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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.
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FLORIDACARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION Executive Committee
THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE First Quarter 2012
Micky Arison Chairman & CEO Carnival Corporation
Spotlight 18 Colombia The only risk is wanting to stay.
Daniel J. Hanrahan President & CEO Celebrity Cruises 24 Curaçao, Growing as a Destination Curaçao shows its importance in the cruise industry and reason for being host of the 19th annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show.”
Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Cover Photo Credit: Proexport Colombia
Kevin Sheehan FCCA Chairman, CEO Norwegian Cruise Line
Stephen A. Nielsen Vice President, Caribbean & Atlantic Shore Operations Princess Cruises
10 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights
Ana M. Benitez Membership Administrator
46 Faces in the Industry
Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design
48 Meetings and Greetings with the FCCA
Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President
28 Carnival Corporation’s Development of Roatan and Beyond By David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Global Port & Destination Development Group - Carnival Corporation & plc 32 Accessible Shore Excursions By Paul Loughrin, Account Manager, Shore Excursions & Explorations, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises 44 Disney Fantasy to Debut with More Innovation, Fun and Disney Magic for the Entire Family
FCCA Foundation’s Holiday Gift Project Brings Gifts, Smiles and Holiday Cheer to Deserving Children
Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant
The Value of Tour Guide Training to the Caribbean
Justin Paige Manager, Communications, Research & Marketing
It’s Full Steam Ahead for Cruising in Martinique
Dolphin Cove’s Expansions: Much More Than Just Dolphins
James Kazakoff Senior Director, Event Operations
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
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.
First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 5
President’s Letter “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” - John F. Kennedy With the change of the year comes doubt if we ourselves need the change. The blank slate of the fresh calendar offers a chance to throw it all away, but in these times we must not worry about these delusions of destruction. Yes, we should think about our past and any errors that accompanied them while working on improving and building, but we need to build on a solid foundation that has been established through consistency, determination and hard work. Surely, preparation for the future is important, but we appeal to our past to do this. We look to our experience and knowledge when finding how to progress or expand. We use our current relationships and contacts to form new ones or assist us with future ventures. This is how the FCCA continues to evolve, as well, and this issue of Cruising should give you a glimpse into some of the ways that the FCCA Member Lines and Platinum Members are progressing and preparing for their future, such as David Candib’s, vice president, development & operations for Carnival Corporation, glimpse into Carnival’s development of cruise destinations, most specifically their recent efforts in Roatan; Paul Loughrin’s, account manager, shore excursions & explorations for Royal Caribbean International, recommendations of planning for the growing sector of disabled passengers; Martinique’s plans and developments that have led to more calls and home porting; Disney Cruise Line’s new ship of the future; Dolphin Cove’s continued expansion; and Aquila’s Tour Guide Excellence training program, which will help tour operators improve their product and is being offered at special rates for FCCA Associate and Platinum Members. FCCA’s own imminent future will be displayed as Curaçao discusses their past, present and future, which have all led to its position as host for the 19th annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show from October 1-5, 2012, and the FCCA Foundation’s Holiday Gift Project’s continued success will be showcased when you read about and see some of the thousands of smiles delivered to deserving children throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. I hope that this edition of Cruising provides some inspiration for your own future. May your year have smooth seas ahead. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President, FCCA
First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 7
PHOTO : Denis VINSON-CORBIS - © Comité du Tourisme des îles de Guadeloupe
Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante
the 5 sides of paradise Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board (European Office) 23/25, rue du Champ de l’Alouette - 75013 Paris Tél. : +33 (0)1 40 62 99 07 - Fax : +33 (0)1 40 62 99 08 E-mail : email@example.com www.lesilesdeguadeloupe.com
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Unprecedented Enhancements in Martinique’s Welcome Lures Cruise Lines
Never has Martinique experienced such a collective momentum in its cruise tourism policy. Local leaders have set tourism development and cruise tourism, in particular, as a top priority. An island-wide campaign highlighting the importance of tourism, entitled “Builders of Paradise,” is currently being promoted to show the population the importance of their contribution to tourism development. Today, there is a keen interest and commitment among the people of Martinique to deliver the best services, organization, and experience to their cruise guests. The downtown waterfront promenade has been completely rebuilt into a lively attraction, and the adjacent 12-acre park has been renovated to provide a welcome spot for cruise visitors. Exciting memorable new shore excursion options are now offered. Thanks to these improvements, Martinique has become a leading cruise destination and is registering a sharp increase in its cruise traffic.
year. The 3,080-passenger Crown Princess and the 2,700-passenger Disney Magic will begin sailing to the Caribbean in the fall. They will join Carnival Magic, Carnival Triumph, and Mariner of the Seas, the fleet that currently calls the Port of Galveston their home. The Port has invested $12.5M into preparations for its upcoming cruise season, including $3.5M for a state of the art FMT gangway, the largest in the world. In addition, the Port expanded its Cruise Terminal 1 to an astounding 257,657 square feet, making the facility the largest in the world. Upgrades include flat screen monitors that display cruise information, seating capacity for over 4,000 passengers, and a remodeled VIP waiting area. Port of Tampa The Port of Tampa is a thriving homeport to five vessels representing Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line and offering a variety of itineraries. Tampa is an attractive cruise port with convenient covered parking within walking distance to the ships and close proximity to top-rated theme parks, beaches, and one of the nation’s best airports.
Everything Is Bigger and Better at Texas’s Star Cruise Port
Norwegian Cruise Line began their inaugural homeport season with Norwegian Star in fall 2011 to be followed by Norwegian Dawn in 2012. Other ships homeporting in Tampa are Carnival Legend, Carnival Paradise, Holland America Line’s Ryndam and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas.
The Port of Galveston is pleased to announce that both Princess Cruises and Disney Cruise Line have decided to homeport two ships in Galveston this
Tampa’s cruise terminals offer enhanced efficiency and passenger comfort, thanks to $3.5 million in recent renovations.
10 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
Tampa’s proximity to the western Caribbean and world-class terminal facilities have established the Port of Tampa as a favorite homeport by passengers and cruise lines alike. Dolphinaris Cozumel
Nestled upon a glittering sea and close to the best shopping and restaurants in the heart of Cozumel, Dolphinaris Cozumel offers an incredible experience that guests will remember for years to come. A breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea with a fisherman village design has positioned it as the most beautiful dolphin facility in the world. In addition, it offers protection from rough weather and strong currents found in an open ocean setting. The four natural rock lagoons of natural seawater are supported by a robust 200horsepower pump system that delivers a 120-minute turnover ratio to the 1.6 million gallons of water volume. Onboard Media Launches iPad App for Cruise Shopping Programs
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Onboard Media moves ahead in the digital sphere with a new iPad application that adds cutting-edge technology to the fun of shopping on vacation. The exclusive app, the latest amongst the company’s digital media initiatives, shows hundreds of images of brands featured in the company’s cruise shopping programs. The app is currently used by Onboard Media shopping guides on the Caribbean itineraries of Carnival Cruise Lines’ 23 ships and 9 Princess Cruises ships, and it will soon be expanded to Alaska. Onboard Media developed the app with the assistance of DFS, its sister company in worldwide travel retailer LVMH (Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) Group, which allowed Onboard Media to customize DFS’ existing app structure.
enue. Clients include MAVCO, IT Centricity and Blend Craft Wines. Special projects were also completed for the Ports of Mayaguez and St. Maarten. During the year, Roger was a guest speaker at the American Association of Port Authorities Cruise Seminar and at Seatrade Europe, as well as appearing as an expert witness on behalf of a cruise line. Roger’s background is in every phase of the cruise industry. He knows what is important to cruise lines and to their guests. He can help make your destination and product fit the needs of the industry and help market to the right cruise line decision makers. Be One with Belize
“The iPad app is a dynamic way for our shopping guides to present brands to cruise guests; it immediately grabs their attention,” says Sarah Beth Reno, Onboard Media president. “Cruisers love to browse dazzling jewelry and watches with just a swipe of their finger!” Cruise and Port Advisors, Inc. Gets out of the Gate Running
Cruise and Port Advisors, Inc. opened its doors for business in 2011. Headed by cruise industry veteran Roger Blum, it got off to a great start, representing Mobile, Alabama and Martinique, as well as companies with offerings that enhance the cruise experience while reducing costs and increasing rev-
Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, is one of the last unspoiled places on earth. A short visit on a cruise will entice you to return for a longer stay. We invite you to be one with Central America’s largest network of caves. Be one with the Caribbean gateway to the Maya world. Be one with this hemisphere’s largest barrier reef. Once you’ve left the ship, embark on unique adventures sure to reward every member of the family. Or discover the perfect romantic honeymoon getaway. Experienced guides can provide you with an incredible variety of activities in one of the most unforgettable countries you’ll
ever visit. The possibilities in Belize are endless. For more information on your cruise stop in Belize, visit us at www.travelbelize.org or call 800-6240686. Be one with Belize. Explora Caribe Tours
We live a world that is gradually changing towards a more ecologically conscience style of life, and based on this, Explora Caribe Tours was established in order to fulfill that necessity of an eco-friendly hunger of adventure. Explora started in Cozumel in the year of 1996 with just one jeep tour, but now we offer you an array of tours in over 8 different ports throughout Mexico, making Explora one of the most significant tour operators in Mexico, assuring quality, safety, and off-the-beaten-path tours that you’ve come to expect from us. We want you to have a great adventurous experience on your vacations in Mexico, so hop on a tour with us. Our experienced guides, creative & fun activities, and up-to-date vehicles with the best safety features will guarantee that you have the time of your life while creating virtually no carbon footprint! Saint Lucia to Strike up the Band for Saint Lucia Jazz Saint Lucia Jazz, now in its 21st year, will feature some of the best live perforFirst Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 11
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights mances from renowned local, regional and international superstars, with celebrated performer and multiple Grammy winner Lionel Richie headlining this year’s festival. The 2012 event, taking place April 30 – May 13, will feature over fifty artists performing against diverse Saint Lucian locales, from the signature Atlantic Ocean backdrop of the Pigeon Island National Landmark to quaint and rustic village settings like Fond D’Or in Dennery, Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie and Seaside jazz at duty-free Pointe Seraphine in the heart of Castries. Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—a tropical rainforest and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. For more information, visit www.saintlucianow.com Goddards Shipping & Tours Awarded Hospitality Assured Certification
General Manager Mr. Rovel Morris & Mrs. Nicki King, Business Development Manager receiving the plaque from Mr. Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization
Three Caribbean tourism businesses have scored “firsts” while enhancing their reputation for high standards of service quality by earning Hospitality Assured (HA) certification, a symbol of service and business excellence in the 12 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
tourism and hospitality arena. Amongst them, Goddards Shipping & Tours of Barbados is the first shipping agent and tour operator in the region to earn this distinction. They have the Hospitality Assured framework in place, which helps them continuously raise their service quality standards within their individual businesses, focus on their customers’ needs in all aspects of their business, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and improve overall business performance. Over the past several months, the management team and staff of Goddards Shipping & Tours Ltd. maintained outstanding grades in rigorous reviews given by external assessors—including challenging, testing and ultimately strengthening internal systems in business planning, customer service, and training and development—leading to their certification. General Manager Mr. Rovel Morris described certification as “an extremely rewarding accomplishment” that was in keeping with the company’s vision to be the region’s market leader in all areas of operations, recognized and sought after for exceptional service. “The Hospitality Assured Programme certification process allowed us to give tangible expression to the elements and conditions of service delivery that will allow us to achieve that vision consistently. It has been an invaluable tool in aligning our business processes with that vision and galvanizing the commitment of our team towards that end. We are a proud recipient of the certification and would recommend the process without hesitation,” he said. Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies. It is owned by the
Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the region. Caribbean supporting institutions include the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, which collects and distributes benchmarking data on the programme, as well as the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), which is the region’s assessment body for the programme. Funding support for the pilot phase of the programme was provided by the European Union/PRO€INVEST programme and the Organization of American States. Goddards Shipping & Tours is one of the leading shipping agents and tour operators in Barbados with over 50 years of experience. The full service agency department offers a range of marine services, including cruise. The destination management department (Goddards Destination Management Company) also provides a broad spectrum of services, including the entire range of destination services, such as transfers, island tours, shore excursions, meet & greet services, air/sea exchanges, accommodation, group handling and incentive planning. GS&T also manages two attractions, the Cockspur Beach Club and the Barbados Concorde Experience. American Guard Services, Inc. Stands above the Rest in Maritime Security
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights American Guard Services, Inc. has been servicing several cruise lines for many years as their primary provider of security guard services, such lines as Costa Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line for embarkation, debarkation and onboard security. What makes American Guard Services stand out to these cruise lines is our expertise in maritime security, coupled with our outstanding delivery of customer service. We want the cruise lines’ clients to enjoy every moment of their time with the cruise line from the ticket counter to the return trip home. We have recently changed our uniforms to help project the professional, courteous and secure feeling we want to relay to every person we are in contact with. We will continue to excel in our specialty – maritime security with a special edge of customer service and consistent delivery of that service.
Philadelphia non-profit whose mission is to bring arts and cultural opportunities to the full range of underserved audiences in the community. Launched in July 2010, Park West Gallery CARES initially limited its outreach to organizations in the Detroit, MI and Miami, FL areas where Park West Gallery has physical locations. Park West extended the outreach initiative nationwide in 2011 and continues the program throughout 2012. Florida recipients have included the Youth Arts Corp in Tampa and the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. Caribbean Cruise Shipping Tours
Park West Gallery Continues Arts Education and Outreach Programs As the only red carpet tour and activities company in the Caribbean, we offer personalized services and look out for the interests of all our clients. Our integrity and professionalism in the tourism industry have earned us national awards. We are indeed the most experienced in cruise tour operations over the last 35 years. Park West Gallery has continued its Park West Gallery CARES program into the year 2012 with artist talks and donations scheduled throughout the country. Park West Gallery artist Marcus Glenn, whose work has been inducted into the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, recently gave an arts appreciation lecture to art students in Philadelphia. The artist talk and donation was coordinated by Park West Gallery and Art-Reach, a
We are always willing to work with our partners to improve their clients’ experience. Our guests are always amazed by our attention to details, and many have remained our friends over the years. We guarantee our ability to perform and deliver the real Jamaican experience. (Our Service offers the good old time, Jamaican Hospitality.)
FMT Mobile Elevating Gangway at Port of Galveston, TX
On November 11, 2011, Port of Galveston—the leading cruise port in the Gulf of Mexico—welcomed Carnival Magic to its homeport. To properly serve the ship’s 4,000+ passengers, FMT of Trelleborg, Sweden had been commissioned to design and build a new mobile elevating gangway, the world’s biggest gangway system. The innovative design of the gangway allows passage through two different levels of the terminal. With the gangway’s flexible cross connection tunnel system, the walking distance for the passengers is automatically minimized. The FMT patented shipside Dual Transition Ramps increases the passenger flow. The gangway is equipped with online service by 3G/GPRS and has a semi-automatic control system by PLC and automatic adjustment for tidal variations and ship movements. News from Mexico The AMEPACT (Mexican Cruise Assoc.) is working together with the ports and state officials on a new product, “The Sea of Cortes Route,” which offers a new option for passengers. This route contemplates a homeport in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), close to Arizona, and the ports of call are: Guaymas, Loreto, Topolobampo, La Paz, and Cabo San Lucas. This route will give tourists a new experience, a chance to visit new First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 13
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights destinations and enjoy the unique experience of visiting one of the best train rides in the world in the port of Topolobampo – the Chihuahua Pacifico, which goes to the Copper Canyon. The Sea of Cortes, called “the aquarium of the world ” by Jaques Cousteau, has enormous potential with its variety of marine life and quaint ports of call, such as Loreto, which has recently received the status of “Pueblo Magico” (magic town). Puerto Peñasco (rocky point) is located just a few hours from Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona and convenient to San Diego for supplies, which makes it an excellent option for a homeport. The G-20 event, where the presidents of the most important economies of the world will meet, takes place in Cabo San Lucas June 18 and 19 this year. This reunion will put Cabo San Lucas in the eye of the world as one of the most important and popular touristic destinations. Puerto Vallarta has just finished the remodeling of the “malecon,” giving it a fresh and beautiful new look. This “malecon” is one of the main attractions of the town, where shops, restaurants, galleries, and bars are located. Passengers of cruise lines will now enjoy one of the prettiest sea walks of the world.
14 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
Jimmy Buffett’s Cozumel
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 lots of fun and FREE activities. Snorkel gear is available for both kids and adults; jump into our giant trampolines; climb our floating iceberg; dive into the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea; or just chill out sipping a perfect margarita in our seaside deck. Atlantis Splashes Out with $60M Injection A year of major expansion and
development is expected for Kerzner International’s Paradise Island properties. Kerzner International’s President and Managing Director George Markantonis told Guardian Business that the resort’s management is planning an expansion of its aquatic features in an effort to attract more cruise passengers. “For us, 2012 is going to be very expansive in terms of product development. With the increased demand for cruise passengers, we continue to look at all of our water features where consideration is being made to expand them,” said Markantonis. He also revealed that close to 1,000 rooms will be renovated this year. The plans for these initiatives, which will cost approximately $60 million, are likely to be ratified by mid-February. “We are continuing with the capital programs. We are up to $65 million a year in capital expenditure, which means that is what we are investing in our properties, keeping what we already have fresh and adding new and exciting features, activities, entertainment and new accommodations,” Markantonis shared.
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As a leading partner of the FCCA and the cruise industry, the Cayman Islands is thrilled to welcome your clients to our friendly shores. Whether they’re interested in spending a day touring some of our more famous attractions, like the Cayman Turtle Farm, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park or Pedro St. James Castle, visiting the scores of duty free shops, restaurants and cultural sites in downtown George Town, or simply whiling away the hours on legendary Seven Mile Beach, your clients will marvel at how much there is to see and do in our little corner of paradise.
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he excitement and wonder of the Colombian Caribbean Coast invites international visitors to discover the port cities that provide sizzling tastes and inspiring scenery like no other. From the vibrant contemporary city of Cartagena de Indias to the oldest city of continental America, Santa Marta, to the archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, where Indian cultural heritage and extraordinary diversity of landscapes and beaches mix, Colombia welcomes cruise passengers to a unique experience in Colombia. Colombia invites you to fall in love with the city that inspired Noble Prize-winning novelist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Travel through Cartagena’s rich history and culture— now a UNESCO World Heritage site—and see why this modern hub in Latin America is amongst some of the favorite leisure destinations. Discover the secrets of the Tayrona Natural Park and the 18 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
beauty of Santa Marta, where the highest coastal mountaintops in the world overlook the depths of the Caribbean Sea. At about 435 miles northwest of the continental Colombia coast, the “sea of seven colors” and white sand of the archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina await to be discovered through snorkeling, scuba diving and diverse water sports that can be enjoyed all year round. The capital, San Andres, offers lively restaurants, bars, nightlife and a free port with no value-added tax. The rest of the islands, Providencia and Santa Catalina, are joined by a pedestrian bridge called the Lovers Bridge, which further evokes the emotion during your next visit. Let the beat of reggae and socca Caribbean music and the flavors of local seafood bathed in coconut milk seduce you to Colombia, where the only risk is wanting to stay.
Where the best cruise ships launch and the greatest getaways begin. Just outside Port Everglades, another getaway awaits, featuring dining, shopping, beaches and fun. Upgrade every cruise with a stay in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Call Alan Hill at 800-421-0188, 954-523-3404 or visit www.porteverglades.net
FCCA Foundation’s Holiday Gift Project Brings Gifts, Smiles and Holiday Cheer to Deserving Children
n the Caribbean and Latin America, the holiday season is not heralded by a white cloud of fresh snowfall. While carolers begin to notice that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” citizens and tourists are still basking in the sun and splashing in the seas. Since the climate is hardly inhabitable for reindeer, the FCCA, Member Lines and destinations have come together for the past 16 years to assist Santa in providing gifts to deserving, underprivileged children in the Caribbean and Latin America through the FCCA Foundation’s Holiday Gift Project.
Last December again displayed the importance of this project, as over 6,500 children who would not have had any presents under their Christmas trees (or even a Christmas tree, for that matter) in 32 destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America were able to share in the yuletide festivities and joy because of this event put together by the FCCA Foundation, FCCA Member Lines and the efforts of many throughout the destinations and onboard the participating vessels. Mark L. Pells, hotel manager, ms Noordam, Holland America Line, highlights some of the activities that took place during their celebration, along with the impact that it had on both the children and participants: “The day was a success from start to finish. We had several hundred officers and crew donate their time to make this 22 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
happen. All of the schools were met with big cheers on the pier, promptly stickered and brought onboard to a great feast in our Vista Dining Room, where they were treated with all sorts of tasty foods, sweets and attention from everyone. Each child had a balloon tied to their wrist, which made the whole event festive. After lunch, they were escorted to the Vista Lounge in a procession through the ship and all of our holiday decorations, where 100s of guests were already waiting for them. Our guests stood and cheered as the children entered and donated money for the FCCA's future endeavors, expressing their appreciation for the work that [the FCCA] does. Our entertainers put on a big show for them. All total with the children, almost 800 people were in the audience! A surprise visit form the Prime Minister of Curacao was a big hit, followed by a special song and dance from our holiday elves. But the biggest applause was reserved for the fat, jolly man himself - Santa Claus! But when we thought the excitement could not get any better, it went through the roof when the multiple tables piled high with gifts were brought out and given to the children. We finished the event by keeping the kids on stage, one last touching song by our cast and some tearful goodbyes as we brought the kids back to their waiting buses, while the passengers lined the upper decks cheering and waving." Indeed, the excitement is palpable and electric; it is easy to understand how the passengers can be charged by seeing the children light up with their smiles upon receipt of presents
they would not have gotten otherwise, as the children are selected from orphanages and other deserving institutions.
“We realize that the community looks forward to this gift giving. This is the most joyous time of the year, and giving and sharing is what kids look forward to, and we look forward to assisting to give that joy.” - Martha Rolle, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Margaret Jones of the Jamaica Tourist Board shares a story that shows some of this enthusiasm and appreciation that the children exhibit while also touching on some of the individualized festivities that the children and participants experience in the different destinations:
"We are very elated that the port of Falmouth was included in the FCCA's gift-giving project, and we look forward to next year when we'll do this all over again! Thanks to the entire team from the Oasis of the Seas! Santa...who was ‘right at home’ with the children handed out the toys. One little girl was so overcome with happiness that she insisted that Santa accept her gift to him...a Jamaican fifty-dollar bill! It was a beautiful experience; the crew was right at home with the children as we sang and danced to a local mento band. Of course we had the stilt walkers entertaining as we all taught the crew how to dance Reggae! On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board, I wish to express our gratitude for all your efforts over the years, and in particular with our newest addition in Falmouth." This rapture experienced by the children is why all those who assist with this project are so impassioned and excited to do so every year. It is why Katherine Quiestas, group service
coordinator access officer, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Cruise Line, tells, “It was an honor to be part of the event. My team was very thankful as well that they were able to experience this and it was really a heartwarming experience for each and every one of us."
Martha Rolle, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, also displays this fervor for the project’s cause and effects and her willingness to assist: “We realize that the community looks forward to this gift giving. This is the most joyous time of the year, and giving and sharing is what kids look forward to, and we look forward to assisting to give that joy." It would be difficult to not share the joy of the children as they received gifts while knowing that they would not have had this privilege without this project. It is too easy for some of us to take a “normal” Christmas for granted, but these children and participants truly enjoyed and appreciated every moment and will cherish their gifts and memories for time to come. This is exactly why the FCCA Foundation exists—to improve the lives of those less fortunate throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, primarily for children’s causes. Every smile is a reminder of this mandate and is more than worth the millions provided for causes and projects like these over the Foundation’s 18-year existence. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 23
Curaçao, Growing as a Destination Curaçao shows its importance in the cruise industry and reason for being host of the 19th annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show
uraçao is getting ready for the 19th annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show from October 15 of this year. The reason to host this event is very simple to describe. It is not because Curaçao is a superb host and has shown this in the past with numerous conferences. It is because Curaçao has an envisioned plan that is going to be presented during this year’s conference. The island has been growing in a lot of ways, and its maturity is emerging. On October 10, 2010, Curaçao became an autonomous part in the Dutch Kingdom. This development in governmental affairs dissolved the former Netherlands Antilles status. Together with sister island Sint Maarten, Curaçao has become a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a position Aruba, another sister island, took since 1986. As a result, the islands are coming together as equal partners to discuss future opportunities. Curaçao is also growing in economic sense. For many years, the island was 24 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
known for its oil refinement and also for its financial sector, which are still strong pillars in the nation’s diverse economy today. Over the last few years, tourism has become the third economic pillar on the island. Namely a Dutch market, the destination is quickly transforming into a global tourist destination. The increased interest from other European countries is visible with new non-stop flight itineraries. The substantial growth of the US market over the last years is also proving this progress. Airline carriers have daily or regular non-stop flights from many destinations all over the Americas and the Caribbean to the island. The Latin American market is one of the fastestgrowing markets in stay-over tourism, due to island’s proximity and its multinational, but familiar, feel that appeals to the Latin market. Spanish is widely spoken, just as English and Dutch, appealing to myriad visitors from multiple markets. Even the local Creole language ‘Papiamentu’ has a very Spanish and Portuguese feel to it. These are just a few reasons why land-based tourism is growing and new routes are
being scheduled every year to this unique and charming destination called Curaçao. The cruise business is also growing in giant steps. Within five years, the total of cruise tourists has grown from just over 300,000 cruise passengers a year to over 500,000 passengers this season. Not only is the industry changing with the deployment of bigger ships, but there is also a shift occurring in the source markets. Because of Curaçao’s geographical position and accessible intercontinental heritage, the island is experiencing this increase. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines stepped into the Latin American market with a vessel departing from Panama on a southern Caribbean itinerary calling on Curaçao, alongside the long-running and undisputed itinerary from Puerto Rico. Pullmantur, the Spanish affiliate, is making almost the same southern Caribbean route from Colombia with a lot of success and even deployed a bigger ship. After an absence of many years, Carnival Cruise Lines started out last year with one ship calling Curaçao
and has confirmed three ship deployments for the coming season. Princess Cruises has been a steady factor over the last few years and is expanding its capacity to Curaçao, becoming one of the biggest benefactors of the island. Holland America Line is a familiar face to the island through its Dutch heritage connections, and a season without HAL ships would be unimaginable. Next season, Holland America will make the most calls to the island than any other cruise line. The island is also in anticipation of Celebrity Cruises, as it had its peak in calls over the last years and offers unique itineraries to more remote destinations. Much is expected of the enormous increase of calls from Norwegian Cruise Lines to Curaçao in the next two seasons. Major European Lines, such as Aida, Costa, P&O and Cunard, along with smaller lines like Fred Olsen, Thomson Cruises, TUI and even Kristina Cruises from Finland are calling Curaçao with great regularity, making Curaçao a widespread gathering place for all nationalities. A brief analysis of the cruise markets on Curaçao shows that 35% of the market
is non-US, and this number is increasing steadily every year.
the universal design to be disabled/handicapped accessible.
The Government of Curaçao is aware of this growing interest and is using all its effort to promote and accommodate these positive developments, especially for the cruise sector and tourism in general. The decision has been made that a new berthing outside the harbor, adjacent to the existing T-shape jetty popularly referred to as the second megapier, will be constructed to adequately facilitate the demand of calls from larger cruise vessels. The plans are in an advanced stage. To service the new berth, together with the existing one, new land-based infrastructure will be created to offer a friendlier reception to the visitors of the island. This new terminal will consist of small buildings, creating space for an easy flow of passengers, access to the tours and a passage to easily walk to the inner-city, which is within walking distance of the unique floating bridge and the picturesque Dutch architecture. The ‘cruise village’ will enhance the touristic experience; have amenities and services for passengers and crew; and comply with
The Port of Willemstad has limited berths for large cruise vessels and can be congested in the high season. Therefore, the construction of a second berth outside the harbor entrance is necessary. But Curaçao has more to offer than only one harbor. On the southeast side of the island, about 8 miles from the inner-city, is the Caracas Bay peninsula. The beautiful bay has two existing T-shaped jetties, and the surrounding lends itself perfectly to major sustainable development, creating a one-of-akind touristic attraction. New ideas to berth cruise vessels in this bay are being put on the table again. These are just a few of the many aspects that validate Curaçao’s present and future significant role in the industry, strides the island is taking to continue this role and why the 2012 annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show will be in Curaçao. This will be the start to a new era of further development of Curaçao and the cruise industry. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 25
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 PIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Carnival Corporation’s Development of Roatan and Beyond
By David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Global Port & Destination Development Group - Carnival Corporation & plc
ost people in our industry will agree that an important part of our job as either a cruise operator or vendor is to offer diverse destinations and experiences for both repeat and new passengers. As part of the Global Port & Destination Development Group at Carnival Corporation & plc, we focus on addressing these issues among others, both in terms of embarkation ports and ports of call.
Over the years, we have been involved in myriad port and destination developments from long-term port and financing agreements for new and/or improved berthing facilities in St. Maarten, New York City and Port Everglades to building and operating a home port in Long Beach, California and three transit ports in Caribbean and Central America: Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico; The Grand Turk Cruise Center in the Turks & Caicos Islands; and The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center on the island of Roatan, Honduras. We were also part of the team that developed Mystic Mountain Rainforest Bobsled Adventure in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and recently announced an exciting new 28 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
cruise port development on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. One of our most successful projects is the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which has enabled Roatan to become one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean since its grand opening in 2009. Roatan is the largest and most developed of the islands comprising Honduras’ Bay Islands Chain (Utila and Guanaja being the other two islands). Roatan rests on the extreme western Caribbean, approximately 285 nautical miles south of Cozumel. For comparison purposes, Belize is about 201 nautical miles from Cozumel, and Costa Maya is approximately 120 nautical miles from Cozumel. The island of Roatan is a tropical island about 40 miles long (in comparison, St. Thomas is about 13 miles long) and boasts lush mountains, beautiful beaches, and amazing reefs. Although Spanish is the official language of Honduras, English is widely spoken on Roatan, and the island has had a storied past, being home to a wide array of pirates, traders
and military forces since Christopher Columbus came to the islands on his fourth voyage in 1502. The island has a mountainous landscape and breathtaking coastlines with white sandy beaches, which is perfect for day hikes, quiet strolls or numerous ecotourism opportunities. In addition, Roatan is surrounded by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second in size only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, making its waters a favorite destination for divers, snorkelers and fisherman the world over. Roatan’s natural beauty, location and offerings played a key role in our consideration for evaluating the destination as a new cruise port development. As far as a background in cruise tourism, in 1999 the island had 25 calls bringing about 54,000 passengers. Fast forward to 2003 when we began to evaluate port development options for the Central American region, which included Roatan along with research into possible port projects in Belize and Guatemala based on the steady increase in both western Caribbean deployments and growth in
Gulf of Mexico homeport choices. By 2004 Roatan welcomed 266,000 passengers on 166 calls, thus clearly indicating to us that additional port development would be needed to accommodate the expected future growth. It was then that we met Jerry Hynds, a successful Roatan businessman, former two-term mayor and congressman. Hynds owned land that seemed ideally situated in a picturesque cove a few miles northeast of the current cruise port facility, but more importantly, he shared our passion and vision to create a new world-class cruise port on the island; thus our joint venture was formed. Construction on the $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center started in mid-2008, which marked an exciting new chapter for both Carnival Corporation & plc and the island of Roatan. While it took nearly six years develop this project into a reality, the people of Roatan always welcomed us and opened their minds to what we had hoped to create. Through the years of design and overall development review we received overwhelming support from the mayor, governor, congressmen and federal government, and in the end it was certainly worth the wait! Mahogany Bay, which opened in December of 2009, is capable of hosting two post-Panamax cruise ships and 7,000 plus passengers and 2,000 crew a day. After just a little more than two years in operation, we had already welcomed more than 1 million passengers! What’s the secret behind this port’s success? Well, that’s rather easy to answer, given that the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center encompasses 20 acres of lush waterfront property and a spacious welcome center with a wide variety of retail shops, restaurants and bars, along with a 10-acre private island featuring a long and wide white-sand beach offering guests a myriad of water sports and activities, including private beachfront cabanas for rent. Not to be missed is hopping on the Magical Flying Beach Chair to experience a once-in-a-lifetime experience and ride
that offers incredible vistas of both the island and cruise center while dropping off beachgoers just steps from the ocean. The guest experience at both Mahogany Bay and Mahogany Beach, along with the array of shore excursions and offerings of Roatan, have made the port call one of the highest rated in the region.
area’s precious natural resources. For example, in each of the three transit ports we have created coral reef and beach etiquette cards working alongside governmental agencies to ensure we educate visitors about respecting the environment so future generations can enjoy the same experience as visitors of today.
With Roatan’s keen focus on tourism as its most important sector, it’s no wonder that passenger arrivals increased 578 percent in just 10 years (2002-2011). The warm and welcoming attitude of its people, lush and tropical landscape, turquoise waters and myriad land-based offerings, along with the support from government to incentivize new developments, should keep Roatan atop the cruise map for many years to come.
We have also implemented specialized training to the communities by means of Johnson and Wales University hospitality and cruise industry programs, FCCA’s taxi pride training and various town hall meetings and publications. One of the biggest impacts our developments can have is serving as a vital economic engine to the destinations via direct and indirect employment, significant expenditures from our own operations to purchases by both the passengers and crew.
Moving forward our strategy will be to continue focusing on identifying one-ofa-kind and unique port and destination developments in the region along with continually improving the experience at our current cruise port operations. As both stewards of the environment, always a consideration for selecting a destination, and of local community relations, we spend a great deal of time and resources to help preserve and protect the
Our experiences over the last decade have taught us that no two projects are alike, and we are always up to a new challenge of delivering the same kind of excitement and experience for all who may visit. We look forward to working with our port partners on future projects that benefit the local community while providing our guests with exciting landside experiences. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 29
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Photo credit : Gumbs Taxi & Tours
Accessible Shore Excursions By Paul Loughrin, Account Manager, Shore Excursions & Explorations, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises
As a tour operator, can you provide accessible tours in your port of call? This question was a hot topic at one of the workshops held at the FCCA conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, titled “Today’s Guest.” This subject raised numerous questions from tour operators, and we spent the better part of two hours discussing it at length and what challenges it presents. We were impressed by the simple fact that the majority of tour operators are eager to assist and provide the required services, but what they needed to know was what the cruise lines want or better yet, what do our guests with special needs want? “During the past few years, the cruise industry has experienced a steady and significant growth in the volume of special needs guests cruising. This is due to the accessibility
32 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
offered onboard the ships, and Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are no exception.” Bertha Valentin, Royal Caribbean International, Shore Excursions, Access Requests All guests like to experience the destination up close and personal with comfort and ease, although guests traveling with wheelchairs and scooters are hesitant to select shore excursions. This is due to the limited or lack of accessible venues, as well as adequate accessible transportation, specifically in the Caribbean, which prevents our wheelchair/scooter using guests from participating. Because of these limitations, guests choose other destinations, such as Alaska, Hawaii and even Europe. In the Caribbean, most of the motor coaches are not equipped with luggage compartments able to store scooters or wheelchairs, and lift and ramp equipped motor coaches are rarely available. In addition, outsourcing accessible transportation is equally limited and carries an additional cost. If more of
these options were available, it would greatly increase guest participation and revenue for the parties involved. Our guests understand that due to historical and geographical factors, not all venues are wheelchair accessible. However, even with certain limitations, we should be able to create shore excursions that include accessible vehicles and venues. When it comes to guests with mobility challenges, we use two categories to communicate their different needs:
equipped for limited mobility and wheelchair access. Your scenic tour will visit St. Thomas’ historic sites as your guide shares their local knowledge of the island’s history, landmarks, and legends. Highlights: Visit Skyline Drive Overlook, Drake’s Seat, and Mountain Top and enjoy panoramic views of the island. Notes: This tour is designed for those guests who are fulltime wheelchair users or who have walking difficulties.
LEVEL 1: Guests who are able to walk short distances and can negotiate the steps of a tour motor coach and/or travel with a manual collapsible wheelchair, a folding cane or walker are classified under this category.
What makes this tour successful? Cost, capacity and that it operates on a consistent basis. The tour is offered to guests ranging from full-time wheelchair users to guests who have walking difficulties. It also enables/entices other members of the special needs guest’s party to participate.
LEVEL 2: This category applies to guests who cannot walk and are unable to negotiate the steps of a tour motor coach and/or travel with a non-collapsible wheelchair/ scooter. These guests are usually interested in tours that include the following:
How can you make your tour successful? • Follow the example • Communicate with your cruise industry representative • Check with your local tourism boards regarding applicable regulations • Research available grants and subsidies if funding is the difficulty • If your difficulty is transportation to your accessible venue, research local available transportation options • Research the latest innovations for people with these requirements
Level 1 • A motor coach with 2-3 short steps to negotiate or a smaller vehicle, such as a van or car • Transportation with a luggage compartment or trunk able to store a collapsible wheelchair or collapsible scooter • Venues with flat or paved grounds Level 2 • Transportation equipped with a lift or ramp where our guests can remain seated on their wheelchairs/scooters for the duration of the ride Both 1 & 2 • Venues with ramps and/or elevators • Panoramic tours with accessible stops where guests can get off the tour transportation for a few minutes • Beach tours that allow access to a beach using a beach wheelchair The following is an example of a successful and accessible tour provided to RCCL guests: Name of Tour: Easy St. Thomas
The answer to the question is Yes, you can provide accessible tours in your port of call by performing these measures. Our hope is that you have a better understanding of what the special needs guest is looking for and how to provide the best experience. Cruise lines fully understand this type of service is not for every tour operator, given the number of variables involved, such as transportation, cost, limited capacity and limited accessible tour venues. Don’t limit yourself to land tours, but also consider accessible aviation and water-based tours, which are also popular. Expanding your tour operations to include accessible tours gives you an added advantage. We all know the Caribbean is an exciting destination for everyone. Guests with mobility challenges have clearly voiced their expectations and their desires to experience the ports as all guests do. The demand for accessible tours exists; however, we need to work together to provide reasonable and interesting options for these guests.
Tour Operator: Gumbs Taxi & Tours Let’s make it happen. Overview: Experience the beauty of St. Thomas in a vehicle
First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 33
The Value of Tour Guide Training to the Caribbean
ast year, an online tour guide training program was launched, and this program has the capability of adding great value to destinations around the world and raising the bar for tour guide standards in the Caribbean. Developed by Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, this online program helps tour operators and destinations stand out from competitors, increase the level of excellence in their ports and destinations, and give cruise lines more confidence in the products in the destination. The new online training is generating buzz among cruise executives: “ Th e Tour Guide Excellence Certification and Training Program is a concise and well-organized tool for use by tour operators looking to improve their team training program,” says Joanne Salzedo, director of shore excursion product development for Norwegian Cruise Lines. “A guide can make or break an excursion, and investing in the training and development of those individuals delivering your excursion, your business, can be critical to its success. A well-planned and consistent guide training program such as this can make the guest experience in your destination competitive with those experienced in other top-rated destinations.” “Aquila is one of the best tour operators that we work with anywhere in the world,” says Mico Cascais, vice president of tour operations at Carnival Cruise Lines. “They are excellent models
to which other tour operators can aspire.” The FCCA also sees the immense impact and value of tour guide training and is encouraging its tour operator and destination members to take advantage of special member rates. Tour operators or port/destination members of the FCCA who invest in training and certification of tour guides in their destination will be included on a list of endorsed operators and destinations that will be sent to all FCCA Member Cruise Lines. The Aquila Story: by Founder Beth Kelly Hatt... in Her Own Words Aquila is a tour operator based in Canada celebrating its 30th year of business in 2012. The cruise sector is our business. We are passionate about the experiences of our guests, and we know that the experiences guests have are largely in the hands of our tour guides. Tour guide training is an investment in our future, and it has proven itself over and over. In Canada, we are fortunate to have a national certification program for tour guides, and Aquila was involved in the development and validation of this certification about 20 years ago. To supplement this training, we developed our own comprehensive training program that spoke to the specifics of tour guiding for the cruise industry. We started hearing from guests, from shore excursions managers and from cruise lines that our guides were among
the best, and we began to get recognition for our guides. Then we took notice of feedback from some cruise executives and others in the industry asking if we could help other tour operators in other ports with their guide training. Initially we started travelling to other destinations to train guides, but that quickly proved to be costly and time consuming for all, so we started looking for a way to reach the most tour guides and have an impact in the most cost effective way. And this is how the idea of online training was born. We partnered with an international firm that has developed online programs for major universities and corporations, such as Dell and Microsoft, and with our guide training expertise, the result is Tour Guide Excellence, a cost-effective and sustainable model. This online training makes tour guide training for the cruise industry accessible and affordable for destinations, tour operators, and individual tour guides, and will begin to establish a much-needed standard for tour guides in the cruise industry. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 35
“A guide can make or break an excursion, and investing in the training and development of those individuals delivering your excursion, your business, can be critical to its success. A well-planned and consistent guide training program such as [Aquila’s Tour Guide Excellence] can make the guest experience in your destination competitive with those experienced in other top-rated destinations.” –Joanne Salzedo, director of shore excursion product development, Norwegian Cruise Lines Aquila’s Tour Guide Excellence: Overview The Tour Guide Excellence online training consists of a series of six lessons, followed by a full assessment, which includes a written exam and a video component. In order to obtain certification, a passing grade of 70 percent on both the written and video components is required. To see screen interactions from the course, go to www.tourguideexcellence.com. The primary objective of the Tour Guide Excellence training program is for participants to learn exactly what makes an excellent tour guide and the skills to turn that knowledge into a practical reality when guiding cruise shore excursions. The first to take advantage of a special rate for FCCA members was Panamabased Aventuras 2000, which has offered an incentive program for its tour guides to enroll in the training course. With over 30 tour guides enrolled in the program, and quite a few who have now attained their certification, General Manager Simon Schachtel explains: “We felt as a company that this course will help our guides understand the importance of what service is required so that the clients leave with total satisfaction with the best image possible of our country. The importance of this online course is that it gives the guides the opportunity to plan their time and how they will accomplish the same. It reminds them of the importance of knowing how to give an excellent service and how to deal with the different situations that happen.” 36 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
“Aquila is one of the best tour operators that we work with anywhere in the world. They are excellent models to which other tour operators can aspire.” Mico Cascais, vice president of tour operations at Carnival Cruise Lines.
Aquila’s Tour Guide Excellence program. Lesson 1: Overview of Tourism and the Cruise Sector – The Role of the Tour Guide Lesson 2: Hospitality and Service Excellence – Professional Tour Guide Skills Lesson 3: Field Skills & Research – Basics of Tour Delivery Lesson 4: Interpretation & Storytelling – Presentation and Communication Skills Lesson 5: Preparation & Processes – Practical Aspects of Conducting a Tour Lesson 6: Difficult Situations & Risk Management – Problem-solving, Emergency Procedures & People Management Skills Final Exam (Includes both written test and video assessment) Contact email@example.com or go to www.tourguideexcellence.com to learn more. With your participation, the Caribbean could be the first cruise region in the world to internationally certify their tour guides!
It’s Full Steam Ahead for Cruising in Martinique
he Caribbean has remained the world’s number-one area for cruising for so long that it might seem hard to believe that new and exciting destinations and experiences exist for cruise travelers to enjoy among the region’s sun-kissed shores.
style, cuisine, trendy boutiques, seaside beauty and joie de vivre, no destination in the Caribbean better espouses French Riviera chic. At the same time, Martinique’s deeply rooted authentic Creole, African and Indian influences offer rich cultural discoveries not found anywhere else.
ball and volleyball games. Pétanque courts are also available for less strenuous competitors, while kids can enjoy swings, trampolines and other playground equipment. There’s even a pristine white sand beach in the Malecon, and a wide half-mile boardwalk ideal for an afternoon stroll.
Making Martinique’s wonders more easily accessible to cruise visitors has been a top priority of the island’s local government in recent years, a commitment that is already paying dividends for cruise visitors. The most noticeable improvements are evident the minute ships arrive in Fort-de-France. The Bay of Fort-deFrance was inducted into the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World just this past November. Now, thanks to recently completed capital improvement programs enhancing the Malecon downtown promenade and the nearby La Savane Park, the waterfront area better matches the natural beauty of the harbor. The Malecon has been completely rebuilt into a lively attraction for leisure and recreational activities. Here, active travelers can now take part in pick-up basket-
Adjacent to the Malecon lies the12-acre La Savane Park. The veritable heart of the downtown area, La Savane was originally known as Le Jardin du Roi (garden of the king). Its initial purpose is said to have been to harbor scientific experiments on plants that were new to the island in its earliest days. The horticultural science experiments are long since gone, though the royal qualities of this impressive urban oasis of nature and serenity amid the hustle and bustle of Fort-de-France is now as pronounced as ever, providing a welcome spot for cruise visitors to enjoy a picnic or meeting with friends.
Well, believe it! The beauty of Caribbean cruising is that it always offers something new. The cruise lines themselves certainly play a large role in keeping the Caribbean cruise experience fresh, offering ever-larger and more exciting ships and on-board amenities to pamper guests. At the same time, though, newly emerging destinations are also enticing cruisers to the region as never before. Among these destinations, the vibrant island of Martinique stands out. Centrally located in the eastern Caribbean between St. Lucia and Dominica, Martinique remains today every bit the little slice of France in the Caribbean that earned its former capital city, Saint-Pierre, the moniker The Paris of the West Indies in the late-1800s. In its 38 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
The completion of these two projects represents a major step forward for the cruise sector in Martinique, but they are just the beginning.
In the coming months, work will begin on extending the Pointe Simon wharf in downtown Fort-de-France. Upon completion, Pointe Simon will be able to accommodate the world’s largest ships, including Oasis and Allure of the Seas vessel classes. This expansion is part of a broader development that will include improved pedestrian access and ground transportation staging to best accommodate mega-vessels. The Tourelles cruise terminal, also located in downtown Fort-de-France, has already accommodated the Queen Mary 2, though improvements are planned there, as well. Specifically, the terminal building is being expanded and modernized to better position Tourelles as a homeport. With the combined changes at Pointe Simon and Tourelles, Martinique’s ports will rank among the best in the region by year’s end. Major cruise lines are taking notice. Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises are among the latest lines to add new stops in Fort-de-France to its itineraries for 2012 and 2013. At the same time, the positive momentum has given rise to new homeporting opportunities, as well. Two factors necessary for homeporting success—a sizable local population that loves cruising and exceptional air connections—are readily available in Martinique. Currently, three wide-body non-stop flights from Paris touch down daily in Martinique, making the island an ideal homeport for European travelers. Arriving passengers and luggage can be transferred directly from plane to ship without restrictions, adding to the convenience. The 59,000-ton MSC Lirica (780 cabins) will homeport in Martinique from December 15, 2012 to February 16, 2013, offering a full schedule of sevenday/eight-night cruises departing every Saturday from Fort-de-France. Other lines offering full or partial homeporting in Fort-de-France in 2012 include Costa, Club Med and Vistamar. More than capital improvements and
product enhancements, the positive momentum in Martinique’s cruise sector is underscored by a renewed energy and commitment on the part of the people of Martinique toward the success of the tourism industry. The groundswell of support is largely being driven by an island-wide awareness campaign called Builders of Paradise that was launched in 2011 by the local tourism authority. Through a series of local ads, educational seminars and special events, the entire island population is encouraged to deliver the very best visitor experience to all who travel to Martinique. In line with the Builders of Paradise campaign, more than 600 private tourism development projects have been submitted to the local government for consideration and possible investment, reflecting the keen interest in tourism across the entire island population. If Martinique’s visitor arrival statistics are any indication, the combined effort of the awareness campaign and capital improvement program is having a great impact.
Compared to the 2010-2011 period, Martinique will record sharp increases in the number of scheduled calls and passengers for the 2011-2012 cruise season, with port calls rising 65% and the total number cruise passengers soaring by 158%. Among the notable cruise lines fueling this growth by featuring Martinique in their winter 2011-2012 itineraries are the following: Aida Cruises, Club Med, Compagnie Des Iles Du Ponant, Costa Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Kristina Cruises, MSC Cruises Line, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Seabourn, Star Clippers, Transocean Tours, Windstar Cruises. By any measure, the future is bright for the cruise sector in Martinique, and the local government intends to keep it that way by exploring new pro-business legislation and tax initiatives directly benefitting cruise lines calling on Fort-de-France. New tours, attractions, restaurants, events and visitor services further show that this is one destination that is serious about making waves in the cruise business. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 39
Dolphin Cove’s Expansions: Much More Than Just Dolphins
ver its 11 years of operation, Dolphin Cove Jamaica has grown from strength to strength. With the support coming from the cruise industry, Dolphin Cove quickly grew from its inception of opening with just one park in Ocho Rios to three locations—Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril Jamaica—and expanded their operations to Grand Cayman. Dolphin Cove recognizes the changing trend of the traveler; the person that is going on vacation is savvier and is always looking for something new, exciting and interactive. No longer does the traveler want to sit back and look; they want to be hands on, to interact; they want to travel and participate with their family.
Ocho Rios Park opened with guests only being able to do the “Swim with Dolphins” programs. Dolphin Cove soon recognized that expansion was needed and expanded into a marine park, with two lagoons to include snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays and sharks. Dolphin Cove is always exploring new ways to refresh and upgrade their product; there are new and exciting activities soon to be opened. Work is in progress, and these activities will be opened by April 2012. For the true adventurer, there will be our very own Sea Trekking with the Dolphins; this is where the participants can walk underwater while surrounded by dolphins. They will view the everbeautiful array of Caribbean fish.
There are also plans for a bird aviary surrounded by water, where the visitor will be able to stroll through and have the birds eat right out of their hands. Soon to come is the exclusive “Private Area” on the “Reef Deck.” The Deck is over water and overlooks one of the many secret waterfalls of Ocho Rios. There will even be a slide to take you into the ocean. Oh, what fun! Also available is personal butler service, massages on request, private bar and menus to select from. Future plans will include a sea lion Interactive program; this, however, will not be ready till the end of the year. Feeling the love of the dolphins, a love they spread that becomes contagious, has caused many spontaneous wedding proposals and many a surprised, “Yes, I will.” Then there are those who plan, and the dolphin participates by taking the ring to the surprised bride-to-be. It never fails; it is always a, “Yes.” It was natural for us to expand to complete the experience. Newly created is our Wedding Planning Department. There are many different options for the bride-to-be. The Negril Park has added to their Dolphin Interactive Programs, which is fun for all ages. On the beach, there is a touch tank with starfish, lobsters, sea cucumbers and other sea creatures. Visitor with extra time can join in a game of football (soccer) or netball. The Grand Cayman Park is great for the
real adventurer, as it is the one and only park where a visitor can feed and swim with the tarpons. Soon to open is “Sailor’s Den.” After a day of activities, the visitor will be able to enjoy a true Caymanian party and learn Caribbean dance moves, have fun, play games and really enjoy a Cayman experience with free beer and unlimited rum shots. Being aware that there are many visitors that want to learn about the island’s history and culture, Dolphin Cove has greatly enhanced the experience of the 18th-century estate tour by offering guests different options, such as “Tea on the Verandah,” where they will go to the verandah of the Prospect Great House that was once a fort and enjoy tea with a full 180* view of the Spanish Passage where the Caribbean pirates once roamed. As the cruise industry continues to grow in the Caribbean, so does Dolphin Cove. Dolphin Cove has been eyeing other Caribbean islands. Who knows where we will be next? With the ever-changing guests always looking for more to do, Dolphin Cove will continue to add diversity to their product. Dolphin Cove continues to explore the Caribbean for new locations. With the strength of the cruise industry growing, Dolphin Cove continues to add more options. From beginning with four dolphins and expanding to 32, there have been many babies born. The dolphin family has grown as Dolphin Cove continues to grow. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 41
Fireworks light the morning sky as the Disney Fantasy, arrives in her home port of Port Canaveral, Fla. after traveling nearly 4,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Bremerhaven, Germany. The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will welcome guests on her maiden voyage on Mar. 31, 2012, sailing seven-night cruises to the Caribbean and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral
Disney Fantasy to Debut with More Innovation, Fun and Disney Magic for the Entire Family
isney Cruise Line launches Disney Fantasy—a second in a pair of 128,690-ton, 4,000-passenger (max capacity) sister ships—March 31, 2012 to join its sister, Disney Dream, and to further expand the capacity of the original fleet of the 83,000-ton, 1,760-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and continue to advance the innovation that Disney Imagineering has drawn up to match the feature-rich ships that have entered the market over the past few years. Though Fantasy is the spit and image of its fraternal twin sister in size and capacity, it has developed an individualized image and personality, which is seen as soon as a passenger steps onboard. The atrium lobby’s three-deck expanse is adorned with sophisticated Art Nouveau-inspired details and patterns, and opulent design elements round out the Fantasy’s refined character and include a sweeping grand staircase, towering fluted columns, grand piano, decadent marble and stone inlay flooring and a cascading chandelier 10 feet in diameter flowing down from an immense stained-glass flourish. Once passengers step past the lobby and begin to get to know 44 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
Fantasy, her unique identity becomes even more apparent. At first look, Fantasy seems to share the same features and makeup as her sister, such as the AquaDuck, the world’s only shipboard water coaster; Donald’s Pool, where families come together to enjoy all of the activities on deck, including the 30foot wide, 18-foot high Funnel Vision LED screen showing Disney films, television shows and live broadcast events; Mickey’s Pool; Goofy’s Sports Deck, featuring full-court basketball, table tennis and foosball tables, a nine-hole miniature golf course and digital sports simulator; groundbreaking technological innovations, such as the interactive portholes; and the Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar for adults to find a respite, sunbathe, swim and indulge in a cool drink or a relaxing dip in a hot tub overlooking the ocean. However, Fantasy puts her own spin on many of these similarities while also presenting wholly new offerings. The Muppets will be onboard with an interactive adventure quest designed for guests nine and older, who will go around the ship to uncover clues, building off of Dream’s self-paced game concept that puts clues in the pieces of Enchanted Art. Fantasies of princesses- and
Photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney
Singer Mariah Carey joins Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert A. Iger (right), Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Thomas O. Staggs and Mickey Mouse for the christening of the newest ship of Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Fantasy, in New York City, on March 1, 2012. In a maritime tradition, the award-winning recording artist served as godmother for the 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy.
pirates-to be will be fulfilled with the debut of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and The Pirates League, popular landside retailers specializing in makeovers that will let princesses in waiting to look the part at Royal Court—an elegant restaurant inspired by Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty—and the potential pirates will feel right at home during the Mickey’s Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party or the Buccaneer Blast fireworks spectacular. The all-new AquaLab accompanies the AquaDuck and presents a 1,800-square-foot water play area complete with pop jets, geysers, bubblers and themed sections like Uncle Donald’s leaky rowboat. Another new area on Fantasy can be found on deck 12 forward; a wading pool with a fountain water feature allows guests of all ages to cool off or take a load off in the ample seating and lounge chairs under a shady canopy. More new areas and features are focused on adults. Fantasy introduces a new top-deck, adults-only area called the Satellite Sun Deck, which has a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain known as Satellite Falls. And the adults-only district debuted on Dream is back on Fantasy with the same layout, but with different offerings. Known as the Europa Nighttime Entertainment District, the modified environment is themed around European travel, bars and lounges – inspired from the high-energy, sophisticated and trendy clubs and lounges from Italy, France, Ireland and London to offer adult nighttime fun without borders. The Italian-themed La
Piazza lounge, replete with Venetian masks and a classic Vespa sidecar, draws on the timeless and stylish Italian plazas as its muse; Ooh La La showcases French boudoir with velvet-tufted walls and Louis XIV-style chaise lounges to provide an elegant champagne bar; the Tube Bar pays homage to the London Underground with décor featuring a tube map, mod red furniture, an English phone booth and an illuminated Union Jack dance floor; O’Gills Pub offers the cheerful and spirited atmosphere of an Irish pub; and the Skyline is a chic bar that lets you see it all with its ever-changing birds-eye views of the stunning European cityscapes. Nightly entertainment also changes a bit. Though Fantasy’s shows will continue on Disney’s design to charm and bedazzle the entire family as only Disney can and be staged in Walt Disney Theater—the same elegant, 1,350-seat entertainment palace that Dream unveiled, spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating and enough theatrical technology to make it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea—the new Broadway-style stage gets two new shows. The signature show, Wishes, is a 45-minute musical journey that focuses on three Disney-loving teenagers who face difficult decisions about relationships, dreams and adulthood while they near high school graduation, teaching the audience that the secret to being a grown-up is staying connected to their inner-child. The other new offering is Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, a fast-paced musical comedy that revives Disney’s classical tale with the magic that only Disney can make. These two new shows join the lineup that also includes Disney’s Believe, A Fantasy Come True and An Unforgettable Journey. More new entertainment finds its way onboard Fantasy at the popular Animator’s Palate, where guests can have dinner twice during their journey. This dinner theater became renowned after its debut on Magic, but Fantasy offers a new assortment. Passengers’ cartoon creativity comes alive during the new dinner show known as “Animation Magic,” and the second offering immerses the room in a vivid undersea environment, with Crush making a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests. Fantasy shows that she does not want to just follow in her sister’s footsteps, but create a path and identity all her own. Fantasy and Dream share many of the same innovative and groundbreaking features, offerings for passengers of all ages and Disney magic and show production, but a passenger could surely go straight from one ship to the other and never have a moment of boredom. The Disney Fantasy sails out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries, alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel), but all including Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Special eastern Caribbean sailings in November and December 2012 stop at St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. First Quarter 2012 • Cruising Magazine 45
Faces In The Industry Rodolfo Wright Russell – Housekeeping Manager, Carnival Cruise Lines My name is Rodolfo Wright Russell, and I am the housekeeping manager on-board the Carnival Destiny, sailing from Miami. I come from the beautiful city of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, and I am proud to be able to speak fluent Spanish and English with both guests and crew on board.
After finishing my studies, I went to work for Carnival Cruise Lines because I heard from other crew members that it was a fun place to work, and there were a lot of opportunities for growth if you worked hard. I am so glad that I chose Carnival because the company has allowed to me achieve great success in all of the positions I have held, as well as provide financial stability for my parents, who have always supported me. I also have been able to give myself a better life back home, which is a great accomplishment.
I started as a wiper in the engine department, and my hard work and dedication made it possible for me to reach a role that has a significant effect on the guest experience. As housekeeping manager, I am responsible for the cleanliness of all guest and crew accommodations, public rooms, and open decks, as well as pest control and laundry. I work hard, but the reward of travel makes my job even more exciting. St. Maarten and Puerto Rico are my favorite islands to visit because they are beautiful and remind me of home. My position also allows me to interact with the crew members, and it’s fun meeting people from different nationalities and backgrounds. I enjoy teaching and training them, and hopefully I have a positive impact on their lives. I know that the cruise industry changed my life in a positive way and prepared me to be a better person today both personally and professionally.
Hellen Jarrin – Retail Sales Associate, Royal Caribbean International I am Hellen Jarrin, retail sales associate onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas. I am 22 years old, and I come from the best country in the world, Colombia. When I first thought of coming onboard a cruise ship, I said to myself, “Are you crazy?” Then I came to work onboard and think this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love sharing with all the different nationalities, and I like learning from all the different cultures. This has been a life-changing experience. I have learned a lot about myself.
I know now my limits, my skills, my strongest qualities and my opportunity areas.
Living onboard is not always easy, but you always find someone to share and someone willing to help you. Here onboard all crew members work, learn and enjoy themselves in a nice environment. Royal Caribbean has given me the opportunity to visit unexplored places, far lands with great colors, flavors and smells. I think Royal Caribbean and I have a long way to go together; this is just the begining of a great successful career “My career.” I am looking forward to going home with my pockets full and my soul excited to come back and open a new chapter in my journey. Another chapter in my life.
46 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2012
A delegation representing Mesoamerican Route visits with the FCCA Operations Committee.
During the 2012 Platinum Member Cruise Summit, Gordon Buck, vice president of caribbean releations for Carnival Cruise Lines (2nd on the left), and Captain Domenico Tringale, vice president of port operations for Carnival Cruise Lines (3rd from the left) receive retirement gifts from the FCCA.
48 Cruising Magazine â€˘ First Quarter 2012
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