bridge practices and techniques and focused on the fact that more than an hour passed before giving the abandon-ship order on Concordia, telling the audience that the “bridge team must be encouraged to speak up if they’re unsure that the ship isn’t doing exactly the right thing at the right time.” Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line, agreed with Goldstein that the industry is fundamentally safe, but conveyed that it needs to do a better job of communicating and explaining safety successes. “Our primary focus is on prevention,” 34 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “But sometimes things can go wrong, and we have to be prepared with a flexible plan.” Carnival’s plan includes identifying people to perform certain duties in the event of an emergency and training those who are both shipboard and shoreside. The third part of that plan is dealing with the post-crisis situation, especially with emotional/psychological needs. Carnival has 1,200 volunteers who make up its care team for this purpose. Celebrity Cruises relayed its practices through Dan Hanrahan, president and CEO. He detailed biweekly drills, crowd management and passenger assistance protocols and rules governing watertight doors and lifeboats. With a mostly European clientele, MSC Cruises pays careful attention to their ability to communicate in a variety of languages should an emergency arise, told CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. To foster this communication, the line features in-cabin videos, booklets and door plaques in several languages, along with training crew to communicate with guests. All panelists concurred that shipboard crew members are well prepared in emergency response and crisis situations because of their regular drills and training, and Kevin Sheehan, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line and chairman of the FCCA, suggested that increasing the visibility of officers would help ease safety concerns among guests. The discussion then turned to public health, a topic that continues to plague the industry due to norovirus outbreaks. However, Dan Hanrahan, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, promptly pointed out that the U.S. Public Health organization is a great partner to the industry and that it is the lines’ obliga-
tion to spread the word about health practices aboard ships. Another obligation that the lines have is social responsibility. Cahill noted that often when a natural disaster hits a port, the cruise industry is one of the first responders, and Goldstein added that the industry also is often a large supporter in the recovery process, such as efforts like Royal Caribbean building a school in Haiti long after the situation was off the media’s grid. However, social responsibility goes beyond aiding in recovery. Sheehan, who serves as chairman of the FCCA, spoke about the FCCA Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, such as donating Christmas gifts to underprivileged children, but he also mentioned that social responsibility includes building port infrastructure, keeping a commitment to the environment and promoting guests’ and crew’s shoreside spending. As mentioned, safeguarding the environment is one of the responsibilities of the industry, and the lines have historically watched their carbon step and held themselves to a higher standard than the regulations. But the regulations are scheduled to change significantly in the emission control areas (ECA). Goldstein relayed that he recently met with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the ECA regulations that go into effect August 1, 2012 and intensify to a draconian degree by 2015. Currently, cruise ships within 200 miles of the North American coastline can use fuel containing 1.5-2.5% sulfur. The new laws would require a reduction of 1% this year and a drop to 0.1% by 2015. Goldstein went on, with the support and echoes of Kruse and Cahill, to warn of the “profoundly negative consequences” for ports, the ramifications that could limit the choice of destina-
tions and homeports. Destinations, especially those in the North American/Pacific market, such as Alaska and Hawaii, are likely to see the same kind of shift as after Alaska’s 2009 cruise ship taxes. However, Goldstein enlightened the audience that every route is being reviewed to see how much time is spent in the ECA zone, which is already affecting deployment planning. But not just the destinations would suffer; many North American homeports would also see a decline. Cahill noted that Carnival Cruise Lines, which has the highest percentage of American homeports and itineraries, already had to pull out of Mobile, AL partly due to higher fuel costs and warned that when 2015 brings prices up another 50% under ECA requirements, “…this will affect homeports, not just destinations.” Duffy helped quantitate the potential damage by showing that the cruise industry generated $38 billion in economic benefits to the United States in 2010, but could see a drop-off of $1.5 billion and 14,000 jobs once the August regulations are imposed. Some of the objections from the cruise lines include the lighter regulations for land-based emissions and the fact that technology is not yet available for full compliance. Even acquiring the fuel itself is a complication, as availability is currently a question mark, though lines are trying to source the fuel needs for the west coast. The lines are attending to work with the EPA to hold discussions and present their case. “If we can have a reasonable dialogue, we may be able to avoid some of the unintended consequences,” stated Kruse. If this is not the case, homeports and destinations will see a shift of ships. Though this may have dire consequences for many destinations, home-
ports and the associated economies, it will not affect anything beyond itinerary planning in the cruise industry. The cruise industry is now far more global, so it is far less dependent on the North American market as in the past. Duffy pointed out that in 2000, nine percent of cruise passengers were international, a figure that tripled by 2010. The lines continue to source more passengers from these markets and send ships to seasonally homeport in order to massage this demand. Deployment to this market has surged without the aid of the ECA regulations, which would likely accelerate this global move. Kruse helped the audience understand the global possibilities by citing India and China. He said that if the industry could get just a one percent penetration in India and China, which he deemed plausible given the growth of the countries’ economies and the two to three percent penetration seen in the United States and Europe, that would mean 25 million new cruisers. Indeed, the ECA regulations could help the cruise industry again show how resilient it is. Meanwhile, the industry continues business as usual. Though the order book has slowed due to the economy, revitalizations have become the fleet-wide trends of most companies. It is easy to understand the premise behind this when looking at the fleetwide price tag of $500 million for Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, which incorporates Carnival’s latest offerings on its entire fleet, and the $740 million bill for Carnival Breeze. And as Hanrahan mentioned, “They feel like new ships when you’re done with them.” Yet there are still new builds on the way, with Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises to debut new ships over the next couple years.
has to help it thrive is travel agents themselves. Their value again became evident as they fielded calls of concerned future cruise passengers. As Cahill said, “…in the last couple of months, travel agents have very much demonstrated their value to the cruise industry. They’ve been great advocates for the safety of the industry. It’s been great to have a third party speaking on your behalf, and travel agents have done that.” As Cahill noted, the cruise industry was founded on the backs of travel agents, who have always been the main distribution system. Though there have been many changes over the last 10 years, Cahill stressed, “They will continue to be the main distribution channel.” This especially hold true in the homebased model, because “They have a reach. They can reach out to their local community, to their neighborhood associations; they can help us to attract firsttimer cruisers,” said Cahill. This is why Sheehan called agents the “lifeblood of the industry.” However, Cahill emphasized that the agents who will grow are those who vigorously market and sell, not those who just take orders, while Goldstein pointed out another characteristic that makes agents successful with the cruise industry: “They see themselves as investors in our industry.” And this is what we all are—investors in the cruise industry. Though we may have been worried about our dividend due to the wake of the Concordia disaster and the rough seas ahead with the looming ECA regulations, we see current bookings staying strong and poised to grow in the future through increased penetration of growing markets, establishment of new destinations, new ship builds and updated fleets, and relying on our investors.
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FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza Serves CEOs, Cruise Executives and Industry Players with Festivities and Networking Opportunities
he annual FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza has become one of the cruise industry’s premier social events by joining together some of the most important decision makers throughout the industry— cruise line executives, presidents and CEOs—along with the government officials, industry suppliers and private stakeholders for a festive social gathering with networking, relationship forging and idea cultivating served as hors d’oeuvres. March 14, 2012 marked the date for the 18th annual FCCA Gala and the second consecutive year that the event was hosted in the Miami Beach Convention Center, befitting because this is the home of Cruise Shipping Miami, which was in session during the week leading up to the Gala.
The crowd of over 400 first made their way to a 90-minute cocktail reception, which allowed time for the attendees to mix and mingle with the 38 cruise executives (five CEOs) while talking business or pleasure in a relaxed but engaging environment. Amidst the insightful conversations and flowing drinks, the cocktail reception was joined by a silent auction sponsored by Park West Gallery. Here, attendees bid on a wonderful selection of art provided by Park West, and over $35,000 was raised for the FCCA 38 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1993 to fund Caribbean and Latin American humanitarian projects, which has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens and provided more than $3 million for charities and humanitarian causes throughout the regions. Park West Gallery and this auction are immense supporters of the FCCA Foundation, as is the Gala itself, with all its proceeds benefitting the FCCA Foundation. Port Everglades and PortMiami also showed their backing by once again sponsoring the Gala and making the event possible. Though contributing to a worthy cause is reason enough in itself, the Gala offers so much more; it is invaluable in terms of connecting with key stakeholders. This was evident as guests made their way to the table where they would spend an elegant evening filled with first-class cuisine, fine wine and a table host that represented a cruise line executive or CEO that could help the Gala attendee forge or foster worthwhile business relationships, learn about the inner-workings or latest trends of the industry, collaborate with to cultivate ideas or just get a foot in the door. Purchasing a ticket for the Gala is not just a general admission; it is also a seat at the table of your choice of 36 tables hosted by CEOs and cruise industry executives from operations, tours,
itinerary planning, marketing and every other aspect of the industry. This blend of business in a social environment is why Michele Paige, president of the FCCA, said, “The annual Gala is the cruise industry’s premier social gathering, but it is really much more than that. It is a unique forum for the exchange of ideas and information crucial to our mutual growth and success in these challenging times.” Many others appreciated these networking opportunities and the atmosphere of the event, all present in one convenient place after chasing executives around the trade show floor all day. As David Candib, vice president, development and operations of Carnival Corporation, told, “The event is really a culmination of the last few days and gives everyone a chance to mingle on a more social level and really support the FCCA Foundation.” Even Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation, mentioned this jovial and engaging nature of the event, “It’s a fun event, and hopefully everybody enjoyed themselves and raised some money for a good cause.” “This is a very important event, probably
Photos by: Onboard Media
the biggest event of the year,” noted Russell Daya, director, marine, port, security operations and maritime affairs, Disney Cruise Line, who definitely seems to value the benefits and festivities of the Gala. One of these benefits is the maintenance of business relationships. It is crucial to sustain these relationships and stay up-todate on an industry as dynamic as cruising’s, which is why Bert Swets, vice president, marine and technical operations of Disney Cruise Line, stressed what he looks forward to during the Gala is “meeting everybody again and making sure we keep our relationships going.” While this event was again successful in its goal of bringing together key decision makers throughout the industry to network with the attendees in an engaging environment, the successes of the FCCA Foundation were on the minds of many. “This is a terrific event because we raise so much money for charity, and we get to meet other people in the industry,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited. The cause that the FCCA Foundation rep-
resents is one that is relatable to the attendees because they work with and live in the destinations that are impacted through its efforts. “To us, it’s an important part of what we do as a cruise line to give back to the communities that we visit,” told Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “What the Foundation does is it raises a lot of money, and we touch a lot of communities,” conveyed Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, commercial port operations of Carnival Cruise Lines. The personal involvement in the FCCA Foundation is evident in both their words and actions. Many executives and industry partners have assisted in cleanups, relief projects, orphanage donations and the annual Holiday Gift Project that brought smiles and gifts to over 6,500 underprivileged, deserving children throughout 30 destinations in 2011. This is probably why many see that as the focus of the Gala. “[The Gala] is the culmination of all the good efforts of the cruise industry to do something good for the well-deserving
people of all of the Caribbean,” shared Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line and chairman of the FCCA. Richard Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., surmised it well and succinctly in saying, “[The Gala] means a gathering of some great people who all have a common goal— that is to help the people in the Caribbean.” For that is exactly what this crucial event does every year; it gathers a prominent crowd of decision makers throughout the industry during Cruise Shipping Miami and gives a chance for any average Joe to have a chance to engage the cruise executives and CEOs in a comfortable but engaging atmosphere so that they can mix and mingle; talk about current trends, deployments, developments, etc.; forge or foster business relationships; get insight to market openings or how to tailor a product; and much more, all while supporting a worthy cause and having a great time. Be sure to mark the date on next year’s calendar. If you plan to attend Cruise Shipping Miami, you have no reason to miss 2013’s Gala Dinner Extravaganza on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 39
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The Making of A Forum By Liz Gammon, Manager Shore Excursions and Cruise services, Iceland Travel
As the manager of the shore excursion department at Iceland Travel, I donâ€™t have a huge marketing budget, and as such, I have to be very selective of how I go about spending it. I, like many others, was due to attend Cruise Shipping Miami that following March, and I figured that this would be the ideal time and platform from which to launch such a trailblazing venture. Given my restrictive marketing budget, the initial idea involved putting together an event that would include other professional women from around the globe and have them join me in funding it. I
Photos by Mary Bond, Seatrade Insider
he inaugural Professional Women in Cruise Forum took place on the 15th of March during Cruise Shipping Miami. I never once doubted that it would be a success, but that it would be such a huge success and that the initiative would be so loudly applauded was something that I will admit I had not quite expected. What started out as a somewhat simple marketing venture ended up as a journey of enlightenment revealing the many prolific roles of women in the cruise industry. It was in September 2011 following a cruise industry related trade show and conference that it struck me how many influential women I had the pleasure of meeting. Not just from the cruise executive side, but also my fellow exhibitors and conference attendees. I had the feeling that if these women could be brought together by way of an event, then it would provide the industry with something new and exciting.
Michele M. Paige with Iceland Travel's Liz Gammon
NCLÂ´s Michelle Diaz winner of the prize draw with Liz Gammon
contacted two colleagues whom I knew would be interested in supporting the idea (Anne Sommerfeld of Iberoservice and Monica Frisk of Helsinborg Business Region), and it basically grew from there. A total of 18 women from various countries signed up to act as sponsor hosts, and so began the task of pulling together an invitation list. Given that my area of interest is shore excursions, I freely admit that I previously had no idea quite how many women are involved in the cruise industry as a whole. Planning this event really opened
my eyes to this and is something that I find to be quite notable and inspiring. It became apparent whilst compiling the invitation list that numbers would have to be restricted, despite there being so many creative and talented women that deserved to be included. In fact, we could have involved many more than we eventually did, but it was decided that it would be better to take small steps and stay on the path than to move forward too quickly and run the risk of falling off track. Along with the
Second Quarter 2012 â€˘ Cruising Magazine 41
high interest level came the pressure of high expectation, and that’s when things began to pick up speed, and plans for our marketing breakfast took a slightly different turn. Delivering a great breakfast event in great company was all very well, but given the bespoke level of interest, maybe this meant that here lay the makings of an even bigger opportunity than was perhaps initially recognised, an opportunity to put down the foundations of an event with purpose and a chance to develop the role and understanding of women involved in the cruise industry. The question was how. It was thus decided to include a guest speaker. But who? It had to be someone highly respected within the industry, someone who had the experience to motivate and inspire us and, quite frankly, someone who would pull no punches. It was at this time that UBM Live, the organisers of Cruise Shipping Miami, stepped into the picture. They had heard of the event and contacted me to offer their help and assistance. The timing was perfect. Enter Ms. Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. Ms. Paige graciously agreed to act as our guest speaker at the inaugural event. Was I nervous? You bet I was! Facing me were 18 expectant sponsor hosts from 14 different countries along with 20 high level cruise executives representing such prolific cruise lines as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Norwegian Cruise Lines, Silversea Cruises, The World, Tui Cruises and the Carnival Corporation (to name a few). It was show time; the curtain was well and truly up; and there was no going back now. I need never have worried; my fears
42 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
were groundless. The minute that Ms. Paige started to speak, we were captivated. Forgoing the small stage and microphone set up in readiness, she chose instead to stride the floor and address us from ground level. Forget the microphone and spotlight; she didn’t need them! The first formidable words of her address were, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” and in listening to her story, it seems that we most certainly have. And whilst we have indeed come a long way, Ms. Paige assured us that we still have a long way to go. Our biggest asset is that as women, we are good value for money. (It is a known fact that women work longer hours for less pay and are low maintenance in that, more often than not, we do it without a word of complaint. We are also very good at taking the initiative and will complete the most menial of tasks commendably.) “That’s all well and good,” we were told, “but if you want change, then you have to speak up and take an active part in making that change.” She is right. We have come a long way, and yes, we still have a long way to go. But with the right attitude and focus, we can and will get there. At the end of that first breakfast forum, I had another one of those feelings. This one was telling me that in inviting Ms. Michele Paige to act as our guest speaker, things were indeed about to change. Initially intended as a networking breakfast, the idea of inviting her to speak meant that the event took on a different character. It gave it more of a direct purpose, and it provided an opportunity to give women involved in the cruise industry their well-deserved and long-awaited spotlight. It is now up to us how we go about using it. It is with great pleasure that I conclude this story by telling you that The
Professional Women in Cruise Forum will continue in its role of bringing together women involved in the cruise industry. Following the success of the inaugural venture, it will now be part of Cruise Shipping Miami’s official events. Be sure to keep an eye on the Cruise Shipping Events calendar and our group on Linked In for updates.
Helsinborg's Monica Frisk (top), Iceland Travel's Liz Gammon (middle), Ibersoservice's Anne Sommerfeld (bottom)
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THE ART OF THE UPSELL: A SNORKELING EXCURSION MODEL By Kevin Watt, Kapitol Reef in – san – i – ty noun: the act of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to be associated with the members of the FCCA and to attend many events and meetings. One of the overriding themes that are discussed at these activities is the desire to increase both customer satisfaction and the bottom line. We want our customers to be satisfied, because a satisfied customer is a returning customer, and a satisfied customer tells other people, who in turn become satisfied customers. THE ART OF THE UPSELL We have taken great pains to accommodate the needs of our customers in various ways. Food, entertainment, excursions, spa treatments, and photo ops are just a few of the areas where we go to great lengths to accommodate the varying wants of our customers, and we do this magnificently through the art of the UPSELL. For instance, when I recently went on a cruise, my wife and I toured the spa facility. My wife was interested in a massage. After taking the tour and discussing the various treatments available, we walked away with not only the massage, but also a highly attractive discounted bundled package of treatments – all because of the art of the UPSELL. So if we practice the art of the UPSELL in so many areas of the cruise experience, then why are we not utilizing it in our excursions, and more specifically, our snorkeling excursions? THE SNORKELING EXPERIENCE Snorkeling is one of the greatest opportunities for a customer to enjoy on their vacation. On a vacation, your customer may visit multiple destinations that teem with amazing water experiences. Anyone who doesn’t snorkel is literally missing a part of his or her vacation. Several factors may cause a customer not to want to participate in a snorkeling excursion – anxiety, fear, inexperience, etc. Others may have the “one and done” philosophy – a single snorkeling excursion and no more. What if there were a way to overcome the factors that both prevent people from snorkeling and entice them to book the excursions, as well as draw the “one and done” group back for multiple snorkeling excursions and set your tour apart from the others? The answer? If you enhance the SNORKELING GEAR, you enhance the EXPERIENCE! SHIFT OF PARADIGM: UNDERSTANDING OUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS Currently, the majority of our snorkeling excursion operators provide snorkeling gear as part of the excursion purchase. This snorkeling gear is an operating expense, and as such, diminishes the bottom line – the higher the cost of gear, the smaller the bottom line. This is the reason that most operators try to find the most inexpensive, workable gear, though there are those who spend more money on higher quality gear and sacrifice the bottom line. If this is you, then we need to change the way you think. We need to shift your snorkeling paradigm! Anywhere you go, you as a customer have options. When you go to a restaurant, you have the choice to supersize. When you a vehicle, you have choices to upgrade to leather or a better sound system. The key is that YOU HAVE A CHOICE! As an example, you visit your favorite fast food joint extremely thirsty. You get to the counter, and all they offer is the small cup size because the larger cups are more expensive than the smaller cups! How ridiculous is that? We’d complain! So think about your snorkeling customers. Why don’t we provide them with a similar choice? You may argue that there are those who are perfectly content with the excursion as it is. They want the excursion for as little as they can get it and aren’t worried about gear or having a bad experience. They have no interest in higher quality gear. Those are the customers that are content with the small cup because they aren’t that thirsty.
Second Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 47
What about your customers who want to have a great experience? What about those who are hesitant to go, but would purchase the excursion if they knew they had gear they could depend on? Any program that has the potential to attract more customers will most certainly impact your bottom line. THE SNORKELING EXCURSION MODEL Here is how it works. You provide your customers with the opportunity to purchase their own snorkeling gear to use on the excursion. Why would this be appealing to your customers? They have their own gear for the rest of their trip, as well as future trips – no need to use old, cheap gear that has been used by others. They have a much better snorkeling experience with higher quality gear. They know in their minds that you as an operator are truly providing them with opportunities to have the greatest experience possible. Why would this be appealing to you? Increased profit margins Greater customer satisfaction The experience your customer has gently shifts to them with choices More return customers New customer appeal HOW DOES IT WORK? The key is in the UPSELL. Here’s how it works: 1. Provide your customers with two options: a. Regular excursion b. Enhanced excursion With the enhanced excursion, the customer will PURCHASE THE GEAR and receive the excursion for FREE. While every excursion operation is different, here is an example of how it works: CURRENT MODEL Price charged to customer for snorkeling excursion: Operator costs: Profit margin:
$50 $25 $25
ENHANCED MODEL Price charged to customer for GEAR: Free excursion cost to operator: Product cost to operator: Profit Margin:
$129 $25 $60 $45
If you could capture even 10% of your customers on the upsell, just think what this would do to your bottom line! Do I have your attention? Is this something that appeals to you? While every operation is different, this excursion model can work in most situations. So the question is: Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone and try something that will improve your bottom line? If you are or know someone in your organization that this would appeal to, contact me directly at email@example.com or at 435-652-4606. I will make myself available to you one-on-one to develop a custom snorkeling excursion model that fits your needs.
48 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
Faces In The Industry Katia Samamé – Youth Staff, Royal Caribbean International Hola! My name is Katia Samame, and I am from Peru. I decided to join Royal Caribbean on May 20, 2006 as part of the Youth Staff, and I loved my job so much that here I am, 5 years later, still sailing the seven seas. My job is super fun; I get to play like a kid all day, meet amazing people and travel all around the world. I also get to learn about different cultures, places and even languages.
I speak English, Spanish and Polish, but currently I am trying to learn Italian and French. Luckily my job allows me to interact with the kids and their parents, who teach me new words every day.
I am happy and proud to work for a company like Royal Caribbean. This job has definitely changed my life; not only have I met great friends that are like family to me, but I also met the love of my life, my husband who works onboard with me. So what else could I ask for? I would love to meet you and welcome you to our beautiful ships. Cruising is by far the best way to travel, meet new people and relax, all at the same time. I strongly recommend it; I even cruise myself on my holidays! So what are you waiting for?
Accommodations Grand Suites: 10 Ocean view balcony Junior Suites, Ocean Suites and Spa Suites: 44 Ocean view with balcony: 851 Ocean view Staterooms: 221 Inside: 690 Ocean view and interior upper/lower staterooms: 29
Carnival Breeze Inaugural Cruise: June 3, 2012 Shipyard: Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani Shipyard Location: Italy Country of Registry: Panama Cruising Speed: 20 knots
50 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2012
Size & Capacities Tons: 130,000 Length: 1,004 feet Passengers: 4,891 Crew: 1,386
Crew Officers: Italian Hotel and cruise staff: International Homeport Barcelona Miami
A delegation representing the U.S. Virgin Islands led by the Honorable Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism (5th from the left), visits with the FCCA Operations Committee.
The FCCA Operations Committee meets Karine Roy-Camille, Chair of the Martinique Tourism Authority (7th from the left).
52 Cruising Magazine â€˘ Second Quarter 2012
Searching for a way to entice more guests to savor your finest ships? Try a port that consistently delivers enviable homeport passenger counts. Port Canaveral offers your guests relaxed arrival on uncongested highways, clear signage, stress-free parking and a spirit of ease that’s at the heart of the cruising mood. Plus this year we’re building an innovative new cruise terminal and third parking garage to make our easy-as-pie cruising experience even sweeter for you and your guests. VIDEOS GIVE YOUR GUESTS A TASTE FOR ENJOYMENT See videos that make it even easier for your guests to arrive at your ship, plus enjoy the multitude of pre-/post-cruise choices in Central Florida, in our interactive Cruise Guide at www.portcanaveral.com/fcca To ensure that you get your piece of this market, contact Cruise Development at 321-783-7831, extension 232. CARNIVAL DREAM | CARNIVAL ECSTASY | CARNIVAL SENSATION | DISNEY DREAM | DISNEY FANTASY NORWEGIAN SUN | ROYAL CARIBBEAN FREEDOM OF THE SEAS | ROYAL CARIBBEAN MONARCH OF THE SEAS