experience like nowhere else.
Atlantis holds a lifetime of spectacular memories. At Dolphin Cay get up close with playful dolphins and friendly sea lions. Aquaventure is one of the largest and most thrilling water parks in the world. And continue the rush at Atlantis Casino. Learn more about our programs on our cruise partners’ websites: Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, MSC Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines or Royal Caribbean International. To begin oﬀering Atlantis Excursions through your cruise line, please contact PIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. Atlantis. There’s no such thing as too much amazing.
FULL SMILES AHEAD. THAT’S CAYMANKIND.
A WORLD AWAY. JUST ONE HOUR FROM MIAMI.
FLORIDACARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION
THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE Second Quarter 2015
Micky Arison FCCA Chairman, Chairman Carnival Corporation
16 Cruise Line CEOs Discuss the State of the Industry and Its Global and Economic Growth at 2015 Cruise Shipping Miami
Michael Bayley President & CEO Royal Caribbean International
20 The Future of the Caribbean and How It Is Being Reshaped
Adam Goldstein President & COO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line
Cover photo: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Andrew Stewart President & COO Norwegian Cruise Line
FCCA Staff Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design
24 El Salvador Displays Its and Central America’s Cruise Tourism Opportunities during FCCA Central America Cruise Summit
12 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights
26 Cozumel Preparing to Welcome Cruise Executives and Stakeholders for 22nd Annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show
58 Faces in the Industry 60 Meetings with the FCCA
28 St. Croix: Rich in Culture and History
Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President Carlos Santamarina Director, Membership Events & Programs Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant Raquel Nales Administrative Assistant Justin Paige Manager, Communications, Research & Marketing Michele M. Paige President Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Suite 201, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 • Fax: (954) 441-3171 Website: www.f-cca.com • E-mail: email@example.com Cruising Magazine © 2015 ~ All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited. To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
FCCA Plus Cruise Shipping Miami Equals Opportunities for Success
Mazatlan Refuses to Lose and Wins Back Cruise Tourism
Dominican Republic and Amber Cove Have It All
Puerto Rico Revamps Shore Excursion Offering; Focuses on Service
MSC Cruises Committed to Expanding Presence in North America
Carnival Vista Courts Millennials
Get to Know Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Two New FCCA Member Lines
fathom: Carnival Corporation’s New Brand and Travel Category
Is Your Shore Excursion Product Current? FCCA Member Lines AIDA Cruises • Azamara Club Cruises • Carnival Cruise Line • Celebrity Cruises Costa Cruises • Croisières de France • Cunard Line • Disney Cruise Line • Holland America Line MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. • Norwegian Cruise Line • Oceania Cruises • P&O Cruises • Princess Cruises Pullmantur Cruises • Regent Seven Seas 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.
Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 7
President’s Letter “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” –Benjamin Franklin Some say that good things come to those who wait, but we in the cruise industry know that if your ship doesn’t come in, you swim out to it. Often the first in the market or the newest product gets market share and drives demand. To get or stay ahead, we must embrace a shark’s constant motion and be perpetually proactive in all facets of business.
Michele with Danny Melville, Chukka Caribbean Adventures in Jamaica.
The cruise industry understands this, which is why it remains the fastest-growing sector in the luxury travel market and why a record 23 million passengers are projected to cruise in 2015, breaking 2014’s record 22.1 million passengers. The industry’s proactive push includes 33 new, innovative, feature-rich ocean-going vessels on the order book from 2015-2010, adding over 100,000 berths and representing an investment of more than $25 billion. Besides offering new onboard features, these ships will call an increasingly global market, with nearly 1,000 ports around the globe and expansion in regions including the Mediterranean, Asia and Australia.
The continued growth of the cruise industry offers a unique opportunity for all of its stakeholders. However, these opportunities must be seized. We in the industry also know that standing water leads to algae, while moving water can propel people down mountains. Instead of resting on past successes, we all must constantly refresh and renew in order to grow with the industry. This edition of Cruising highlights some of the ways that both the cruise industry and stakeholders are moving full steam ahead. It captures what cruise operator CEOs shared about the industry’s trends and future developments at Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry address; encapsulates cruise line presidents’ and COO’s input about the Caribbean’s present and future; showcases how the FCCA helped members and attendees grow their business during events; features Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence’s tips to keep shore excursions current; and highlights how FCCA Member Lines and Platinum Members are staying in motion, including MSC Cruises focusing on the North American market, Carnival Cruise Line “friending” millennials, Mazatlan regaining cruise tourism, Puerto Rico revamping its shore excursion products, and Dominican Republic offering a new port. I hope that you find something to motivate, educate or entertain you in this issue of Cruising, and remember to keep on moving. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President FCCA
Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 9
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights BVI Cruise Pier Expansion Complete
The expansion of the BVI cruise pier in Road Town, Tortola was officially completed and welcomed with a ceremony and celebration on April 29, when Norwegian Getaway made its inaugural call. Now 1,039 feet long and 60 feet wide, with mooring dolphins providing another 273 feet of berthing space, the pier can safely berth two 180,000-GRT ships. The BVI Ports Authority has turned its focus to Tortola Pier Park, the adjacent landside development featuring retail and entertainment spaces. Montserrat Carnival: A Celebration of Life and Culture
Martinique Continues Staggering Cruise Tourism Growth
Inauguration of Memorial ACTe
The Martinique Tourism Authority is projecting another strong cruise season in 2015-2016, with 389,000 cruise passengers, 205 total calls, and a record 23 ships slated to make their first-ever calls. These ships represent some of the biggest names in the cruise industry, including Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, MSC, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Seabourn. They will also continue Martinique’s staggering growth, with a 900 percent increase in passenger arrivals since 2010.
On May 10, Guadeloupe welcomed the French President François Hollande, who officially inaugurated the Memorial ACTe, the largest center in the world devoted to the theme of slavery. Located in Darboussier, Pointe-àPitre, on the site of a former sugar cane factory, the 83,959 sq. ft. Memorial ACTe features a permanent and a temporary exhibition space, gourmet restaurants, multimedia library, research center, boutique, congress and performing arts hall. It is scheduled to open on July 7, 2015.
Dominica Tourism Site Enhancement Sport Fishing in Grenada
The unique island of Montserrat will celebrate its annual Carnival from December 18 – January 1, when the island comes alive with music, revelry and a variety of events highlighting the resilient and exuberant people and embodying the elements of neighboring islands’ traditional festivities, but with its own flair. Alongside the festivities, Montserrat hosts the spectacular Soufrière Hills Volcano, the buried former capital Plymouth, lush mountains, world-class nature trails and friendly charm. For information, visit www.visitmontserrat.com. 10 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Dominica’s Ministry of Tourism has undertaken construction of facilities at frequently visited tourism sites, including a reception center at the TI TOU GORGE SITE. It has also handed over three tourism facilities, four wooden boats and a floating jetty to the Laudat based Tourism group, a Multipurpose Tourism Center to the Marigot Tourism Committee and an Interpretation/ Reception Center to Capuchin Tourism Committee. These facilities will improve the visitors’ experience at the sites.
Sport fishing is a calming and exhilarating experience, especially in the tepid waters surrounding Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. October through April are the best times to ‘rod and reel’ marlin, sailfish, tuna and the like. And every January, male and female anglers of all ages compete at the Spice Island Billfish tournament, the longest-running competition in the Southern Caribbean that boasts marine conservation methods like ‘tag and release.’
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights CCS Tours Celebrates Over 38 Years of Service
CCS Tours, the most experienced cruise tour operator in Jamaica, continues to offer the most professional tour services. This year the company celebrated over 38 years of service to the industry. To honor this occasion, CCS Tours will send memorabilia to clients in November.
of the Seas during the 2016 summer season. Plus Royal Caribbean more than doubled its number of calls—51 versus 25 during the same period in 2014—offer increased capacity through the larger ships, a potential 199,284 passengers—a 140 percent increase compared to 2015.
Royal Caribbean Doubles Summer Port Calls to St. Kitts Just one week after participating in Cruise Shipping Miami, St. Kitts announced that it will receive calls from two of Royal Caribbean’s 5,400passenger Oasis of the Seas and Allure
Cruise Ship Excursions Awarded by Trip Advisor and Carnival Cruise Line
SNUBA St. Lucia Awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor
Dolphin Cove Adds Thrilling Water Slide
Dolphin Cove, Jamaica’s # 1 attraction, is even more exciting with the addition of a 265ft water slide. Since opening a month ago, guests have shown their enthusiasm by heading up and down this thrilling ride several times! The slide is fun for the whole family, as smaller children are allowed to go with an adult, and available at no additional cost.
tancy services to most of the world’s major cruise lines, high-end megayachts and concession operators.
Cox and Company Limited is proud to announce that SNUBA St. Lucia was awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor—a direct result of consistently great reviews. SNUBA offers the best way to go beyond snorkeling without the timeconsuming training or bulky equipment of a deep dive. SNUBA St. Lucia begins from a gently sloping beach at Pigeon Island National Park and offers top-rated guides along with the sights of fish, coral and more.
Cruise Ship Excursions, one of the oldest and most established tour companies in St Thomas, is pleased to announce its recognition by Carnival Cruise Line as “Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator – for 2014,” along with Trip Advisor Certificate of Exellence awards in 2013 and 2014 for KON TIKI, Castaway Girl & ST John Champagne Catamaran. Cruise Ship Excursions continues to set the standard for delivering quality, professionally organized excursions for cruise lines in St Thomas and St John, USVI. Carnival Triumph’s Inaugural Call at Cartagena de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal
Virgin Port Services Secures Contracts with AIDA & Fred Olsen Virgin Port Services secured port agency contracts with AIDA Cruises and Fred Olsen Cruise Line, bringing it to 18 total cruise lines, with parent company Virgin Excursions LLP providing tour programs to 11 cruise lines. Strategically headquartered at the Havensight / West Indian Company Pier in St. Thomas, USVI, Virgin Excursions LLP is a multifaceted company providing high-quality shore excursion, port agency and consul-
To commemorate Carnival Triumph´s inaugural call at Cartagena on March 9, the Port greeted guests and crew with traditional music and folkloric dancing. Also, a traditional maritime plaque exchange was held onboard between Captain Alessandro Lemmi, Port delegates, ProColombia and local authorities. Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 11
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Bonaire Cruise Tourism Continues to Grow
tainment, with a focus on spontaneous and explorative tourists that want a different and unique cruise experience. FONATUR Operadora Portuaria, S.A. de C.V.
famous US singer-songwriter, it features a large dining area, variety of live sports broadcasting and great location—only a 10-minute ride from any cruise pier and walking distance from Punta Langosta Pier. Playa Mia Adds to the Fun
Bonaire continues to grow its cruise tourism sector at an impressive rate; cruise arrivals increased to 250,000 for 2015 calendar year and a projection of 400,000 for 2016. In January, Bonaire welcomed Carnival Cruise Line for the first time, and Bonaire will be added to Pullmantur Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. Tourism Corporation Bonaire continues to build a solid reputation for its cruise tourism product both in Bonaire and by attending events, conferences and trade shows. Curacao Equipped for Expanded Cruise Presence and Passenger Experience
Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. and Bahias de Huatulco, Oax. are within the most accepted ports of Mexico in the cruise industry, and they are visited by all major cruise lines because of their multiple attractions and natural beauty. We are proud to run these two exceptional ports where we provide all services required by the cruise ships. Visitors can find a wide offering of recreational attractions together with traditional hospitality, security, excellent dining and shopping. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cozumel: A Complete Experience
With a second Megapier’s construction preparations in its final stages, Curacao is readying for an expanded cruise presence and passenger experience. The Curacao Ports Authority has increased its focus on broadening the destination’s cruise offering and worked with Aruba, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic to develop a unique and versatile itinerary highlighting the diverse culture, history, arts, nature and enter12 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Over the crystal-clear Caribbean waters of Cozumel, you will find one of Jimmy Buffett´s best locations, offering a stunning view, great food, amazing cocktails and fun activities like swimming and snorkeling. Part of the international phenomenon started by the
Always seeking for new ways to cater to the most demanding customer, Playa Mia is investing in refreshing and renewing. The water park area is entirely renovated; the shopping area has added two stores; a sports bar opened near the park’s entrance; and the park added the Vortex Tunnel, a new, fun attraction free for all guests. With many projects to come, Playa Mia Grand Beach & Water Park continues deliver fun that never ends. Port of Sonora Promotes Destination and Puerto Peñasco Homeport Project at Cruise3Sixty The Port of Sonora attended Cruise3Sixty, organized by CLIA in Fort Lauderdale, displaying its products at the Trade Show to over 1,400 travel agents and delivering a Destination Workshop that highlighted Puerto Peñasco’s strengths and unique features, shared the latest information about the Homeport construction and provided information about other destinations in the proposed Sea of Cortez route. Agents were receptive and excited about the destination and homeport project.
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Sectretaría de Turismo de Baja California Sur
Aquila Cruise Excellence Training in Puerto Rico
Port Canaveral Plans $60 Million in Cruise Terminal Upgrades
Situated at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos provides travelers a unique landscape of dramatic desert and dazzling beaches, along with a wide array of both land and sea activities for cruisers to enjoy, including kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching, dolphin swims, camel rides, ATVs, zip lining, 14 golf courses and more. The destination is also known for some of the freshest and finest seafood worldwide.
Puerto Rico showed its commitment to investing in service excellence by becoming the first destination to do a comprehensive training program with both tour guides and major tour operators— the people who can really make a difference in the destination’s guest experience. About 50 tour guides and drivers from Rico Sun, Tour Coop, and UTG took part in the training program, and the operators are now going through the process to achieve the ACE Tour Operator Designation.
After recently completing Smart Cruise Terminal 1 and Cruise Terminal 6, Port Canaveral will begin upgrading the existing Cruise Terminals 5 and 10 in summer 2015. Both will be remodeled from the ground up, expanded to accommodate larger ships, and fitted with new adjustable gangways capable of fitting any ship configuration. Plans also include an expanded parking area and improved traffic flows with separate road access so the entire north side cruise terminals remain congestion free.
JAXPORT to Welcome Carnival Ship in Spring 2016
Carnival Repositions Triumph to FastGrowing New Orleans Cruise Program
Peru: Many Countries Wrapped Into One
Peru is home to manmade and natural world wonders, offering options for all visitors: adventure, nature, mystery, culture, history and flavor. Travelers to Peru will discover natural marvels, friendly people and unexpected experiences. From adventurous activities to historical tours of Lima and gastronomic tours, cruise passengers will find a wealth of selections when they step off the dock. There is a Peru for everyone; come find yours.
Carnival Elation will offer year-round four- and five-day cruises out of JAXPORT’s North Jacksonville cruise terminal beginning April 23, 2016, replacing the current home-ported Carnival Fascination and providing a newer ship for this popular cruise program. Four-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Freeport and Nassau, and five-day voyages depart Mondays and Thursdays and visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay.
Carnival Cruise Line will expand capacity on its four- and five-day short cruise program from the Port of New Orleans by 34 percent when Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation next spring. Triumph—launching year-round cruises to Mexico beginning April 4, 2016—will join Carnival Dream and Norwegian Dawn in the Big Easy, which handled more than one million annual cruise passengers in 2014 for a fourth-straight record year and began work on a third cruise terminal to meet cruising demand. Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 13
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Starboard Appoints Key Executives
New Waterfront Improvements Welcome Port of San Diego Cruise Passengers
Starboard Cruise Services has named two top executives to manage strategic partnerships and oversee its offices in Italy and Asia: Martín Pereyra-Rozas—senior vice president, Carnival Corp. Retail and Italy Office, with over 15 years’ expertise in luxury retail—and David Goubert— senior vice president, Luxury Cruise Retail and Asia Office, with 15 years’ experience with Louis Vuitton, most recently as senior vice president of the Southern U.S., Caribbean and Mexico region of Louis Vuitton Americas.
Cruise passengers disembarking at the Port of San Diego can now enjoy dramatic improvements along the Port’s North Embarcadero area. The improvements stretch from the Port’s B Street Cruise Ship Terminal south to the famous Midway Museum.
Trinity Air Ambulance Helps Save Lives in Reality and TV
Enhancements include a widened public esplanade, jacaranda groves, new seating areas and artisticallydesigned pavilion buildings. A new visitor center offers tickets and information to San Diego’s numerous attractions, and Carnitas’ Snack Shack, a new restaurant featuring local fare, opens in 2016. These improvements have enlivened San Diego’s “front porch,” and have created a memorable waterfront destination.
Bacardi Brings Dream Jobs and Sales to Great Stirrup Cay
Running a bar on a private island is a dream job for many bartenders, especially on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay, where it’s always Bacardi time and guests enjoy freshly made cocktails in a beachside setting adorned by images of the brand’s history and Cuban heritage, with live DJs adding to the ambience. Since opening in December 2013, the Bacardi bar has increased the island’s liquor sales 33%. Dominican Republic Updated Tourism Website
FMT Announces Anders Frick’s Retirement
Trinity Air Ambulance was chosen to play an active role in A&E’s Emmy Award-winning reality show Intervention, a life-saving series where people confront their addictions. IngerLisa Skroder and Tor Skroder have been involved from the beginning, providing healthcare professionals and assisting the client to detox and rehab centers. Filming just completed for 26 new episodes, with season 14 premiering on March 22. 14 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
FMT wishes to announce the retirement of our North American President, Anders G. Frick. Over the past 20 years, Anders established FMT North America as the world’s leading provider of passenger gangway systems to U.S. and Canadian cruise ports. As a Platinum Member, Anders and his wife Gunilla have been strong supporters of FCCA and are wellknown throughout the port and cruise industry. Please join us in congratulating Anders on his retirement.
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) announced updates to its website at this year's Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) conference in Punta Cana. Taking into consideration the growth of international tourism, updates were targeted to bolster accessibility for visitors from key markets. The site features a brandnew interactive hotel directory, a revamped press section, the addition of new languages and an event calendar for major cities. For more: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com
Cruise Line CEOs Discuss the State of the Industry and Its Global and Economic Growth at 2015 Cruise Shipping Miami
he State of the Industry, a longtime mainstay of Cruise Shipping Miami, set the stage for the four-day conference chockfull with networking, exhibiting, meetings, workshops and more taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This year’s assembly looked at the increasingly global cruise industry, discussing the opportunities and challenges in the expanding markets, particularly China and Cuba, along with the entire industry’s current events and route for the future. Andrew Williams, UBM’s group director and Seatrade’s general manager, welcomed the record audience of nearly 15,000 stakeholders; lauded the event’s successful history and the partnerships that paved the way, such as 16 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
the collaboration with the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA); announced the merger of UBM and Seatrade, rebranding as Seatrade, and the south Florida’s event’s temporary relocation to Fort Lauderdale during Miami Beach Convention Center’s renovations; and looked to a bright future for Seatrade and the cruise industry. Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., wore his hat as chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to discuss the cruise industry’s growth and global impact. He noted that 35 years ago, only 1.4 million cruised aboard the capacity of 41,000 berths, compared to a forecast of a record 23 million sailing global waters this year in 500,000
berths, leading to a global impact of $117 billion. Despite the impressive growth, one thing became obvious during the ensuing talks: the cruise lines and industry have only begun their growth spurt. The talks, moderated Richard Quest from CNN, included a panel comprised of Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corp.; Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises. Donald called the record 23 million passenger forecast “tiny,” noting that “all the cabins in the world add up to only one percent of hotel rooms” and
touching on China’s potential as both a source market and cruising destination. Calling it a “clean sheet of paper,” he stressed the importance writing the right message to transmit what cruising offers—which was eventually echoed by the entire panel—to reach the potential growth of 10-15 percent. Vago agreed with this notion, believing double-digit growth to be possible if reaching the consumer, and touched on some of the other untapped potential balanced with positive results. He praised Europe reaching a key threshold in 2014, with 6.4 million passengers, despite difficult economic times. However, he pointed out that this is a drop in the bucket of Europe’s 700 million possible cruisers. Del Rio focused on the positive climate in the United States, noting that the North American market currently drives the industry, through more disposable income and lower fuel prices and unemployment. But he also echoed the industry’s global nature and the need for a balanced attack and strong global market to “hit on all cylinders.” Fain addressed the “why only 23 million passengers” topic by first discussing the logistical side of restrained capacity, which is limited by ship builders to the steady growth the industry has experienced, between three and five percent. However, he then moved on to what he believes to be the bigger hurtle to the “break out,” finding a way to increase demand and get a new level of customer that understands cruising’s experience and value. Del Rio repeated a similar sentiment when discussing how to improve when already sailing at full capacity: “It’s how you fill them; it’s the quality of the fill.” This speaks to one of the growing pains cruising is currently experiencing, with
flat ticket pricing over the last six years, despite rising costs to supply the product and build ships. In this regard, the limited supply growth seems like a blessing in disguise. As Del Rio asked in response to ROIC not meeting Wall Street expectations, “Do you create more demand so passengers are willing to pay more, or do you flood supply?” He also started the discussion of ways to increase this demand by first mentioning that it will grow organically by fulfilling passengers. Donald addressed a couple ways that increasing earnings and demand go hand-in-hand. He noted that Carnival Corp.’s stock EPS grew 25 percent last year and is guided to growing another 25 percent this year, which is not driven by adding ships, but by giving guests what they want. One of their greatest strengths and needs is “bringing the right guy to the right ship,” which is accomplished by travel agents sending consumers to the fitting cruise brand, he said. Fain mentioned targeting different groups by marketing specific products, instead of going after the “average cruiser,” such as offering Millennials the technology, Internet capability and dining options they crave. He also reinforced the need to communicate all that cruising provides in order to bust the myths about cruising that hold back the industry, especially in new markets. Tapping new markets and destinations has become increasingly important, but one of those potential destinations lies just 220 miles from PortMiami, “the cruise capital of the world.” The question of Cuba’s readiness for cruise tourism was answered by a snap of Del Rio’s fingers. The infrastructure could be in place “like that,” he said, explaining that the industry brings its
own infrastructure and currently calls destinations with less in place than Cuba. But the seeming simplicity of actualizing Cuba’s cruising potential speaks to the entire industry and how it approaches new markets and destinations. After Fain responded a bit more dubiously than Del Rio, questioning if “any of us are ready,” despite Cuba’s potential as a once-prominent cruise destination and length of California, he explained that a destination “isn’t one size fits all.” He told that cruise brands must learn about any country they enter. This led the discussion to new markets, which Fain continued weaving a similar thread to his Cuba response. He told that whenever you enter a new market, you must accommodate to it, which the cruise industry is best poised for in order to handle the culture and political situations. However, though the industry’s movable assets let it avoid sudden political situations, it certainly is not immune to them. Del Rio noted that destinations on his itinerary wish list include countries like Syria and Libya, whose peace and opening represent potential profitability for the industry. What do all these new destinations and markets mean for the Caribbean? Quest cued this by inquiring if it would be better to move more ships to Asia because of the growing market. Fain reminded that the industry and cruise brands are built upon differentiation and adapting products to different markets. Vago showed how MSC is currently doing this through increasing its presence in North America and building a ship for Miami and the Caribbean market. He also touched on the other side of the coin of the Asian cruising market while discussing the possibility of targeting Asians that love to tour Europe, Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 17
giving the opportunity to pack and unpack once, see all of Europe and “shop ‘til you drop.” Del Rio told that the Asian growth has not changed their business model; that though Carnival and Royal “paved the way” and “showed successes and failures,” the operator currently lacks the amount of vessels it would need to call Asia. Though he hinted that might change after building new ships, Del Rio said they must currently position their fleet where they see the most return and that Asia currently ranks 13th in that regard. This evaluation prompted Fain to explain that cruise brands differ in more than just approaches and style of cruising, that brands are “not looking at the same facts and coming to a different conclusion; we’re looking at different sets of facts and drawing appropriate conclusions.” He further demonstrated these various approaches through Royal’s and Carnival’s differences in China, as they “aren’t just looking to park a ship there”; Royal has a joint venture to partner with a hotelier and get interns, and Carnival has a joint venture to build ships. One thing everyone agreed on was the importance of destinations in driving demand and fulfilling guests.
18 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Fain led by calling Quest’s prompt of ships being the destination “nonsense,” saying that guests want an overall experience—to experience new cultures and destinations and relax on private islands, in addition to onboard offerings—and that the destination experience is a “key part of the value” and crucial to driving ticket demand. He added that destinations are irreplaceable and stressed the significance of working with destinations to both support sustainable tourism and “make the experience exceptional.” This is perhaps why he felt that “one of the industry’s biggest success stories is associations like FCCA and CLIA strengthening relationships with destinations.” Del Rio said that the destinations are the number one factor of choosing a cruise and further supported their importance by sharing with the audience that he personally writes his ships’ 21 itineraries. Donald veered slightly as he told that a number of their cruisers focus less on the individual destinations and that broader markets, such as the Caribbean, can drive that demand. He credited this to the different brands and pointed out that destinations matter more to Seabourn than Carnival Cruise Line, but also agreed that destinations add to the guest experience.
Del Rio reminded the audience that the destination experience does not just benefit demand and ticket pricing, but that it also remains crucial to cruise lines because shore excursions are the largest source of onboard revenue. To close the discussions, Quest asked the panel to rank the industry. Del Rio gave the industry an A, praising the growing capacity and occupancy rates constantly over 100 percent, but telling that they want to drive more demand and fill earlier. Fain and Donald agreed that the industry has not earned an A in financial growth, due largely to the flat ticket pricing, but Donald gave an A to destinations and passenger interactions and a B+ or A- on economic impact. Vago let the crowd decide, who seemed as optimistic as Del Rio. After listening to the panel, it would be hard not to be positive. Yes, the industry has experienced some growing pains in flat ticket pricing, but giant opportunities lie ahead in the industry’s opportunities to drive more demand for new cruisers and global markets, while continuing to build capacity and enhance the overall guest experience to increase bookings, pricing and spending both onboard and on land.
â€œIf you want som ething fresh, authentic, an d uniqu e in the Ca rib bea n, you wi ll fin d it all - Corali e in Ma rti nique !â€?
This year, immerse yourself in Martinican culture in our Cruise Village, discover our exciting excursions, and take in our spectacular natural landscapes. www.martiniquepro.org/cruise
The Future of the Caribbean and How It Is Being Reshaped
eaders of Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises USA, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International joined during Cruise Shipping Miami to discuss the future of the current leading cruising market—the Caribbean. Michele Paige, president of the FCCA, opened the workshop by spotlighting the region’s importance—as modern North American cruising’s “birthplace” and the overwhelming leader in global deployment capacity—and advantages of proximity to North American ports, diverse destination products and culture, long-standing record of safety and friendly citizens. However, as she also pointed out, the capacity share fell more than two percent year-over-year as the industry continued its global growth and vying for new markets like Asia. To keep up with this competition, she told that Caribbean destinations must simulate demand by innovating, differentiating and creating products that align with cruise brands and passengers, such as the FCCA’s efforts to provide translators to ease travel for German cruisers and lines. 20 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
The Caribbean’s significance—along with the need for destinations to diversify their tourism products, showcase local flavors and generate consumer demand—became a recurring theme by the panelists. When asked if cruising is moving away from the Caribbean, Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, succinctly replied, “No.” He said the region “was, is and will always be the most important destination, certainly for the North American market.” Still, he acknowledged that industry growth is concentrated in other regions. “It’s a highly competitive world, and the Caribbean has to always reinvent itself and…think about not only today and tomorrow, but what’s going to happen in the future,” he said. “The question is, ‘Does the Caribbean have the right brand relevance, not only as a geographic region, but for each product within the region?’” Rick Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA, told that cruisers want to visit the Caribbean, which will benefit all of its destinations. He
also foreshadowed that the region will be in a spotlight moving forward and “must perform in the limelight” by reinventing themselves. He shined some of this light by unveiling that beginning in fall 2017, MSC’s newly announced 4,100-passenger Seaside vessel will have a dedicated berth at PortMiami, where it will be based year-round under a long-term agreement for Caribbean sailings. Andy Stuart, president and COO of Norwegian Cruise Line, expanded the focus on more new vessels and explained that this growth will benefit the Caribbean and attract interest from new cruisers. He then reaffirmed and reiterated the Rs—refresh, renew and reinvent— while discussing potential opportunities, such as creating iconic tours and experiences of a lifetime in the Caribbean that will draw passengers regardless of price, especially important in the industry’s growing competition in margins and ticket pricing. Cruise lines and destinations must
Line and Norwegian Cruise Line signed long-term agreements for passenger arrivals.
also work together to further promote ports of call and generate demand, told Stuart: “Together we can do a better job in talking about the excitement of the destination…You can help us. We will do it—and we’ll spend a lot of money doing it—if you give us the ammunition.” Cruise operators have certainly proven their willingness to spend money in the Caribbean. Norwegian Cruise Line’s own 75-acre Harvest Caye in southern Belize, scheduled to open in early 2016, will open a new world for cruise vessels, as Belize’s current option requires tendering. “We looked at the opportunity to develop a new arrivals experience in Belize,” Stuart said. “It’s going to be a fantastic destination, but it’s not instead of Belize. It’s a way to experience Belize.” Carnival Corporation’s $85 million shows another operator’s efforts to cre-
ate fresh reasons for passengers to visit familiar destinations. Located on the Dominican Republic's north coast and set to open in October, the port will offer outdoor activities like horseback and four-wheel buggy riding. “Our guests love this kind of immersive experience,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, explaining that passengers seek a seamless experience from ships to destinations, along with new products both onboard and onshore. Sasso pointed out some of the significance behind these investments: “You’re not going to have a cruise line do a $70 million project in one port and then move all their ships to China.” Plus cruise operators often embrace destinations’ own efforts. After the British Virgin Islands engaged in a cruise pier expansion and landside development at Road Town in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Disney Cruise
The panel also discussed the potential overarching effect from lifting the embargo on Cuba. This will prompt lines to create new Caribbean itineraries designed to lure new cruisers. Sasso told of the “low-hanging fruit” waiting in Cuba because of Americans’ desire to travel to a country that has been off-limits for so long. “They’re going to want to go, and they’re going to have access to do that on a ship more comfortably, more safely, more conveniently, more cost effectively than any other way,” he said. “They’re going to come on the first cruise for Cuba; then we’re going to sell then a cruise to anywhere else that we go.” Duffy reaffirmed the “pent-up demand.” She then shared her confidence that itineraries including Cuba, along with any cruise line or destination innovation, helps attract cruisers: “I think whenever we have new and exciting innovations, whether it’s new ships or new destinations, it really helps us drive demand, particularly to those who are new to cruise.” Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 21
FCCA Plus Cruise Shipping Miami Equals Opportunities for Success
his year’s Cruise Shipping Miami (CSM) was an exciting time for all attendees, offering ample opportunities to renew and create business partnerships, discuss ideas and tackle industry issues with the attending cruise line representatives and global stakeholders. Yet the FCCA amplified these opportunities for its Member Line executives, Platinum Members and partner destinations. After all, positively impacting the relationship and understanding between these entities is one of the FCCA’s main goals.
It did this at CSM by providing multiple events and opportunities to put members on a first-name basis with FCCA Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs—interactions that spawn relationships and put a foot in the door. “The FCCA is crucial to maximizing time and opportunities during this busy week,” told Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation and the FCCA, who was on-hand at numerous FCCA events during CSM. “Time becomes extremely limited throughout Cruise Shipping, and the FCCA makes it possible to meet with some of the industry’s most important stakeholders.” 22 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
To foster these engagements during CSM and actualize its resources and attendees, the FCCA programmed a block of functions coinciding with the event to ensure that Platinum Members have a direct line to Member Line presidents, CEOs and executives who decide where ships call, what to sell onboard and how to invest in infrastructure. The FCCA booth itself served as the site for many of these. Besides being a one-stop shop for all attendees to learn more about the FCCA, the booth also hosted receptions to promote destinations and companies, including ProColombia and the Sabor Latino Joint Cruise Alliance, while bringing together Platinum Members and cruise executives, presidents and CEOs in a private atmosphere. Plus many of the same executives and members cycled in and out of the booth for meetings arranged by the FCCA, which let executives and destination partners discuss operations, establish mutually beneficial relationships and route for the future. “Our meetings and events make it possible to take advantage of what Cruise Shipping Miami offers,” said Michele M. Paige, president of
FCCA. “This global event gathers some of the most prominent cruise executives and stakeholders, and we pride ourselves on ensuring that these key entities meet to discuss crucial operational issues and develop relationships that pave the way for future business.” Of course, the FCCA also featured its annual events that have become a traditional part of CSM for many executives and members. This started with an annual pre-event welcoming party that offered a chance to reacquaint and prepare for the long days ahead. Its keynote event, the FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza, took place on Wednesday, March 18, joining over 400 attendees to spend the evening with a cruise executive hosting tables for an unforgettable evening and cause. More than 50 Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs participated in the Gala, which featured a 90-minute cocktail reception, silent art auction and sit-down dinner with an executive serving as table host and offering a side of networking. “The FCCA Gala facilitated networking between Member Line executives and cruise tourism stakeholders, while
Photos by: PPI Group
while enjoying casual networking opportunities with some of the cruise industry’s most important decision makers, such as Micky Arison.
contributing to a good cause—the FCCA Foundation,” told Paige. “Of course it is crucial to link anyone doing business in the cruise industry with decision makers from the cruise lines, which is the best way to build understanding and business relationships, but even better is benefitting the citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean.” All proceeds benefitted the FCCA Foundation, the non-profit, charitable organization that funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America, such as the Holiday Gift Project, which gave about 7,000 under-
Both the Gala and FCCA Foundation’s efforts were possible because of the feature sponsorship of Port Everglades and partner sponsorship of PortMiami and Port Canaveral.
“FCCA’s closing event for Cruise Shipping Miami gave a unique chance to interact with the cruise industry,” said Arison, who attended the event with Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Building relationships with the industry’s decision makers paves the way for successful operations and dealings, and the FCCA and its events always offer that.”
The FCCA Official Cruise Shipping Miami Party closed CSM with a bang, gathering nearly 500 at LIV in Fountainebleau, Miami Beach on Friday, March 20 to finally let cruise tourism stakeholders loosen their ties and swap dress shoes for dancing shoes
Indeed, this year’s CSM again benefited participants with its successproven formula combined with new features, but the FCCA offered backstage passes to visit the real rock stars—key decision makers from Member Lines.
privileged children something to celebrate last December by delivering presents, festivities and smiles.
Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 23
El Salvador Displays Its and Central America’s Cruise Tourism Opportunities during FCCA Central America Cruise Summit By José Napoleon Duarte Durán, Minister of Tourism of El Salvador El Salvador can confidently say it is on course for its cruise tourism voyage. One sign of this took place from May 13-15 in our capital city, San Salvador, while we hosted the 2015 FCCA Central America Cruise Summit. The event gathered key players in Central America’s cruise industry, generating a dynamic platform for promoting and deepening the relations between our region and cruise lines. It also provided chances for both the cruise industry representatives and tourism stakeholders to explore opportunities arising in the region’s emerging markets. Attendees also discovered the El Salvador’s friendly people and wide array of activities and destination products in a small, concentrated package—majestic volcanoes, charming colonial towns, historical sites, archeological parks and museums and world-class surfing all only a few hours away from each other. Plus stakeholders and the attending cruise executives learned about the destination’s cruise tourism infrastructure, with two cruise ship ports, located in the towns of Acajutla and La Unión. The port of Acajutla, one of the most modern facilities in all of Central America, receives cruise ships periodically and has planned new cruise terminal facilities and other investments to build a strong and sustainable cruise shipping industry within El Salvador. All of this has led to El Salvador’s recent growth in cruise ship visits and economic benefit, but the destination strives to further improve. Currently, several public institutions— including the Ministry of Tourism, the Maritime Port Authority and El Salvador’s Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA)—are working with local private 24 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
tourism companies to promote and develop cruising as a priority tourism sector. Hosting the Central America Cruise Summit was also a crucial part to increasing cruise tourism by not only displaying everything El Salvador offers, but also by helping the overall region to actualize its cruise tourism potential by learning invaluable operational knowledge and meeting cruise executives who can bring more ships and patronize local stakeholders. We look forward to growing cruise tourism as a destination and region.
Cozumel Preparing to Welcome Cruise Executives and Stakeholders for 22nd Annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show
ith excitement buzzing and preparations humming along, Cozumel and Mexico have been made plenty headway for the upcoming 22nd annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show, taking place from October 5-9, 2015.
“The FCCA appreciates Cozumel’s efforts and commitment to making the 22nd annual FCCA Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “It has pulled out all the stops to woo the cruise executives and attendees, allowing all to see the offerings of and dedication to cruise tourism that has led it to resurging as one of the world’s leading cruise destinations.” Attendees already have a range of hotels to select from, with five official event hotels—Cozumel Palace, El Cozumeleno, Hotel Cozumel & Resort, Melia Vacation Club Cozumel and Presidente Intercontinental—offering proximity and transportation to the convention site, discounted rates and con-
26 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
veniences and amenities to maximize attendees’ experience. The convention site itself—a state-ofthe-art facility developed by Eventstar—has also begun. Located in the heart of town, the structure will serve as a convenience hub for the event’s business sessions, private meetings, workshops and registration. Plus Trade Show exhibitors will be front and center in the facility’s largest area, providing ample space for the unique destination pavilions and guaranteed traffic from attendees and FCCA Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs, with all entering and traveling through the Trade Show to access any of the Conference’s business functions. These functions include numerous chances to target representatives from FCCA Member Lines who decide where ships go, what sells onboard and how to invest in infrastructure. “The [FCCA Conference & Trade
Show] gives you direct contact with some of the most influential decision makers in the cruise industry,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. The four-day event balances business session and networking opportunities in an agenda chock-full of ways to maximize attendees’ share of cruise tourism through developing business, relationships and knowledge. Attendees will have three one-on-one meetings, each allotting 15 minutes to privately discuss with and receive personalized input from a cruise executive who can positively impact their business in many ways—from selling a product or shore excursion onboard or increasing cruise ship calls to tailormaking an excursion/product or developing infrastructure that the cruise lines and destinations need. A schedule of workshops will also share the executives’, presidents’, CEOs’ and stakeholders’ insight to help attendees learn about topics
such as the cruise lines’ latest happenings and route for the future; creating and maintaining a successful tour product; developing a port in partnership with the FCCA, cruise lines and the private/public sectors; and increasing cruise tourism through a unified vision, collaboration between the private and public sectors, and continual product development and innovation. Social functions planned by Cozumel and its partnership with the government and local businesses will display its exciting setting, activities and WOW factor through some of the same experiences and venues that cruise passengers see and do. “We are thrilled to bring the FCCA’s 22nd Conference and Trade Show to Cozumel to showcase what that the city and country offer, as well as why and how they have become one of the top cruising destinations,” told Arison. These social functions—including nightly dinners and post-event tours— will also create a comfortable, engaging environment to further spur interaction between Conference delegates, Trade Show exhibitors and cruise line decision makers.
The continued involvement and invaluable insight of these key decision makers, along with a ratio of about one cruise executive per 10 attendees, make the Conference & Trade Show one of the best ways to directly target the cruise industry and maximize its benefits. Plus the Trade Show allows exhibitors to target the influential audience looking to source new business and expand existing business. “FCCA events always give me an opportunity to meet valuable industry stakeholders,” shared Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “These are the people who have ideas and projects I want, and need, to know about.” Goldstein will also be on-hand at the Trade Show for his second edition of the FCCA Table Tennis Challenge. Set in a lively environment on the Trade Show floor, Goldstein will take on the competition trying to slam and volley their way to victory while an audience of cruise executives, delegates and exhibitors watch the battle of the table tennis titans. “I am pleased and excited to participate
in the FCCA Table Tennis Challenge,” he told. “It will combine my passions of table tennis and interacting with cruise tourism stakeholders while supporting a worthy cause.” All proceeds will benefit the FCCA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1993 to fund Caribbean and Latin American humanitarian projects. The event will also be one of the many efforts to aid traffic for the Trade Show. With events like these and the Trade Show’s central location, exhibitors are guaranteed exposure from executives and stakeholders. Any booth will spotlight a product, company or destination, and specialized pavilions will showcase a large company or destination as a team, with a roster including destination ministries, port authorities, tour operators and vendors. In all, the FCCA Conference & Trade Show will create the perfect forum for exchanging information, sharing ideas, forging relationships and learning how to increase cruise tourism from the knowledge and relationships, along with the lessons from Mexico’s success story.
Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 27
The majestic tower and sugar mill at Estate Whim Museum, the only remaining sugar plantation museum in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
St. Croix: Rich in Culture and History
he U.S. Virgin Islands are three distinct islands—St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas—each with varied experiences and influences, all stemming from its distinct past. Spanish, Dutch, British, French, Knights of Malta, Danish and American flags have all flown over the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, it was nearly a century ago—in 1917—that the U.S. Virgin Islands was transferred from Denmark to the United States, making it a U.S. Territory. St. Croix, the largest of the islands, is less well known than its sister St. Thomas, which enjoys international recognition as a cruise ship destination. Noted for its rich history and culture, St. Croix offers travelers a diverse array of activities to explore. Its colorful past is reflected in architecture, national parks, historic landmarks, botanical attractions, cuisine, music and the multitude of traditions that 28 Cruising Magazine • First Quarter 2014
make up the daily life of the locals also known as Crucians. “Twin City,” as St. Croix is often called locally, has two main towns. Christiansted, located just east of the central part of the island, was once the capital of the USVI. It’s the perfect place to begin a journey into the island’s past, with a visit to Estate Whim Museum, a former sugar plantation site. In partnership with the St. Croix Landmarks Society, the USVI Department of Tourism offers a “Living Museum” experience at Estate Whim, where the island’s history is presented in an interactive fashion. Opened earlier this year, the “Living Museum” gives visitors an insider’s view into Crucian experiences, including crafts, music and traditions handed down over many generations. It showcases the re-creation of a “village” or
town “big yard,” where fishermen, cooks, joiners, bakers, blacksmiths, basket weavers, seamstresses, and even the occasional goldsmith, practiced a trade or a craft. Some of the artisans can be seen "in action" on days when cruise ships are in port. “Working with local historians, tradition bearers and young preservationists, the attraction honors our traditions as we remember our past and envision our future,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, commissioner of tourism of the U.S. Virgin Islands. “We embrace the challenge of bringing history alive and will continually seek to develop our offerings to reflect the totality of our history,” said Sonia Jacobs Dow, executive director of the St. Croix Landmarks Society. “We believe St. Croix is an incredibly attractive place, alive and brimming with history and culture, and this new
Sportfishers flock to the waters off St. Croix, renowned for world-class fishing. Golf courses are another beautiful attraction, and visitors seeking a long walk on immaculately manicured lawns may head to The Buccaneer Resort, which features an 18-hole, par-70 golf course sprawling across much of the property’s 340 acres. St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Frederiksted was built in 1846 from local limestone.
The Production of rum on St. Croix dates back to 1760 at the current site of the Cruzan Rum Distillery.
attraction speaks volumes about what St. Croix represents to its residents and what ought to be portrayed to our visitors,” said Nicholson-Doty. Silently guarding Christiansted Harbour is Fort Christiansvaern, an imposing, yellow-brick fort built by the Danes to ward off pirates and imprison the many colorful characters who wandered through the islands, as well as privateers caught plundering the island’s ports. Nearby, Christiansted’s Steeple Building, the first church to be built on the island by the Danes, is now a museum housing artifacts from St. Croix’s Carib and Arawak Indian settlements, as well as its colonial past. Also of historical significance is Friedensthal Moravian Church, reported to be the oldest church of its kind under the American flag. On the west end of the island, St. Croix’s other main town, Frederiksted, also boasts an imposing stone fort erect-
ed to guard the citizenry from marauding pirates. Nicely maintained Victorian houses and 19th Century churches, as well as the island’s only lighthouse, grace the charming town. Built in the late 1800s, the lighthouse towers protectively over the Frederiksted port from Hams Bluff. For those who enjoy sights and attractions of a nautical sort, Buck Island, located off St. Croix’s northeast coast, hosts the 700-acre Buck Island National Monument, one of only two underwater national monuments in the U.S., and the only one occurring naturally. Some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean can be found in the pristine waters on St. Croix’s north shore. Cane Bay Reef, Davis Bay and Salt River Bay are popular diving spots known for the 13,000-foot deep subsea canyon and steep diving walls. Scuba enthusiasts can participate in five different dives in one day, including a wall, wreck, pier, reef and shore dive.
Top athletes travel to the island for the annual St. Croix 70.3 Ironman Triathlon in May to compete in one of the qualifying races for the series of World Triathlon Corporation sporting events and the Ironman World Championship. For those who prefer “games of chance," Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino has just the thing, with the Virgin Islands’ only casino—a short walking distance from the main hotel. Ecotourism offerings are also plentiful on St. Croix. One gem is Salt River, an ecological reserve protected by the National Park as a natural wildlife refuge and a popular area for kayaking. Local plants and flowers are on abundant display at St. George Village Botanical Gardens. Away from the towns, St. Croix is full of reminders of the days when sugar was king. The remains of more than 50 sugar mills are dotted around the island. Some have been lovingly restored to their former splendor. The Cruzan Rum Distillery, once a working sugar mill when plantations supplied molasses for the rum trade, now produces a variety of delicious rums and creams. Their single barrel offering is comparable to a good brandy. St. Croix’s rich cultural diversity generates a wide variety of arts, crafts and music. Islanders can be found dancing alongside “Mocko Jumbies,” (stilt dancers) or to scratch bands, quelbe, reggae and calypso music as well as Crucian versions of steel band and salsa music. Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 29
Breathtaking underwater life in St. Croix - A diver's paradise.
A plethora of art galleries and studios showcase beautiful paintings, period influenced furniture, jewelry and arts and crafts. The famed Crucian hook bracelet and chaney jewelry are recognizable examples of local craftsmanship. St. Croix has a burgeoning culinary scene with diverse offerings authentically represented in its cuisine. From traditional Crucian recipes dating from the 19th Century slave trade days to contemporary fare with farm-to-table and sea-to-plate concepts, there is something for every palette in St. Croix. Christiansted features two new restaurants: Zion Modern Kitchen, which offers simple farm-to-table dishes paired with cleverly-crafted cocktails, and 40 Strand, which has a stellar wine 30 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
list and serves unique dining offerings, such as the Danish Smorrebrod, a traditional Danish open-face sandwich. The annual St. Croix Food and Wine Experience is held in April and brings together local, regional and stateside chefs and epicureans for a week to showcase and celebrate the island’s fare, farmers, fisherman and firstclass restaurants. The melding of St. Croix’s captivating natural beauty, its rich and evocative historical sites added to its dynamic cultural traditions, offer an alluring mix of attractions that continues to attract new and repeat visitors to St. Croix. For further information, www.VisitUSVI.com.
Christiansted Steeple Building Museum houses artifacts of St. Croix's Carib and Arawak Indian settlements.
THERE ARE PORTS OF CALL, AND THOSE THAT BECKON. Sail to a cruise destination that’s as pleasurable for you as it is your passengers. The four ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands feature seven berths with fully established accommodations designed to attend to all of your vessel’s needs. While ashore, your passengers will be overcome with our alabaster beaches, great shopping, and unique cultural and culinary attractions. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
WEST INDIAN COMPANY, ST. THOMAS
GALLOWS BAY DOCK , ST. CROIX
CROWN BAY, ST. THOMAS
©2015 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
This of course could deter many and even be reason enough to quit, but Mazatlan’s resolve never waivered. They began to battle the issue by hosting a meeting coordinated by Governor Roberto Borge Angulo, governor of Quintana Roo, which gathered all Mexican governors, the FCCA and Member Line executives. The meeting showed the influential audience what cruise lines and passengers could not see during their absence—the steps Mazatlan had taken to become safe. It also transmitted a message both directly and symbolically that Mazatlan was dedicated to regain its lost cruise tourism by any means necessary.
Mazatlan Refuses to Lose and Wins Back Cruise Tourism
he story of Mazatlan, Mexico’s cruise tourism resurgence resembles most sports movies. Just when things look the bleakest, with the scoreboard signaling almost certain defeat, and the team has every reason to quit, they go to the locker room to regroup and strategize and stage a miraculous comeback.
After all, geopolitical concerns happen, as Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, pointed out during Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry, and can prevent cruise lines from calling destinations certain years. But as Mazatlan and Rocky tell, “it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
These stories always strike a chord because they tell viewers that no lead or setback is insurmountable, as long as you keep persevering. Mazatlan not only offers a similar story, but also gives a lesson on how destinations can benefit by refusing to quit, whether facing similar obstacles or simply looking to increase cruise tourism.
Mazatlan’s story starts in 2010, the prime of its success, when it received nearly 500,000 passenger arrivals from 180 FCCA Member Line cruise calls. Then it experienced a decline due to gang violence spilling into the streets. So what Donald talked about came to fruition; cruise lines stopped calling Mazatlan, and it received zero passengers in 2012.
34 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Mazatlan and all of Mexico then went a step further to enact a positive, proactive, countrywide approach, regularly bringing in various departments (including tourism, security, immigration and transportation) to ensure constant, open communication with the cruise industry, along with establishing this with every port, and weekly updates provided to the FCCA. Yet the most important part was moving past the talk and into action. Mazatlan utilized the information communicated to them to develop and refresh destination products to align with the cruise lines’ needs and requests. These results were seen almost immediately, with FCCA Member Lines sending 80,000 passengers in 2014 and forecasting nearly 200,000 passengers for 2015. Plus preliminary data suggests that numbers will continue to grow in 2016. So like all those sports movies, Mazatlan’s happy ending and welldeserved victory tells a message that anything is possible with perseverance, and the only way to truly lose is to quit.
Explore More Business at Florida’s Fastest Growing Cruise Port
Port Canaveral’s easy accessible Central Florida Location, closest port to Orlando and its 61 million annual visitors, helps our homeported ships book more sailings and en njjoy 100+ percent capacities. Nearby Kennedy Space Center, abundant wildliffe eco tours, and reasonable beach side accommodations are added incentives that bring cruise lovers here. Discover more reasons we’re Florida’s fastest growing cruise port, building new cruise terminals yearly. Our Brand new “Smart” Cruise T Ter erminal 1 opened December 2014. Explore the business opportunities by contacting Cruise Business Development at 321-783-7831 ext. 251.
San Felipe Fortress, Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic and Amber Cove Have It All
ominican Republic is already known for its perfectly pristine beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Have you considered exploring beyond your hotel on your next trip to the island country? Next time you’re in the mood to get away, consider exploring this tropical island by cruise. Escape in the Caribbean’s crystal-clear waters and blue skies and soak in the beauty of the culture and endless adventures. From family-friendly vacations to adults-only getaways, Dominican Republic has it all. Ports in Dominican Republic Dominican Republic boasts exciting excursions, jewel-toned waters and friendly locals who embrace and celebrate a rich history of culture. With ports in its south central, southeast and northeast quadrants— in Santo Domingo, La Romana and Samaná, respectively—Dominican Republic is already well prepared to offer guests convenient water access
to some of its most coveted destinations. Plus the country will soon welcome cruise tourists to a fourth coastal gem, Puerto Plata. This October, the Puerto Plata province will officially open its brand-new Amber Cove port, situated on 30 acres of beachfront property on Maimon Bay. With two berths able to dock two large ships simultaneously and accommodate 10,000 passengers and crew daily, this port represents one of the biggest cruise industry investments ever made in Dominican Republic. Amber Cove Nestled in an idyllic cove in Dominican Republic’s northern coast, Amber Cove flaunts a stunning backdrop of some of the highest mountain peaks in the Caribbean, surrounded by lush, tropical jungle waiting for guests to explore—a welcome sight after a long ocean journey. The port is in an
ideal position for guests to conveniently access the historic town center of Puerto Plata and take advantage of the innumerate entertainment opportunities both in the province and the port itself. Merging the island’s historic colonial architecture with the modern facilities of the world’s most inspired ports, Amber Cove is positioned to be not only a transportation hub, but a place that reflects the spirit of vacationing in Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata’s History Discovered by Columbus in the 1490s, Puerto Plata has a rich colonial history. This was the site of the first settlement in the New World— formerly dubbed La Isabela—and laid out by the explorer himself. The first fort of the New World—Fuerte de San Felipe, which still stands today—was built in 1540, and the port town quickly became a busy stop for European traders. The Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 37
Spanish then took their trading posts elsewhere in the 1600s and destroyed much of the city. Not until the mid-1700s did Spanish families return, and the area began to thrive once again, largely from tobacco exports and continued trade. This spurred the town into eventually becoming the largest city on Dominican Republic’s north coast. The tourism boom of the 1970s then brought an entirely new life to the area, and Puerto Plata became Dominican Republic’s first true hub for all-inclusive resorts and carefree vacations. All these flavors—mixed in with Dominican Republic’s African, Jewish and native Taíno influences and heritage—are still present in Puerto Plata’s unique, modern culture. Amber Cove’s dramatic architecture was designed with this in mind. Its cobblestone streets, Colonial archways and themed entertainment offerings transport visitors to another time and immerse them in the island mindset. Entertainment and Excursions Amber Cove is located in a central area, allowing guests to explore Puerto Plata as they please. The province is known for its Atlantic coastline, where 60 miles of beaches, quaint coastal villages and world-class hotels await visitors. While it offers amazing relaxation 38 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
and family-friendly offerings, it also caters to the adventurous. Here are some things you can enjoy on your visit to the new port: Cabarete Watersports: About 30 minutes away from the port lies Cabarete, a small beachfront town known as the kiteboarding capital of the world. International amateurs and professional athletes alike flock here to take advantage of the perfect wind and water conditions for some serious fun in the surf. Numerous tour operators along the beach have their knowledgeable staff ready to make even beginners feel like natural-born surfers. Damajagua Falls: A 30-minute trek south of the port brings you to Damajagua Falls, nature’s own amusement park. Here, visitors can do everything from biking jungle trails to rappelling sparkling waterfalls. Those brave enough can even jump off cliffs into deep, crystalline water. Ocean World Adventure Park: 20 minutes north of Amber Cove is Ocean World Adventure Park, a perfect trip for families. Guests can interact one-on-one with dolphins, stingrays, sea lions and even sharks! Other animals here abide in a tropical fish tank, as well as iguana and tiger enclosures. Paradise Island: This top spot for
snorkeling and scuba diving is just a speedboat ride away! Take a detour to visit the mangroves and enjoy beverages straight from the coconut while you take in the view. Downtown Puerto Plata: Adults looking for a more cultural experience are able to shop in the bustling downtown district, where merengue rhythms bounce across the plaza. Numerous artists’ studios, rum and cigar factories are open for tours here. Couples will enjoy strolling down the three-mile Malecon, an open-air boardwalk with restaurants, bars and shops to explore. Other entertainment options include riding in a 4x4 Terracross buggy across the rugged countryside, horseback riding along the beach or touring rural coffee plantations to discover why Dominican coffee is so famous. Plus those looking for an ultra-luxurious experience in Amber Cove need not go far; guests can reserve a private beachside bungalow at the port, complete with a personal chef, bartender and wait staff. Amber Cove Wants to Show It All to You The last cruise ship stopped in Puerto Plata 30 years ago. We can’t wait to show you what you’ve been missing. Visit www.AmberCove.com for the most updated cruising information.
By land or by sea.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS IT ALL
Puerto Rico Revamps Shore Excursion Offering; Focuses on Service
ommitted to offering more choices to cruise passengers, Puerto Rico has significantly expanded its tour product in the last two years while working to improve service quality and ensure a superb experience for its passengers.
Given the improved prospects for the industry in the Island, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is spearheading efforts to train and certify tour guides and tour operators to ensure Five-Star service to its visitors and working hard to develop and renovate shore excursion offerings. Recognizing Puerto Rico’s location in the very competitive Eastern Caribbean, it has invested in certifying its tour operators under the strict Aquila ACE Tour Operators standards. The ACE certification is bestowed upon completion of a significant audit in order to ensure the operator’s business is conducted in accordance with three pillars: excellence to guest on tour delivery, excellence to cruise line on service and excellence in operations.
As the Island receives more calls, the shore excursion product is undergoing a significant revamp. While the Island is relatively small in terms of its territory, it has an unparalleled offering of unique and unforgettable vacation experiences all within a couple of miles from the San Juan port.
kayak ride at Laguna Grande in Fajardo; one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays should be on the must-do list. Those visitors looking to get closer to nature in a more tranquil environment can explore the Caguas Botanical Gardens, the Camuy Caves or Cueva Ventana in the central region.
One of Puerto Rico’s qualities as a destination is its miles of white sand beaches to choose from. Isla Verde’s 2mile beach strip, Ocean Park beach, Pine Grove and the Escambrón, a Blue Flag beach, are the perfect location to have fun in the sun. A new beach club product, tailored for cruise visitors with lockers and sun chairs is being developed at the Isla Verde Beach.
For lovers of extreme adventures, Puerto Rico provides the perfect opportunity to get their adrenaline rush riding world-class ziplines in Toro Verde or a shorter one but closer to the main Capital in La Marquesa. Toro Verde, located in the countryside town of Orocovis, is the world’s largest zipline park. This year, it will inaugurate the “Mega Beast”, the longest zipline in the world. The park has been commended by Travel and Leisure magazine, among others.
In addition to sunbathing and relaxing in crystalline waters, visitors may choose to go surfing, kite surfing or paddle boarding in the tranquil waters of the Atlantic Sea and the Condado Lagoon in San Juan. For those visiting during nighttime calls, a moonlight
Puerto Rico also has a variety of museums, such as the Museum of the Sea in Old San Juan, which holds the Guinness Book of World Records recognition as Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 41
home to the largest display of original life preservers in the world. Another burgeoning area in terms of shore excursions is gastronomy. Puerto Rico is arguably the foodie capital of the Caribbean, known for its world-class restaurants, which range from the delicious creole cuisine, which reflects our cultural influences, to the latest trends in modern cuisine. One cannot leave Puerto Rico without trying two emblematic local delights: our mofongo, made with green plantains and pork rind and our refreshing piña colada, created here over 60 years ago. Tour operators have developed a Mofongo & Mojito Tour that is certain to become a hit with visitors to the Port of San Juan, as well as an Old San Juan Shop & Bar Hop tour, among others. Creole cooking classes are also being offered, typically right in Old San Juan. If looking to get out of the city, Puerto Rico’s charming coffee haciendas harken back to the time when it was the leading crop in the Island. Passengers who love shopping will find Puerto Rico the ideal place for a fantastic day of store hopping, either by them42 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
selves or as part of an organized tour. In Old San Juan guests can buy anything from crafts made by local artisans to jewelry and find both designer and outlet stores from international brands. San Juan also has the largest shopping center in the Caribbean (and among the top 15 in the United States): Plaza Las Américas with over 300 stores. It is located about 15 minutes away from the cruise piers. The Island also has two outlet malls (Premium Outlets and Routes 66) located within an hour of the city center, with very competitive pricing. For luxury lovers, the Mall of San Juan, opened its doors in March 2015. Located just a few miles away from San Juan port, it has world-class anchor stores such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, taking shopping in Puerto Rico to the next level. Local authorities stress that Puerto Rico is part of the Customs union of the United States, therefore, transit passengers do not need to declare jewelry or other purchases upon return to the mainland, as opposed to other destinations throughout the Caribbean. As the main embarkation point in the Caribbean itself, the Port of San Juan is
also a key transit stop for all major lines. Puerto Rico received 1,356,822 cruise passengers during the 2014 calendar year, and is on track to host over 1,500,000 in 2015. Two thirds of the traffic came from transit visits and the rest from turnaround operations. While both sectors are growing, transit passengers increased 24% versus 2013. Tourism in general is also spiking, in part buoyed by the significant improvement in the cruise sector. Several ships will visit Puerto Rico for the first time during the 2015-2016 season, including Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Anthem of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and the Allure of the Seas. Furthermore, the AIDAMar and the Costa Deliziosa will visit the port of San Juan for the first time. Visits by Oasis and Quantum-class vessels have been made possible with a significant infrastructure investment made to Pier 3, which allows these ships to dock right beside Old San Juan. Improvements to other piers are under study at this time, with the government committed to ensure the Island is prepared for future generations of ships.
COBBLESTONED CULTURE AND CONTENTMENT katie528, Massachusetts
Old San Juan Old San Juan is a feast for the eyes. And if you want a feast before or after walking the cobblestoned streets, look no further than the local eateries tucked away on many of the side streets. A MUST SEE ON ANY PUERTO RICO TRIP ITINERARY!
MSC Cruises Committed to Expanding Presence in North America MSC Seaside, in particular, will offer a vast range of popular itineraries from Miami to the Caribbean and is being designed with families in mind. As part of a first look at what MSC Seaside will offer on board, the company unveiled that the ship will boast the most interactive and originallydesigned aqua park at sea, with five water slides and attractions for all ages.
MSC Seaside Rendering
n the last two months, MSC Cruises—the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and fourth largest global player in the industry—has demonstrated that North America will become a strategic market and key focus for the company as it implements its aggressive $5.3 billion fleet expansion plan that will allow the company to double its capacity by 2022. MSC Seaside to Sail Year-Round from Miami In March 2015, the company announced that the first of its next generation “Seaside” class of ships—set to debut in November 2017—will be named MSC Seaside and sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean. Following the first ship’s delivery from the shipyard, MSC Seaside will make her way to Miami for MSC Cruises’ 44 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
first-ever christening ceremony in the U.S., taking place in late 2017. With a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons, a total of 463,000 square feet of public area, and the ability to accommodate up to 4,140 guests at double occupancy, MSC Seaside will be the largest cruise ship ever built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and will be revolutionary in its design and structure. The Seaside ships are being built to sail to the most sought-after warm weather destinations and will have unique features, such as a waterfront promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. Additionally, this class of ships will feature a splendid and spacious theatre, a doubledeck atrium with glass walls, and panoramic elevators for spectacular sea views.
One of the most exciting elements of the multi-story aqua park will be “Slideboarding™”—an industry first. Slideboarding™ is a unique all-in-one waterslide and interactive video game, in which guests race down a twostory, 367-foot slide on a sleekly designed raft that includes an embedded game controller with colored buttons. The end goal is to match the color of the flashing strobe lights seen on various sections of the slide with the colored buttons on the raft. The slide uses a smart gaming system that knows who riders are and tracks their progress and scores over the run down the waterslide. Additional highlights of the aqua park include: dueling high-speed AquaTubes™, in which guests race against other guests through a combined 525 feet of twists, turns and drops, on slides that partially extend over the side of the ship and give riders a look a quick look at the sea below; AquaPlay™& AquaSpray™ areas, where the ships youngest guests can play with tipping buckets, spray cannons, solid stream jets, and a minislide, among many features; and an Adventure Trail ropes course, which allows guests to cross-cross between soaring towers, rope bridges, climbs, crawl-throughs and slides as they enjoy an amazing bird’s eye view of the water. Thanks to new partnerships announced
in 2014, families sailing on board MSC Seaside will also enjoy dedicated LEGO and Chicco areas for children. The second “Seaside” class ship is set for delivery in May 2018. In addition, the company has the option for a third vessel, which would debut in 2021. MSC Divina to Sail Year-Round from Miami Even more recently, MSC Cruises revealed that when MSC Divina—one of the cruise line’s most ultra-modern and elegant ships—returns from her season in the Mediterranean, she will once again sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean starting November 2015. Since the arrival of MSC Divina in Miami in November 2013, MSC Cruises has received extremely positive ratings from travel agents and guests, who rave about the beauty of the line’s Mediterranean-inspired décor, quality of international cuisine, and worldclass, standing-ovation quality entertainment. The company has seen significant growth in the market and strong demand for MSC Divina to stay in North America year-round and adjusted its itineraries to meet this demand. Itineraries
through March 2017 will rotate between Eastern and Western Caribbean routes and include stops in popular destinations such as St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, and the Bahamas. Ongoing Relationship with PortMiami MSC Cruises’ Miami-based cruise operations will also benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami—a testament to the company’s growing ambitions in the North American market and to providing guests with the best service possible. “PortMiami welcomed MSC Cruises for the first time in November 2013 with MSC Divina,” said Juan M. Kuryla, PortMiami director and CEO. “MSC Divina is among the most modern and elegant ships in the industry today. We are extremely proud to welcome her back home for year-round sailings starting November 2015 and are excited for MSC Seaside to join her at PortMiami in December 2017.” Highly Appealing Itineraries for North Americans Sailing in the Mediterranean In addition to growing its physical pres-
ence in North America, MSC Cruises has also seen strong interest from North Americans looking to sail on MSC ships in the Mediterranean. To meet this demand in the short term, in summer 2016, the company has created highly appealing Mediterranean itineraries for this market on MSC Fantasia and MSC Preziosa—both among the youngest and most modern vessels in MSC’s fleet. And to make it even easier to plan a vacation in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises will once again offer its popular all-inclusive fly & cruise packages to Rome and Barcelona for summer 2016. Generating some of the most excitement are the itineraries for MSC Meraviglia—the first of MSC’s “Vista” class of ships being built by STX France and due for delivery in May 2017. Open for booking in June 2015, MSC Meraviglia will be the first ship to have three major embarkation ports in the popular cities of Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona. MSC Meraviglia will be one of the most technologically advanced ships in the industry and will be able to call at any cruise port in the world. For more information on MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com. Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 45
Carnival Vista Rendering
Carnival Vista Courts Millennials Newest, Largest and Most Innovative ‘Fun Ship’ Set to Debut from Europe May 1, 2016
“April showers bring May flowers, but I bring people to the beach. Boom!” tweeted @CarnivalVista, the personified voice of Carnival Cruise Line’s newbuild, speaking to a generation.
Carnival’s fleet of “Fun Ships” is known for affordability and entertainment, and is already familiar for the young crowd as many vacationed on Carnival with their parents as children.
The ship’s account tweets along with millennials weighing in on pop culture, holidays, trending topics and its own journey to completion.
Carnival Vista—touted as “the future of fun”—takes the “Fun Ship” concept further and sharpens the focus. Set to launch spring 2016, Carnival Vista will feature an array of attractions and itineraries designed to appeal to the 1834 set.
Millennials are becoming increasingly important to the travel industry and Carnival is creating a dialogue that targets the growing market. Pew research suggests that millennials will surpass baby boomers to become the largest generation in 2015. Meanwhile, the average age of a cruise passenger has dropped from 56 in 2002 to 46 in 2014 and the average age continues to decrease as young travelers recognize the value of a cruise. Social media engagement with the sassy online character is just one way in which Carnival is endearing Carnival Vista to this expanding consumer group. 46 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
New to the SportSquare open-air recreation area is SkyRide, a suspended cycling experience that allows adventure seekers to challenge one another to a race around the top deck with 360degree ocean views. Carnival Vista is also the first in cruise ship to offer an IMAX theater with an expansive screen that will span three decks and play the latest Hollywood blockbusters showing at shoreside theaters. In response to the booming popularity
of craft beer across the nation, Carnival Vista will be the first in the Carnival fleet to brew its own beer at the RedFrog Pub. In addition to Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 offerings that include Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri and cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, Carnival Vista will feature Havana Bar, a poolside venue serving mojitos and other Cuban-inspired cocktails on deck with ocean views. In the evening the setting transforms into a dance club. These features are in addition to an expanded WaterWorks water park, Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, an immersive interactive theater experience called Thrill Theater and indoor/outdoor dining in a number of popular venues. The millennial generation is well traveled with a desire to see more and Carnival is responding to this desire with a diverse inaugural season for Carnival Vista. The ship will be the first in Carnival’s fleet in over three years to cruise the Mediterranean. Greece, Gibraltar, Malta, Croatia, France and Spain are all on the list of calls for the ship’s first season. In November 2016 Vista will reposition to homeport in Miami and cruise yearround in the Caribbean. Across the fleet Carnival is enhancing the experience for millennial travelers with initiatives like Carnival LIVE, a concert series featuring artists including Little Big Town, The Band Perry and Rascall Flatts. There’s also a new social media app that allows guests to interact with their traveling companions at for a nominal fee and enhanced Wi-Fi access, including the cruise industry’s first social media package where guests can access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites for around $5 per day. After all, what fun is a tweeting ship if you can’t tweet back?
Get to Know Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Two New FCCA Member Lines
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Redefining Luxury With All-Inclusive Sailings Throughout the World Regent Seven Seas Cruises, recently named “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Cruise Critic editors, delivers The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience™. Fares include all-suite, all-balcony accommodations, round-trip airfare, highly personalized service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited free shore excursions in every port, gratuities, a pre-cruise luxury hotel package and free internet for those in conciergelevel and higher suites. Award-Winning Luxury Ships Three all-suite vessels—Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager—are among the most spacious at sea and visit more than 250 destinations around the globe. Appearing continuously on annual “world’s best” and “top” awards lists 48 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
by noted media, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fleet transports guests in luxury to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, South America, Alaska, New England, Canada, Africa, India and the Caribbean on voyages from seven to 87-night voyages. The new Seven Seas Explorer will debut in summer 2016 and is designed to be the most luxurious ship ever built. Accommodations onboard the line’s intimate ships are considered among the most luxurious afloat. Measuring from 300 to 2,002 square feet, suites on each ship feature tastefully appointed living and sleeping areas, a marble bathroom with bath, a walk-in closet, a flat-screen TV and DVD player, Wi-Fi access, fully stocked bar, Egyptian cotton linens and a private veranda. Top
suites have illy® espresso machines, iPod® docking stations with Bose® speakers and iPads®. Public areas are resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and furnishing with spaces including several elegant bars, a show lounge, casino, library, Internet center, outdoor pool, hot tubs and Canyon Ranch SpaClub®. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, a contemporary American steakhouse and Setti Mari at La Veranda, the line’s Italian dining experience. In the past two years Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner have undergone multi-million dollar drydock refurbishments, emerging with dramatic, breathtaking new interior décor and refreshed exterior decks. From the bold yet soothing tones of the Observation Lounge, to the inviting sophistication of Horizons, every area exudes a sense of style and elegance. As part of the ships’ refurbishment, all Penthouse Suites received stunning new décor with custom-crafted elegant furnishings, plush carpeting, curtains and wall coverings. Joining the fleet in 2016, the line’s first new-build under the Regent brand in over a decade, Seven Seas Explorer, is destined to set new standards as the most luxurious vessel ever built. At 54,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, the all-suite, all balcony ship will boast impeccable personal service with nearly 1:1 guestto-crew ratio. Every inch of the ship will exude luxury, creating an ambiance of elegance, sophistication and grace for guests as they set-off on journeys to explore destinations around the world.
Oceania Cruises: Mid-size Ships, Super-sized Service and Options Oceania Cruises offers world-class cuisine, itineraries to explore many of the world’s iconic locales, impeccable personal service and enriching onboard experiences. Oceania Cruises sails to more than 330 ports around the globe with a fleet of five mid-size ships that enable the line to explore exotic and intimate ports of call not accessible to larger vessels. With a perfect fusion of classic and off-the-beaten-path ports, along with multiple overnight stays and late evening departures, Oceania Cruises places an emphasis on offering destination-rich itineraries that capture the imagination of even the most seasoned world traveler. Award-winning Mid-size Ships Oceania Cruises offers the youngest fleet in premium-class cruising, with 85 percent of accommodations featuring private verandas. Catering to just 684
guests on Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and 1,250 guests on Marina and Riviera, these elegant and luxurious ships allow guests to explore the world in unparalleled style and comfort with unrivaled personalized service. Oceania Cruises’ ships offer a sophisticated yet refreshingly casual and friendly ambiance featuring the most sought after amenities of larger ships but with the warmth and intimacy only mid-size ships can offer. Guests will delight in the enriching entertainment options onboard ranging from world-renowned guest lecturers, bridge tournaments and golf putting greens to jazz nights at Martinis and dancing at Horizons. There are also plenty of cozy retreats in which to simply relax and recharge. Regatta, Insignia and Nautica Known for their classic charm and
intimacy, these three 684-guest sister ships feature four open-seating, gourmet restaurants, as well as a rich array of entertainment and recreation facilities, including an English-style library with over 2,000 books and periodicals, a Monte Carlo-style casino, spacious sun decks and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Regatta, Insignia and Nautica recently received an impressive $50 million makeover that introduced elegant new furnishings and décor for public spaces, suites and staterooms, inspired by Marina and Riviera. In addition, several new guest experiences were added to the ships including the ever-popular Baristas coffee bar, a cook-to-order grill at Terrace Café and new outdoor recreation for the Sports Deck. Marina and Riviera Oceania Cruises' Marina debuted in January 2011, and her sister ship, Riviera, debuted in May 2012. Built with the ultimate epicurean in mind, Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 49
illy espresso or delicious made to order coffee drinks. For guests seeking to indulge their palates, La Reserve by Wine Spectator on Marina and Riviera offers wine tastings, insightful wine seminars and a culinary tour de force, a seven-course wine and food pairing experience. For a one-of-a-kind dinner party, guests can reserve Privée, Oceania Cruises’ most exclusive venue on Marina and Riviera, which seats up to 10 guests and offers delectable courses from Polo Grill, Toscana or a combination of both.
each ship features six open-seating, gourmet specialty restaurants including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively by Ralph Lauren Home. Marina and Riviera introduced the first hands-on cooking school at sea with the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, and provided a haven for those with a panache for painting at the Artist Loft enrichment center.
inspiration and culinary wizardry has helped Oceania Cruises earn the reputation of providing the finest cuisine at sea and being the cruise line of choice for “foodies.”
Sirena Sirena is the newest addition to the trio of award-winning sister ships— Insignia, Regatta and Nautica. Upon delivery in March 2016, Sirena will immediately undergo a 35-day, $40 million refurbishment in Marseille, France to elevate the ship to the Oceania Cruises’ standard of elegance. The 684-passenger ship will welcome her first guests in late April 2016.
Regatta, Insignia and Nautica feature exquisite cuisine with a range of options: Continental cuisine in the elegant Grand Dining Room; steaks, chops and seafood at classic Polo Grill; authentic Italian at Toscana; and sophisticated international fare at Terrace Café. Marina and Riviera also feature the same collection of restaurants, but with additional choices such as the Parisian-style bistro, Jacques, serving authentic French country cuisine, and Red Ginger, offering bold and contemporary Asian inspired dishes. True to Oceania Cruises’ inclusive nature, none of these extraordinary restaurants have supplemental dining charges, and all offer open-seating so guests may dine whenever they wish and with whomever they choose.
Finest Cuisine at Sea Exceptional cuisine has been a hallmark of Oceania Cruises since the first cruise set sail in 2003. One of the first to join the team was legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin as Executive Culinary Director. Pépin’s
On all Oceania Cruises ships, guests can also enjoy poolside burgers, shakes and grilled specialties at Waves Grill. Classic English-style tea is served each afternoon in Horizons, and guests can stop at Baristas, Oceania Cruises’ signature coffee bar, for a complimentary
50 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
For guests looking to take a deeper dive into epicurean delights, Culinary Discovery Tours, available on Marina and Riviera, offer a unique opportunity to experience local markets, restaurants and other culinary inspirations ashore. Guests can then return to the Bon Appétit Culinary Center and practice the cooking techniques of the region under the instruction of master chefs. Extraordinary Value Oceania Cruises has always been committed to offering an extraordinary cruise vacation at an incomparable value. Included with Oceania Cruises’ signature cruise fares, guests will find an abundance of complimentary amenities including free round-trip air and unlimited soft drinks, coffee beverages, juices and bottled water. Guests can savor the finest cuisine at sea at any of the ships’ specialty restaurants without any supplemental dining charges. Oceania Cruises also eliminates the hassle of searching for flights by including free round-trip air service from major U.S. and Canadian gateways. In many ports of call, Oceania Cruises provides complimentary shuttles from the ship to the city center, and for those guests looking to explore destinations more in depth, the Unlimited Passport Collection provides a vast array of shore excursions from which guests may select as many as they desire.
HOUSTON: WHERE YOUR JOURNEY BEGINSâ€Ś 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 â€” George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU). Visit portofhouston.com/cruise for information on the cruise services and visitbayareahouston.com and visithouston.com for information on the region and local attractions.
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fathom: Carnival Corporation’s New Brand and Travel Category
arnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest travel and leisure company, launched a new brand called fathom™, defining a new travel category it is calling “social impact travel,” that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. What sets fathom apart is the longterm, systematic partnership approach with its partner countries paired with the unique business model that allows for sustained impact and lasting development. fathom’s scale and global vision reach beyond what the world has ever seen. Beginning in April 2016, fathom will operate as a standalone brand, the Carnival Corporation’s 10th, embarking on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore. 52 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Travel That Creates Enduring, Transformative Social Impact “fathom will cater to a growing market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world. We are so pleased that fathom will give travelers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives. Both our travelers and the local citizens will learn and benefit from the opportunity to serve together.” Donald brought in a non-traditional, social entrepreneur, Tara Russell, Founder and Chairman of Create Common Good (www.createcommongood.org), a food production social enterprise, to lead this effort. Russell will serve as President of fathom and as Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation. Russell established and led the team that has been working on the design and business model for fathom since late 2013.
“We created fathom to meet the real hunger in the world for purpose, while at the same time tackling profound social issues through a sustainable business model,” said Russell. “We harness the assets and resources of the world’s largest travel and leisure company and combine them with the talents and hearts of those working in social enterprises around the world. “Travelers will work in partnership with proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for far greater, sustained impact,” Russell said. “Because fathom will bring hundreds of travelers to a destination on a regular basis, fathom can achieve focused and holistic, collaborative contributions in a broad region of the country – allowing fathom travelers to make a collective, transformative impact that they know will extend far beyond their involvement. They also will know they played an important role in ensuring the region flourishes. We are excited about making the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic our first partner destination, and we are optimistic about taking all that is being built in and through fathom to other
global destinations and to the broader Carnival corporate family.” According to Russell, the fathom team took an innovative design-thinking approach to deeply understanding both its travelers, as well as the needs identified by stakeholders across all parts of society in the Dominican Republic, and will continue to leverage the unique approach. “fathom will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of travelers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for impact,” said Russell. “fathom has been built differently, having worked carefully to ensure any and all efforts fathom travelers engage with are authentically impactful, scalable and sustainable. fathom’s scale allows the opportunity to continuously innovate in the social impact space, while achieving holistic, transformational societal contributions that will help a broad region flourish.” Based on extensive market research, fathom has identified a sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers—approximately one million North Americans who are strongly predisposed, in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide—who will be interested in this type of travel offering. In addition, the company believes fathom will attract a significant number of travelers who have never before cruised. According to research, nearly 40 percent of the individuals who will book a social impact trip on fathom might otherwise never have chosen to cruise. Russell anticipates that fathom will attract people of all ages and from all walks of life, but especially North American, U.K. and Australian citizens ages 20 to 60 years old who are eager to discover their individual gifts, and
unleash their personal passions and talents to improve the world.
role as Global Impact Lead on social impact strategies and opportunities.
“During the past 10 years, in countless conversations I have had with people eager to serve others and make meaningful societal contributions, there has been a common theme – people struggle to know where they fit in and often people have challenges finding trusted, easy ways to make a difference,” said Russell. “fathom exists to address this desire and to create enduring, lifechanging impact, both in the communities where fathom operates, and in the lives of the travelers who embark on one of our journeys, allowing for unique impact experiences before, during and after the trip.”
"With fathom, we are building oneof-a-kind, collaborative community social impact models and experiences and a solid network of reputable local and global NGO partnerships that, once established, can be considered for replication across global regions and company brands," said Russell. "As fathom grows and evolves, we will continue exploring additional fathom destinations and experiences and identify powerful brand partnerships we can establish, both within the Carnival Corporate family, and also more broadly outside the corporation with other like-minded impact brands.
The Future of Social Impact in Carnival Corporation In addition to leading the new fathom brand, Russell will work with Carnival Corporation's nine other brands in her
"In addition, we will evaluate these unique fathom assets to determine which models can be scaled across other Carnival brands as a way to bring new experiences to existing cruise line guests." Second Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 53
Is Your Shore Excursion Product Current? What is your answer when cruise lines ask, “What’s new?” By Beth Kelly Hatt, Founder & Owner, Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence
Shore excursions play an important role in a cruise line’s decision to call a port and build cruise business, so we need to consider our shore excursion products. Whether a destination, attraction, or tour operator, we are looked at to innovate, add value and help cruise lines differentiate their tours and guest experience. We also need to develop products that are profitable and deliver “wow” experiences to cruise guests. In order to help identify opportunities in shore excursions, whether revitalizing existing products or looking to add new products, the following questions need to be considered: • Who are today’s cruise guests, and how are they different from past guests? • What are today’s cruise guests looking for in shore excursions? • What are the different needs of the various cruise markets, including foreign and luxury markets? • Where are the gaps in the shore excursion program in your destination? • Where are the opportunities for new tour experiences? • What experiences are successful in other destinations that your destination could adapt? • What is special and unique about your destination that would “wow” the guest? • How can you refresh an “old favorite” to increase sales? • Would forming a profitable partnership with another tour provider give you new opportunities? Success in shore excursions means bringing destination experiences alive! It is about finding authentic experiences and creating memories that will stay with your guests long after they return home. You want them going back and talking about the exciting experience they had in your destination! Sometimes those small glimpses of a destination have the most impact; traditions, things that engage the senses, and unique experiences make a personal connection to the destination. Successful shore experiences also differentiate tours offered by the cruise lines from others offered in the destination. One of the ways to accomplish that is by offering an experience that is exclusive and available only through the cruise lines, so that a passenger could not find it online or walk up to a provider and purchase the same experience. Differentiation can also mean partnering with another tour provider to offer a more encompassing experience or “package.” There is no greater loss in tourism than missed partnership opportunities. 54 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Country Farm Tour
Bay of Fundy Discovery Tour
Shore excursion products are not always about large infrastructure projects. They can be as basic as a local craft-making experience or learning about local food. They require looking at your destination with fresh eyes and using innovative approaches to help build world-class tourism experiences. Let me give you a challenge. Ask your cruise guests what makes your destination unique from their perspective. Ask your tour guides and drivers—the eyes and ears of your cruise guests—what they think are experiences that “wow” their passengers. Look at the destination through the eyes of the visitor and marvel at the incredible experiences that we often take for granted as residents. Are you willing to take me up on this challenge and see what you may discover to help your business grow? Beth Kelly Hatt can be reached beth@CruiseExcellence.com. The Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence can help destinations and tour operators identify the key steps to further develop an authentic shore excursion program.
THE POWER OF A PREMIER CRUISE PORT There are so many reasons to choose Port Everglades. Our modern, efficiently operated terminals make transit a breeze. We’re just two miles from FLL international airport, and minutes from world-famous beaches. Plus, we’re fully scalable. We can accommodate any size ship or passenger volume, moving passengers from curb to ship in just 15 minutes. Year-round berthing available. Discover how Port Everglades propels your business forward in powerful new ways. Visit porteverglades.net or call 800-421-0188.
SEE YOU AT THE BROWARD COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER FOR CRUISE SHIPPING 2016.
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GROUP OF COMPANIES 37 PRISTINE BEA CHES, 30 0+ GOURMET RESTA URA NTS MORE THA N 50 TOURS A ND EXCURSIONS. THE DUTY FREE SHO PP IN G MECCA OF THE CA RIBBEA N - P HILI P SBUR G .
Faces In The Industry Shalamar Miles – Assistant Quick Service Manager, Disney Cruise Line I am from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and I worked for Breezes Hotel in Jamaica as a dining room server two years prior to coming to Disney Cruise Line. I joined the cruise industry because I wanted more experience in food and beverage hospitality and wanted the opportunity to travel to destinations around the world. My friends actually recruited me to Disney Cruise Line. They told me it was the best cruise line to work for because there were many opportunities if you are willing to work hard, and because my friends work here, and we are like family.
I started with Disney in March of 2012 as a crew service dining attendant, and six months later was given an opportunity to step up into a role as quick service attendant. Then in August of 2014, I was promoted to my current position as assistant quick service manager. I am now responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the crew and officer dining rooms onboard the Disney Magic. I work with the Quick Service Manager and the Chef de Cuisine to ensure we serve high-quality foods to our officers and crew. I am also responsible for supervising the Quick Service team members assigned to those venues. I love working on a Disney Cruise ship because of the experience and opportunities for growth, along with the travel and ability to explore different ports of call. I would 100 percent recommend being a cruise ship crew member because of the great training, travel benefits and opportunity to grow in your career if you are willing to work hard. It is also exciting to meet people from all over the world.
Mayroly Garcia Contreras – Second Housekeeper, Disney Cruise Line In my hometown of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, I was a landscape architect and used to map out land for the government. I did this for nearly four years. I joined the cruise industry because I was looking for better opportunities and a chance for professional and personal development. I had a friend who worked in the cruise industry who got me excited about the lifestyle, so I started applying to jobs on ships. I spent 10 years with another cruise line, where I heard very good comments about Disney. In the two years I’ve been with Disney, I’ve had more professional growth and development than in any other role. At Disney, I am also proud of how they treat crew members, empowering and treating everyone like equals.
I’m currently a second housekeeper and responsible for leading a team to ensure we maintain the cleanliness and service of our staterooms and public areas. By working on a cruise ship, I have had the opportunity to see so many places that I only dreamed of seeing before. Sailing the Baltic and Norway was a highlight for me. I love the snow; I come from a hot country, so this is exotic for me. Being a crew member is very interesting. You have the chance to travel around the world, and on your time off, enjoy a better lifestyle at home. Initially it takes some time to adapt, but once you get used to it, it is an exciting life.
58 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
Guadeloupe delegation meets with the FCCA Operations Committee. From the Guadeloupe delegation, Marvin Jno-Baptiste, Thierry L 'Etang, Olivier Bernard Michel, and Mike McFadden.
The FCCA Operations Committee meets with representatives from ProColombia, Aruba Ports Authority, Aruba Tourism Authority, Curacao Ports Authority and Puerto Santo Domingo to discuss the Sabor Latino Cruise Itinerary.
(2nd from left) Honorable Kenneth Mapp, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands meets with Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line; Paul Goodwin, Executive Vice President, Onboard Revenue, Planning, Port and Tour Operations at Holland America Line and Michele M. Paige, FCCA.
(Left to right) Honorable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Federico González-Denton, AVP, Government Relations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Robert De Niro and Michele Paige, FCCA; supporting Antigua Cruise Tourism at CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York.
60 Cruising Magazine • Second Quarter 2015
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2nd Qtr 2015 edition of Cruising Magazine from the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.