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experience like nowhere else.

Atlantis holds a lifetime of spectacular memories. Only at Dolphin Cay can you get up close to playful dolphins and interact with friendly sea lions. Snorkel the Ruins or glide alongside sleek stingrays. At Aquaventure, one of the world’s largest and most amazing water parks, every day is filled with non-stop fun, thrills and adventure. Continue the rush at Atlantis Casino. Place your bets at the Caribbean’s grandest gaming destination. To learn more about these exciting programs, please visit our cruise partners’ websites: Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, MSC Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines or Royal Caribbean International. Or to begin offering these Atlantis Excursions through your cruise line, please contact Atlantis. There’s no such thing as too much amazing.

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traveler review

BEST KEPT SECRE SECR ET patricia y, New York

Flamenco Beach, Culebra

If you only stay in San Juan during your time in PR, you are missing out, my friend! Take the ferry to Culebra, a small island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. When you get there, go to the #2 ranked most beautiful beach IN THE WORLD, Flamenco. Its super fine white sand and crystal clear calm waters await you. It's TOTALLY worth it if you're looking to unwind. It's my favorite part of PR. I GO EVERY YEAR. Flamenco is not only one of the most award-winning beaches in the Caribbean. It’s a five star world class attraction. Live your own five star vacation story.

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By land or by sea.





Executive Committee

Cover Image


Micky Arison Chairman Carnival Corporation

21 Cruise Line Executives and FCCA Platinum Members Gather in St. Croix for FCCA PAMAC Platinum Event

Gerald Cahill President & CEO Carnival Cruise Lines Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line

24 St. Maarten: The Port to Remember, the 21st Annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show to Remember

Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.

Cover photo: Port St. Maarten

Kevin Sheehan FCCA Chairman, President & CEO Norwegian Cruise Line Stephen A. Nielsen Vice President, Government Affairs Princess Cruises Adam Goldstein President & COO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

FCCA Staff

Departments 9

President’s Letter

12 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights 58 Platinum Associate Member Listing 62 Associate Member Listing

Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President

27 Itinerary Planning for the Future By Jennifer Marmanillo, Manager, Itinerary Planning, Norwegian Cruise Line

68 Faces in the Industry 72 Meetings with the FCCA

32 Caribbean Port Development: A Key to Future Growth By David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Carnival Corporation & plc

37 Format for a New Cruise Destination’s Success: Public and Private Sectors in Unison By Michael Ronan, Former Vice President, Government Relations, Latin America, Caribbean and Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Features 41

Disney Magic and Disney Wonder Return to the Sunshine State


MSC Cruises Plans to Continue Unprecedented Growth In Coming Years


Falling in Love with Martinique


Mexico’s Cruise Industry Strategy

Justin Paige Manager, Communications, Research & Marketing


The Wonders of St. Croix

Michele M. Paige President


Experience Aruba’s 4000 Years of History in One Afternoon

Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Suite 201, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 • Fax: (954) 441-3171 Website: • E-mail: Cruising Magazine © 2014 ~ All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited.


FCCA’s Training Partner: Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence

Carlos Santamarina Director, Membership Events & Programs Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant Raquel Nales Administrative Assistant

To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to

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 • TUI Cruises 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.

Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 7

President’s Letter “A real businessman values his partners like friends and his partner ship like friendship.” – Amit Kalantri Partnerships are an invaluable commodity in business and life. We often rely on our partners for ideas, input, support or just a voice to break the silence. They are whom we turn to if we want to expand or need a helping hand.

Michele presents a crystal ship to Governor John de Jongh of the U.S. Virgin Islands during the FCCA PAMAC Conference in St. Croix.

Like any other precious resource, reliable and knowledgeable partners are rare. They can be hard to find and even harder to access without the proper avenues, which is exactly why the FCCA paves these inroads between the cruise lines and cruise destinations. Developing these mutually beneficial relationships is the best way for all parties to increase understanding, improve the guest experience and maximize cruise tourism’s impact.

These goals are front and center for our 21st annual Conference & Trade Show in St. Maarten. The event’s balance between business sessions, social functions and the Trade Show—coupled with the attendance of about 100 cruise executives and 1,000 public and private stakeholders—create the perfect forum for the exchange of information and industry trends, sharing of ideas, and cultivation of business relationships that can lead to valuable partnerships. Additionally, the Conference epitomizes what the FCCA Platinum and Associate Membership offer, as this is just one of the many FCCA annual events that bring together our members and cruise line executives to help them benefit from each other and grow the industry together. It is also one of the many tools we use to foster this kind of communication and relationship building, along with meetings, projects, publications and much more. This edition of Cruising highlights more ways we accomplish this—such as our annual Platinum PAMAC Summit—and some of our partners’ priceless knowledge, such as a behind-the-scenes look at port and destination development, revealed by David Candib, vice president, development & operations, Carnival Corp.; reasons that cruise lines determine destinations to include during itinerary planning, shared by Jennifer Marmanillo, manager, itinerary planning, Norwegian Cruise Line; the importance of public and private sector cohesion in creating a cruise destination, told by Michael Ronan, former vice president, government relations, Latin America, Caribbean and Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and the significance of investing in tour guide training and why the FCCA partnered with Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence. Plus it directly spotlights some of our partners, like St. Maarten’s cruise tourism growth and what can be experienced during the FCCA Conference & Trade Show; Mexico’s resurgence as a cruise destination and strategy for the future; destination offerings in St. Croix, Martinique and Aruba; Disney Cruise Line’s increased capacity in Florida and the Caribbean; and MSC Cruises’ plans to continue their unprecedented growth. So take a minute or an hour to learn about the FCCA, some of our partners and the industry as a whole. Or better yet, experience it all first-hand at an FCCA event. Respectfully yours,

Michele M. Paige President FCCA Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 9

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Ambassatours Gray Line Becomes Canada’s Biggest Sightseeing Company

Ambassatours Gray Line (Atlantic Canada’s premier tour company) has become Canada’s biggest sightseeing tour company with the acquisition of water-based tour company, Murphy’s the Cable Wharf in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “This establishes us as Canada’s largest and most diverse sightseeing tour company and provides us with a dynamic foundation for growing new markets,” said Dennis Campbell, Ambassatours’ CEO. The acquisition makes Ambassatours Gray Line the only Gray Line company globally to offer both land and water tours. Murphy’s established fleet of vessels includes: Theodore Tugboat (from which the popular TV series is based), Harbour Hopper amphibious vehicles, two tall ships, a dinner cruise paddle boat, a Peggy’s Cove sightseeing boat, and deep sea fishing/whale watching tour boats. This merger adds to Ambassatours’ existing Big Pink double-decker sightseeing tours and coach tours from Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

involves the lengthening, widening and strengthening of the cruise pier, along with landside development that includes commercial, rental, entertainment and green spaces. The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has been moving swiftly to get the expansion ready for its completion in summer 2015. On January 17, the BVIPA signed berthing agreements with Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line guaranteeing a minimum of 425,000 cruise passengers for the new facility. On April 22, another contract for marine works was signed for $30.7M with IDL Projects Inc./Meridian Construction Company Ltd. After the official kick-off for the project on May 5, the groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 8, and landside works should begin by early June. Upon completion, the development will be named Tortola Pier Park, and events will match the slogan: “Gateway to Your Getaway.”

Taxi drivers will receive certification upon completion of three or more modules. This certification is internationally recognized and will be valid for two years from the date of issue. B & A Will Soon Complete the New Cape Liberty Cruise Port

Taxi Training Academy to Position BVI’s Taxi Drivers As Top Territory Ambassadors

BVI Cruise Pier Expansion Project on Track for 2015 Completion

The Government of the Virgin Islands, in collaboration with the BVI Tourist Board, continues to prepare for the new, modern cruise pier facility by improving the level of service excellence offered by tourism stakeholders to enhance the visitor experience.

The BVI Cruise Pier Expansion Project

The government has partnered with

12 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

other agencies to implement comprehensive training workshops that raise the tourism sector’s service delivery standards. The Taxi Academy was one such training workshop. Taking place August 18th to 20th, 2014, it provided taxi drivers with key training in areas of first aid and introductory CPR; crime and safety; culture and history of the Virgin Islands; customer service; and taxi rules and regulations.

Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. (B&A) was engaged by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCCL) to design and provide construction administration for the redeveloped Bayonne, New Jersey cruise facility. Working jointly with the RCCL operations team, B&A has expedited the process—a 10month construction schedule—to ensure delivery of the facility for the Quantum of the Seas inaugural in November 2014. The cruise facility is designed to efficiently and expeditiously process the 4,600-plus passengers of Quantum of the Seas. This cruise facility feature is known as the “Next Gen” passenger processing system. The cruise termi-

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights nal facility design uses sustainable design features compliant with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) standards. A thematic interior design recalls features of the Statue of Liberty, including copper-clad check-in booths; stonepatterned, solid-surface countertops; and an acid-stained floor pattern evoking the Hudson River’s industrious shorelines. Port Canaveral’s New Cruise Terminal One on Schedule to Open November 15, 2014

Port Canaveral’s revolutionary Cruise Terminal One is on time to open November 15, 2014. The 188,000square-foot terminal has a 100-footwide dock area and 1,400 feet of berthing space set up for simultaneous operations, with debarkation on one side and embarkation on the other, along with separate drop-off and pickup areas. The terminal loading bridge doors slide open to any position, allowing ships to dock without a terminal line-up configuration, and the state-ofthe-art gangways have foldable fingers that ships of any size can access, while being more open than any current gangway system and preventing guest congestion. Oversized elevators and escalators, along with 60 check-in counters and seating for 1,700, also increase guests’ convenience. The facility contains a separated airconditioned warehouse and crew processing area with a dock-level, six-

truck bay. The terminal will have two independent conveyor systems running from the intermodal garage to the screening sort and x-ray room in the rear of the building. Princess Cruises & Norwegian Cruise Line Depart from Houston in 3...2…1 Norwegian Cruise Line will soon bring the recently enhanced 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel to Houston to sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises, departing each Saturday from October 11 - April 11 from the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Voted “best Caribbean cruise for the value” by Travel + Leisure, this diverse itinerary offers guests an exciting way to explore the beautiful Western Caribbean from a convenient departure point. Coinciding with the Houston Ship Channel’s centennial year, Princess Cruises will begin its 2014 season at the Port of Houston Authority’s Bayport Cruise Terminal on Nov. 11. The Emerald Princess will make Houston its homeport for Western Caribbean sailings. The Bayport Cruise Terminal provides some of the finest, modern and traveler-friendly amenities available. Located on the western shores of Galveston Bay, Bayport Cruise Terminal’s proximity to fine restaurants, hotels and both regional airports make it an ideal point of embarkation and disembarkation. Cruise Tobago Tobago’s rich diversity makes it the premier Southern Caribbean destination! The history and culture provide visitors unending fascination in ecoadventure, diving, and bird watching,

with visits to historic forts, secluded coves, cascading waterfalls and picture-perfect beaches. Every April the island hosts Tobago Jazz Experience, featuring world-renowned artists! Situated 80 miles south of The Grenadines and 40 miles from South America, Tobago is ideally situated to be included in itineraries that feature Trinidad, the Lesser Antilles and South American ports. Cruise ships call at the terminal in Scarborough, located in the heart of town, where passengers can visit the new Maritime Museum, which was developed with artifacts from sunken Dutch battleships. The port’s tourism information office can provide more sites and attractions, along with tour, taxi and restaurant reservations. Behind the Scenes: What Makes Playa Mia Cozumel’s Landmark?

Seasons come and go, and Playa Mia’s quality and service stand up to the test of time. What makes this constant delivery of outstanding experiences possible? The smallest details in Playa Mia are the result of well-thought processes. It’s even in the water, with the water used in bars treated to meet high standards and the water used in the pools subject to several tests during the day to ensure cleanliness and optimal conditions for the guests at any hour of the day. But these efforts would be wasted without the hard-working staff—engineers, Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 13

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights technicians, and all of the operations team that keep the motor running, providing guests with awe-inspiring experiences that go beyond the tangible facilities of the park. Today we salute those who work behind the scenes and thank them for making Playa Mia the benchmark of Cozumel’s parks and attractions’ operations.

ing the experience for cruisers and tourists who arriving at Puerto Peñasco by land. The new facilities will include a sentry lane, separate buildings for imports/exports, an area for bus passengers and pedestrians, a building that will host several government entities, and an administration building. Simulations have been run that show the crossing time should be considerably reduced.

vehicular maintenance schedule in accordance with STI criteria. STI continuously monitors, documents and verifies progress to ensure it upholds the internationally accepted standards. Quintana Roo

Puerto Costa Maya to Improve Destination Experience Explora Caribe Tours Increases Sustainability

Puerto Costa Maya is developing new and unique attractions to improve the overall destination´s experience. Expected to be ready by spring 2015, the revamp includes a new water and adventure park, the opening of the largest Mayan archeological site ever discovered, upgrading the terminal and fisherman´s village, and more.

The efforts of Roberto Borges Angulo, governor of Quintana Roo, and Lic. Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa, the general coordinator of ports and marinas, led to the opening of the new, modern and efficient Maritime Ferry Terminal in Isla Mujeres. Explora Caribe Tours is the only Mexican tour operator certified by Sustainable Travel International, a world-leading organization that works with cruise lines and tourism stakeholders to achieve their corporate sustainability goals, Some of Explora Caribe’s sustainability advancements include:

The Terminal was built with $3 million, making the 1,700-square-meter structure one of the most important in Mexico. The Terminal is safe, secure and efficient, which will benefit the 260,000 passengers per year. Acapulco Renovates Infrastructure

Sonoyta Border Crossing Point’s Modernization to Benefit Tourists Traveling by Land to Puerto Peñasco

• A recycling program that diverts approximately 45,000 plastic bottles per year from landfills for recycling,

API Sonora is thinking about every single detail on how to improve tourists’ experiences while heading to Puerto Peñasco. The border crossing point that separates Sonoyta and Lukeville will be modernized; facilities will be improved; a new traffic layout will be created; and more lanes will be added in order to speed up the process and reduce the crossing time, thus improv-

• 35% energy reduction at corporate headquarters,

14 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

• Installation of renewable energy at the beach facility, • Creation of the “Save a Turtle Tour” in collaboration with the local government’s ecology department

Acapulco, Mexico’s largest and most legendary resort destination, is renovating its infrastructure with a $20 million investment to optimize the port for cruise passenger arrivals. The project includes revamping the city’s most iconic tourist sites and is slated for completion by March 2015—in time for the celebration of the 40th Tianguis Turístico, Mexico’s largest travel trade show.

• The development of a preventative

As an effort to promote the beauty of

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights the destination, Secretary of Tourism of Guerrero State has teamed up with travel site Trip Advisor to increase visibility among tourists and also has launched an app with the latest information about the destination’s attractions. Next year all visitors will enjoy greater connectivity to Acapulco, with its new air terminal expected to receive 1 million passengers annually. The total investment of this airport renovation is $30 million. The Pirate Republic Brings Excellent Craft Beer to the Bahamas

The Pirate Republic is the first and only craft brewery in the Bahamas with unique beer offerings that capture the spirit, flavors, and aromas of the multiple islands. Its flagship location, in historic downtown Nassau across from the cruise terminal, includes a brew house, tap room, retail store, and nearly 3,000 square feet of open space. Opening fall 2014, daily activities will bring craft beer to life; promote pirate history; and celebrate Bahamian art, music and culture. Tour the brewery; participate in pirate and maritime activities; listen to historical accounts of the golden age of piracy; and learn to play the steel drum.

sector market and its economical impact. To accomplish this, the Board has established a strategy to enhance the country’s cruising infrastructure and relationships with cruise executives and organizations like the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association.

Imagine spending an entire morning painting along Willy Perez, a Dominican visual artist well known for his techniques and teaching abilities. Sans Souci has tailor-made this tour to make that experience available for all Cristal’s cruise guests visiting Santo Domingo. Passengers will be transported to the artist’s studio for two-hours classes that teach some of the techniques that have won many local and international prizes. On the way, cruise guests will have the chance to see the work of other Dominicans artists and a panoramic view of the city of Santo Domingo for inspiration.

“Costa Rica is a beautiful unique destination and with the planned renovations, expansions and amenities underway at our cruise ports, we are providing visitors with more options to experience Costa Rica in new ways, while allowing the country to experience a rise in tourism,” said Wilhelm von Breymann, minister of tourism, Costa Rica Tourism Board. “Developing tourism venues and facilities will also provide tremendous business opportunities for local coastal communities as well as international enterprises that want to do business in Costa Rica.” For more: Cartagena de Indias Invests Tour Guide Training

Willy’s artwork shows the vibrant Dominican culture and joyful colors. His work has been shown in over 30 solo exhibitions and more than 50 collective expositions in major galleries, museums and cultural centers in the world. Cruise Tourism is Essential for Costa Rica

In August 2014, Proexport Colombia and the Port of Cartagena invested in training tour guides in service excellence to improve and optimize the quality of Cartagena’s tour guide services and have a long-term impact of the city’s cruise business growth.

For more: Santo Domingo Offers Painting Classes with Famous Dominican Artist

The Costa Rica Tourism Board is strongly committed to grow its cruise

Aquila Tours, a Canadian tour operator with 30 years of experience in the travel industry and 25 years of providing shore excellence to cruise lines and Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 15

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights their passengers, was the entity in charge of the tour guide excellence program. Over 90 tour guides benefited from this—the first of many training programs that the city is willing to organize. Trinity Assistance Group Signs Agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines

signature natural dolphin lagoons, creating an experience that allows guests to appreciate these amazing mammals in their natural habitat, the Caribbean Sea. Dolphin Cove prides itself on its excellent customer service in all of our locations— three in Jamaica and one in Grand Cayman—and is pleased to have received the Trip Advisors Certificate of Excellence three consecutive years. Dolphin Cove is also pleased by its nomination for the 2014 World Travel Awards Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction, an award previously won in 2013.

Trinity Air Ambulance International is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Trinity Assistance Group (TAG), has recently signed an agreement to work collaboratively with Carnival Cruise Lines’ (CCL) medical department. TAG will provide medical assistance during the after-hours, weekends and holidays for CCL’s fleet. TAG, alongside CCL, will provide medical oversight, assistance with disembarkation, hospital admission, physician referrals and ground transportation facilitation, air ambulance and medical escorts. TAG is proud to have its capabilities recognized and greatly values the partnership Dolphin Cove Continues Success

Dolphin Cove continues to provide first-class dolphin interactions in our 16 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Because of its constant support and consistent partners throughout the years, Dolphin Cove looks forward to many more successful seasons. St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Natural Beauty

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) high caliber of natural surroundings, essentially untouched by development, gives visitors access to the kinds of experiences that are quickly disappearing throughout the world. A varied constellation of 32 islands and cays combines the traditional tropical appeal of sun, sea and sand with nontraditional black-sand beaches, rugged terrains and intriguing cultural history. Coupled with the natural inlets advan-

tageously suited for docking sailing vessels, this makes the destination probably the most complete in the Eastern Caribbean and the perfect respite for visitors of all types. Discover SVG on a blue voyage over calm tropical waters in a steady warm Caribbean breeze and experience the unforgettable magic of dropping anchor in secluded bays and lagoons with turquoise seas and deserted white-sand beaches. Anchorages on any inhabited island offer charming towns, remote villages and pristine beaches for exploring ashore and finding “the Caribbean you`re looking for.” Cruise & Port Advisors Roger Blum, principal of Cruise & Port Advisors, was recently the sole cruise industry speaker at the World Leisure Congress. This prestigious conference takes place every two years and is attended by leisure industry professionals from all parts of the world. Mr. Blum spoke on a panel that included Roger Dow, CEO & president of the US Travel Association. Other speakers included a former US senator, a former US congressman, a former surgeon general and Celine Cousteau, the daughter of Jean-Michel Cousteau and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau. Mr. Blum stated, “Cruise is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market, so it was an honor to be selected to speak to this very important audience and help them understand the tremendous economic impact of the cruise industry, as well as the opportunities available for their communities to be part of our growing industry.”

Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights The Next Evolution in Cruise Retail

Starboard is in the process of transforming the experience of shopping at sea, with a focus on creating standalone boutiques for brands such as Bulgari and Michael Kors as well as launching special shopping events. Fine jewelry trunk shows, watch and gemstone seminars, liquor tastings, fashion exhibits and beauty product demonstrations all serve to delight and entertain cruise guests. As ship designs have advanced, with modern vessels becoming destinations unto themselves, so has Starboard, rapidly expanding and renovating its retail footprint to surpass cruise guest

expectations. To create the most dynamic, customized onboard shopping experience, Starboard has developed groundbreaking retail concepts tailored not just to specific cruise lines, but to individual ships. Starboard’s revolutionary designs and compelling offerings elevate the cruise brand perception while ensuring guests have an unforgettable cruising experience. The Buzz over Branding Specialty diamonds are hot—but what exactly are they?

Consumers have so much to choose from today when shopping for dia-

monds. Terms like specialty cut, premium, patented, branded and more are used in marketing diamonds. But shoppers can become confused if they don’t understand how it affects their diamond. The Crown of Light diamond by Diamonds International has several noteworthy attributes you’ll want to examine personally. This premium diamond featuring 90-facets was granted a US patent because of its extraordinary design and fiery light performance. Most helpful is the fact that shoppers can actually see this stone’s light performance compared to other well-cut diamonds. Every Diamonds International showroom is equipped with a Diamond Light Performance (DLP) Scope to examine the fire from the Crown of Light—or any other diamond. This objective gemological instrument reveals more about the remarkable Crown of Light than any explanation ever could. Visit Diamonds International today and request a personal preview of the Crown of Light diamond.

HOUSTON: WHERE YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS‌ Embark on your next Caribbean cruise from a World Class City where there is no shortage of things to do, places to go or events to experience. Whether dining at one of our fine restaurants, shopping at unique stores, visiting the NASA Space Center or enjoying the attractions at the Kemah Boardwalk and the Bay Area, you will find Houston outstanding in culture, ambience, sophistication, and non-stop entertainment all year round. The Bayport Cruise Terminal, located in the city of Pasadena, Texas, just 30 minutes from downtown Houston, offers a one-of-a-kind experience with efficient and exceptional services including a stress-free embarkation process and easy access to two airports — George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU). Visit for information on the cruise services and and for information on the region and local attractions.

Port of Houston Authority Bayport B ayport C Cruise ruise T Terminal erm minal | P Pasadena, asadena, Texas Te Texas

Cruise Line Executives and FCCA Platinum Members Gather in St. Croix for FCCA PAMAC Platinum Event


ver 20 senior-level cruise executives and about 100 FCCA Platinum Members met in St. Croix for the FCCA PAMAC Platinum Event from June 18-20, 2014. The three-day schedule was packed with meetings and social functions designed to foster the development of working relationships with, exchange of ideas with, and promotion of members’ products and destinations to some of the most significant decision makers in the industry—cruise executives from varying fields, including shore excursions, port operations, itinerary development and product development. All of this while learning about and from St. Croix’s destination product and seeing why it can be a prominent cruise destination. It began on June 18th, when attendees

flew in and observed the unspoiled beauty while transported to the lavish, beachfront host hotel, The Buccaneer. They then prepared for the welcome beach BBQ, where members and executives met or reacquainted themselves while discussing their latest developments, from business expansions to family additions. After all, one of the most valuable aspects of Platinum Membership is the familiarity it breeds between members and executives through regular contact during events like these. The collaboration possible by joining some of the destinations’ private and public sectors’ premier players with FCCA Member Line cruise executives is also the best way to nurture future business and learn from each other. Conversation flows freely through the

casual atmosphere and guarantees that every member has the ability to interact with executives, comfortable enough to speak freely and ask the necessary questions. Governor John de Jong started off the morning of June 19 with a private meeting with cruise executives. He then attended and participated in one of the event’s most important proceedings, the PAMAC Meeting. In this semi-annual meeting, the members gather around cruise executives and other participants with valuable knowledge, who lead a panel to share and discuss the latest developments and issues in the industry—from the global and national level to individual concerns/questions/input of the members. Any topic is open to conversation by the members, panel and Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 21

executives in order to ensure that everyone in attendance is informed of all the latest happenings and how to best actualize the knowledge gained. Plus Platinum Members are able to give pertinent, and often enlightening, presentations. “I am honored to participate in the PAMAC Meeting,” told Colin Murphy, vice president, destination & strategic development for Norwegian Cruise Line. “This is an important feature for relaying all of the latest information to the members while also giving a chance to know how to best learn from it and implement what they need to fully take advantage of this knowledge—from an individual operational level to steps they must take to improve their regions.” One-on-one meetings immediately followed the PAMAC Meeting. This gave the members a chance to select cruise executives who best applied to members’ products or destinations and provided an opportunity to talk shop with those who decide what is sold onboard cruise ships and where those ships call. Additionally, the private meetings allowed the executives to offer insights on how to tailor a product or destination to best maximize the cruise industry’s economic impact. Federico Gonzalez-Denton, director, government and community relations for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. shared the importance of these meetings: “The one-on-one meetings allow for us to address the specific concerns or learn about new products from Platinum Members. This is an important tool for both the members and us. For us, we frequently learn about new developments and products, and we are able to help fine-tune them to best fit the cruise lines. For the members, it gives them a real vantage point in knowing what the lines are looking for and how to appeal to them.” The meeting-packed day then took a little load off with planned tours for the 22 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

The FCCA Operations Committee presented awards to Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism and John de Jongh, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands during the FCCA PAMAC Conference in St. Croix.

members and executives, including a Great Barrier Reef dive or snorkel, a deep-sea fishing excursion and an offroad Jeep adventure that gave thrills and history lessons. Besides being entertaining and displaying St. Croix’s wealth of destination products to the prominent audience of cruise executives and tourism stakeholders, the tour offerings also let tour operators and executives reverse their roles and see what they want to experience and how they want to be treated as a tourist.

or prepare for future ones in their places of business or another FCCA event. The USVI Department of Tourism recognized the importance of this final event and pulled out all the stops to ensure to leave a lasting impression of St. Croix’s vivacious culture, with music and costumed dancers, along with a view of the sun setting over St. Croix’s crystal-clear water and the Ann E. Abramson Pier Facility, casting a glow that seemed to beckon the arrival of more ships.

That night’s dinner in Fort Christian set the stage for the ensuing block party in downtown Christiansted. This completed the day’s balance of work and play. Members and executives could rehash some of the points from their earlier meetings or discuss their tours while eating some St. Croix delicacies. The block party further displayed St. Croix by bringing the whole town together to celebrate the FCCA PAMAC event.

As the group talked that last night, the FCCA PAMAC Platinum Event’s significance could be heard as topics switched between business and pleasure. This showed one of the greatest resources that the FCCA offers and why it offers events like these—to forge relationships between the members and executives.

The final day, July 20, showcased another St. Croix destination product to attendees and provided unique networking opportunities. A catamaran tour let the group talk and snorkel before disembarking on St. Croix’s renowned Buck Island, where they could hike or take a guided tour. The evening function at Fort Fredrik marked the event’s close and provided the opportunity to finalize discussions

Of course, this was only possible through St. Croix’s and the USVI Department of Tourism’s hard work and generous provisions, along with the involvement of some of the USVI’s key government officials, such as Governor John de Jong and Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, and private sector stakeholders. These efforts set the stage for many to improve their cruise tourism business, and St. Croix’s beautiful land, wealth of destination products and hospitable people showed cruise executives why St. Croix can be a prominent cruise destination.



Dock in the U.S. Virgin Islands to discover three islands, four ports and a world of difference. Convenient downtown locations, full-service facilities, premier shopping, multimillion dollar renovations—being your port of call is our calling. Learn more at and


©2014 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism



St. Maarten: The Port to Remember, the 21st Annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show to Remember


ort St. Maarten officials were very pleased that the destination was selected to host the 21st annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Conference & Trade Show after vying with several other top contenders to have this great opportunity. The advantages supporting the destination during the selection process was its ultramodern airport facilities, hotel infrastructure, transportation system, and all the modern amenities that a visitor could ask for.

The dedicated team—comprised of port, government and private sector representatives—has worked diligently to put together a program of activities that showcases St. Maarten and delights all of the attendees. They have gone above and beyond to facilitate the much-anticipated high turnout and make the 2014 FCCA Conference & Trade Show a memorable one. At the end, it will be the “conference to remember,” mimicking the branding quote used by Port St. Maarten, the “Port to Remember.”

St. Maarten’s relationship with the FCCA also played an important role. This relationship has withstood the test of time and is based on trust, understanding, cooperation, and an enduring, beneficial partnership, all of which have led to the positive development of St. Maarten’s cruise sector.

A grand St. Maarten welcome was planned to greet attendees at the Princess Juliana International Airport and prelude the numerous activities to showcase the destination’s enhanced guest experience and ‘WOW’ factor, which have been the focus of various FCCA workshops with cruise executives. In fact, Port St. Maarten established a clear strategy for this and developed a company, ‘St. Maarten Harbour Seashore Development,’ to promote and facilitate this very important factor of cruise passengers’ guest experience (shore excursions were the number one expenditure in the study St. Maarten participated in, Business Research & Economic Advisors’ [BREA] “Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies”). Plus, the destination is working with local stakeholders to further offer new

Hosting a conference and trade show of this magnitude means a direct economic impact for the country. It also, and most importantly, brings cruise executives and tourism stakeholders to the shores of the ‘Friendly Island.’ This gives the local business community a unique opportunity to access cruise industry decision makers and to solidify business relationships and long-term benefits. 24 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

country’s beaches, and cultural and heritage organizations will have the opportunity to showcase their history and customs to visitors. Our Port, Port St. Maarten: A World-Leading Cruise Destination Those visiting St. Maarten for the first time will enjoy what the country has to offer. Here are some key developments that have transformed the port and country into a world-leading cruise destination.

and exciting homegrown tours and experiences based on St. Maarten’s cultural heritage. Lessons were also applied from the destination’s first time hosting the event. Indeed, this is the destination’s second time hosting the FCCA Conference, and much has changed since St. Maarten hosted it a decade ago. The destination is now known as a culinary and entertainment capital of the Caribbean—another source of enjoyment for Conference attendees. Considerable investment is being made to develop the Down Street Cruise Heritage Square. The project includes construction six cabanas to be used for a bar/restaurant; the selling of arts and crafts, as well as other tourist-related goods; toilet/bathroom facilities; lockers; taxi and vehicle parking; and a water fountain. The new square—strategically located next to the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty, which connects the boardwalk/beach promenade, Down Street and Front Street—will also focus on entertainment, with a stage, speakers and ‘plug and play’ feature for local musicians, artists and bands. The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2014/2015 cruise season. The plans for the Down Street Cruise Heritage Development go back to 2008, when the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty materialized. The focus of the Down Street project is about culture and heritage. Each cabana will be named after one of the

Over the past decade, the St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies (SHGC) has invested more than US$100 million into infrastructure and equipment, and the focus for the future is on investing in personnel and processes to continue to improve efficiency. During the same timeframe, the Group has transformed into a more commercially-orientated operation, including a refinancing package of US$150 million by the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten. Additionally, the Simpson Bay Causeway was a major investment recently completed, and smaller investments, such as the Caribbean’s first crew lounge, were also made. The port facilities and infrastructure developed during the past 50 years have much to do with the island’s cruise sector growth. In 1980, the destination only received 105,000 cruise passengers for the entire year. This grew to 564,251 in 1995 and to 1,055,040 in 2002, the year before hosting its first FCCA Conference. Passenger and ship calls then surged again, as evidenced as Port St. Maarten receiving 1,785,670 passengers and 631 vessels last year. This cruise sector success is vital to the country’s economy. During the 2011/2012 cruise year (May 2011 – April 2012), St. Maarten generated $356.2 million in passenger and crew expenditures—ranking second of the 21 destinations participating in the aforementioned BREA study—and 8,123 jobs with a wage income of US$160 million. The year 2014 is a special year for Port St. Maarten and the destination to continue building on its cruise sector accomplishments. Besides marking 50 years in the cruise industry, St. Maarten’s role in hosting the 21st annual FloridaCaribbean Conference & Trade Show will cement its status as a world-class cruise destination. Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 25

Come on over and discover where glitz meets grits and old meets new. Let us show you why we’ve always known that Mobile Bay is ‘Secretly Awesome’. For starters, there’s French, British and Spanish blood coursing through our veins, with a little bit of saltwater and shrimp boil thrown in for good measure. From our colorful, vibrant downtown dotted with delightful shops and galleries to our historic neighborhoods lined with ancient live oaks to our legendary events like America’s Original Mardi Gras and a funky, festive music and fashion scene—we’ve

got culture. Hard-earned culture, over 300 years’ worth. Like our ‘Visit Mobile Bay’ Facebook page and join the masses who get the inside scoop on all things glitzy that Mobile Bay has to offer. Visit our website for lists of activities and attractions, lodging and dining and interactive maps to create a full itinerary that you can experience in person!

Itinerary Planning for the Future By Jennifer Marmanillo, Manager, Itinerary Planning, Norwegian Cruise Line


very year, millions of people take to the seas and choose cruising as their vacation of choice. As an industry, we have a responsibility to be innovative in order to keep our customers engaged and wanting to come back for more. This is the beauty of having movable assets; we can move our ships to different regions and ports to change the experience and give our guests something new to choose from. Itinerary planning is an ongoing process that involves all departments of each individual cruise line – shipbuilding, destination planning, revenue management, sales & marketing, food and beverage, logistics, casino, port operations, marine operations, environmental, and passenger services.

evolves, so do the itineraries. Each itinerary is unique, and what makes it successful and attractive is the quality of the ports that are incorporated.

Itinerary planning is one of the most important processes each cruise line carries out annually. The outcome of this process plays an important role in each individual company’s financial performance and appeal in the market place. Most importantly, cruise lines are here to provide memorable experiences and vacations of a lifetime. As the cruise industry

One of the most frequent questions an itinerary planner receives is how a port makes themselves more attractive to cruise lines. The most important thing to remember is that not only is the cruise line your customer, but so are the guests they bring to your shores. Cruise guests expect the same quality and service-oriented experience they receive onboard

Itinerary planners pay careful attention to the ports that are selected for an itinerary. Some of the features that are taken into consideration are proximity to the other ports on the route and availability of shoreside facilities, including adequate landing for tour buses, demand for the individual port, a positive guest experience, assuring guests of their onshore safety and security, and variety of activities for guests that are on tour or exploring on their own. These are the minimum requirements to be a good partner with the cruise lines.

Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 27

the vessel. Every single feature we consider when choosing a port plays an active role in the total guest experience. Providing that quality guest experience on a consistent basis will ensure repeat business. Partnering with the cruise lines is a good way to add or increase business to your port. Our marketing team’s main focus is to market our cruise brand. It’s up to each individual port to create their identity and market it to the consumer and travel agents. Together we can build awareness for both the cruise line and the port and make a profitable business venture. We need to be able to sell an itinerary, and if guests and travel agents do not recognize or know enough about a port, they may be hesitant to purchase/sell a particular cruise. Cruise lines often conduct surveys to potential guests and ask them where they want to go and which ports they would like to visit. The more visible a port is, the more likely they are to appear in demand on these surveys.

“Every single feature we consider when choosing a port plays an active role in the total guest experience.” do this; joining associations such as the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and participating in their many conferences and workshops is a great way to stay connected to cruise lines and remain aware of what is trending in the industry. These conferences are also a great way to stay connected to other ports in your region and learn about things that are happening; get new ideas; and build lasting relationship with your “neighbors.” The FCCA is a good source of information for any questions you may have, along with guidance when you are trying to obtain more business.

Marketing incentives are another way to attract more business. These incentives provide cruise lines with marketing dollars to market a region and create awareness of particular itineraries. Offer free trial calls to introduce your port to the cruise lines and their guests. Offer free or discounted advertising on your website.

The cruise industry is constantly changing. Each cruise brand is unique and innovative in its own way. We attract different kinds of guests from all over the world, provide superior service to them, and our treat them like family. It is important for our cruise partners to understand this. We expect that our guests receive the same quality and innovative service that we provide on our luxurious vessels. Our guests cruise for many reasons, such as adventure, education, relaxation, and a good time. We challenge ports to help us create and maintain these amazing experiences for our guests, whether they choose to buy one of our shore excursions or walk off our vessel and explore on their own. Re-invent yourself and remember that each destination is unique and has something special to offer. Know your neighbors on the islands that surround you, as together you will help us build a strong, appealing, and quality experience.

One of the most important things to remember is to have open and constant communication with the cruise lines and present them with the goods, services, and unique experiences your port has to offer. There are many opportunities to

As an itinerary planner, I can tell you that I am always watching, listening and staying in touch with all destinations’ current events. Never hesitate to contact any of us if you want to share any new products, future products, and/or ideas.

The Internet is a valuable tool for creating brand awareness. Social media and Internet advertising now play an important role in attracting and educating consumers about places they may want to visit. Social media outlets are also a great way to get to know your cruise partners. The more you know our product, our guests, and the things trending in the industry, the better position you will be in to attract business.

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’s e u iq n ti r a M f o te s ta a T h is y e a r, g e t . e r u lt u c e u iq n u d n a e m w a r m w e lc o - C o ra li e

The Bay of Fort-de-France is part of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club and is just one of the exciting places you can discover. Visit

Explore more business at Florida’s fastest growing cruise port

Port Canaveral’s easily accessible Central Florida location, close to Orlando and its 55 million annual visitors, helps our homeported ships book more sailings and enjoy 100+ percent capacities. Nearby Kennedy Space Center, abundant wildlife eco tours and reasonable beach-side accommodations are added incentives that bring cruise lovers here. Discover even more reasons we’re Florida’s fastest growing cruise port* – as well as a popular port-of-call with more than 130 ship visits annually – and explore the business opportunities by contacting Cruise Development at 321-783-7831, extension 232. *Source: Cruise Lines International Association


A Key to Future Growth By David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Carnival Corporation & plc


ur industry has an amazing track record of innovation, proven by both the ships delivered and extensive refurbishments undertaken today, compared to offerings over the past few years. You will find a variety of new dining and onboard experiences, exciting entertainment options and more active options, such as ropes/challenge courses and water parks once found only on land. While we see some current cruise destinations continue this innovative trend and lead the way in offering enhanced and refreshed onshore experiences, many opportunities still exist in the region. As an industry, we will always need to explore ways to attract new cruisers to the market and encourage past cruisers to repeat. While we know cruisers are generally very satisfied with their experience and tend to cruise again every three to four years, we should not rest upon these achievements alone. We 32 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

need to consistently evaluate our product offerings both onboard and ashore to ensure that guest satisfaction levels remain high and the market continues to grow. Given the importance that the Caribbean plays in our industry yearround, there is a need and desire for additional destinations and experiences, along with finding ways to improve the congestion in many existing ports. You will likely find a high percentage of repeat passengers on any given cruise ship pulling into a port today. On top of that, the ship’s crewmembers may visit that same port every week or two. In their mind, they have “been there; done that.” Careful thought and consideration should focus on how to improve the overall experience while in town— additions that will entice cruisers to explore and provide the opportunity to spend additional time and money in the destination.

Taking this into account, we [Carnival Corp.] are developing ports and destinations to complement and expand itineraries, while also enhancing the guest experience. Some of our port developments were created from prospecting greenfield sites, such as Mahogany Bay in Roatan and the Grand Turk Cruise Center, both of which previously had very little cruise business from our brands. In contrast, developments such as the port expansion in St. Maarten and the current expansion project in Puerta Maya in Cozumel were executed to enhance guest experience and give our cruise lines top-rated destinations for the long-term. In exploring potential port developments and investments, all parties should clearly understand the benefits (and identify the challenges) of a project in order to have a clear roadmap and ensure the development is completed and successful. From a cruise line

standpoint, a destination generally is attractive when it fits within an itinerary (new or revised); provides the required marine infrastructure; has safe maneuverability; offers an enjoyable experience for both passengers and crew; provides a variety of shore excursions and general offerings; and is competitively priced. Having a cruise company leading or contributing to a port development aligns the interests of the government, key stakeholders (citizens and local businesses), and the cruise lines. Introducing a third party to the development can change the economics of an overall port deal, given that they will have their own return on investment criteria. These parameters will likely differ from a government’s perspective; the government will see the cruise ships calls’ benefits, such as employment, passenger and crew expenditures, exposure to hundreds of thousands of visitors and competitive port usage fees. Each port development requires an incredible amount of time and resources from all parties involved. For example, a typical port development from the prospecting stage to opening can take up to four or five years. The process involves complex agreements with a variety of government agencies and ministries (in addition to joint venture agreements if partners are involved). The groups must also conduct environmental impact studies and assessments and then design and engineer thorough maritime and landside plans. Finally, the construction can be an extensive undertaking, as it is unique in each development. Two of Carnival’s cruise port development projects—the Grand Turk Cruise Center and Amber Cove—provide key economic and destination benefits, along with a glimpse of the process. Let’s first look at Grand Turk, which provides insight into an

Mahogany Bay, roatan

operation that has been in place since February 2006. The cruise port development in Grand Turk is a marvel in itself, given that the barely-seven-square-mile island is scheduled to welcome one million cruise passengers this year onboard 43 different ships from 15 cruise lines. Grand Turk’s success as a transit cruise port is owed to many factors. Government leaders understood the island of Providenciales was well on its way, with a growing base of hotel and stay-over tourism. However, Grand Turk was lacking development and other tourism and commercial opportunities that a cruise port could provide. Today, outside of government, the Grand Turk Cruise Center is the economic engine of the island. It is the key employer, contributing directly and indirectly to local hotels, airlines and businesses, and represents nearly 75 percent of all tourist arrivals to the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our newest port development and joint venture with the Rannik family, Amber Cove, gives us plenty of reasons to be excited. It will open next year on the Dominican Republic’s North Coast, near the city of Puerto Plata. This loca-

tion was a key driver of the development, as it fits with many existing itineraries and could strengthen the new “Central Caribbean” itineraries, including visits to such ports as Nassau, Freeport, Key West, Grand Turk and cruise lines’ private islands. Amber Cove will serve as the gateway to the North Coast and the Puerto Plata region, which is appealing because cruise ships have not visited this picturesque, tropical paradise since the early 80s. The port itself will feature a variety of shops, restaurants and a local marketplace along with a recreational area for guests, but perhaps the main feature will be the destination itself— the Puerto Plata region—and its offerings. Cruisers can explore the historic downtown and boardwalk; take in a variety of attractions; enjoy eco- and soft-adventure offerings; or simply relax on the beach. A key to Amber Cove’s fast track in the development process was the Dominican Republic government’s understanding from day one that the cruise port had the potential to catalyze tourism in the once-dominant North Coast region. While Punta Cana continues to experience amazing growth and the south of the island already has a Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 33

Grand Turk Cruise Center

place in the tourism market with the historic colonial city, capital and Case de Campo, Amber Cove offered the Puerto Plata region an impressive new tourism investment. The port would showcase the area to hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, who likely have never visited before. The government was confident of the future arrivals, considering that Carnival was directly involved and investing in the destination. If you delve into our industry’s economic data and positive impact on destinations, you can understand why so many destinations partner with the cruise industry. The BREA study conducted by the FCCA and its partner destinations provides a window to cruise tourism’s economic impact. The 2012 study, in which 21 destinations participated, revealed that an average crewmember spent $96.98, exceeding the average passenger spending of $95.92. (St. Maarten and St. Thomas are the clear leaders in both passenger and crew spending.) 34 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

I don’t believe enough people in these destinations understand how crucial the crew is for them. Not only do crewmembers spend more than the passengers on average, but even more importantly, they are ambassadors to the destinations, retuning frequently during the year/season and constantly dialoguing with passengers about what to do and experience. If they have a good experience in a port, they will be the first to tell the passengers, so targeting the crew is essential. To highlight the economic impact of cruise tourism on a destination, let’s look at the following hypothetical example: A destination receives 500,000 passengers and 200,000 crew from about 200 calls annually. The average spending of $95.82 for passengers and $96.98 for crew in this scenario would equate to an annual economic impact of approximately $67 million, with the major purchase categories being excursions, food and beverage, clothing,

and watches/jewelry. Thus, if you consider a port development in the range of $50-$70 million, the cruise port’s economic impact would likely exceed the investment in only a year or two, depending on volume and spending. Our industry continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace than during the earlyto mid-2000s, and identifying new and exciting destinations will continue to be the focus for many of us. Existing destinations will also generate opportunities to expand offerings for our passengers (and let’s not forget about crew members!), which will continue to create growth and positive economic impact for both our industry and our established destinations. In closing, I believe the well-regarded Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, states it best: “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.”


“The opportunity and knowledge exist for a new destination to implement a combination that works and delivers a superior product to cruise passengers…”

FormAt For A New Cruise DestiNAtioN’s suCCess: PUBLIC AND PrIVATE SECTOrS IN UNISON By Michael Ronan, Former Vice President, Government Relations, Latin America, Caribbean and Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


s unlikely as it may appear, there are still new cruise destinations emerging around the world, even in the Caribbean and Latin America. The question we will address here is what recommended strategy would combine the public and private sector efforts for a successful development plan that utilizes all the experience gained over 40+ years of cruise industry growth. This article will take an optimistic approach, with some closing comments on real-world challenges. Destination “A” elects a new government for a four-year term and has a majority in the legislature. Tourism, primarily hotel based, plays a consistent and significant role in the economy, which is aided by well-implemented incentives. The incoming government has plans for a significant increase in tourist arrivals, including cruise, as part of its long-term development. At this point, ideally, the plan has been put together with input from the private sector through local hotel, tour operator

and transport associations, but little has been done with the cruise sector because it does not currently call the destination. This is the first hurtle. The first step is to understand the wants and needs of the cruise sector and tap into its resources and knowledge, which the FCCA and regional destinations’ experiences provide in the Caribbean and Latin America. This understanding allows the destination to know the requirements to receive vessels of any size and capacity, as well as how to handle other important services, like pilots, transportation, tours and corresponding costs. The timing for attracting and confirming cruise calls becomes clearer and allows for well-planned steps before the first ship’s arrival and for the government to frame the expectations of the cruise sector’s opening. Once the destination gets input from the cruise industry, it must decide how to use the information effectively. Key Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 37

sectors that will be impacted by the plans include transportation, guides, tour sites, bars and restaurants, hotels, and retail. To maximize the potential benefits of each sector, the government will have to thoroughly review regulations governing each activity and decide which are suitable and which need changes.

and or other acceptable means. Regulations should also address rates for services and a code of conduct with corresponding penalties. These service providers—guides and drivers—should not be allowed to self-monitor, as this has proven to not work. A neutral third party needs to be in place for this to be effective.

Historically, one of the most challenging has been transportation. Cutting through the smoke, the issue usually comes down to what role taxis play, the need for quality higher capacity transportation for organized tours, and the public and private sectors’ roles to meet the needs of all visiting tourists (air/hotel/cruise).

Some of the above noted services can be supported through available FCCA programs. However, this does replace a well-structured and -implemented set of regulations.

There are no existing examples of the optimal combination of these factors, but the destinations closest to perfect have provided a solid basis for quality transport services by implementing regulations through their tourism ministry. This includes both driver and vehicle minimum requirements, annual inspections and renewals, and a code of conduct with corresponding penalties for violations. The government’s role also includes maximum rate setting, which gives the visitor and tour operators the needed sense of confidence when contracting services. In an ideal situation, the government oversees the issuing of any new taxi or bus permits, as well as the size and capacity of vehicles permitted, without political involvement, to maintain a balance of required seats. If all these elements are included, government’s involvement combines seamlessly and synergistically with privately owned buses, taxis and mini buses, along with their associations. Needless to say, the organization of the different transport components in the port, as well as outside, is extremely important so that the visitors encounter desired quality services easily, regardless of the venue. Moving tourists around is critical, but without good guide services, the overall product will not reach its full potential. Whether in the vehicle or at a tourist site, guide quality is critical. Here, government's role is to again create and implement the appropriate regulations to assure all those providing guide services are duly qualified. Only certified guides should be permitted to work at designated tourism sites or points of departure, like ports, airports and hotels. To create and sustain this standard, the private sector should be prepared to support the training process through funding 38 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Tourism venues represent another critical component of the overall product. Whether public or private, they need to maintain high service standards for all visitors. Achieving this requires an understanding of the expected volume, activity level, age and origin of the visitors, along with signage and/or use of electronic devices to assure movement through the site. Correct evaluation and preparation equip sites with the physical elements necessary to assure safe and enjoyable visits. Under preferred conditions, each site will also know its carrying capacity. This information combined across all tourism sites can allow for advance planning of peak days and effective scheduling and use of the sites. This can all be done, but requires the participation of both the public and private sectors. The remaining sectors that traditionally benefit from cruise arrivals include the retail sector, from arts and crafts and duty-free shopping to restaurants and bars. These are normally well represented in local, regional and/or national tourism associations or groupings, but to maximize cruise passengers’ benefits, these commercial private sector groups should be actively involved in the planning and ongoing interaction with the government and cruise industry. Finally, the reality check—all of the regulations, systems or structures mentioned in this article exist to some degree in every destination. The opportunity and knowledge exist for a new destination to implement a combination that works and delivers a superior product to cruise passengers, and destinations already active in cruise tourism can apply changes based on best practices to increase satisfaction. It all comes down to the question if the private sector (which elected the government) and the government elected will look beyond the short-term and work together to develop and position the necessary building blocks for a successful cruise tourism product.

Castaway Cay, Bahamas

Disney Magic and Disney Wonder Return to the Sunshine State All Four Disney Ships to Sail from Florida Through Spring 2015


he Disney Magic and Disney Wonder have returned home to Florida after sailing summer seasons in the Mediterranean and Alaska. Now through spring 2015, all four ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet are sailing from Florida ports – a strategy the company launched for the first time in 2014.

“Voyages to the Caribbean and Bahamas have always been popular with our guests,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Sailings from Florida also give our guests more options to visit our private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, and to combine their cruise with a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, which is only a one-hour drive from the Port Canaveral.” For most of the season the Disney Magic, which was “reimagined” with new venues and entertainment last year, will join Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in sailing from Port Canaveral, while Disney Wonder sails from Miami (a new port in 2013). Guests can also sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico, when Disney Magic homeports there for a limited time this fall.

impact on the state. Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy homeporting in Port Canaveral generates more than 4,000 jobs in Central Florida and contributes more than $450 million to the local economy, based on a third-party study by Martin Associates.

Positive impact

The addition of a third ship in Port Canaveral in early 2014 created approximated 1,000 new jobs in the region and boosted the local economy by an additional $100 million, according to the same study.

Having all four ships in the Sunshine State has had a positive

Disney Cruise Line’s presence also benefits local communities Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 41

in other ways. Over the past three years, Disney Cruise Line has helped raise more than $1 million for chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. Funding helped support the building of a new Cocoa branch in Brevard County in 2014, where Disney VoluntEARS also helped build a playground. In the coming months, the Disney Magic will visit six new ports throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean, including San Juan, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and St. Kitts. In addition to hosting local officials onboard in the maritime tradition of a plaque and key exchange, Disney Cruise Line will conduct community outreach in several ports. where to Next? In summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line is charting a new course for northern Europe, exploring for the first time the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and Scotland. Plus, Disney Cruise Line is returning to the Mediterranean and the Baltic for allnew itineraries, including sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia. On seven- and nine-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, Disney Cruise Line guests are immersed in the

42 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports steeped in Viking history. An 11-night sailing takes guests to Iceland and Scotland for the very first time. The Norwegian fjords served as the inspiration and backdrop for Disney's blockbuster animated film, Frozen. Here, guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders, such as magnificent mountain ranges, steaming geysers, mammoth volcanoes and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture and historic city centers. Based in Celebration, Fla., Disney Cruise Line is focused on providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create. The company was recently recognized by Travel + Leisure as the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line and once again recognized as the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families. All four Disney ships ranked among the top cruise ships in the world on the Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Readers’ Choice List. The company also received 29 awards, including 12 first-place awards, in the 2014 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards, including Best for Families and Best Cruise to the Bahamas.

msC Cruises PlANs to CoNtiNue uNPreCeDeNteD Growth iN ComiNG yeArs


ince bringing its first ship dedicated to the North American market to Port Miami in Nov. 2013, consumers have been buzzing about MSC Cruises, the privately-held, family-owned, Italian cruise line, that is making a splash in the industry. Introducing 12 ships to its fleet since 2003, MSC Cruises is the world’s fastest growing cruise line — growing 640 percent in capacity in a 10 year span — and the youngest of any fleet. And the growth doesn’t stop there. Earlier this year the line announced big plans for future expansion, which includes a $6 billion investment for four new builds, with options for three more, as well as updating and expanding the capacity of four ships already in the fleet. New Builds by stX France Next spring, STX France will begin development of two new builds for MSC Cruises — due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019 — in the Saint-Nazaire yards in France. The ships will be 1033 feet long and 141 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons. Boasting 2,250 staterooms for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members, the ships are expected to be the largest cruise ships ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world. 44 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Among the new features of the ships will be specially designed staterooms for families and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the entirely self-contained private club on the prestigious foredecks that will now be completed with a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites. In addition, the new builds will include new panoramic spaces, exciting new entertainment venues and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck ‘inside promenade.’ The new prototype is the result of a long development process, conducted in the framework of STX’s ECORIZON® program, leading to the creation of a new generation of ships that are cleaner, more efficient and more technological. They will be water emission free, while their hull and propulsion system will be optimized for better energy efficiency. The installation of scrubbers will allow for fumes to be neutralized and CO2 emissions to be in accordance with the latest evolutions of international maritime regulations. MSC Cruises’ agreement with STX France also includes the option for two additional ships. New Builds by Fincantieri MSC Cruises has also announced an agreement with Italian

shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of two new cruise ships, and the option for a third vessel. The ships will be revolutionary in their design and structure, enabling them to dock in any port around the world. Named “Seaside,” the new ships are due for delivery in Nov. 2017 and May 2018, respectively. The prototypes will be the largest cruise ships ever built by Fincantieri with a length of 1060 feet, a width of 135 feet and a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons. The ships will accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members and include 2,070 guest staterooms, 759 crew cabins, and a total of 468,230 square feet of public area. The Seaside ships will be built to sail to the most sought-after warm weather destinations in the Mediterranean, South America and Caribbean and will have unique features such as a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. In addition, Seaside will feature a splendid and spacious theatre, a terraced balcony and panoramic elevators with sea views. Furthermore, the ships will boast numerous technological innovations including advanced safety systems that go beyond what is required by international regulation and that

will, among other things, further reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent. renaissance Project In addition to the new builds, MSC Cruises has been hard at work with Fincantieri on a multi-million dollar project to update all four of its Lirica class ships — the MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia, and MSC Opera — by November 2015. The “renaissance” of the ships will add exciting new entertainment options, technological advancements, extended shops and up to nearly 200 additional staterooms per ship. Highlights of the updated ships include a completely new spray park, with an exhilarating pathway of water features and water cannons and enhanced onboard boutiques with new interiors, more space and an all-new perfumery with display corners dedicated to leading brands, such as Dior, Lancôme and Dolce & Gabbana. The new builds combined with the Renaissance project will allow MSC Cruises to double the capacity of its fleet to about 80,000 passengers a day by 2022. For more information on




Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 45

Falling in Love with Martinique Love at first sight…


he whimsical notion may seem a bit antiquated in the face of modern online dating, but as anyone who’s ever sailed into The Bay of Fort-deFrance surely knows, love at first sight is still de rigueur in Martinique.

Centrally located in the Eastern Caribbean between St. Lucia to the south 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 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. 46 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

For cruise visitors, many of Martinique’s charms are readily and easily accessible just a few steps from their respective points of disembarkation at the twin cruise terminals – Pointe Simon and Tourelles – along the Fortde-France waterfront. From either terminal, it’s just a short walk to the hub of all city tour and attractions information, the Fort-de-France Office de Tourisme information kiosk. Located at the northwest corner of the La Savane Park, at the intersection of Rue de la Liberté and Boulevard Alfassa, the information kiosk is where visitors can rent self-guided audio city tour walking guides highlighting such notable attractions as the Schoelcher Library, the Saint Louis Cathedral, Aimé Césaire Theater, the Covered Market and the La Savane Park. Self-guided audio tour recordings

are available in a choice of four languages – English, French, Spanish and Italian – ensuring that none of Fort-deFrance’s charms get lost in translation. The Fort-de-France Office de Tourisme information kiosk is also where visitors can rent two-seater electric tricycles to explore the main historic sites of the capital less strenuously, and arrange for guided tours of the city’s newest attraction (also one of its oldest structures), Fort Saint Louis. Originally carved from a rocky promontory jutting out into The Bay of Fort-deFrance, Fort Saint Louis has expanded in concert with The City of Fort-de-France since its initial opening in 1640, eventually covering an area in excess of 473 612 square feet. At its highest point, the fort now towers nearly 200 feet over the city

Cruise Terminal is located directly in downtown Fort-de-France, and recently completed a $12 million expansion to accommodate Oasis-class vessels on the east side and vessels up to 221m on the west side. Improvements were also made for better and more convenient shore excursion and transportation access. Also new in Martinique for the 2014-2015 peak cruise travel season – a unique zoological experience featuring monkeys, jaguars, pumas, lories, giant anteaters, and more in a pristine, rainforest setting within the former Habitation Latouche. The plantation, which dates all the way back to 1643, is among the oldest in Martinique. Low-impact walking trails wind throughout the property in the shadow of the towering Pitons du Carbet, affording visitors the chance to easily explore wildlife from Australia, Africa, South and CentralAmerica in a truly singular setting.

and the bay, making it one of the first things cruise visitors see when approaching the city aboard ship.

Another prime point of welcome in Fortde-France where cruise visitors are sure to feel the love is the Cruise Village.

For the past 13 years, any love at first sight feelings engendered among cruiser passengers gazing upon Fort Saint Louis went unrequited, though, as the fort was closed to the public after 9/11 and reinstated as an active naval base by The French Navy.

Initially launched for the 2013-2014 peak cruising season, the Cruise Village is back once more, providing a vibrant and colorful welcome to The Isle of Flowers. English-speaking vendors accepting U.S. dollars and selling all types of local arts, crafts, jewelry, skin care products, perfumes, designer accessories and souvenirs, mix here with helpful and informative guides offering tips on what to see, do, taste, and experience during port calls.

As of July 20, 2014, however, Fort Saint Louis has reopened. Visitors to Fort Saint Louis should note that the facility still functions in part as a Naval Base, with more than 100 French Navy personnel stationed here full-time in a section of the fort closed off to visitors. Fort Saint Louis is open for tours Tuesday–Saturday from 9am to 4pm. Guided tours are available with commentary provided in English, French, Spanish, and Italian. Tours are not recommended for pregnant women, people with walking disabilities or those confined to wheelchairs. Walking shoes are also highly recommended.

For entertainment, The Cruise Village features live music with Creole dance performances at regular intervals. Tastings of Martinique’s legendary rhum agricole brands, the only rums in the world that carry the prestigious A.O.C. seal of exceptional quality, are also on offer. The Cruise Village is located right at the entrance to the Pointe Simon Cruise Terminal, making it impossible to miss for passengers disembarking there. This

With all that’s new to see and experience in Martinique for the 2014-2015 peak cruise season, it follows that many of the world’s top cruise lines are lining up to homeport or make port calls in Fort-deFrance over the coming months; 215,000 cruise passengers (a 44% increase from previous season) and 175 calls (an increase of 28.7%) are expected to come ashore in Fort-de-France between October 30, 2014 and July 31, 2015. As a homeport, Martinique will welcome such notable cruise lines as Costa, MSC, Croisière de France, Club Med Cruises, and le Ponant. As a port of call, Martinique will be featured in itineraries put forth by Royal Caribbean (RCCL), highlighted by four calls by the vaunted Quantum of the Seas and nine calls by the Jewel of the Seas, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and the German operators TUI and AIDA, to mention a few. Indeed, there’s a lot to love about cruising to Martinique in 2014 and beyond! For more information, visit Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 47

Ensenada, Mexico

Mexico’s Cruise Industry Strategy


exico is currently one of the best opportunities for the cruise industry because it actively competes for passengers and ships through smart and strategic products, promotion, facilitation, costs and security. This strategy has poised Mexico to become one of the cruise lines’ best options. With this goal in mind, there is a sense of revitalization for 2014. The administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto is committed to increase economic return and reposition the industry over the next four years. Positive results of increasing Mexican cruise arrivals have been achieved through the focus on supply diversification, improvement of service and strengthening of infrastructure and productivity. 48 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

There are four key strategies to support Mexico’s plan to recover the cruising industry: sectorial organization and transformation; innovation and competitiveness; investment and sustainability with social benefits; promotion.

the return of first-time cruisers, capacity growth, revitalization/innovation, pricing optimization, strong value, cruise line perks, brand distinguishing, and new product offerings and destinations/markets.

Mexico has a wide range of nearly thirty destinations ready to receive cruises. A few among the most successful and famous worldwide include Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Ensenada, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Out of these destinations, two of them have been proven outstanding: Cozumel and Ensenada.

The Caribbean has been a main destination for operational vessels and holds 37.3 percent of global itineraries, and Cozumel is a perfect alternative. It is a beloved and admired destination by the cruise industry and passengers, which is why cruise tourism has become its major economic engine (driven by 90 percent of Mexico’s cruise ship arrivals). Cozumel is known for its ongoing innovation, special offers and new tourism products. In fact, Quintana Roo expects a growth in the tourism sector between six and 10 percent,

2014 has been categorized as a recovery year for the cruise industry in Mexico, but further growth in 2015 will be generated by an increased demand,

directly linked to the cruise industry and primarily due to the new routes being offered by cruise lines. Cozumel’s cruise visitors can experience natural paradises, eco-adventures, archeological sightseeing, ancient Mayan history and sites, and culinary tourism. Plus they can visit unique white-sand beaches and turquoise, crystal-clear water at the neighboring Cancun and Riviera Maya, avant-garde destinations located on the southeast coast of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo. On the other coast, the northwest, Ensenada is reshaping to increase cruise arrivals and solidify itself as the most visited Mexican port of call at the Pacific Ocean. In 2013, the port of Ensenada placed second in the national ranking, with 487,774 visitors arriving on 192 ships. In 2014, the port expects nearly 300 cruise arrivals and over 700,000 passengers, representing a 56 percent increase.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Baja California offers a wide array of beaches and popular water sports throughout the coastal regions of the state, along with eco-touristic opportunities, such as nature tours and rockclimbing adventures. Visitors can also experience incredible food and wine tasting in the Valley of Guadalupe. Here they can meet the winemakers; explore art galleries; and discover why and how Baja has become a producer of world-class wines. In Baja California Sur, Los Cabos has many activities to offer, from swimming with dolphins, camel riding and whale watching to zip lines, snorkeling and scuba diving. This land boasts spectacular cities, endearing towns, deserts and mountains. All of these important elements work together to create a beautiful concert of natural beauty to satisfy even the most seasoned travelers. Mexico is a world-class destination

Cozumel, Mexico

qualified to receive high-end tourists and cruises from all around the world. As a result, Mexico obtained positive reviews from important cruise corporations, such as Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Corporation & PLC, and Norwegian Cruise Line, during the last Cruise Shipping Miami— the largest annual gathering of the cruise industry—in March 2014.

Because of Mexico’s strategic plan and renewed efforts to reestablish the cruise industry’s impact to the country’s tourism, nearly 1,900 cruise ships and 5.5 million passengers are anticipated to visit the beautiful destinations of Mexico in 2014. Visitors will be amazed by the unique experiences in Mexican ports and see why you have to “Live It to Believe It.” Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 49

embrace, discover and immerse in a culture full of history, having served as a port of call starting from when explorer Christopher Columbus first discovered the island on 1493 to today as the island welcomes cruise passengers. Visit Salt River Bay National Historical Park, where Christopher Columbus first landed. Today, the site provides insight into 2,000 years of Caribbean history and is home to the only surviving structural evidence of the earliest indigenous settlements. In St. Croix’s town of Christiansted, the harbor is dominated by the bright yellow walls of Fort Christiansvaern, erected in the 1700s. The historic town’s churches and pastel buildings filled with eclectic boutiques, art galleries and restaurants can easily be explored by foot.

The Wonders of St. Croix St. Croix, the largest of the three main islands that make up the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), is an undiscovered jewel which lies in the Caribbean Sea. The island is rich with the history and cultural influences of the seven flags that have flown over the territory. Poised to become a premier cruise destination—each year visitors are attracted to St. Croix’s historic towns, tranquil beaches, culinary events and its worldclass scuba and snorkeling sites. In June 2014 cruise executives, together with platinum members of the FCCA, were able to see for themselves what makes St. Croix so special. The island hosted the 2014 FCCA Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council Conference. Delegates enjoyed St. Croix’s delicacies, music, tours of 50 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

historic towns, Buck Island National Park snorkel/sail, island jeep tours, paddle boarding, kayaking and more. Here are the top five ways to discover St. Croix: Cultural exploration First impressions are made in the town of Frederiksted at the Ann. E. Abramson Marine Facility where cruise passengers are greeted by the brightly colored buildings that punctuate the historic streets. When disembarking at Frederiksted, cruisers are welcomed by Fort Frederik, a magnificent red structure built in 1760 to ward off invading pirates. A tour of this historic location offers insight into St. Croix’s Danish past. St. Croix is the destination to visit for those seeking opportunities to

The St. Croix Heritage Trail, is a 72mile driving tour that connects the island’s historic sites and attractions and includes many significant natural areas. Road markers guide visitors along the route which runs between the towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted, north to Hamm’s Bay and to Point Udall to take in the views from the eastern-most point of the United States. History buffs will find Estate Whim Plantation Museum a trip highlight. The restored 18th-century sugar plantation dates from the 1700s and offers guests a glimpse into the impact of Denmark’s colonial reign through tours of the great house and surrounding sugar factory ruins. sophisticated experiences Life is short so why not spend it on the finest luxuries. Get to know the 7-country flags that have flown over St. Croix through the island’s art and music at the Island Center of St. Croix or through the art galleries throughout the island. Golfers will want to head directly to

outdoor Adventure To appreciate the beauty of natural and cultural environments try an eco-tour, safari or horseback ride. Eco-conscious travelers can drive to Ridge-2-Reef Farm or participate in daylong workshops and volunteer programs to learn about sustainable living at the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute or Mount Victory Camp. Discover the island’s local flora and fauna at the St. George Village Botanical, including the endemic healing plants and fruits growing in the Medicinal Herb Garden.

Carambola Golf Club’s par-72 course or the Buccaneer’s par-70 course. Shoppers can navigate Christiansted’s colorful streets in search of the perfect St. Croix memento – a custom-designed piece of jewelry. The Crucian Hook Bracelet from Sonya’s is a 45-year-old island tradition that finds wearers with their hook up or down, depending on their luck in love. At IB Designs, buy jewelry pieces featuring authentic Danish pottery shards scavenged from across the island. At Crucian Gold, pick up a Crucian love knot bracelet. Tying knots of gold and silver has become Crucian Gold’s signature. Culinary indulgences The island’s multi-cultural background allows the culinary-lover to embrace, discover and immerse in the culture by sampling St. Croix’s diverse dining options. A bounty of local produce can be enjoyed from down-home local food joints serving traditional meals like kallaloo, to family-run bistros and finedining restaurants. Seafood is an island staple. For a taste of

local cuisine, try wahoo, snapper, mahimahi, Caribbean lobster, or conch – a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Satisfy your sweet tooth with an abundance of unique desserts, including coconut and guava tarts, soursop and gooseberry ice cream, as well as local rum cake and rum balls. Foodies can take in the island’s cuisine scene at the annual St. Croix Food and Wine Experience, a week-long event that thousands of guests from around the world including travel writers, vintners, and celebrity chefs. Named as one of the top 10 international food and wine events by, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience takes place each April. Sample Cruzan Rum on its island of origin by visiting the Cruzan Rum Distillery or sip on Captain Morgan Rum at the Diageo Welcome Center. Both offer guided tours that share the history of rum production in the Caribbean and its heritage on the island of St. Croix. When the tour is complete, guides will mix samples of local cocktails like the Cruzan Sunset, the Rum Cream and the Rush Hour.

water Playground Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, St. Croix is the perfect playground. Known around the world as a diving haven, scuba divers can explore five unique site options in one destination: pier dives, reefs, shipwrecks, shores and wall dives can all be logged on St. Croix. A day sail to Buck Island Reef National Monument is a favorite shore excursion. Catamarans depart daily from Christiansted to experience the 880 acre, protected coral reef that surrounds Buck Island. On shore, relax on pristine Turtle Beach, consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. The bright blue waters full of colourful reefs and endemic marine life will mesmerize exploring snorkeling enthusiasts. For the more active, water sport outfitters offer kite-boarding and stand-up paddle-boarding adventures. how to Plan your st. Croix Getaway All explorers are welcome to experience St. Croix’s diversity by land or by sea aboard visiting cruise lines which include Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, along with calls from Holland America Line, Carnival and Silversea Cruise Lines. To learn more about the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 51

Discover a place where tourists become travelers. And schedules are optional. Here, destinations can be located by map, but only found with the soul. The true Belize is discovered when you leave expectations behind, and simply be.


It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of America’s most vibrant and exciting cities. And if you’re planning a cruise, keep us in mind. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines sail weekly to destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas. But most passengers sailing from New Orleans enjoy two vacations in one by staying in the Big Easy before or after their cruise. • Aquarium of the Americas • 1,000+ 5-star restaurants • Historic French Quarter • Audubon Zoo • Swamp tours • World War II Museum • Antebellum plantation homes • World-class shopping and art • Steamboat excursions

Cruise New Orleans and d Enjoy 2 Vacations Vacations acat In 1


Experience Aruba’s 4000 years of history in one afternoon


ruba holds a variety of cultural sights and historical places, ranging from natural caves retaining five-century-old paintings to modern exhibitions and local museums. Among the finest of these locales is without doubt the newly reopened National Archaeological Museum of Aruba. Situated in the heart of the capital just a few short blocks from the cruise ship terminal, the museum is a beautiful merge between the past and the present, bringing both vacationers and locals a chance to explore the cultural and ethnic heritage of the Island. Dedicated to preserving and presenting Aruba's Amerindian legacy, the Archaeological Museum proudly displays a colorful collection stretched over 4000 years of history that proves well worth visiting. The museum holds its space in the beautiful Ecury buildings, located in one of the last remaining parts of historic Oranjestad. Integrating an old cunucu-style family house (circa 1870) with an up-to-date museum also makes for an excellent way to bring the Island's history to life. 54 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Flutter on over to the Butterfly Farm Aruba In 1999, Aruba’s Butterfly Farm opened its doors to a lush microcosm of a tropical rainforest filled with colorful flowers and trees, ponds, a waterfall, and a brilliant display of butterflies fluttering all around their special paradise. Within large mesh enclosures guests to the Butterfly Farm can view hundreds of exotic butterfly species from all over the world. Open daily, every time of year is a great time of year to visit, as our yearround temperate climate is ideal for these butterflies. In the morning, the butterflies are at their most active, and it is also the best time to witness them emerging from their chrysalis. Photography buffs will appreciate the afternoons, as the beautiful creatures slow down a little and are easier to photograph. The Butterfly Farm is located in the high-rise hotel area of Palm Beach, directly across the street from The Westin Aruba Resort & Casino.

Cruisin’ Aruba by horseback One of Aruba’s most popular excursions is seeing the island by horseback. Some of Aruba’s most serene and picturesque landscapes are often accessible only by foot or horseback, and the only sounds audible are the wind and the clip-clap of the horses as you weave through the cacti, aloe, and rocky outcroppings scattered among the hills, valleys, and canyons of the island’s desertlike terrain of our “cunucu” (countryside). There are several ranches dotting the island, each offering a variety of tours through the rolling hills of the cunucu and the beautiful coastline. The tours are led with knowledgeable guides, and the trail-worthy and naturally light gated paso fino horses (a breed that originated in Spain, but is the mainstay breed of the Caribbean). The smooth gate and gentle demeanor of these horses make the opportunity to see Aruba by horseback possible for riders of all levels.

FCCA’s Training Partner: Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence

(Left to right) Eduardo Gonzalez and Marcos Martinez from Discover Mexico Park being awarded by Aquila’s Beth Kelly Hatt, Melanie Colpitts and Danielle Timmons.

how the Programs Came About and why you Need to take Advantage of them Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence became the FCCA’s official training partner in October 2010. Since that year, Aquila has worked with over 40 destinations to train tour guides, tour operators, and other stakeholders on delivering excellent service to the cruise industry. “With increasing local and global competition, it is more important than ever to distinguish your product and present the best possible experience,” said Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. “One of the best ways to do this is through knowledgeable operations and tour guides, which is why we teamed with Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence to offer an all-encompassing training program so our tour operator members can feel confident that they are armed with the best tool: know-how.” And Aquila values its partnership with the FCCA as both continue to make a positive difference in the cruise industry. Aquila: A tour operator turned trainer To give a little history, Aquila opened 56 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

the Center for Cruise Excellence at the encouragement of cruise line executives in 2007. Aquila has been the operator of choice for over 25 years in its homeport of Saint John, on Canada’s famous Bay of Fundy, where one can experience the highest tides in the world. With several cruise executives referring new operators to talk to Aquila or encouraging Aquila to train new operators, Aquila partners—Beth Kelly Hatt, Melanie Colpitts and Danielle Timmons—first met with Mico Cascais of Carnival Cruises, and Graham Davis of Princess Cruises at that time, and they validated Aquila’s plans in implanting a training arm. Aquila has continued to receive awards and accolades for their shore excursions programs and believe that guest interaction with the local people in a destination is directly related to a region’s cruise tourism success. Aquila continues to operate tours in Saint John today, using them as a living lab to stay on top of the industry’s trends and changes. If your objective is for cruise guests to go back home and talk about the fantastic experience they had in your destination, then investing in your people is a top priority.

Aquila’s tour Guide excellence Goes online Over the years as training programs were developed, it was obvious to the Aquila team that traveling to remote destinations to train tour guides and tour operators in person may not be an efficient model for Aquila or an affordable one for many tour operators. That is when the idea of an online training tool was born and Tour Guide Excellence International Certification was developed. The online program now has tour guides in over 40 countries worldwide, from New Caledonia and Russia to the Caribbean and Africa. With the FCCA partnership, growth has been most significant in the Caribbean and Central America. Panama’s Aventuras 2000 was the first in the region to get all their tour guides certified, followed by Discover Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Today, numerous Caribbean and Central American destinations boast internationally certified guides. In August 2014, partners and stakeholders in Colombia made a strategic investment in getting 130 tour guides certified, and Aquila did this training in person in Cartagena. These countries want to ensure their sustainability as a cruise destination and raise the level of service excellence and quality of experience in their destination. ACe tour operators Designated in the Caribbean As the tour guide training evolved, a need ensued for tour operator training and standards in conjunction with the tour guide training. Aquila spent a few years developing ACE (Aquila Cruise Excellence) Tour Operator Designation. Endorsed by the FCCA, this program allows tour operators to demonstrate that they have the policies

and procedures in place to meet or exceed the standards of quality recognized and respected throughout the industry. The Designation covers three pillars of service excellence: Excellence to Guests on Tour Delivery Excellence to Cruise Lines on Service Excellence in Operations This designation is exclusive to FCCAmember tour operators who have contracts with the cruise lines. With 42 industry standards and a code of ethics to adhere to, Aquila provides a confidential situational analysis; evaluation on each standard; valuable tools to meet the standards; and one-on-one coaching and feedback throughout the process. The time commitment for the tour operator’s management team is on average a few hours per week for three to four months, with the time invested dependent on the current situation and what is needed to meet the standards. Discover Mexico in Cozumel was the first to receive the ACE Tour Operator Designation at Cruise Shipping Miami in March, and Tropical TourGuadeloupe will be receiving theirs in October. Some destinations are partnering with their tour operators to share the costs, an investment that is to be commended as destinations strive to raise the level of excellence in their region. “Aquila’s ACE Tour Operator Designation has been an exceptional tool to integrate our previous training into a complete program that allows us to ensure the delivery of a superior quality product,” said Jose Villalvazo, Director General at Discover Mexico. “It also brings the team into a better understanding of the importance of a great tour delivery, an understanding of the cruise lines and their necessities resulting in an excellent operation.” what Cruise executives Are saying “In today’s extremely competitive envi-

Aquila’s Melanie Colpitts and Beth Kelly Hatt meets with the team from Proexport Colombia.

ronment, operators who have the vision to invest in their staff’s training with programs such as ‘Aquila’s Cruise Excellence Training’ stand to be in a better position when selling their programs to the Cruise Lines,” told Mico Cascais, vice president, tour operations, Carnival Cruise Lines. “Tour departments look not only for experiences that will deliver a great guest experience, but are also very much aware that a properly trained staff will ensure that such experiences are delivered on a consistent bases. This has great value to any cruise executive responsible for shore ex.”

“A well-trained guide can elevate the passenger experience, while their level of professionalism and knowledge can make the difference between a good or a great tour,” said Lisa Jensen, manager, shore operations, Princess Cruises. “The Tour Guide Excellence Certification program provides guides the opportunity to improve their skills, including preparation, presentation and dealing with challenging situations. Tour operators who certify their guides would definitely position themselves for more favorable consideration during the Princess Cruises Request for Proposal process.”

“The 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,” noted Joanne Salzedo, director of shore excursion product development, Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our Shorex teams look favorably at tour operators who invest in training, both in their operations or their tour guides, as those excursions tend to result in a positive experience for our guests.”

Closing remarks As a port, a destination or a tour operator, we can all take advice from Walt Disney, who said it well: “You can design, and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Let’s make this year the year we invest in our people, especially our tour guides and our tour operators, who bring life to the cruise industry’s destinations. Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 57

FCCA Platinum Associate Member Listing Ambassatours Gray Line - Big Pink Sightseeing

British Virgin Islands Port Authority

American Guard Services, Inc

BritishVirgin Islands Tourist Board

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

Business research and Economic Advisors (BrEA)

Aon risk Services

Carib resort Inc (St. Maarten Sightseeing Tours)

Administration Portuaria Integral de Quintana roo

Caribbean Cruise Shipping & Tours Limited

Administracion Portuaria Integral de Sonora

Caribbean Sun Fun (UltraMar)

Appleton Estate rum Tours

Carnival Sailing

Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence

Cartagena De Indias Cruise Ship Terminal

Aruba Tourism Authority

Cayman Island Department of Tourism

Aruba Port Authority

CH2M Hill Inc.

Atlantis Paradise

Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Authority of Tourism Panama

Colombian Government Trade Bureau- Proexport

Bacardi Global Travel retail

Corporacion de Costas Tropicales - Colon 2000

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Comite Martiniquais du Tourisme - Martinique Tourism Authority

Bamboo Beach Club

Connecting Waves N.V.

Banana Coast Cruise Port

Continental Shipping Inc.

Barbados Port Inc

Coordinacion Maritima y Turistica S.A de C.V

Barbados Tourism Authority

Costa rica Tourism Board (Instituto Costarrisence de Turismo)

Belize Tourism Board

Cox & Company Ltd

Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc

Cruise & Port Advisors, Inc.

Blue Planet

Cruise Ship Excursions Inc.

Bridgetown Cruise Terminals

Curacao Ports Authority

58 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

FCCA Platinum Associate Member Listing Diamonds International

Guatemala Tourism Board (INGUAT)

Discover Dominica Authority

H.H.V. Whitchurch & Co. Ltd

Discover Mexico

Honduras Institute of Tourism

Dolphin Cove Ltd

Huggins Tours Inc.


Jacksonville Port Authority

Dominica Air & Sea Port Authority

Mac Maritime Inc.

El Salvador Tourism Board

MErA Corporation

Emilio robba

Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican republic

Ensenada Cruiseport Village

Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal

Eventstar Structures

Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau

Explora Caribe Caribe Tours, S.A de C.V.

Montserrat Development Corporation

Fideicomiso de Turismo de Puerto Vallarta

New York City Economic Development Corp. / NY CrUISE

Fidelio Cruise Inc

Nicaraguan Tourism Board (Intur)

FMT Canada, Inc

Operadora Aviomar S.A. de C.V. (Aviomar Adventours)

FONATUr - Operadora Portuaria, S.A de C.V.

Panama Canal railway Company

Fort Street Tourism Village Ltd.

Park West Gallery

Foster & Ince Cruise Serv.

Playa Mia Grand Beach & Water Park

Freeport Harbour Company

Port Canaveral

Fury Catamarans

Port Everglades

Goddards Shipping & Tours

Port of Galveston

Grenada Tourism Authority

Port of Houston Authority

Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board

Port of Los Angeles

Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 59

FCCA Platinum Associate Member Listing Port of New Orleans

St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies

Port of Progreso, Yucatan

St. Maarten Tender Services

Port Saint John

Kingstown Criuse Terminal

Port of San Diego

Stericycle LATAM

Port Tampa Bay

Suburban Transportation


The Pirate republic

PPI Group / Panfoff Publishing

The Original Canopy Tour - OCT Enterprises Ltd

Prime Distributors (Duty Free World)

The West Indian Company Limited

Puerto Costa Maya

Tobago House of Assembly - Division of Tourism

Puerto rico Tourism Company

Tourism Corporation Bonaire

romasco Group

Tramway Properties Inc

S.E.L. Maduro & Sons (St Maarten)

Tourism Development Company Limited - Trinidad & Tobago

San Souci Ports S.A

Trinity Air Ambulance International, L.L.C.

Sand Dollar Sports

Tropical Shipping

Tourism of Ministry of Baja California Sur

Tropical Tours Baja Cabo S.A. de C.V.

Secretaria de Turismo Sinaloa

U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Secretaria de Fomento Turistico del Estado de Guerrero

UBM Live-Cruise Shipping

Starboard Cruise Services

United Stevedoring of America Inc.

St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority

Virgin Excursions LLP & Virgin Port Services

St. Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority

Virgin Islands Port Authority

St. Lucia Tourist Board St. Maarten Harbour Consultancy N.V.

60 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

FCCA Associate Member Listing 4Worlds Expeditions

Applicon Tours

Blue Water Safaris Ltd

A Von Brockdorff Services

Aqua Adventures Tours

Bluff Cove LTD DBA Bluff Cove Lagoon Tour

ABC Tours & Attractions

Aqua Clean Ships Caribe

Bois Cotlette Estate (In Site, Inc )

Accessible Ventures Transp

Arctur Travel Ltd

Bonaire Destination Services

ACSP Association of Cruise Service Providers

Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation

Bonaire Tours & Vacations

Acuario Tours

Armada Port Agency (Aruba, Bonaire,

Brittannia Tours.

Adelte Ports & Maritime


C Fernie & Co., S.A.

Adriatic Excursions Ltd

Aruba Adventures

C.I. Mambo S.A.S

Agencia Acoreana De Viagens

Association of Cruise Service Providers

Cabo Expeditions dba Cabo Adventures

Agencia Naviera Del Caribe (Anacaribe)

Asuaire Travel

CCG Marketing Services

Agent Coatings (Superior Clean Solutions)

Atlantik - Iceman (Islandsmot)

Calypso Train Tours

Airport Management Services (Casa De

Atlantis Adventures St. Maarten

Calypso Tye / Dye N.V


Atlantis Submarines Barbados

Cambiaso & risso

AJU Incentive Tours

Atlas Travel Agency

Campo rico Adventures

Alamos Travel - Operadora Caoba

ATS Pacific/Fiji Islands

Carambola Gardens & Tours

Alaska Mountain (Mexico Adventures

Aventura Ltd

Caribbean Helicopters


Avia Caribbean/Aviatur

Caribbean Journey Masters

Alexander, Parrish (Antigua)

Bahamas Experience Tours

Caribbean Segway Tours

Alizes Travel

Bahia Cruise Services

Caribbean Shipping Association

Altabrisas Tours SA de CV

Baja Aquatics, LLC

Caribe Nautical Services

Amatique Bay resort & Marina

Bajarama de Mexico S.A.

Caves of BarbadosLimited (Harrisons Cave)

Amazing Grace Experience

Baleares Consignatarios (BC Tours)

Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce

America's Cup 12 Metre "St. Maarten 12

Baltic Travel

Cayman Sea Adventures (MarineLand Tours)

Metre Challenge"

Banana Boat Tours/Tropical Charm

Cayman Turtle Farm Boatswains Bch

Amin Kawar & Sons Travel

Barefoot Holidays St. Lucia

CEO Mexico DMC

Amphitrion Cruises Services (Amphitrion

BEA Architects Inc

Ceres Terminals, Inc


Beijing Biz Travel

CityView Trolleys Tours of Key West

Anthony's Key resort

Ben Line Agencies (Japan)

Coconut Tours

Antigua Destination Planners dba

Bermuda Ship Agencies

Colombia 57 Tours & Logistics

Antigua Vacations

Best of Grenada Limited

Conch Tour Train

API de Dos Bocas

Big Bus Tours Ltd

Coral Island Tours

API de Guaymas

Blue Mall

Coral World Ocean Park

API Puerto of Chiapas (Puerto Madero)

Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours

Croydon In The Mountains

62 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

FCCA Associate Member Listing Crucero Tour S.A.

Exotic Eco Adventures Ltd

H2O - tierra Ltd

Cruise Business review

Ezi World Holidays & Travel

H Forbes Charter Services

Cruise Gallery Inc.

Facilitators Unlimited Inc.

Hamilton, Miller & l

Cruise Industry News

Fantasea Bermuda

Happy Hour Tours

Cruise Insight (Ashcroft & Associates)

Fiesta Tours

Harbor Bunkering Corp

Cruise Maryland / Maryland Port

Five Star Watersport

Hibiscus Eco-Tours

Cruise Plus Services

Florida Stevedoring Inc

Hippo Tours

Cruise Solutions Belize

Fun Sun

Historic Charlottetown Seaport

Cruise Tours International

Funa International, Inc.

Holiday Adventure (Taxi Coperative)

CTG Margarita C.A.

FBTT Travel B.V (Funbini B.V.)

Humberto Alvarez Sucs -

Dan Knowles Tours Co. Ltd

Furlong Incoming

Hyde Tours roatan

Dayligth & Darknight Cave Adventures

Funday Fco. Tours Inc dba Funday Tours

Ibercruises-Agencia de Viagens

De Palm Tours

Funtastic Tours Company Ltd

Iberoservice Incoming Ser Dominican

Delisle Walwyn - Kantours

Future Vision Invest Co dba Bacab Eco Park


Denrus (St. Petersburg)

G.P. Wild International LTD

Iberoservice Incoming Ser Spain

Destination Antigua (Tropical adventures)

Gianco, S.A. de C.V. /Mexico Travelscape

Iceland Travel

Destination Management Chile

Global Collect

ID Tours New Zealand

Destination North America

Go With Gus Tours

Inflot Worldwide, Inc

Discover Dominica Authority

Golden Foundation Tours

Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services

Discovereef Cayman Ltd

Gorbis Travel

International Medical Group

Dive Dominica

Grand Bahama Taxi

Inversiones Maloka C.A.

Dutch Tours Enterprises

Gray Line - Costa rica

IOS Health Systems


Gray Line El Salvador - Avitours

Island Meetings & Incentive

E. Duran Shipping P&I Services- Viajes Duran

Gray Line - Los Cabos

Island-Sightseeing LLC

Ecoquest Adventures & Tours

Gray Line - Nicaragua - (Versatile

Island Safari Barbados

Ecuadorian Tours Agencia de Viajes y Turismo S.A


Island Shipping & Trading

Eden on the river

Grupo Dolphin Discovery

ITC InterTrav Corporation Italia

Eko Park Los Cabos DBA Wild Canyon

Grupo rescue

Italian Details SrL

Eleuthera Adventure Tours

Guadeloupe Port Authority

IWW Island Networks

Elite Shore Excursion

Guatemala Xpedition

Jades Imperio Maya

Elite Travel Ltd.

Gumbs Taxi & Tours

Jades, S.A. - Antigua Guatemala

Elroy's Pleasure Tours

H.E. Dock Services Ltd.

Jamaica Tourist Board

Excursions LTD

H.I.S Co Ltd

Jamaica Zipline Adventure Tours

Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 63

FCCA Associate Member Listing JCAL Tours Ltd

Moffatt & Nichol

Portimar Agencia De Viagens

Jones Travel Ltd.

Montego Bay Camber of Commerce &

Prestige Destination Services Ltd.

Jolly roger Cruises & Tours S.A.


Prestige Leasing & Tours

JTB Global Marketing & Travel

Montenegro Shorex Ltd


Jungle Trekking Adventures

Montserrat Development Corp

PT. Bali Prestige Tours

Karavan Mar - Turizm Seyahat

Montserrat Tourist Board


Kayak Nature Tours

Mount Gay rum Tour

rancho Buena Vista

Kelly's Watersports

Municipality of Mayaguez

rancho Tierra Bonita

Key west Chamber of Commerce

Nature Island Taxi Assc

rapsody Tours, Cruises

Kim' Arrin Cruise Services

Nautilus Cayman Ltd

rC Travel

Komex ToKomex Tours

Navigator Travel & Tourist

renaissance Tour Ltd dba renaissance Tour

Lagoon Group

Nevis Tourism Authority


La Mar Excursions, Inc

Neptune Skin Inc

rendezvous Tour Co.

La Marquesa Canopy Tour

NGD Ltd T/A Lobster Pot Dive Center

reef Tours Ltd

Lannaman & Morris (Shipping) Limited

Novotur Viajes

regale International Travel

LArF, Inc. - (Amazing Cozumel race)

Oasis Divers & Water (Aqua Tours)

resort Adventure Centers

Leeward Islands Charters

Ocean Adventures

resort Sports, Ltd.

Leisure Travel & Tours Ltd.

Ocean Motion Watersports / Splash Sports

rhodes Hall Plantation Ltd

Loud rooster, LLC

Old Fort Craft Mkt

roatan Island Tours

Lloyd's register North America

Old Town Trolley Tours Key West

rocket Fuel Inc.

Lucky Stables N.V.

Old Town Trolley Tours Boston

roger Albert Voyages

Magic Ice St. Thomas

Operadora Turistica Bahias Plus

romeo Fleming Group of Companies


Page & Jones, Inc.

rozo & Co.

Mahogany run Golf Course

Palaceda Tours

rST / rico Sun Tours

Maritima Dominicana

Paradise Aqua Tours.

rumbo Sur

Mar-Lab NV dba Banana Bus

Pelican Adventures

Sanus Travel

Maya World Tours

Peninsula de La Pasion

Safe Handles

MB Tours

Pier B Development

S.E.L. Maduro & Sons (Curacao)

MC Tours - Honduras

Platinum Port Agency

Sea Bridge International

Mcroberts Maritime Security

Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago


Meyer Agencies Ltd.

Port Authority of the Cayman

Sea Blaster Tours

Micronesian Cruise Association

Port of Key West (City of Key West)

Sea Grapes International

Mifsud Brothers Ltd

Port of Palm Beach District

Seahorse Sailing Adventures

64 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

FCCA Associate Member Listing Sea Song Tours

Suncoast Investments

Vallarta Adventure SA de CV

Seatrade Communications LTD

Sunsation Tour/ Q+K Spice Sunsation Tours

Vallarta Shore Excursions

Secretaria de Turismo del Estado de Colima /

Sunshine Cruises (1990)

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline

Colima State Gov.

Surfside AquaSports Ltd

Veragua rainforest

Secreteria de Tourismo y relaciones

Swiss Travel Service

Viajes Buemes S.A

(Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas)

Tabyana Beach

Viajes de Guatemala S.A.


Tan Hong - Vietventures


Shkendija Travel

TDC Flamboyant Tours

Yellow Tourism Solutions DBA Yellow


The Caymanian Land & Sea


Skylimit Travel Services

The Falkland Islands Co Ltd

Wadadli Animal Nature Park

SMS Travel & Toursim

The Port Authority of Jamaica

Webster's Tours

Snorkel Park Company Ltd.

The rendezvous Company Antigua

Whiteboard Solutions

Snorkel Safaris

Topsails Inc

Wind Is Our Friend

Snuba International Inc

Tortuga Internatioanl Holdings Ltd

Wind and Sea Ltd

SONA rent the Bicycle , S.E.

Tour Coop of Puerto rico

Witenblauw Operating N.V

South Carolina State Port

Tourism Services LTd

Wonders of The Barrier reef Tours LTD

Special Needs Group

Transoceanicas S.A

World Discovery Walks, Inc.

Spice Basket Ltd

Transporte Turistico Cali-Baja

Wrave (Wacky rollers) Ltd

St. Ann Chamber of Commerce

Tratamiento Ecologico de residuos

Zoom Eglence Parkuru Org / Skyline Zipline

St. Ann Development

TrAVELEX (Travel Executives)


St. Kitts Scenic railway

Travelia Services

St. Kitts Tourism Authority

Travel Agency "Sochi Holidays" Ltd

St. Lucia Segway

Tree Limin' Extreme, LLC

St. Maarten 12 Metre "America's Cup"

Trinidad & Tobago Sightseeing Tours



St. Thomas - St. John Chamber of Commerce

Tropical Tours Guadelupe


Tudor rose (International Cruise & Ferry

Stansfeld Scott Inc.


Stingray City (Antigua)

Tura Turizm - Sea Mer Tours

Stingray Island Bahamas Ltd


Stuart's Cove Dive Bahamas


Sub Sea Systems / Sea Trek

United Shipping Co

Sulivan Shipping Services

Urban Design Development

Third Quarter 2014 • Cruising Magazine 65

The Cruise Industry’s Premier Global Event March 16–19, 2015 | Miami Beach Convention Center | Miami Beach, Florida


For over 30 years, Cruise Shipping Miami has been the cruise industry’s premier global exhibition and conference, bringing together buyers and suppliers for a week of networking, sourcing, innovation and education. To reserve your stand, contact or call +1 212-600-3095 today! Exclusively supported by




Faces In The Industry olden senior Forbes – Assistant Executive Housekeeper, Norwegian Cruise Line I was born and raised in Costa Rica. I went to school there, and all my friends still live in my hometown, Siquirres, which is 60km from Puerto Limon. I went to college and studied to become a veterinary physician, but my passion was football. I really wanted to be the next ‘Wanchope Paulo’ (a famous Costa Rican footballer), but the odds were not on my side. I fell in love with the hospitality industry and decided to try to experience ‘ship life.’ The plan was to stay onboard for five years and then open my own business back home. Well, 20 years later, I am still here, helping to deliver the best vacation experience for our guests. My first job was onboard the SS Norway in 1994. I held the position of utility galley for two years. Later, I was transferred to the seaward, where the hotel director (Scott Hamby) noticed me and believed in my abilities to succeed. He gave me the opportunity to move to the housekeeping department, where I started as a hotel utility. It was a tough job, but I loved what I was doing, and my managers noticed my devotion and gave me the opportunity to teach others. So in time I become head steward, then second steward, and for the last 11 years, I have been an assistant executive housekeeper. I have worked hard to be where I am right now, and Norwegian Cruise Line gave me the opportunities to become a success story. I believe that dreams do come true if you believe and if you do the best you can to accomplish them. Costa rica

I think people should always be given a chance to prove themselves, just as I was given the opportunity many years ago.

Jean Carlos melhado – First Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line My name is Jean Carlos Melhado from Panama. Since I was a young boy, I used to see my father working as a tugboat master in the Panama Canal, so it was my dream to work onboard a ship as an officer. I never thought I would be so lucky to work on passenger ships. After four years in nautical school, I started as cadet in another company, and after I got my license, I was able to join Norwegian Cruise Line in 2011 as second officer. Now I am first officer of safety onboard the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway, one of the newest ships in the cruise industry. I am in charge of the lifesaving appliances onboard. What I love the most about working on cruise ships is the different people you meet from different cultures and the chance to see places around the world. My favorite destination is Palma de Mallorca because of its beautiful beaches along the coast and its nice spots to roller-skate. Panama

Norwegian Cruise Line is a company with a lot of opportunities for career growth. For us crewmembers, the treatment is unique. When you work in such a company, you feel devoted to provide the best service, safety and quality for all of our passengers and crew.

68 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Speak with a drinks & beverage fashion consultant at (800) 851-9273 or Order Direct at

Faces In The Industry Vicente Amicone – Chief Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line I was born and raised in a country hard to pronounce, easy to confuse with another country and hard to find or allocate in the world map. That is because Uruguay, my country, is a little country between much bigger countries, like Argentina and Brazil. As I was growing up like any other kid, I had (and still have) many dreams, from astronaut and jet fighter to a successful businessman. They all may seem different, but the final goal was always the same—to change or help someone else in this world. As I was in my teenage years following the normal paths, I was at high school thinking about a future in civil engineering or architecture, just because I always had a profound love for math and science. But out of the blue, I came home and told my parents I wanted to enroll in the Army College. They were quite Uruguay confused; it was unexpected going from a Catholic primary and secondary school to this, but something I will always admire of my parents is no matter what I decided, they always supported me. Without really knowing what I was doing, I embarked myself into that adventure, where lots of new thoughts came to my head. I wanted to see the world, and looking at the faraway horizon from a beach in my country, I understood that the sea is a love of its own, which seduced me with the feeling of wonder of what lied beyond that horizon. I wanted those challenges; I wanted those unknown lands and cultures. It was quickly understood that money would be needed for such endeavors, but the solution was easy. I want to be a tourist and to be paid. What can I do? Become a sailor—that was the answer. And it was easy to find out where to go because I was in the Military College. I needed to go to the Navy and make my career through the Naval Academy. Years went by, and graduation was soon arriving when something inexplicable occurred. Suddenly rumors were spreading around the Academy that some of us were going to be on training on a cruise ship. At that point, thinking about cruise liners was a dream, since no one knew how to get there, and even if we knew, we never believed that was an option. Surely enough, the sub-director of the Academy came to talk to us, something that never happens in a military environment because those positions are like Greek gods in the Olympus Mountain that exist, but are never seen. He told us someone from Norwegian Cruise Line had visited the Academy and was excited with what he saw and how we prepare ourselves to become officers, and they were willing to take one to test in their company. Seems like destiny was working overtime because out of all them, I was the chosen one to be tested, and lots of trust and pressure was put on me to succeed to represent the Academy and my little country. So I went there with not much in my pockets, but plenty in my head. Then I saw it for the first time—the Norwegian Dawn. My eyes couldn’t believe it, its immensity and grandeur. Instantly my heart was beating faster, and a feeling of insecurity came over me, but deep inside I knew everything was going to be all right. Years passed, and my career at Norwegian Cruise Line grew to what it is today as chief officer (one of the youngest, if not the youngest, on the fleet) onboard the Norwegian Getaway, in charge of the stability, ballast and maintenance of the vessel and part of the team that steers the ship through safe waterways, keeping everyone onboard alive so they can enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime vacations while onboard. And that is how I end up in the place I always wanted to be, without always knew it was here. My career has been amazing in every single way. I have learnt things I cannot even explain, things of a life beyond what I could ever dream. I have met many amazing people who have shaped me into the man that I am now, and I will always be grateful to all of them for the life lessons and their stories and lessons.

70 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

A delegation from Antigua and Barbuda led by Minister of Tourism, Hon. Asot Michael (center) meets with The FCCA Security Operations Committee.

Mark Mingo, CEO, St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies (center), meets with Kevin Sheehan, FCCA Chairman and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line (right) and Colin Murphy, FCCA Operations Committee Chairman and Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development for Norwegian Cruise Line (left).

72 Cruising Magazine • Third Quarter 2014

Press Conference Announcing the 2015 FCCA Central America Conference with FCCA President, Michele M. Paige, Vice President of the Republic of El Salvador, Lic. Oscar Ortiz, Minister of Tourism, Jose Napoleon Duarte Duran and General Manager of CEPA, Ing. Emerito Velasquez.

SAY BON VOYAGE SOONER. When your guests cruise in and out of Port Everglades, they’ll save time getting to their ship and starting their cruise vacation. We’re just 3 minutes from Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport (FLL), and we’re easily accessible from South Florida’s major highways. Plus, our newly renovated modern terminals are designed for efficiency. That all adds up to less time traveling and more time cruising. Visit




Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

2014 3rd Qtr. Cruising Magazine  

Published quarterly, Cruising is the official magazine of the FCCA and cruise industry that serves to educate and bring about an understandi...

2014 3rd Qtr. Cruising Magazine  

Published quarterly, Cruising is the official magazine of the FCCA and cruise industry that serves to educate and bring about an understandi...

Profile for fcca