By land or by sea.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS IT ALL
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
FLORIDACARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION
THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE Fourth Quarter 2015
Micky Arison FCCA Chairman, Chairman Carnival Corporation
18 Business and Relationships Grow at the 22nd Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
Michael Bayley President & CEO Royal Caribbean International
24 Cruise Line and Country Leaders Discuss Importance of Maximizing Cruise Tourism in Mexico and Beyond
Adam Goldstein President & COO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Cover photo: Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. Andrew Stewart President & COO Norwegian Cruise Line
FCCA Staff Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President
26 Cruise Operator CEOs Answer FCCA Conference Attendees’ Questions, Discuss Destinations and Appealing to the Industry’s Current and Future Growth
12 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights
36 Cruise Tourism Generates $3.16 Billion for 35 Caribbean, Mexican, and Latin American Destinations
52 Member Line News 40 Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World 62 Faces in the Industry 64 Meetings with the FCCA
Carlos Santamarina Director, Membership Events & Programs
Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant
The Message for Caribbean Tour Operators: Innovation, Innovation, Innovation
How Tour Operators Can Grab the Keys to Success
Discovering the Island of Roatán
Martinique’s Many Magical Discoveries
Holiday Cheer and Festivities Delivered to Deserving Children through the FCCA
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
Foundation Holiday Gift Project 50
Training: The Gift That Keeps On Giving! 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.
Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 7
President’s Letter “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” –Henry Ford A new year often prompts us to reflect on the past and look to the future, focusing on successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully you see mostly successes and strengths and can further develop them; after all even the strongest muscles benefit from new exercises. However, keeping our weaknesses in sight and building them into strengths is equally important.
Michele meeting with His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, President of the Republic of Panamá
Of course, true progress comes not through sudden, drastic change, but through long-term planning and adaptation, along with constant innovation and improvement. The cruise industry continually proves and upholds these principles, and the FCCA helps stakeholders apply them through partnerships and inside access and knowledge to the industry’s inner-workings.
The FCCA offers this through its numerous events, access to Member Lines and their executives, up-to-date information and trends, and much more. You can read about some of these resources and opportunities in this edition of Cruising, such as the 22nd annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, which took place in Cozumel from October 5–9 and had these objectives in mind with its meetings, workshops, functions and networking opportunities. Other articles in this magazine grant insight from FCCA Member Line executives, such as Albino di Lorenzo, vice president of cruise operations for MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., discussing his Conference workshop, along with recaps and sound bites from the CEO Roundtable, tour operator workshop and opening speeches. This issue also highlights the FCCA’s charitable arm, which recently completed the 19th annual Holiday Gift Project and delivered 8,000 gifts and smiles to underprivileged children throughout 40 Caribbean, Mexican and Latin American destinations. Plus it shares the spotlight with one of the FCCA’s most significant parts—its partners—in pieces by Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence, Guatemala, Honduras and Martinique. So take a minute to learn some of what the FCCA and its partners can offer to help you build strength, even from weakness, and think about how the FCCA can help you grow stronger. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President FCCA Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 9
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights More Tourists Visit Bonaire As reported by Statistics Netherlands, Bonaire received 68,800 tourists in the first half of 2015, five percent more than the same period in 2014. More than half of the tourist flying to Bonaire were Dutch nationals, with 29 percent of this group living in the European part of the Netherlands. Americans formed the second-largest group with 23 percent.
ballet, typical music and Carnival costumes for locals and cruise passengers alike to enjoy. The Ministry of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Cluster keep working together to offer impeccable service, including the recent training of more than 150 tour guides, taxi drivers, vendors and tour suppliers.
fully narrated jeep or safari bus tour, or looking for a private and custom tour, Cruise Ship Excursions will be your guests' ambassador. Dolphin Cove Receives Fifth Consecutive World Travel Award
GTA Awards Shipwrights for Contribution to Tourism and Culture
BVI Tour Operators to Be Certified Via Aquila Training The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and the BVI Taxi and Livery Commission are collaborating to train and certify 40 tour operators in November through a workshop facilitated by the Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence. The training and certification of tour guide and taxi drivers is part of the Board’s ongoing program to improve the Territory’s tourism product and enhance personalization of guests’ experience. Training sessions also took place for local vendors, ferry operators, day charter captains and crew. Puerto Plata Welcomed Carnival Victory, the First Cruise Ship in 40 Years
The Grenada Tourism Authority awarded Alwyn Enoe and his son, Callistus Enoe, for their contributions to boatbuilding in Carriacou at the pre-release film screening of Vanishing Sails on Saturday, 7th November in Hillsborough, Carriacou.“I keep the tradition of boatbuilding alive here in my village of Windward so that the youngsters will have something positive to occupy their time,” said Enoe after 50 men launched a newly built 42foot Carriacou sloop into the water. Cruise Ship Excursions: Guests’ Ambassador
Puerto Plata welcomed its first cruise ship in 40 years as Carnival Victory docked at Amber Cove on October 6, 2015. The Independence Square celebrated the occasion with a folkloric 12 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
Dolphin Cove received a World Travel Award for the fifth consecutive year. In 2011 and 2012 Dolphin Cove was voted the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Excursion Operator, and then in 2013, 2014 and now in 2015, Dolphin Cove has been awarded the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction. The prestigious award serves as a testament to Dolphin Cove’s excellent product and services. The Appleton Estate Rum Tour
We are a family owned and operated company that prides ourselves on offering the very best of land and sea excursions, including sightseeing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and biking. Whether your cruise guests are aboard one of our luxurious catamarans, being pampered by our highly-trained, professional and fun crew or enjoying a
Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum has a heritage of awards dating back to 1862, when the company won three gold medals in the International Exhibition held in London. This tradition of quality and excellence continues today with numerous awards in international competitions. Plus the distillery at the
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Appleton Estate was awarded as a “World Class Distillery” at the World Spirit Awards three years in a row. Guests can experience this heritage, history and excellence during the Appleton Estate Rum Tour.
tered at the Havensight / West Indian Company Pier in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, parent company Virgin Excursions LLP is a multi-faceted company that provides high-quality shore excursion, port agency and consultancy services to most of the world’s major cruise lines.
Saint Martin: A True Paradise Belize Is on Top of World Travel Awards 2015
resulting in increased port ratings and high marks from passengers on shore excursions sold onboard. Plans are underway to continue improvements, with the first of three new bridges to accommodate road paving from the port to the major cultural village of Santa Fe, along with a complete renovation of the town square and a fiveblock pedestrian walk featuring sidewalk cafes and boutique shopping. El Salvador Tour Guides and Tour Operators Receive Certification in Cruise Attention
Saint Martin is a small Franco-Dutch island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. A true paradise for beach lovers, it also abounds in natural, cultural, human wealth and unique character. Thanks to the climatic conditions and the preserved natural environment, it offers water activities and abundant nature throughout the year. The wonderful and warm welcome, delectable cuisine and lively nightlife make this duty-free capital all the more enticing!
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is extremely proud and excited to announce that for the first time the World Travel Awards’ 22-year history, Belize has won the two biggest awards for the region. Placencia won “Mexico & Central America's Leading Beach Destination,” and the award for “Mexico & Central America's Leading Destination” went to Ambergris Caye. Banana Coast Continues to Improve
Virgin Port Services Secures Port Agency Contracts with Six More Cruise Lines
In the upcoming months, 17 members of the Salvadoran Association of Tour Operators (ASOTUR) and 25 tour guides will receive international certification after completing a series of training sessions. "Among the issues we are looking to strengthen, for both tour operators and tour guides, are those related to hospitality, service excellence, situations and risk management,” said José Napoleón Duarte Durán, Minister of Tourism. “Our main objective is to meet international standards within the industry." Puerto Vallarta Launches “12 Days of Winter” Campaign to Celebrate Start of Holiday Festivities
Virgin Port Services secured port agency contracts with six additional cruise lines in 2015, bringing its total number to 22. Strategically headquar-
The emerging cruise port in Trujillo, Honduras, enthusiastically met the challenges of infrastructure upgrades during its first season in 2014-15,
The start of winter in Puerto Vallarta is cause for celebration, as December marks the beginning of a calendar full of holiday festivities and free activities. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is inviting every
Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 13
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Costamed Medical Network: Now Covering the Mexican Pacific
one to join in the celebration with the launch of the “12 DAYS OF WINTER” promotion for a chance to win daily prizes, with the top prize being a 12-day all-expenses-paid vacation for two in Puerto Vallarta. To participate, register at visitpuertovallarta.com/12daysofwinter. Costa Maya Water Park Makes a Splash with Cruise Passengers
Maritime Terminal of Isla Mujeres has become the most active terminal in the State of Quintana Roo with a movement of 3,110,000 passengers in 2014 and an expected growth for 2015 of 14.7 percent— possible because of the geographical advantages and excellent management and infrastructure. The new terminal increases the old terminal’s capacity, which was exceeded during the high season with more than 8,000 passengers per day. AMERIMED Hospitals Diagnosis of Excellence
Water slides, zip lines, a lazy river float, a children's water park and a completely restyled cruise facility with regional Mexican foods, beers, chocolate and coffee—all part of Puerto Costa Maya’s dramatic changes. The recently opened Lost Mayan Kingdom water park features nine water slides, four zip lines, a zip coaster and a ropes course from a towering pyramid. “The guest comments are amazing, and the volume of participants is increasing every day,” said Robert Shamosh, VP, marketing and sales for the port. New Maritime Terminal of Isla Mujeres Expects 15% Growth The APIQROO announced that the new 14 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
With over 18 years of experience managing medical needs in the Caribbean (Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerta Maya, and soon Tulum), Costamed is now extending the same quality of service to the Pacific (Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan). Costamed provides the largest medical facilities with diagnostic, medical and dental services, along with board-certified bilingual physicians and a highly qualified staff. Costamed’s Emergency Call Center is active 24/7, ensuring seamless communication between the ship and the shoreside provider. For more, e-mail email@example.com Friendship That Goes Above and Beyond
AMERIMED Hospitals offer excellence in health services through stateof- the-art technology, human touch and strict adherence to top-level ethical practices, always focusing on the best patient care. AMERIMED Hospitals are leading players in the health tourism sector. Featuring the expertise of renowned bilingual health professionals and board-certified physicians, AMERIMED provides a certified an integrated medical system that includes the best technology available, as well as a unique and comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.
Playa Mia Grand Beach & Water Park hosted the closing party for the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. After a successful week of partners’ gathering, business creation and reach expansion, it was time to celebrate the bonding fabric from which the Industry takes it’s strength: friendship. Besides
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights the unprecedented display of entertainment and show production, what truly gave the night a special feel was the feeling of family fun and friendship. To watch a video of that night, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C MN2mWJDek Parang in Trinidad and Tobago
combination of two popular maritime activities this season with the Lobster & Lighthouse shore excursion. Since becoming one company, the region’s top motor coach group, Ambassatours Gray Line, and its top waterfront attraction, Murphy’s the Cable Wharf, offer guests a seamless, memorable experience: a coastal coach trip outside Halifax to iconic Peggy's Cove lighthouse, combined with a lobster roll luncheon at the company's patio on Halifax's expansive waterfront boardwalk.
and market the Big Easy’s international appeal. The Port currently hosts three homeported cruise ships. Carnival Elation and Carnival Dream sail year-round Caribbean itineraries, and Carnival Triumph will replace Carnival Elation in April. Plus Norwegian Dawn sails seasonally November through May. Port Canaveral Wins Best North American Homeport Recognition from Cruise Critic
Port Saint John
Perched atop the lush hillsides of Trinidad’s Northern Range, the rural village of Paramin comes alive for the Paramin Parang Festival in December. The annual celebration of parang, a style of folk music brought by Venezuelan immigrants, is a major part of the island’s Christmas festivities. Similar to traditional carolers, bands of paranderos move from community to community for a series of lively performances, accompanied by seasonal food, homemade wines and dancing against the countryside’s scenic backdrop. Lobster & Lighthouse in Halifax
Port Saint John is the only port city on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada. Last year Saint John welcomed 15 cruise lines over 5 months in 2015, and 2016 will bring 65 ships and over 140,000 cruise guests. This historic port city boasts both natural attractions and unrivalled hospitality. While the autumn season provides a tremendous show of fall foliage, the summer months provide opportunities to explore the scenic Fundy coastal region or majestic river valley. Port of New Orleans
Cruise visitors to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada enjoyed the perfect
Holland America Line’s Westerdam called the Port of New Orleans’ in October and marked the first of many unique calls coming in 2016. AIDA Cruises, P&OCruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises will also call New Orleans through 2016
Port Canaveral has been named the “Best North American Homeport” in this year’s Cruise Critic U.S. Editors’ Picks Awards. “Previously overshadowed by other Florida Ports, Port Canaveral is one of the most up and coming cruise hubs in North America,” said Cruise Critic’s editors. “Split into two areas, the facility has seven ship berths, with plans for three more. You’ll find beaches, a campground, oceanfront dining, and a new Exploration Tower.” Diamonds International Diamonds International is one of the largest duty-free jewelry retailers in the world. With over 125 stores in the Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska, Diamonds International caters to the cruise ship guests and specializes in diamonds, tanzanite and branded jewelry and watches. Carrying many of the most popular brands and featuring the Crown of Light diamond, a diamond Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 15
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights with 90 facts, and Safi Kilima tanzanite, Diamonds International prides itself on selection and quality matched only by its customer service and competitive pricing. Pier 27 Cruise Terminal in San Francisco Wins AIA Miami Merit Award of Excellence
International is proud to announce that it can provide support services as one of the few licensed providers authorized to perform repatriation of passengers (patients) from Cuba to North America and worldwide. Authorized by both Cuban and US governments, Trinity has been successfully performing air ambulance missions from Cuba over the past 10 years, aided by amazing relationships with authorities. Tiffany & Co. Launches First Boutique At Sea
Bermello Ajamil & Partners’ James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 in San Francisco has received a Merit Award for Design Excellence from the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The 91,000-SF terminal is a modern, sophisticated, LEED Silver-rated facility sized to optimally process today’s high passenger volume. “The project cleverly and elegantly breaks up its massive scale and in doing so evokes the subtle gestural movement of passing ships on the sea,” said the AIA. Trinity Air Ambulance: A Decade of Operations in Cuba
Tiffany & Co. has announced the launch of its first ever, freestanding boutique at sea, onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas. Just like the flagship store in Manhattan, this Tiffany & Co. boutique is located in the cruise ship’s lush Central Park neighborhood. Cruisers will find a full selection of Tiffany jewelry, including the brand’s signature engagement rings and the recently introduced Tiffany T and Atlas collections. The Power of the Guru
thing from business cards and brochures to promotional products, we can help you maximize your marketing. Items like mugs, pens and t-shirts are memorable and provide a better cost per impression for advertisers. We can supply your company with every printing need and promotional product from over 3000 suppliers, helping companies like yours to boost ROI and leave a lasting impression. That's The Power of the Guru! PPI Group and FCCA Strategic Partnership
PPI Group has entered a strategic partnership with the FCCA as the premium company of choice to produce and deliver the highest-quality videos for FCCA members’ needs. The partnership will help destinations incorporate video marketing services into their cruise strategy, filling a niche for all cruise industry partners, as video is one of today’s strongest marketing tools. PPI Group’s Broadcast Operations Division is a team of creative, talented, and experienced producers and editors dedicated to successfully reaching a targeted audience. For more, visit PPIGroup.com Guatemalan Cluster”
With the recent developments and U.S. government’s approval for cruise to operate in Cuba, Trinity Air Ambulance 16 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
We are printing experts! Printing every-
The Guatemalan Port Community created the Maritime Port Cluster in an effort to improve the country's competitiveness in business by sea. A forum
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights composed by public-private partnership to form a national coordination, the Cluster brings together participants involved in the logistics chain of the operations of foreign trade by sea for discussion and coordination, technical assistance, project management, education, training, and standardization of the processes that take place in each port. For more information, please contact www.clusterportuario.org.gt Park West Gallery
Mark Mingo, Port St. Maarten CEO, is now a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Executive Development Program in the area of leadership and integrity and risk management. Mingo participated in the two-week program in March to further strengthen and enhance his knowledge and executive business skills that have transformed the port from a traditional operations company to an innovative commercial entity representing a third of the country’s GDP and 5th in the world as a cruise transit port. 2016 BACARDÍ Legacy Cruise Competition
Park West Gallery provides an opportunity to collect fine art through exciting events aboard cruise ships, at fine hotels across the country, and in its galleries. When collecting with Park West, you collect from artists like Dominic Pangborn, who in 2015 created art for the White House Fellows’ 50th anniversary, and Autumn de Forest, who recently earned the Giuseppe Sciacca International Vatican Award in Painting and Art. Visit www.parkwestgallery.com today! Port St. Maarten CEO a Graduate of Wharton Executive School Program
The 2016 BACARDÍ Legacy Cruise Competition is down to the final three cocktails. Look out for these BACARDÍ-based cocktails promoted onboard by their creators. This year the competition joins the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, recognizing the best global talent in professional bartending. All eyes are on the prize, as the Legacy Cruise Competition winner will compete against 40 other country/regional winners in the BACARDÍ Legacy Global finals in San Francisco in April! AON Insurance Program Praised by FCCA Platinum Member Tour Operator I wanted to share a few words in regards to the AON-FCCA insurance program. As I am sure many tour
18 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
operators did when this whole process started seven years ago, I felt overwhelmed by the change and in all honesty thought it could only be for the worst. Today I have a completely different view of the program and am actually thankful for the teachings, insights and protection it has provided my company during this time. AON has brought its well-known reputation for professionalism into our industry, ensuring I can sleep soundly at night knowing that when tragedy strikes, my operations are protected and properly insured. I am also certain this program would not be the success it is today without AON’s incredible human resources, which brought us Hellen and Susan, who are now such cherished members of the FCCA community. It is true that AON asks more questions and in-depth information than any program or insurance provider before, and this learning curve has taught me that risk is something that should be tackled with open books and complete honesty. If there was one thing I would say to my fellow FCCA member tour operators, it is that if they are to trust their future in this industry to any one company, they should most definitely choose one with a global reach and reputation, like AON. My message is a thank you note for wisely choosing the proper insurance broker to manage and handle the demands of this program. -Alessandro Mencos Köng, Founder & CEO: Blue Planet Tours, Premium Reef Tours and Black Pearl Divers
FULL SMILES AHEAD. THAT’S CAYMANKIND.
A WORLD AWAY. JUST ONE HOUR FROM MIAMI.
Business and Relationships Grow at the 22nd Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
s 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders gathered in Cozumel, their focus fixated on maximizing cruise tourism’s impact. Some longtime attendees, some fresh and full of anticipation, all knowing that the 22nd annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show would bring opportunities to target the knowledge and decisionmaking power of more than 100 cruise line executives during an agenda balancing business sessions, workshops and networking opportunities. “The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show put cruise tourism stakeholders in the middle of the action,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. “It offered unique and invaluable opportunities to gain insight and develop relationships and business with some of the industry’s most influential players.” The event opened October 6, when 20 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
leaders from cruise lines and Mexico joined, including Arison; Roberto Borge, Governor of Quintana Roo; Honorable Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Secretary of Tourism for Mexico; Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line; Freddy Marrufo, Mayor of Cozumel; and Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. Their speeches focused on developing relationships and understanding to drive demand and increase competitiveness, which attendees learned was readily available at the event during their first business sessions—one-onone meetings pre-selected by attendees to allow for private promotions and presentations, along with personalized input. “The one-on-one meetings allowed for us to learn about new developments and products and help fine-tune them to best fit the cruise lines,” told Federico Gonzalez-Denton, associate vice presi-
dent, government relations for Latin America and the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCCL). And cruise line decision makers travel to the Conference and Trade Show with minds open to attendees’ information and products. “[The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show] 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.” These ideas and projects were further displayed at the sold-out FCCA Trade Show, which displayed what destinations’ tourism ministries, port authorities and tour operators had to offer. With lively music, dancing, videos and delectable delicacies, the booths and pavilions caught the attention of attendees and cruise line representatives
entering and passing through to access the Conference’s meetings, business sessions and workshops. The influential audience also gathered at special events hosted at the Trade Show, such as a cruise executive preview before the official opening, an exclusive cocktail reception for cruise executives and Platinum Members, coffee breaks and the Extravaganza, which hosted cruise executives and Conference delegates for dinner and entertainment, along with featuring the FCCA Table Tennis Challenge hosted by Goldstein, who matched up one-on-one against opponents and sponsors trying to slam and volley their way to victory. “I was pleased and excited to participate in the FCCA Table Tennis Challenge,” told Goldstein. “It combined my passions of table tennis and interacting with cruise tourism stakeholders while supporting a worthy cause.” The tournament raised more than $32,000 for the FCCA Foundation—a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1993 to fund Caribbean and Latin American humanitarian projects, which has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens by providing funding and countless hours to charities and humanitarian causes throughout the regions. This was also one of the many ways the event’s networking functions prompted unique exchanges between cruise executives and attendees, while displaying some of the preparations by Cozumel and Mexico, which partnered with the government and local businesses to coordinate the event’s logistics and display the country’s rich culture, UNESCO-designated gastronomy, diverse destination products and developed infrastructure, including the launch of the third Puerto Maya berth.
“[The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show] always give me an opportunity to meet…the people who have ideas and projects I want, and need, to know about.” -Adam Goldstein, President & COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The FCCA appreciates Cozumel’s and the entire country’s efforts and commitment to making the 22nd annual FCCA Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet,” said Paige. “It 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.” But this was not the end of the event’s business- and relationship-growing opportunities. A series of workshops took place throughout the event, sharing insight into the numerous facets of the industry and how to maximize its benefits, along with letting attendees interact with fields of experts. With panels comprised of cruise line representatives and successful cruise tourism stakeholders, topics ranged from creating and maintaining a successful tour product; developing infrastructure and destination products; and increasing cruise tourism through a unified vision, collaboration between private and public sectors, and continual product development and innovation. Plus cruise line presidents, COOs and CEOs led a roundtable fielding attendees’ questions and discussing their brands, the industry and the destinations. In all, the FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show again helped attendees map the road to success in future cruise tourism dealings and provided a unique chance to develop relationships with cruise executives, presidents and CEOs; present destinations and prod-
ucts; and learn about the cruise industry and what cruise lines seek in shore excursions, products, services, infrastructure and destinations. Or, as Paige said, “The FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show gave attendees a chance to meet with, learn from and display their product to some of the most influential people in the industry, all while having a wealth of other networking and informational opportunities.” But perhaps one of the best testaments came from Debbie Summers, a Conference delegate and executive director of ID New Zealand: “FCCA really does allow for some second-tonone relationship building with key senior cruise line executives. We believe it is all of the informal time spent together that this conference affords us which makes it a stand-out must-do for us.” The FCCA prides itself in establishing this direct line to the cruise industry and fostering understanding between the industry and destinations’ private and public sectors. A symbiotic relationship exists between them; the more that one progresses and learns about the other, the more that both thrive. The FCCA promotes this mutually beneficial connection in its operations and offers these opportunities and advantages through its membership and events, including next year’s FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show in San Juan, Puerto Rico from September 26-30. Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 21
Highlights from the 22nd Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show in Cozumel, Mexico.
Caribbean keep growing with the expansion of the cruise industry?” –Karl Holz, President, Disney Cruise Line
Cruise Line and Country Leaders Discuss Importance of Maximizing Cruise Tourism in Mexico and Beyond
eaders from cruise lines and Mexico gathered in Cozumel at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show to officially open the event and discuss the opportunities available to attendees by maximizing cruise tourism’s impact—something well known by the Mexican officials.
Participants included Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA; Roberto Borge, Governor of Quintana Roo; Honorable Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Secretary of Tourism for Mexico; Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line; Freddy Marrufo, Mayor of Cozumel; and Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. Mayor Marrufo welcomed all attendees—nearly 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders from tour operators and taxi drivers to port authorities and ministries of tourism, along with 100 cruise executives—to “one of the most 24 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
important ports in the world” and invited all to enjoy the wonderful sites that would be on display during and after the event. Paige told that hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show displays Mexico’s hard work—not only for coordinating the event, but also for developing a prominent cruise destination. “ We are here to revel and learn from the success,” she said and pointed out that Cozumel received more than 3.3 million passengers from FCCA Member Lines last year—one million and nearly 50 percent more than in 2007, when Cozumel last hosted the event. She spotlighted cruise tourism’s significance to the entire country, with Mexico welcoming more than 5.5 million FCCA Member Line passengers last year, expecting nearly 5.7 million this year and more than 6.1 million for 2016. She shared some of the economic benefit from this industry, with
cruise tourism directly contributing to $565.4 million in expenditures, along with 15,990 jobs paying wages of $93.5 million, during the 2006/2007 cruise year—when the country overall participated in the Business Research & Economic Advisors study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism in Mexico. She also told attendees that Mexico’s resurgence showed the importance of engaging a proactive approach and constant communication, ensuring a safe environment, and always improving products. Holz delivered the keynote address and discussed the industry’s growth, with “continued bookings strength, the introduction of innovative new ships and experiences, and a commitment by the industry to continually up the ante with technology, entertainment, dining and virtually every other aspect of the cruise vacation,” along with port development.
He displayed this growth by mentioning that passenger arrivals in the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico have jumped from 8 million to more than 20 million expected from FCCA Member Lines this year. “The question then becomes, how does the Caribbean keep growing with the expansion of the cruise industry?” He told it takes “adapting to the changing marketplace, taking risks, launching innovations and ultimately delivering on ever-evolving consumer expectations… We must continually adjust our approach in order to meet consumer demands and introduce exciting new dimensions to our business – dimensions that will keep drawing cruisers to the Caribbean.” This model is similar to the cruise lines’ own way of differentiating and innovating, he said. He then mentioned Disney’s focus on telling stories and assured the audience that the industry’s “greatest stories have yet to be told…As long as we can envision a brighter tomorrow, there’s no limit to where our imagination can take us.” Arison awarded winners of the annual FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Contest, which provided more than $30,000 to Caribbean and Latin American essayists and schools in 2015. Governor Borge praised the growth from hosting the last event and expressed excitement for again actualizing the event’s potential. He highlighted Quintana Roo’s improved infrastructure and product, touted the jobs and improving social conditions resulting from cruise tourism, and assured that “Mexico wants to keep growing with the cruise industry.” Secretary Hon. de la Madrid Cordero, also representing President Enrique Peña Nieto, elaborated on the importance of tourism overall to the coun-
try, producing nearly 9% of GDP and providing jobs to 8 million people, including 20% of employment of young persons and a large segment for small to medium businesses and entrepreneurs. He then shifted to cruise tourism, reiterating the passenger arrivals and focusing on the significance of destinations like Mazatlan and Vallarta recuperating. “We want to work as partners with the cruise industry,” he said and told
how the country continues to do so by constantly asking, “What are your needs” and “how can we innovate new products?” “We are aware we are in a world of constant competition,” he said and unveiled some of Mexico’s competitive advantages, including location and source markets that travel and spend, along with the “secret weapon— Mexicans…a population that likes to treat people well.” Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 25
Cruise Operator CEOs Answer FCCA Conference Attendees’ Questions, Discuss Destinations and Appealing to the Industry’s Current and Future Growth
very year the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show gathers cruise industry stakeholders with executives and makes these decision-makers available through a series of meetings, networking functions and workshops. One of the clearest indicators of this high-level accessibility is an annual roundtable that brings together cruise operator presidents, chairmen, COOs and CEOs to discuss issues that affect the audience. This trend continued in the 2015 edition, with talks focusing on the robust growth—in both size and number—of cruise vessels, along with burgeoning and potential markets like China and Cuba and the challenges and opportunities this all presents for cruise destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America. But maybe more importantly, some of the cruise industry’s biggest players 26 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
“…step away and say what will excite the guests and what would really make the experience special.” -Arison directly addressed and answered attendees’ questions. Michele Paige, moderator and president of the FCCA, opened the panel by asking for questions and highlighting that “this wealth of information is sitting before you, willing to work with you.” The wealth of knowledge came from Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA; Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.; Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and Richard Sasso, president and CEO, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. A question from an Acapulco repre-
sentative opened the discussions and a tendency to not just answer the particular question, but also apply it to the general audience. After asked how to bring cruise lines back to Acapulco, Del Rio told that the “best thing you can do is not be in the news for all the wrong reasons.” He reminded the audience that operators always consider new destinations, but stressed the rising competition: “The world is getting smaller and smaller, and there are more ships, so it puts a squeeze on where we can go.” Goldstein told that ports and destinations “can’t be in a vacuum.” They must offer an entire itinerary with multiple
destinations adding up to something competitive, he told. “You have to think about the overall offering to draw ships opposed to somewhere else.”
first praising the Caribbean’s “inherent advantages” because of its proximity to the North American markets, weather, scenery and destination products.
A representative from Puerto Rico Tourism Company then extended the scope of how destinations can continue to be competitive in light of global and local competition, from China to Cuba.
He then broached the Asian elephant in the room, telling the audience that the exponential growth in the Asian market did not come from Americans deciding overnight not to cruise the Caribbean, but rather from gaining cruisers from a whole new segment of the world’s population. “The role that cruise vacations and the Caribbean in general plays for the North American population is intact,” he said.
Arison seconded Goldstein’s point and told, “It’s about opening up and having some imagination and thinking outside the box to bring new and more imaginative features to the product.” He contrasted guests’ expectations from those decades ago satisfied by simple city tours or sitting on the beach, whereas nowadays destinations and tour operators need to “step away and say what will excite the guests and what would really make the experience special.” But he also reminded attendees that they are in the perfect place to find inspiration and motivation for their imagination: “…there are a lot of destinations doing a lot of new things, and this is a great forum to exchange ideas with people who are doing new things and creating new shore excursions.” Goldstein responded to the question by
Reiterating Arison’s point of innovation, he told, “…by staying always in the forefront of what people are looking to receive in a vacation experience, the Caribbean and the Caribbean cruise industry will continue to command a leading role…but complacency and sitting tight and not investing and not developing and not paying attention to market trends will clearly result in fewer tourists in general and fewer cruise ships in particular.” Sasso first reinforced the importance of safety and cleanliness before echoing the others’ sentiments about creating a unique experience. “What can you create in your destination that somebody would want to take a photograph
of…whatever assets you have, try to put them on display.” The other elephant was then addressed by a question about pending Cuba plans. Arison responded by first identifying the current limited scale with smaller ships and people-to-people experiences, but “the potential if the embargo is lifted is enormous.” He told it would not likely happen any time soon, but that the aforementioned potential would benefit the Caribbean. “The demand for the Caribbean will be much stronger,” with dramatic increases in overall Caribbean numbers and yields. However, he warned these gains would not be evenly distributed throughout all destinations, and how much a particular destination benefits would be based on “the strength of the destination, the facilities in the destinations and also its proximity to Cuban ports.” Sasso reminded that the industry has grown eight percent annually for decades without having Cuba. “So we don’t need Cuba, but I think it would have a positive impact on the region; there will be more ships and more demand for those ships.” Cuba infrastructure will start to develop Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 27
immediately because of cruise brands’ initiatives, like Fathom, along with ships for Canadian and European passengers, he informed and then indicated that puts Cuba ahead of the curve when it opens, which he projected to be in two or three years. The talk about port infrastructure led to a question about the panelists’ new port projects in the Caribbean—including Royal’s in Falmouth, Jamaica; Norwegian’s in Harvest Caye, Belize; and Carnival’s in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic—and what they mean for the countries, citizens and passengers.
“The cruise companies have gone to the forefront of inspiring Caribbean product development.” –Goldstein set of challenges for both the cruise lines and destinations. Del Rio echoed Arison’s comments and also shared the immediate impact their development will have, with in excess of $100 million invested, at least 500,000 passengers annually and employment of almost 200.
Arison honored Carnival Victory’s first call to Amber Cove, which happened that day, along with the potential for Dominican Republic, with 350,000400,000 passengers expected in the first year after the Puerto Plata region not having a ship for 40 years, and what developments like this mean for the region: “We need some new interesting and exciting destinations to keep the Caribbean fresh.”
Though a private project, he mentioned that the island is only 1.5 miles from the mainland and will offer a full array of shore excursions there, giving “the best of both worlds” where the guest can experience the controlled product and experience Belize’s culture and ecotourism. “We continue to look for opportunities like that, where we have a broader control of the product delivery and, quite frankly, higher margins.”
Of course, the investments are not only in the form of creating new destinations, but supporting capacity of the growing vessels and passenger numbers. “When destinations can’t keep up with the needs, we’ll step in and try to do that wherever possible.”
And as Arison pointed out, some of Carnival’s most popular ports are the ones they developed. “A part of that is the amount of control we have over that product….we have an understanding of what the guests want and are able to deliver that.”
Commemorating the pending opening of Carnival’s third Puerto Maya berth, which happened later during the Conference, he gave an example of further investing in a destination to handle three simultaneous ships after frequently hosting two vessels a day.
Goldstein referenced the past mindset of cruise operators towards destinations, “We felt like if they wanted our ships to be there, they should make themselves attractive to us; if not, we go somewhere else.”
He then used Royal’s Falmouth as an example of creating an option to support a new class of ships. And as he later pointed out, nowadays ships that size are becoming the rule, not the exception; new vessels are “big, and they’re getting bigger.” With up to 5,000 passengers, this presents a new 28 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
“You can all see now that there’s been a total change…that underpins the success of this Conference going forward,” he said. “The cruise companies have gone to the forefront of inspiring Caribbean product development… because a number of the companies have both the ability and determination to make things happen.”
After confirming Arison’s point behind the reason for developing Falmouth, to create an environment to deliver the needs for an Oasis-sized ship, he said, “You see all these examples of cruise companies simply causing things to happen with your cooperation—unthinkable 25 or 30 years ago.” Paige then connected the dots between new cruise vessels and new destinations by pointing out that Royal’s Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas were placed in China, when in the past cruise lines used older ships for emerging markets. She asked if that trend would continue and what it means for the Caribbean. Goldstein first mentioned China’s scale, which “is fairly exceptional by emerging market standards of any sort,” along with the significant population of coastal communities, sudden economic ability to cruise and a tremendous hunger to see the world. This creates the perfect combination for a target cruiser, especially since the market has “an ability and willingness to pay rates that are commiserate with the best markets that exist in the world today.” “There’s a second factor at work,” he continued. “That’s the role of the Internet…Everybody knows the best they can access in all industries…and there’s an instant appetite and demand for the best.” “So what are the implications for the Caribbean? It’s what we’ve been talking about—the ability to maintain world-class competitiveness, the
things that….destinations need to do to stay fresh, vibrant, safe, compelling, interesting.” “If that happens…there are enough intrinsic advantages for the Caribbean to compete, but if none of those things happen, there will be an increasing loss of share to the rest of the world.” Sasso pointed out the potential advantage presented by the growth of markets like China. “Eventually it does help all of us, including the Caribbean…when people become fond of cruising, they’re not always just going to cruise in China…They’re going to become Caribbean cruisers and European cruisers...so this multimillion source market will also benefit all of us down the road.” Reinforcing this point, Arison referenced the omnipresence of Asians in Europe over the summer before telling, “They’re going to be traveling everywhere in the world. They’re going to be the largest middle-class in the world, and plenty of them are going to be coming to the Caribbean.” Norwegian has over 40 percent of its capacity dedicated to the Caribbean, Del Rio reminded and told, “I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.” “The other thing to keep in mind is that the shipyards are full of orders all the way through 2021, and not all those ships are headed for China. Many of them are heading [to the Caribbean].” One of those ships, Norwegian Escape, just recently went to PortMiami for year-round Caribbean sailings. “You all should feel confident to continue to invest in your businesses, continue to invest in the destinations here in the Caribbean basin, and that will keep us here…we want to bring ships to the Caribbean, and we will.” Arison seconded Del Rio and then
“…we want to bring ships to the Caribbean, and we will.” –Del Rio gave some perspective by telling that only six of Carnival Corporation’s 100 ships are in China. “Obviously the number is much bigger in the Caribbean and has continued to grow through this whole cycle.” Paige then steered the discussion back to the importance of “putting the WOW back in the product,” which has a mutual benefit: impressing passengers, who then can return for landbased vacations and refer friends and family, and maximizing revenue for cruise lines, with shore excursions being one of the largest sources, thereby incentivizing cruise calls. She asked what responsibility cruise operators place on the destination to create this win/win scenario. “There needs to be marquee value for us to put a port on an itinerary…and if you do that job, you’ll help us,” said Sasso. He then touched on part of the cost-efficient model lines use to determine ports of call, including proximity and fuel consumption, “but the most important [factor]…an experience equal to or greater than the one we provide [passengers], which today is extraordinary.” “Create impressions for people…you have to do it with quality and innovation. FCCA has been your best friend for over 35 years, helping you see, hear, learn what that could be.” What that could be may not always simply involve throwing money at the problem and expecting a solution. “It’s not always about investing the money; it’s about having a great idea…You have to keep inventing and reinventing.”
Arison used Dominica as an example, as it limited premier tourism sites to only ship-sold shore excursions during cruise calls. He cautioned the political difficulty of this initiative, but told, “From a cruise operator point of view, shore excursions are an important part of our revenue base, and if [destinations] can help us control the shore excursion traffic….it’s going to be more appealing for the itinerary planners.” Putting the WOW back in the product does not require new products, reminded Goldstein. “Making what you have more available and branding it more strongly are also opportunities to create more WOWs…Thinking creatively about what you can bring to the customer means more than just building a giant waterslide.” “There’s a lot of opportunity for the Caribbean region as the cruise business continues to evolve…It’s about being proactive and strategic and thinking about your situation and how to make the most of it. The world wants to come here and cruise….but as a matter of degrees, your success will depend on how you approach these challenges and how you master them.” Summing up, Sasso said, “if you think about every time government, private sector and suppliers are all on the same page working together, you see enormous successes…I have always labeled FCCA as Friendship, Cooperation, Communication, which leads to Advancement…when all of us work for the same goal, that’s what you see.”
Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 29
The Message for Caribbean Tour Operators: Innovation, Innovation, Innovation
n real estate, it's location, location, location. Innovation, innovation, innovation was the message for tour operators from key cruise line shore excursion executives at a FloridaCaribbbean Cruise Association conference workshop in Cozumel. “The significant changes come from the customers themselves who demand new experiences,” said Erika Tache, director, product development, tour operations, Carnival Cruise Line. She said travelers increasingly seek tailor-made experiences and urged tour operators to know the specific demographics of each brand—such as families with young children or teens—in order to proactively offer the right programs. “You should be refreshing your product at least once a year,” Tache told FCCA delegates. Adventure products, World Heritage sites, local customs, traditions and culinary experiences are key now. Plus, the use of technology—such as offering Wi-Fi on tour buses—is important. Tache said it doesn't matter how long tour operators have been in business; they need to innovate to keep up with today's travelers, and governments should support this with needed infrastructure improvements. “Creativity is really the key,” said Tom Anderson, director, product development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Global Tour Operations. “The creative process has to allow for failure,' he added. 'If not, you're not really innovating.”
Anderson also stressed the need to know cruise line demographics and differentiate products for each brand. “Guests expect the tour to be an extension of the cruise they purchased,” he said. “You need to build differentiated tours that at the same time are authentic and experiential.” It's crucial for destinations to invest in language training for guides, said Albino Di Lorenzo, VP, cruise operations, MSC Cruises USA. More and more international travelers—particularly Germans but also Chinese—are taking Caribbean cruises, the panelists said. Speaking from the audience, Martin Ince of Foster & Ince noted that a few years ago, the Barbados Ministry of Tourism worked with a community college to foster German language classes for local guides. Mark Mingo, CEO of Port St. Maarten, said he'd reached an agreement with a tourism institute in Hamburg for Germanspeaking guide training during Seatrade Europe. 32 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
And Beth Kelly Hatt of the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence, which fosters guide certification, noted there's a working group within the FCCA addressing the need for more multilingual guides. Christine Manjencic, VP, destination services operations, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, congratulated the region on having “some phenomenal guides” and stressed how critical the guide is to the destination. In one place where the guides routinely weren't up to par, the whole destination suffered, and Manjencic said she ultimately had to manage passenger expectations by being truthful about the experience during tour briefings. As a result, excursion sales in that destination dropped 20%, but so did complaints. Yet tour sales went up in other destinations because passengers understood the enthusiastic briefing was genuine. The destination with poor guides was “the sacrificial lamb,” Manjencic said. “Don't be that sacrificial lamb.” Eventually, the FCCA panelists noted, such a destination would likely be dropped from an itinerary. “Make sure your guides are passionate and that they are storytellers,” Carnival's Tache added. Asked how open the cruise industry really is to working with new tour operators, panel moderator Mico Cascais, VP, tour operations, Carnival Cruise Line, returned to the innovation theme. Newcomers must offer something truly different, not just a subtle variation of an existing tour, he said. “If you have something way new, you have a really good opportunity to break in,” Cascais told FCCA delegates. Copyright Seatrade, reprinted with permission. This story first appeared in Seatrade-Cruise.com.
experience like nowhere else.
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How Tour Operators Can Grab the Keys to Success Albino Supino di Lorenzo—Vice President, Cruise Operations, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.—Recounts His Presentation for the FCCA Cruise Conference Workshop, “Shore Excursion Overview—Keys to Your Success” Tour Guide Quality With any great excursion, a key element to the tour’s success is the guide. They can single-handedly determine the outcome of a guest’s experience. They must have the ability to tailor each tour on the spot based on the participants’ different needs. In some ways this can be compared to being on a stage. Everyone is watching, and the actor must deliver the performance of a lifetime every time. Each group is a new audience to impress. However, tour guides have no script for every situation and guest, and in addition to delivering the tour’s content, they must constantly improvise while coming across as natural and authentic. Languages As many of MSC Cruisers hail from all over the world, a critical point for us to consider is the wide range of demographics we have onboard each cruise. Europeans generally have high expectations for Caribbean destinations, and not having a guide able to speak their language is disappointing. Europeans prefer to take part in sightseeing tours that require a knowledgeable guide. They want to enjoy everything the island has to offer in the amount of time allocated in port. They take the same key ideas for tours in Europe and apply it to the Caribbean. Full satisfaction of European guests will help build marquee value for the destination, as those visitors may eventually become the best brand ambassador. 34 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
Product Development: Know Your Destination and Be an Innovator We can all agree on the fact that the service you provide and market must go through constant innovation. This will be a factor in guaranteeing repeat business to the cruise line and, consequently, to the shore excursion. The product’s design and, eventually, innovation start from the potential customer. The vendor has to proactively understand what consumers look for in each destination and then offer a variety of products. The challenge for any company is creating a product for one destination that will satisfy different markets. We not only have to consider various languages, but also culture and way of life. For example, you cannot categorize Europeans as being all the same, as each European country has its own identity. We have to look at the broader spectrum and understand that each nationality is inclined to give importance to different aspects of a tour. Cooperation between Provider and Shorex The key parties involved in the shorex operations are the cruise lines, public sector and private sector. Due to certain bureaucracies in destinations, it may make it difficult for cruise lines to operate. As safety concerns are understandable, rules with no reasoning can create unnecessary problems and ultimately determine whether or not the challenges are truly worth it.
However, we should be able to work together, as private sectors require our support, and their success represents success for all involved. The effort of both sides in delivering excellent service and generating positive comments from the guests will make it harder for a cruise line to consider another port. Another important factor not to forget is the importance of avoiding congestion that may jeopardize either the perception of the destination and/or the customer satisfaction for guests on a shore excursion. One of the elements that attracts cruise lines is the marquee value of the destination, and this added value is built on two components: 1. The global recognition of the destination—basically ask the essential question: “How valuable is your destination’s brand recognition?” 2. The profitability that the shorex might generate in a particular destination. Can you sell a cruise based on the destination alone? In summary, as everyone wants a piece of the cruise Industry, competition is certainly not limited to only Caribbean ports. Cruising is worldwide with a vast variety of new and exciting destinations. Therefore, we have to focus on customer satisfaction and support the investments of new facilities and attractions demanded by the current consumer trend.
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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.
Cruise Tourism Generates $3.16 Billion for 35 Caribbean, Mexican, and Latin American Destinations
very three years, the FCCA engages an independent study by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) to analyze spending related to cruise tourism and its impact on destinations’ economies. A record 35 destinations throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America participated in the 2015 study, which found that cruise tourism—and the 23.6 million passengers disembarking and visiting the destinations—generated $3.16 billion in direct expenditures, 75,050 jobs and $976 million in employee wages among participating destinations during the 2014/2015 cruise year. Though the record amount of participants made a comparison to the last study difficult, the 20 common destinations in the two studies experienced a 36 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
15-percent growth of total direct cruise tourism expenditures, from $1.99 billion in 2011/2012 to $2.29 billion in 2014/2015—a result of a 7.2-percent increase in passenger onshore visits and 7.6-percent increase in average total spending per passengers. The overall study’s main revenue driver—average expenditure per passenger—increased to $103.83, 8.25 percent higher than the 2011/2012 cruise year, accounting for $2.45 billion. Contributing to this increase were passengers spending 30 percent more per passenger on shore excursions, 20 percent more per passenger for local crafts and souvenirs and two percent more for food and beverages, along with a higher percentage of passengers making purchases in each of these categories. In fact, more than half of all
transit passengers that went ashore purchased a shore excursion and food and beverages. Just over 75 percent of passenger expenditures were made in four categories: watches and jewelry ($877 million), shore excursions ($551 million), clothing ($238 million), and food and beverages ($189 million). Shore excursions was the most popular category, with over half (53 percent) of all passengers purchasing this and local tour operators receiving an average of $43.99 per passenger directly from cruise passengers and cruise lines. The estimated 4.5 million crewmembers visiting the 35 participating destinations spent approximately $302 million for goods and services, with an average per crew expendi-
ture of $67.10, heavily weighted toward food and beverages, jewelry, and electronics. In addition to net payments to local tour operators, cruise lines also provided data for payments to ports for passenger taxes and port services, as well as payments to local businesses for supplies and services. These categories accounted for an estimated $400.8 million. Other key findings from the study showed that 63 percent of passengers made their first visit at the destination; 93.7 percent went ashore; 65 percent made at least one onshore purchase, excluding shore excursions; and passengers spent an average 4.38 hours ashore. Plus visit satisfactions surveys found that cruise passengers were very satisfied with their overall destination visit; shore excursions received the highest score of all visit attributes; and passenger interactions with residents and store employees were very positive.
The study was released at the 22nd annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel itself participated in the study and ranked third in overall expenditures with $366 million through the second-highest volume of onshore passenger and crew visits, 3.07 million, with an average total expenditure of $119 per passenger and crew visit. Cruise tourism in Cozumel also generated an estimated 9,727 jobs, the study’s highest level, paying $61 million in wage income.
passenger and crew onshore visits, with 2.23 million, it had the highest average total expenditure per visit—a whopping $189. The expenditures also generated an estimated 9,259 jobs paying $189 million in wage income—the highest income impact and second-highest employment impact.
The Bahamas garnered $373 million in direct expenditures, the second-highest level, through the highest volume of passenger and crew visits, with 3.93 million, spending an average of $95. The Bahamas also benefited from the generation of 7,954 jobs paying wage income of $138 million, the third-highest totals in both categories.
The FCCA partners with participating destinations in this study as one of many ways it works with destinations to foster understanding of cruise tourism, its benefits and how to best actualize its potential. The study’s release during the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show further added to the event’s focus on maximizing this potential through a series of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities between destination stakeholders and cruise executives to offer insight and develop business and relationships.
St. Maarten led all destinations with nearly $423 million in cruise tourism expenditures. While ranking third in
This study and past versions are available for download at www.fcca.com/research.html. Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 37
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.
Port of Houston Authority Bayport B ayport C Cruise ruise T Terminal erm minal | Pasadena, Pasadena, Texas Te Texas
Why Guatemala? • 70% of visitors return. • 98% of visitors recommend this amazing destination. • It is the Heart of the Mayan World. • Ancient Mayan Culture is alive. • It is the Land of Eternal Spring. • It has amazing destinations that will exceed your expectations. • It is a truly “green experience.” Tikal
Tikal Tikal, considered one of the largest archaeological centers of the PreColumbian Maya Civilization, stands out with its magnificent temples. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, this Mayan city boasts a National Park is in the middle of the tropical jungle of Petén. Deep-Sea Fishing
Castillo de San Felipe
Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World
one-on-one meetings with executives, INGUAT now has a closer relationship with different cruise lines and greater number of cruise calls.
Guatemala has attended many FCCA cruise events in different countries. With the advice and efforts of the FCCA and participation in its conferences, trade shows, workshops and
Guatemala has had the opportunity to promote itself as an attractive and interesting destination for cruise visitors searching for places with exuberant nature, Mayan living culture, and archeology.
uatemala Tourism Board, INGUAT, became an FCCA Platinum Member in 1999 to improve the quality of its services and the quantity of cruise ship visits.
40 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
The Archeological Park of Tikal covers approximately 222 square miles, and over 4,000 structures can be found at the site, along with hundreds of exotic wildlife species. The more you learn about the Mayan Civilization, the longer you will you wish you could stay. Cruise tourism transportation to Tikal is by air, and the flight takes approximately 40 minutes. It is a full-day tour. Quirigua This archeological site is located a stone’s throw away from the Port of
Santo Tomas de Castilla Port in Izabal, and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. Because of the intricate detail of its 22 stelae and zoomorphs, it is one of the most important Mayan sites in Guatemala. In Quiriguá you can admire “Stela C,” with its glyphs that state the date in which the Mayan Civilization was created (August 13, 3114 B. C.), along with “Stelae E,” the largest quarried stone found so far in the Mayan World. Weighing in at 65 tons and stretching 10.67 meters, it depicts K’ak Tiliw, known as the Lightning Warrior. You can take a full- or half-day tour to the archeological site of Quirigua. Antigua Guatemala Built in 1543, Antigua is located in a highland valley surrounded by three amazing volcanoes, the Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. This colonial city and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is considered the most outstanding and wellpreserved colonial city in all Latin America. Antigua is known for its colonial architecture and historical monuments. Antigua is one of Guatemala’s most popular destinations. Visit colonial
monuments, churches and monasteries. Experience a tour of working coffee and macadamia nut plantations. Stroll through art galleries, antique shops and markets. Antigua’s art galleries, handmade crafts, Spanish learning centers and excellent gastronomy are some of the best in the region. Lake Atitlan Called “the most beautiful lake in the world” by many visitors, it is surrounded by three magnificent volcanoes, Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman, as well as twelve Mayan villages, where the culture and ancient Mayan traditions are still alive. The town of Panajachel is the biggest tourist attraction on the lake’s shore, offering friendly hiking paths, horseback riding trails, a butterfly sanctuary, kayaking, boat tours and more. Rio Dulce & Livingston Delight yourself with a combined boat and land tour where you can enjoy the tropical rain forest and exotic fauna of the river’s canyon, which connects the Caribbean Sea with Lake Izabal, Guatemala’s largest lake. Walk through the colorful town of
Livingston and enjoy the tropical architecture, handicrafts, music and dances. Experience a variety of Caribbean culinary dishes in a town where the Garifuna, Q’eqchi and Ladino cultures merge. At Rio Dulce you can visit Castillo de San Felipe, a fortress built in the 16th century to protect goods brought and taken to Guatemala from Europe against the pillage of pirates roaming the Caribbean Sea. Golf & Fishing Deep-sea fishing and golf have become major activities in Guatemala. Its Pacific coastline has been awarded for the last few years as the best spot in the world for catching and releasing marlin and sailfish. Guatemala holds the world record of most sailfish caught and released in a day, and you can challenge the record during an exciting full-day tour. Conde Nast Johansen awarded “Best Resort of Central America” to la Reunion Resort and Golf Club, which is located a stone’s throw from Puerto Quetzal. The famous designers Pete and Perry Dye built this world-class golf course, which you can play while enjoying the day at this amazing resort.
Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 41
Discovering the Island of Roatán
hey say the Caribbean kept a secret for many years. The colors of a reef rich with life, a landscape with a turquoise blue horizon and mountains covered with tropical jungle let you know you have arrived on the Island of Roatan, Honduras.
for the past seven years. The island offers myriad underwater adventures for snorkel and dive enthusiasts, as well as dolphin encounters, horseback rides, fishing, zip-line canopy tours, botanical gardens, seaplane tours, golf and rich culture.
Located 30 miles off the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Roatán is the largest and most developed of the Bay Islands. This tropical paradise boasts pristine white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, turquoise waters and some of the most spectacular coral reef systems in the Americas.
Temperatures are characteristically warm and humid yearround. The average high and low temperatures during the rainy season, June through November, are 88°F and 81°F. During the dry season, December to May, temperatures range between 85°F and 78°F.
Completely surrounded by the world’s second largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, it is no wonder Roatán has been one of the most popular cruise destinations
Culture and Language Centuries of pirate raids, immigration, deportation and conquest have left a fascinating cultural and racial mix of
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For underwater views of Roatán’s coral reefs and ocean life without taking the plunge, visitors can explore the endless sea through glass bottom boat tours. Island Activities and Popular Sites With the increased arrival of cruise ship passengers to the island, Roatán's menu of activities has expanded exponentially. Zip-line canopy tours take visitors on a heart-pounding adventure through jungle treetops. Explore more of Roatán's ecological wonders on a stroll through Carambola Botanical Gardens, showcasing 40 acres of tropical flora and scenic mountain vistas. Travelers can also get up close and personal with vibrant macaws and capuchin monkeys at Gumbalimba Park. Other activities from an ever-expanding list of things to do on Roatán include: horseback riding, sailing, windsurfing and kite boarding lessons, butterfly and iguana farms, seaplane tours, kayaking, fishing, golfing, spa excursions, an 18hole PGA Golf Course or simply soaking up the sun on one of the many pristine beaches. Cultural excursions include a visit to the Garifuna village at Punta Gorda. Island Tours Island tours are perhaps the most common activity sought by visitors. The island’s geography is so beautiful and diverse that nobody who visits the island wants to leave without getting to know its entirety. You can purchase a guided tour or just hire a taxi driver for a few hours. Another option available is to rent a car and travel the 50-kilometer stretch that the island has. Also a very popular option is to rent a scooter to cruise around island. British, Spanish, African, and Native American influence. Today, Islanders on Roatán speak predominantly English with a strong island accent. Like the rest of the Bay Islands, Roatán’s authentic island culture still manifests itself in its people, their language and the architecture of their towns. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling The dive industry has grown tremendously on Roatán due to the quality of its coral reefs. Both the northern reef and southern fringing reef boast around 40 dive sites each, characterized by plummeting walls, crevices and caverns. Numerous offshore reefs and island coves combined with crystal-clear turquoise waters afford beachgoers the luxury of privacy and beauty.
Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Roatán’s West End is known for its quaint shops and authentic island eateries. Hundreds of souvenir stores and gift shops are available on Roatan. You can find the nicest keepsakes of the island. Visitors here can shop for handcrafted specialties, such as woodcarvings, textiles, woven hammocks, embroidery, ceramics and more. Many bars on the beach as well as restaurants offer lobster, crab and the traditional island stews made with coconut milk. Local beer is one of the most common beverages, and the most popular drinks available are rum and traditional cocktails like the Monkey Lala. For more Information, please visit: www.iht.hn www.Honduras.Travel or call 305-461-0600-01. Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 43
â€œIf you ar e looking for som ething fresh, authentic, an d uniqu e in the Caribbean, you will fin d it all - Coralie in Martinique!â€?
This year, immerse yourself in Martinican culture in our Cruise Village, experience our exciting excursions, and take in our spectacular natural landscapes. www.martiniquepro.org/cruise
Photo: Luc Olivier
Martinique’s Many Magical Discoveries Adventure…excitement…the thrill of making new discoveries! Few things fuel the intrepid traveler’s wanderlust quite like EXPLORATION. Not “exploration,” where you don’t go much beyond perusing a few souvenir stands during a quick stop in a foreign land, but rather EXPLORATION—the kind that takes you outside of your comfort zone to truly and fully experience someplace entirely new. Getting to know a destination through its people, its history, its food, its music, and unique cultural traditions—these are the true rewards of travel for anyone with even the slightest sense of adventure. Martinique invites this type of EXPLORATION like few places in the Caribbean. As an overseas region of France, Martinique is blessed with the region’s finest and most modern roadway 46 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
system. Getting around is easy, whether you opt for a taxi or choose to do the driving yourself. Every major rental car company has operations in Martinique, with Avis offering a particularly large fleet of cars. Modern roads and exceptional rental car options, combined with convenient ferry service connecting resort areas along Martinique’s south Caribbean coast, ensures easy access to adventures and attractions all over the island. But, what is there to discover in Martinique? Here are five top suggestions… La Caravelle Peninsula Located in northeastern Martinique, La Caravelle is a narrow arm of land stretching perpendicularly for six miles straight out into the Atlantic. A nature reserve that’s part of Martinique’s extensive regional park service, the
entire peninsula is marvelously unspoiled; a protected haven for a wide variety of tropical animal and plant life and one of the most diverse natural areas in the Caribbean. Dry forests, mangroves, grassy savannah lands, dessert-like coastal areas – all can be experienced on fantastic hikes through this one, concentrated area. Martinique’s plantation history also comes alive here in the form of Chateau Dubuc. Originally built in 1721, the estate, nestled in the heart of La Caravelle, was once a flourishing sugar plantation. Ruins and a small museum remain today, chronicling the Triangular Trade and slavery in Martinique. La Pagerie Museum Additional echoes of Martinique’s plantation era can be found at the La Pagerie Museum, though with a royal twist. Not only is this a former sugar estate, but it’s also the childhood home
Photo: Patrick Bennet
La Pagerie Museum
of Marie-Joseph Rose Tasher de la Pagerie, better known as Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine. Located directly across the Bay of Fortde-France in Trois-Ilets, La Pagerie is filled with a wide assortment of Napoleonic era art and artifacts. Paintings, sculptures, furniture, tea sets, lamps, flatware, vases, and more are displayed throughout, tracing the lives and loves of the royal couple. Speaking of love, several of Napoleon’s sensual, hand-written love letters to Josephine are also displayed at La Pagerie. Even if you do not read French, it’s easy to get the idea that these letters are a little risqué… City of Saint-Pierre At the turn of the 20th Century, the picturesque seaside town of SaintPierre in northern Martinique was among the most modern and progressive cities anywhere. Known then as The Paris of the West Indies, SaintPierre stood proudly among the foremost cities in all of the New World. Telephones, only available in five-percent of U.S. households at the time, were prevalent in St. Pierre. So too was electricity. The city’s theater performances were legendary, as was its art scene and restaurants.
Everything changed on May 8, 1902. That’s when nearby Mt. Pelée erupted, the resulting pyroclastic flow destroying the entire town and its 30,000 residents in under two minutes. Today, the old Paris of the Caribbean is now the region’s Pompeii, offering visitors the chance to explore her ruins and relive her glorious past at the Musée Vulcanologique Frank Perret. Named for the famous American volcanologist, the small museum contains a wide range of relics and artifacts unearthed following the eruption. Scuba diving enthusiasts also won’t want to miss the many old shipwrecks stemming from the 1902 eruption located just offshore in the Bay of Saint-Pierre. Domaine d’ Émeraude Located in Martinique’s lush central region in the town of Morne Rouge, le Domaine d’ Émeraude (Emerald Domain) offers a peaceful, relaxing ecotourism experience with some of the island’s best views of Mount Pelée and a high-touch natural sciences museum experience unique in the Caribbean. Here you can experience all of Martinique’s natural wonders in one spot, with a two-mile low-impact trail providing an up-close-and-personal,
yet easily accessible introduction to hiking in Martinique. Habitation Céron Newly reopened to the public in 2015, this 18th Century sugar estate sits in a magnificent tropical garden in the town of Précheur in northern Martinique. Here you can enjoy many local tastes of Martinique over lunch. Everything served is sourced from the natural surroundings within the estate, the ultimate in locavore farm-to-table dining. With more than 40 different museums covering everything from historical events and agriculture, to art, important personalities, music, dance and more, plus a wealth of other attractions and thrilling excursions, Martinique offers adventures and unique discoveries satisfying a wide range of travel interests. The only tough part is trying to squeeze them all into your visit! Cruise passengers arriving in Fort-deFrance can easily experience many of Martinique’s distinctive discoveries by booking organized shore excursions. Details are available through all cruise lines featuring Martinique in their 2015-2016 itineraries. For more information on travel to Martinique, visit www.us.martinique.org. Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 47
Holiday Cheer and Festivities Delivered to Deserving Children through the FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project
his holiday season, Santa climbed down cruise ship smokestacks instead of chimneys as he traveled to 40 destinations throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America. Through the efforts of Old St. Nick, cruise lines and crew, participating destinations and the FCCA Foundation, nearly 8,000 deserving children had something to celebrate because of the 19th annual FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project.
The FCCA Foundation contributed gifts selected for age groups and genders specified by the destinations. Then Member Lines loaded the presents onboard their vessels and served as a sleigh to bring the presents to partnering destinations, where destination representatives who coordinated on-land festivities waited with the children as Santa himself arrived to celebrate with the children while giving presents and smiles. 48 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
“We are pleased of the good work that the FCCA Foundation has done with the Holiday Gift Project,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. “It’s important to take care of children in need, and it’s gratifying to see the Foundation continue to grow and partner with charities who have children counting on them for some holiday cheer.” “On behalf of all of us at Carnival, we are honored and privileged to participate in the Holiday Gift Project,” told Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, commercial port operations, Carnival Cruise Line. “This project celebrates children and the spirit of giving by providing a very special day of fun and gifts to well-deserving kids in our port communities." The spirit and cheer extended past the
children; all of those involved exemplified it and realized the project’s importance, knowing the children probably would not receive toys and smiles otherwise. Sherryl Bacayo, training specialist on Norwegian Jewel, showed this in her comment: “…being a part of the Belize [Holiday Gift] project allowed me to experience what it is to make a life by what we give. It was such a great joy to see smiles on those lovely little ones. I felt the true spirit of Christmas.” “You could see the happiness and excitement on the kid’s faces as the boxes of toys were offloaded and Santa Claus came to their school,” told Dorothy Dorado, youth director, Carnival Liberty. “It felt so good to see the kids jumping and screaming when they see us coming. We left the school with tears in our eyes.”
“We are honored, and humbled at the same time, that we are able to participate in sharing the blessings to other people….we believe that we can change lives,one person at a time,” said Marc Raymundo, human resources manager for Celebrity Infinity, one of the participating ships and teams. Sherryl, Dorothy and Marc touched not just on the sentiment, but also on part of the importance of the festivities and the meaning for all involved—letting kids enjoy being kids, a concept seemingly simple, but mostly unknown to children in the shelters and homes benefitted by the project, and something that has a lasting effect on all involved. Michele Paige, president of the FCCA, also recognized this significance: “The FCCA Holiday Gift Project brings happiness to children who truly deserve it. The cruise industry is proud to give back to the communities of the destinations we call, and I cannot think of a more rewarding way than bringing cheer and aid to children who need it.” Margaret Jones, manager of visitor
“The cruise industry is proud to give back to the communities of the destinations we call, and I cannot think of a more rewarding way than bringing cheer and aid to children who need it.” – Michele Paige, President, FCCA relations for Jamaica Tourist Board, summed it up as she explained the project and its long history in Jamaica: The FCCA Holiday Gift Project has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of Jamaican children. Since its inception, the FCCA has lived up to its commitment....providing toys for the children who are less fortunate. Over the years, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board have joined with the FCCA and its Member Lines to make the gift giving a wonderful experience. Each year, the selected children are feted and fed! They are entertained, and the "icing on the cake" is getting their gift from “Santa!” We at the Jamaica Tourist Board have been the facilitators of this wonderful
event, and each year we look forward to working with the FCCA to make this a great experience for the children. It is certainly clear that the gifts are selected with great thought and care each year, and the squeals of delight from the children tell of their happiness. The FCCA Gift Project has definitely been a wonderful expression of reaching out and working with the ports and communities that its Member Lines visit through the year. The experience of attending a Christmas party on a cruise ship is as exciting as it gets; for these children it's pure joy. Margaret encapsulated the overall purpose of not just the Holiday Gift Project, but also the FCCA Foundation—to improve the lives of those less fortunate throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, primarily for children’s causes. Every smile is a reminder of this mandate and an invaluable return on the time, efforts and funds provided for causes and projects like these over the Foundation’s 22-year existence. Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 49
Training: The Gift That Keeps On Giving! By Beth Kelly Hatt, President, Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence
ith the holiday season upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about the gift of training and encourage you to give this gift that keeps on giving this coming year. Training keeps on giving in so many ways—from increasing guest satisfaction ratings to minimizing risk and, as this article will show with testimonials from tour guides, destinations and tour operators, bringing so much more to a destination. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company invested in training in San Juan this year, including training with both their tour guides and tour operators. Over 50 guides received their Tour Guide Excellence International Certification in August, and Federico Gonzalez, Associate Vice-President, Royal Caribbean Cruises shared: "The recent Aquila training in San Juan has had amazing results. This training was long overdue and immensely necessary to improve the local cruise tour product. It produced immediate positive results which will definitely result in a significant improvement in cruise guest ratings." Raymond Ortiz, Operations Manager with Rico Sun, who received their ACE Tour Operator Designation in October at the annual FCCA Conference, added: “To continue to grow and maintain high standards the learning process must never end…Aquila has provided the tools for our guides and management team to learn and be consistent on the services that we provide. The ACE Tour Operator program and tour guide training has helped us achieve our service goals in less time, increasing guest satisfaction.”
This fall was very busy for Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence. It began with the largest group of guides going through the training in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, with 200 tour guides preparing for the opening of Amber Cove. October saw the Aquila team in Belize and El Salvador, where ongoing partnerships were formed with both countries to raise the level of Excellence in their cruise destinations. These are some of their comments: "The Aquila International Tour Guide training provided our guides with greater knowledge and improved their ability to deliver an exceptional tour experience. Our guides gained incredible confidence and understanding of their role as destination ambassadors!" -Denise Ockey, Managing Director of The Calyso Train Tours in Belize 50 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
“Encouraged me to give visitors better services and of course treat them as I would like to be treated if I had been the visitor. This course proved that good services give us good results.” -Tour Guide, Puerto Plata “The entire course was very valuable…gave us very good scenarios to deal with everyday situations and things that don’t happen often.” -Tour Guide, Belize “I found every lesson interesting and it would help me be better at my job and also help others around me be better. I was also taught a lot on how to go about dealing with certain situations.” -Tour Guide, British Virgin Islands “The process step by step was great and easy. Training should be for everyone working in the tourism business.” Tour Guide, Puerto Rico The gift of training gives so much, as these comments attest. From increased knowledge and confidence to increased guest satisfaction, the gift of training keeps on giving to your tour guides, tour operators, cruise line guests and your cruise destination. Make this season the one you give the gift of training to your destination! 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.
FCCA Member Line News “Norwegian Escape represents a major moment for us; this is a true evolution of our brand,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and COO. “Not only does she offer high caliber entertainment, quality dining and luxurious accommodations that significantly raise the bar for our fleet and puts her in a class of her own, but she exemplifies our renewed commitment to offering unparalleled freedom and flexibility to our guests.” Learn more about Norwegian Escape’s luxurious accommodations, as well as its distinctive dining, entertainment, shopping and leisure options, by visiting www.escape.ncl.com.
Pitbull Christens Norwegian Escape with Larger Than Life Performance The magnificent new Norwegian Escape—Norwegian’s largest ship and the first in its Breakaway Plus Class— was christened in a stunning ceremony worthy of her size and status.
introducing performers and special VIP guests, including Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez who discussed the positive impact Norwegian Escape will have on the local community, its residents and the economy.
International music sensation Pitbull, who also served as godfather for Norwegian Escape, thrilled fans and VIPs alike at the PortMiami pier side concert. The ship’s breathtaking hull artwork, created by Guy Harvey, who made a special guest appearance, served as the backdrop for the epic event.
Attendees were treated to a special sneak peak at the stellar entertainment Norwegian Escape has to offer as the casts of Tony Award-winning Broadway shows “After Midnight” and “Million Dollar Quartet” performed a selection of songs from each respective show, before Pitbull brought down the house with his hottest hits, including “Don’t Stop the Party,” “Fireball” and “Give Me Everything”.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio kicked off the festivities, where guests experienced an afternoon packed with fun and excitement in celebration of Norwegian Escape. Following a surprise opening act which featured acrobatic Parkour performers defying gravity, national radio personality Froggy took the reins as event emcee, engaging the audience and
DJ-led sing-alongs and a slideshow of themed guest photos snapped by roving photographers created a truly interactive event, where audience members quite literally became part of the show as photos of individual attendees holding signs customized with the place they’d choose to “Escape” were projected onto the jumbo screen on the main stage.
52 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
MSC Cruises to Double Presence in Cuba MSC Cruises, the Geneva, Switzerland-based global cruise line recently announced that it will further strengthen its presence in Cuba by homeporting a second ship in Havana from the winter 2016-17 season, to continue to meet rising demand for opportunities to experience the Caribbean island’s uniquely rich culture. In a move that will quickly double the number of MSC Cruises Caribbean itineraries centered on Cuba, MSC Armonia will join MSC Opera in Havana, from November 2016, for the entire winter season. MSC Armonia will sail two separate, culturally diverse, eight-day (sevennight) itineraries, adding an enhanced choice of must-see Central American and Caribbean destinations to the MSC Cruises portfolio. Following two days and one night in the Cuban capital, the first itinerary will take guests from Havana to the white sand beaches, pristine bays and
FCCA Member Line News spectacular coral reefs of Isla de Roatan (Honduras), before heading for the wood and brick colonial charm of Belize City (Belize). Then it’s on to Costa Maya (Mexico) and an exclusive Caribbean beach experience on Isla de la Juventud (Cuba), before returning to Havana. The second will start with two and half days and two nights in Havana, then set sail for Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Cayman Islands) and Cozumel, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, before circling back to the Cuban capital.
long-held tradition of hospitality, Cuba has all the makings of a top world cruise destination. MSC Cruises is honored to be able to support the further development of this huge potential, and we’re very thankful to the Cuban authorities for their ongoing cooperation in this regard.” Disney Cruise Line Unveils Ports and Itineraries for Early 2017, Returning to Popular Destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas
seven nights, vacationers looking for a Disney Cruise Line getaway in early 2017 have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral. Every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay. The Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream embarks on three- and fournight cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Beginning Jan. 29, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries.
MSC Armonia’s presence in Cuba will also offer MSC Cruises guests the unique chance to combine both itineraries into one spectacular 14night cruise. In addition, the optimal position of Havana’s cruise terminal at the foot of the Ciudad Vieja, or Old Havana, a UNESCO-listed heritage site, allows for easy walking access from the ship to the local sights and a journey through history by visiting this fascinating barrio of Havana. MSC Cruises became the first global cruise line to homeport in Havana, from where MSC Opera sails to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico, with two and a half days and two nights in the Cuban capital.
In early 2017, Disney Cruise Line returns to favorite destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries, most from popular Florida ports. Limited-time engagements in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Galveston, Texas, complete the line-up for the first part of the year.
And in December 2016, MSC Opera will sail its second Cuban winter, alongside MSC Armonia, offering eight-day (seven-night) cruises from Havana to Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Cayman Islands), Cozumel (Mexico) and back to Havana.
During these sailings, Disney Cruise Line guests will visit timeless tropical locales, dive into charming island cultures, sunbathe on golden beaches and revel in local marketplaces. Most cruises feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: “With no less than nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a
Port Canaveral With three Disney ships in port and cruise lengths spanning three, four and
Miami To kick off 2017, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with three-, four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus select five-night Western Caribbean cruises, through March 31. Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings. Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries. San Juan and Galveston From San Juan, the Disney Magic sets sail on four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing April 9, 16, 23 and 30, this limited-time Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 53
FCCA Member Line News engagement includes calls on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts. The Disney Wonder completes a season in Galveston with two seven-night Bahamian voyages to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau on Jan. 6 and 13. From there, the ship embarks on a six-night journey to San Juan on Jan. 20 with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica. On Jan. 26, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, just an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort—the perfect stop for a fairytale land and sea adventure. More details on 2017 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2017 page of disneycruise.com. CDP Recognizes Carnival Corporation for Climate Change Transparency Carnival Corporation & plc has been identified as a leader for the quality of climate change-related information that it disclosed to investors and the global marketplace through CDP, the international nonprofit organization that drives sustainable economies. Carnival Corporation has been awarded a position on the FTSE 350 and the S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), recently released in the United Kingdom and S&P editions of CDP's annual global climate change reports. "We have a focused commitment to the environment, our guests and crew, and we are proud of achieving an exemplary score for our corporate climate change transparency," said John Haeflinger, vice president, maritime policy and analysis for Carnival Corporation. "Carnival Corporation 54 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
hosts over 10 million guests each year and visits over 725 ports of call all around the world. Sustainability is a core guiding principle for us as our business is dependent on healthy oceans and communities. We continue our efforts to further reduce the intensity of greenhouse emissions through a number of energy reduction and conservation initiatives." Carnival Corporation has earned its position on the index by disclosing high quality carbon emissions and energy data through CDP's climate change program. The reported data has been independently assessed against CDP's scoring methodology and marked out of 100. Those organizations graded within the top 10 percent constitute the CDLI. Carnival Corporation received a score of 99. "As the world looks beyond the Paris climate change negotiations and prepares for a low carbon future, reliable information about how companies are responding to the transition will be ever more valuable," said Paul Dickinson, executive chairman and co-founder of CDP. "For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP's Climate Disclosure Leadership Index." In 2014, Carnival Corporation met its goal to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide (CO2e) emissions by 20 percent—one year ahead of schedule. This year the company announced its 2020 sustainability goals focused on reducing its carbon footprint while enhancing the health, safety and security of guests and crewmembers and ensuring sustainable business practices across the 10 brands and business partners. Three of the 10 goals focus on developing, deploying, and operating exhaust gas cleaning systems, increasing cold ironing capacity and further reducing the intensity of CO2e emissions.
Recently the company announced its four next-generation cruise ships to be built for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will be the first in the industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), one of the world's cleanest burning fossil fuels. Pioneering a new era in the use of low carbon fuels, these new ships will use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship's power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support overall sustainability initiatives. As part of the company's commitment to improving the quality of its air emissions from its shipboard operations, it has made a $400 million investment in exhaust gas cleaning systems that reduce sulfur compounds and particulate matter from the ships' engine exhaust. As announced in September 2013, Carnival Corporation pioneered an industry-first effort to adapt a proven land-based exhaust gas cleaning technology to use on its ships. Carnival Corporation's system combines two established technologies that have been successfully used in land-based applications such as power plants and factories to clean engine exhaust. For the first time, this system is being developed to accommodate restricted spaces on ships. Additionally, Carnival Corporation's goal is to increase the number of its ships with cold ironing capability commensurate with future port capabilities, which allows ships to connect to a port's electrical grid as the in-port power source. While only six ports in the world currently have the infrastructure to allow cruise ships to do so, being able to connect to shore power reduces air emissions, a benefit to improving air quality while ships are in port.
FCCA Member Line News Continuing the sustainability journey, Carnival Corporation's newest brand Fathom is pioneering impact travel with purpose-driven activities and programs that enable guests to make a real sustainable impact on the communities it travels to.
RCL's new Quantum-class ships, for example, emit about 20 percent less carbon dioxide than previous designs. "At Royal Caribbean, we are working to ensure that sustainability remains at the heart of our business," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal
Royal Caribbean's commitment to promoting conservation and sustainable tourism is an important part of its plan for responsible and sustainable economic growth. In 2014, the company, together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Organization of American States, the US State Department, and Sustainable Travel International, launched the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) to focus on destination sustainability in the Americas – the largest scale partnership of its kind. For the second year, the Company developed its sustainability report in accordance with the internationally recognized GRI G4 guidelines. Additional highlights from the report include: • 2014 greenhouse gas emissions are 21.4 percent lower than the 2005 baseline.
More Bubbles Mean Better Mileage: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd's New Sustainability Report Shows How Innovation Drives Environmental Gains Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s 2014 Sustainability Report documents the company's commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet. At RCL, the same commitment to innovative design that creates crowd-pleasing consumer features like robotic bartenders and skydiving machines also leads to a dedicated search for improved environmental performance. New technologies like RCL's air lubrication system, which creates a reduced friction layer of billions of microscopic air bubbles on a ship's hull, have helped Royal Caribbean launch some of the lowest-emission ships in the industry.
Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand the need to act responsibly towards the oceans that we sail and the places we visit. Our mantra is continuous improvement and we constantly strive to find new and better ways to meet those goals." In the report, the company noted the successful delivery of the breakthrough Quantum-class ships, the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program and its plans to update its Save the Waves goals into the next decade. Ambitious goals and innovative thinking resulted in the Company's Florida-based ships achieving a major milestone of not landing anything to a traditional landfill and a 114 percent increase in waste recycled across the fleet.
• Royal Caribbean International became the first cruise line to launch a specialized autism initiative, in collaboration with Autism of the Seas, to make the ships a more wel coming environment for autistic guests and their families. • The company increased responsible local sourcing in Europe, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, with a 20 percent increase in Australia and New Zealand. • RCL also received a first-ever certification from RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States, recognizing the company's professionalism in preventing and responding to security incidents. The full Sustainability Report may be viewed at www.RCLCorporate.com
Fourth Quarter 2015 • Cruising Magazine 55
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Faces In The Industry Miguel Angel Borge – Cellar Master, Holland America Line After working as a food and beverage manager in South Africa, I joined Holland America when I had the opportunity because it is one of the best and most prestigious cruise lines in the world, and it gave me the chance to broaden my experience and grow professionally.
I had always been curious about the cruise industry, travelling, seeing places, and getting a new experience in a different field. I also enjoy working in a multi-cultural environment where you get the chance to see different perspectives. The high standards in the cruise industry provide a great opportunity for growth.
In my current position as cellar master, I direct the daily operation of the vessel’s wine sales, including administration, supervision and providing excellent service while generating maximum revenue. I am responsible for achieving and exceeding guest satisfaction standards and rating for wine services consistent with company goals. I love working for the cruise industry because It is a dynamic industry where you learn something new every day. And I also get the chance to visit some of the most beautiful wine regions all around the world. I would absolutely recommend becoming a crewmember! It is a great environment where you get to work with people from all over the world and gain experience while seeing the world.
Juan Carlos Hernandez – Shore Excursions Manager, Holland America Line I come from Pahuatlan, a village in the mountains of Puebla, Mexico. After working at Disney World, I embraced my love of traveling and started my career at sea in 1999 aboard Disney Cruise Line. I then worked my way up to shore excursions manager for Holland America Line in 2011.
I have done five world cruises and visited 120 countries. The world is my playground, and I love every corner of it. It is difficult to pick a favorite destination, but Alaska and New Zealand are on the top of my list. I always encourage friends to experience cruising, either as a passenger or as crewmember.
The experience gained as crewmember is priceless. I am addicted to cruising now, and I even cruise on my vacation time. For my last holiday I went on a two-week Baltic cruise on the Eurodam. I am loving my time with Holland America, and I hope to keep growing with the company.
58 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
VODKA EXCEPTIONNELLE FINISHED WITH A HINT OF PRECIOUS COGNAC
TA S T E T H E
EXTRAORDINARY E N J O Y R E S P O N S I B LY .
©2015 GRE Y GOOSE, THE GOOSE DEVICE AND THE GRE Y GOOSE VX TRADE DRESS ARE TRADEMARKS. SPIRIT DRINK. ABV 40% (OF WHICH VODKA 95% AND COGNAC 5%). PRODUCT OF FRANCE
The FCCA Operations Committee meets with a delegation in Antigua and Barbuda led by Prime Minister, the Hon. Gaston Browne. (5th from left)
Learning from each other His Excellency Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic (6th from the left) and His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, President of the Republic of Panamá (5th from the left) meeting at Amber Cove in the the Dominican Republic.
60 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2015
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2015 4th quarter edition of Cruising Magazine. Published quarterly, Cruising is the official magazine of the FCCA and the cruise industry, s...
Published on Dec 15, 2015
2015 4th quarter edition of Cruising Magazine. Published quarterly, Cruising is the official magazine of the FCCA and the cruise industry, s...