Even before you set foot ashore, you realize how truly extraordinary Dominican Republic is. The arrival of the cruise ship to any of the three world-class harbors: Santo Domingo, La Romana or Samanรก, is nothing short of spectacular, with views of the impressive mountain landscape, wonderful marine life and other splendid sights as you travel through. Sail to the Dominican Republic. The adventure of your dreams is closer than you think.
C R OW N B AY ST. TH O M AS
W ES T IN DI AN
CO M PA NY ST. TH OM AS
FR ED ER IKST ST. CROI X
Y DO CK GA LLOWS BA CROI X ST.
A GREAT CRUISE STARTS WITH A GREAT PORT. OR FOUR. Head toward a cruise destination both you and your passengers will appreciate. The four ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands offer well-established cruise destinations with newly renovated and fully appointed facilities. Additionally, St. Croix offers highly efficient bunkering services. Plus, our white sand beaches, turquoise waters and picturesque towns offer all the island experiences your passengers are looking for. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
800.372.USVI ÂŠ2011 United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
FLORIDACARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION Executive Committee
THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE Fourth Quarter 2011
Micky Arison Chairman & CEO Carnival Corporation
Spotlight 19 Who’s Cruising Now? As passenger demographics change, so do attractions, itineraries, ships and more.
Daniel J. Hanrahan President & CEO Celebrity Cruises 22 Cruising to Cuba When Will the Wait Be Over? “While the embargo continues, there is an end in sight.”
Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line Richard E. Sasso President & CEO MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Cover Photo Credit: Grenada Tourism Board
Kevin Sheehan FCCA Chairman, CEO Norwegian Cruise Line
Stephen A. Nielsen Vice President, Caribbean & Atlantic Shore Operations Princess Cruises
30 Grenada: A Southern Caribbean Port of Call
10 Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights
Omari Breakenridge Manager of Communications & Design
54 Faces in the Industry
Terri Cannici Director, Special Events
56 Meetings and Greetings with the FCCA
Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President
33 San Juan Hosts 18th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show
37 State of the Cruise Industry By Jan Swartz, Executive Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Customer Service, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line
James Kazakoff Senior Director, Membership & Events Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Project Breakaway Continues Trend of Engaging Offerings Aboard a Luxurious Modern Boutique Hotel
Justin Paige Communications, Research & Marketing Administrator
Cruise Industry CEOs and Presidents Headline San Juan Panel
Being Competitive and Staying Competitive
Michele M. Paige President
Curaçao – Hotspot of the Caribbean and the Spot to Be for the 19th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
Panama - Turn Around Port “A Dream for Countries”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Cruising Magazine © 2011 ~ 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 email@example.com
FCCA Member Lines AIDA Cruises • Azamara Club Cruises • Carnival Cruise Lines • Celebrity Cruises • Costa Cruise Lines • Cunard Line Disney Cruise Line • Holland America Line • MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. • Norwegian Cruise Line P&O Cruises • Princess Cruises • Royal Caribbean International • Seabourn The information in this publication is provided "as is." FCCA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.
Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 5
PHOTO : Denis VINSON-CORBIS - © Comité du Tourisme des îles de Guadeloupe
Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante
the 5 sides of paradise Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board (European Office) 23/25, rue du Champ de l’Alouette - 75013 Paris Tél. : +33 (0)1 40 62 99 07 - Fax : +33 (0)1 40 62 99 08 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org www.lesilesdeguadeloupe.com
President’s Letter “Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” -Marilyn vos Savant Now is the time to close out the year and reflect on our strong points. Hopefully your year has presented plenty of these to focus on, and you can begin to build onto them. Otherwise, it is time to find how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. We also are looking forward to finishing the year ahead and getting a jumpstart on 2012, but it is easy to get caught up (Left to right) Amilcar Cascais, vice president of looking too far into the future and straying from the immetour operations, Carnival Cruise Lines and FCCA diate vision and goals. The view is enticing, but remember Shore Excursions Committee Chairman, Michele M. Paige and Jaime López-Díaz, chief development to put on the blinders and stay focused on the path at hand officer of the Puerto Rico Department of Economic while taking occasional glimpses to the future and figuring out how to route to your destination by the roads you already Development at the 18th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show in San Juan, Puerto Rico are traveling. We are glad that we have had another successful year that marked the first-ever FCCA Central America Conference in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and another successful FCCA Conference and Trade Show in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, we are already looking forward to the next conference and trade show in Curacao and our upcoming Platinum events. We want to share these successes and growths with you, as it is only through our partnerships that we and the industry are able to thrive. This edition of Cruising highlights some of the successes of our partners and us and the importance of partnership itself in its discussion of the past and upcoming conferences and trade shows; the recapping of the CEO Workshop during the Conference, in which the CEO’s themselves stressed working together; from Panama’s focus on the partnership between cruise destinations and the cruise lines, especially with home porting; through Norwegian Cruise Line’s, continued growth with its Project Breakaway; and Jan Swartz of Princess Cruises shares how the industry has continued and will continue to thrive. So please take a minute to read through this edition of Cruising so we can begin our partnership and start sharing our successes with each other so this upcoming year can be even better as we work together. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President, FCCA
Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 7
Come play for the day.
Thrill seekers, get ready for Aquaventure, the Caribbeanâ€™s largest and most spectacular waterpark. With acres of exciting water slides and river rides, you can take on the Power Tower, plunge from the Mayan Temple, or ďŹ‚oat on a mile-long river journey before unwinding at one of pools. Delight in a Beach Day, along miles of white sandy beaches. Feeling lucky? Try your hand at the hundreds of slots and table games in the Caribbeanâ€™s largest casino. Retail enthusiasts can shop the Crystal Court for haute couture or stroll Marina Village, a quaint, cobblestone plaza, surrounding the world-class Atlantis Marina. million gallons of fun awaits you at Atlantis. Will you come out and play?
80 Table Games
To learn about all the exciting ways to spend your day at Atlantis, please visit our cruise partnersâ€™ websites: Carnival Cruise Lines | Disney Cruise Lines | Norwegian Cruise Lines | Royal Caribbean International Or to begin oďŹ€ering these Atlantis Excursions through your cruise line, please contact PIDemail@example.com.
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago…. Two Islands, Two Different Worlds
The most southern islands in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago offer a distinct blend of culture, eclectic cuisine and an assortment of eco-adventure activities. For travellers, the dual-island nation is a choice destination for world-class cuisine, one-of-a-kind experiences, unique attractions, relaxation, excitement, cultural diversity or a romantic hideaway. Trinidad, the ‘cultural capital of the Caribbean,’ is home to a world famous Carnival and the birthplace of calypso, chutney music and the steel pan drum. Tobago, an award-winning ecotourism destination, is home to the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere, exquisite coral reefs and pristine beaches. Renowned for its warm and hospitable people, cruise passengers disembarking in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, can access the services of friendly visitor guides for information or assistance. The port also boasts modern amenities, including a tourist information centre, duty free shopping and craft and souvenir Shops. Appleton Estate Rum Tour The Appleton Estate Rum Tour is a unique journey through time where you get to see what makes Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum so special. Our legendary 10 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
distillery is nestled in picturesque Nassau Valley on Jamaica’s south coast. At the Estate, you get to experience firsthand the historic production process of Appleton Estate’s rums, a process that continues to this day. You will be able to see and experience some of the earliest methods of extracting juice from sugarcane; learn about the unique distillation process in our 200 year old pot stills; and visit one of our barrel houses where the rums age to perfection. After the rum tour, you will understand why Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum is the finest rum in the world. Cartagena de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal Offers Its Passion
At the heart of a world heritage city, Cartagena de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal offers 4 docking sites, 44 ft. draft, maintenance, repairs, garbage collection, water, fuel supply, shopping area, and homeporting facilities. Visitors will find typical Colombian products at the Colombian Shopping Village, with handcrafts, pre-Columbian items, emeralds, jewelry, leather, souvenirs, coffee, and other unique items elaborated by local artisans. Our beautiful guacamayas and flamingos, an iconic Juan Valdez Coffee shop and an Emerald Gallery, which represents mines in 17 stops depicting its natural source with the original legends surrounding this mystical gem, will greet them. This terminal is currently offering a new water transportation service, connecting the cruise ship terminal with the old town. In only 15 minutes, passengers can access the exceptional view of the most impressive fortifications of the city.
Paradise Point Tramway Offers a View from the Top
Paradise Point Tramway is, literally, the pinnacle destination of St. Thomas, USVI! We are located 800-feet above beautiful St. Thomas and offer stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, live steel pan music, dancers and much, much more! We are located seconds from the WICO cruise ship dock and are accessible via a short, 7-minute tramway ride up to the top. While here, enjoy our ferris wheel, sky jump, nature trail and minizoo, or try-on your very own Carnival Troupe costume! Don’t forget to try one of our signature drinks, including the legendary original Bailey’s Bushwhacker or the Megarita, our 45-oz. margarita made in a cup you take home with you. Change your viewpoint with a visit to Paradise Point Tramway today! Roatan, Honduras:
The Island of Roatan is home to two of the newest ports in the Caribbean, Port of Roatan and Mahogany Bay Port. In 2011, this 33-mile long & 3.5-mile wide island off the Honduras coast will surpass 1 million cruise passengers. In the past five years, Roatan has been one of the best-reviewed and fastestgrowing cruise destinations in the
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights world. Besides its already diverse product that has made Roatan a cruise favorite, you can now add golf as an option while visiting the island. The Black Pearl golf course is an 18-hole, par-72, 7200-yard championship golf course created by world-famous golf architect Pete Dye. It features one of Dye’s signature island greens and 14 holes and offers stunning vistas of the ocean and the Meso-American Barrier Reef. The Black Pearl is not only a haven for golfers, but for the vast wildlife on Roatan, as well. Aruba’s “Welcome Back Campaign” Has a Winner For a year, cruise passengers had the opportunity of registering to win a “Dream Aruba Vacation” consisting of airline tickets for two, as well as a 7-day stay and some amazing activities, including a romantic dinner, a sunset cruise and an island tour for two. As part of the ‘International Tourism Week’ celebration, the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority, Mrs. Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, together with the cruise unit hand-picked the winner on September 30, 2011. The Aruba Tourism Authority will soon welcome Mr. Douglas T. Anderson from Michigan, USA and his wife to enjoy the “One Happy Island” and would like to invite cruise passengers visiting Aruba to continue registering for the 2011/2012 campaign by requesting the Welcome Back DVD at the information booth at the cruise terminal during their visit. In the meantime, welcome back Mr. & Mrs. Anderson! Fort-France, Martinique, Enters the Restricted Club of the Thirty Most Beautiful Bays in the World On November 9th at the World Travel Market Exhibition in London, the board of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club welcomed four new bays, among which was the Bay of Fort-de-France, Martinique. The Most Beautiful Bays in the World
Club currently has about thirty members, including: the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, Gulf of Morbihan in France, as well as the Bay of San Francisco and the Bay of Ha Long. Created 15 years ago, this club is a real forum for discussion and aims to become the international reference for an intelligent management of coastal areas.
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/trav el/top-10/ocean-views/ Mark the End of the Mayan Calendar on Your Calendar in Puerto Costa Maya
Admission requirements are particularly strict since each bay must have at least two criteria recognized by UNESCO in the cultural or natural heritage categories. The remarkable highlights of the Bay of Fort de France were its biodiversity, fauna and exceptional marine life and excellent management, thanks to its natural “bay contract.” Mirador Escénico Named One of the Top 10 Ocean Views of the World
Guaymas, Sonora, “Mirador Escénico” was rated number 1 of the “Top 10 Ocean Views of the World” from the National Geographic book Secret Journeys of a Lifetime. The high points “where land and sea meet” provide dramatic vistas of craggy shorelines and pounding oceans. This scenic lookout, four miles from Guaymas in San Carlos bay, gives a peerless view over the Gulf of California, dramatic Tetakawi—a volcanic hill jutting out of the sea—and the secluded coves of Playa Piedras Pintas. Mirador is also a world-class vantage point for spotting wildlife, including dolphins, sea lions, whales and exotic birds.
2012 marks the end of the ancient Mayan calendar cycle, and that means excitement for visitors to Maya´s world. Puerto Costa Maya is a gateway to this world and offers thrilling adventures, educational experiences, and one-of-a-kind culture. Puerto Costa Maya looks like an ancient Mayan City, but it’s a thoroughly contemporary cruise port that can accommodate three ships, including the newest and biggest of the industry. Passengers aboard those ships will find food, shopping, and a gateway to adventure. While 2012 holds a lot of significance, and it will be a special time to visit, there are some attractions in Costa Maya that are truly timeless: The Meso-American Coral Reef is the second-largest reef in the world, and it shelters Costa Maya. The impressive buildings at Dzibanché, Chacchoben and newly unearthed Ichkabal stand today as some of the area’s premier cultural attractions. Costa Maya has the modern comforts any cruise passenger would expect of a modern port. It also has a history, culture, and feel all its own. 2012 will be a big year Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 11
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights in Costa Maya. We would like to invite you so you “don’t miss the mysticism.”
free day at Cozumel’s finest beach club surrounded by the warmth of the Mexican culture!
Mexico Taxi Project
Treat yourself to over 20 services & attractions in this beautiful modern facility. Discover the Underwater Mayan City and play at the aquatic floating sport center. Delight yourself with pool, lounge chairs, hammocks, restrooms & dressing rooms, volleyball, kids’ club, playground, trampoline, Ping-Pong, sailboats, and shopping center, among others.
Is this a good time to visit Mexico? Is it safe? Is it expensive? Are there direct flights? Do they speak English? Are there any museums? Are there any things to do besides going to the beaches? These are just some of the questions that will be answered by the Mexico Tourism Board’s new advertising campaign. The innovative ads are designed to change perceptions of and drive tourism to Mexico. The campaign features unsuspecting tourists returning from vacations in Mexico giving unscripted testimonials as they are driven home from the airport. Gerardo Llanes, CMO of the Mexico Tourism Board, said that the campaign “features the very people American consumers trust most… American consumers.” “From the sea to their safety, these videos answer all of the questions Americans want to know.” For an inside look at the production of the ads visit, mexicotaxiproject.com Are you looking for a memorable experience while sunbathing on a whitesand beach and swimming in the turquoise crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea? Playa Mia Grand Beach Park® is the ideal place for a fun and relaxing worry12 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
us with keen insight into the localities and what makes them different and unique. This unique vision translates over to our tours, making them professional, authentic, safe and worthwhile. Our guests are guaranteed that when they join an Explora Caribe Tour, they are on one of the top-tier tours. Dolphin Cove Awarded “The Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Excursion Operator for 2011”
In this accessible, friendly venue, you can enjoy various cuisine specialties or national open bar and cherish the dynamic activities of the Mexican Cuisine Workshop & Tasting or snorkeling in the second-largest reef barrier of the world. Playa Mia® is not just another beach...the fun never ends! Explora Caribe Tours Uses Its LongReaching Experience to Offer Top-Tier Tours
Dolphin Cove, Jamaica’s # 1 Attraction, has been awarded the title of “The Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Excursion Operator for 2011” at The World Travel Awards held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on October 19th, a great honor that Dolphin Cove attributes to their many supporting partners. Currently, Dolphin Cove has three firstclass operations, two in Jamaica and one in Grand Cayman.
For over fifteen years, Explore Caribe Tours has been providing services to almost all cruise ship lines. Throughout the years, we have gradually been expanding so we can now offer our services in not only Cozumel, but also in Calica, Costa Maya, Progreso, Mazatlan, Huatulco, Chiapas, Veracruz and Dos Bocas. Thanks to the diversity of our ports in which we operate, we have vast experience in an array of tours from water sports and vehicle-based tours to caverns, archaeological sites and other places of interest. This gives us an unmatchable menu of offerings. All these ports provide
Each location boasts large, natural lagoons in the Caribbean Sea where guests can interact with Bottlenose Dolphins in a variety of exciting and well-designed programs, geared both for entertainment and education about these beautiful creatures. Dolphin Cove’s operation in Grand Cayman has also designed a very successful dolphin therapy program, which has brought much needed, therapeutic help to all who have participated. Dolphin Cove is committed to the success of the tourism industry and will continue to strive to be among the world’s leading excursions.
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Americans Talking To Americans: The Guatemala, Heart of the Mayan World
The Guatemalan Tourism Board (INGUAT) and authorities of Puerto Quetzal are joining efforts to strengthen the cruise ship industry in the region. Representatives of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and of the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico have formed a working group “Mesoamerican Route,” which seeks to develop sustainable tourism and integral strategies to consolidate and increase cruise ship arrivals on the amazing Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico. The goal is to focus on the development of the industry, where tourism offers more than sun and beaches, but includes culture and natural destinations to the cruise passenger visitors. This will also promote sustainable products, sensitive to the environment and local cultures, supporting all peoples by offering new destinations to the cruise ship industry by favoring businesses that conserve cultural heritage and traditional values. These efforts support local economies by presenting new and fresh destinations that will offer a variety to showcase venues that will benefit and protect the environment of this region. Be One With Belize
Be one with captivating experiences. Be one with the Caribbean gateway to the Maya world. Be one with this Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef. As one of the last unspoiled places on earth, you’ll feel an intimate connection to authentic experiences in Belize. Once you’ve left the ship, embark on unique adventures sure to reward every member of the family. Or discover the perfect romantic honeymoon getaway. Experienced guides can provide you with an incredible variety of activities in one of the most scenic countries you’ll visit. Discover uncrowded islands; explore the mysteries of ancient Maya temples; shop for one-of-a-kind Belizean souvenirs; marvel at the majesty of the rainforest; swim with exotic fish; and much more in the only English-speaking country of Central America. For more information on your cruise stop in Belize, visit us at www.travelbelize.org or call 800-6240686. And be one with Belize. The Cayman Islands Has Something for Everyone
As the Caribbean’s premier luxury destination, the Cayman Islands has long been a favourite destination for cruise passengers. Along with the anticipated spectacular beaches, breathtaking diving and all around natural beauty, these islands also offer exotic and diverse experiences for every visitor’s enjoyment. A stopover on Grand Cayman would not be complete without a visit to one of the island’s unique attractions, such as the Cayman Turtle Farm, Stingray City and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, to name just a few. When it comes to shopping in the Cayman Islands, choice abounds and
caters to every expectation. With a variety of small, quaint shops and modern and expansive storefronts, shopping opportunities are both abundant and seductive and will connect visitors with some of the best duty-free shopping and widest array of luxury goods to be found in a Caribbean port. No matter what you choose to do while visiting the Cayman Islands, every attraction and excursion is served with unique and unforgettable Caymankind hospitality….and that’s what visitors can’t wait to come back to! The PPI Group Sets a Course for Success Known as the innovators of cruise marketing programs and custom publishing, The PPI Group is making waves with the launch of several new and exciting programs beginning with the Fall 2012 Caribbean season. Merchants located on The PPI Groups various port and promotional programs will soon see an influx of additional revenue driven through their doors as the company rolls out a unique and specially designed shopping program geared to onboard crew members. “Crew members spend a significant amount of money when their ships are in port,” said Bill Panoff, president and CEO of the PPI Group, “it only made sense for us to create a program that will direct crew spending towards those businesses that are part of the cruise line and PPI Group recommended shopping program.” From entities such as drug stores and electronics, restaurants and coffee houses to fine jewelry, crew members will now know where to purchase items when arriving in the various ports. PPI is also setting a course to launch its mobile shopping application whereby passengers sailing, regardless of which cruise line, will be able to obtain Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 13
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights general port information and view some of the top merchants and international brands available in their ports of call. The “All Ashore Shopping App” will also allow guests to download app-only exclusive offers and provides buyers guides for some of the most sought-after items, such as diamonds and gemstones. “As increased numbers of cruise guests stay connected to the world by cell phone even while on vacation, it only made sense for us to develop an app that people can download prior to their leaving home and while onboard, “ said Panoff, “the passengers’ time is limited while in port, and therefore, the app provides a service so that they are able to accomplish everything in that time, from taking a shore excursion to shopping for that special item or memento. In addition to operating onboard and shore side port and shopping programs and publishing services for many of the world’s leading cruise lines, the PPI Group also has an award-winning inhouse video production department, which has created commercials and video projects for such clients as American Express, Steiner Leisure, Bacardi brands, as well as for many high-end luxury brands, such as Rolex. Cox and Company Limited Lets You See Under the Sea with Snuba
Cox and Company Limited has been offering visitors to Saint. Lucia unique tours for over 75 years. Their favourite, the Snuba tour, allows one to explore a 3-dimensional underwater world without the training or concerns associated with a deep dive. Start from a gently sloping sandy beach, then choose your depth of 14 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
comfort anywhere between the surface and the maximum depth of 20 feet; there is no need to surface for air or tussle with bulky equipment. This tour brings you face to face with the most beautiful tropical marine life. Swim with a school of vibrant zebra fish; marvel at the rainbow of colours of the active coral reef; maybe even catch a glimpse of a sleepy turtle – you’ll discover a world of incomparable beauty. Anticipate their next extraordinary tour, Sea Trek, which allows you to walk in zero gravity while surrounded by incredible aquatic life. Kon Tiki Boat Returns to Cruise Ship Excursions’ Fleet
Cruise Ship Excursions is pleased to announce that The Legendary Kon Tiki Boat is BACK!!! After 6 years of being out of operation, the Kon Tiki has now been refitted and certified up to 2011 Coast Guard standards, making it possibly the safest boat in St. Thomas. The Kon Tiki now operates as a familygeared harbor tour, which includes a historical harbor cruise through Charlotte Amalie Harbor, followed by a one-hour beach break on beautiful Honeymoon Beach, Water Island. With a live steel band playing, good times begin on the return trip with dancing competitions, limbo competitions, and conga lines that are fun for all ages. The Kon Tiki has been very well received by both the cruise lines and the local Virgin Island Community. We look forward to working closely with our partners helping to provide a won-
derful experience and new attraction here in the Virgin Islands. Kingstown Cruise Terminal The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority (SVGPA) is responsible for the operation and administration of the Kingstown Cruise Terminal. Built to accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships, the Kingstown Cruise Terminal has two berths of which the largest, the north berth, can accommodate vessels up to 100,000 GRT and 260 meters in length, while the smaller, the south berth, accommodates vessels of up to 45,000 GRT and 11.35 meters in length. The Kingstown Cruise Terminal is a one-stop shop location with a variety of shops selling locally handcrafted jewels, clothing, and paintings. There is also a café that serves up international coffee beverages and other tasty delicacies, in addition to restaurants that offer local foods. A unisex beauty salon is also located on the compound with a full-time nail technician on staff. The facility also provides telecommunication/Internet services and a Tourism Information Bureau. Saint Lucia Continues Its Tourism Developments
Saint Lucia continues to unveil major tourism developments to maintain its position as a leading vacation destination. The newest zip line experience, Soufriere Hotwire Rides, is located at the Morne Coubaril Estate and offers the adrenaline rush of zipping with elevated views of the historic town of Soufriere and the Caribbean Sea. A new visitor attraction at La Place
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Carenage in the Castries harbor, Our Planet Centre, will entice visitors in a fun, educational and interactive way. Opened in mid-2011, the multi-million dollar attraction features the largest mirror-sphere in the world; a hologram recorded specifically for Saint Lucia by Prince Charles; multiple touch screen displays; a simulation hurricane room; as well as a “NASA Room” designed specifically by the NASA team to stream weather information. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board recently launched two new features on its website (www.stlucianow.com) where visitors can create a personalized daily itinerary and print it out in preparation for their trip to the island. Visitors to the site can now speak to a live travel agent in real time through a new “Live Chat” feature. CH2M HILL Designs Charleston Cruise Terminal at Union Pier
CH2M HILL’s design of the new Charleston cruise terminal took a big step forward in early November 2011, as the city’s Board of Architectural Review granted unanimous preliminary approval to the project for the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
Customs and Border Protection. By incorporating public input and design influences from Charleston’s maritime heritage and architectural elements, the design is in harmony with the city’s unique style. The new cruise terminal is expected to open in the first half of 2013. Come and Visit Mobile with its Vibrant Downtown Scene Displaying Southern Hospitality
The key to world-class excellence is being responsive to customer needs and service. To prepare for this growth, the Port is investing more than $30 million in renovations to enhance its cruise facilities over the next few years. “Cruising from the Port of Miami has never been more exciting with choices to match every taste and budget,” Bill Johnson the Prot Director said. “The Port of Miami is wellpositioned to deliver another strong season. We are looking forward to once again welcoming more than four million cruise passengers to Port.” For more information, visit: www.miamidade.gov/portofmiami Aruba Cruise Figures Continue to Show Improvement over 2010
The Mobile, Alabama Cruise Terminal, available and ready for business, won Hospitality Cruise Terminal in 2007. Mobile has convenient downtown hotels that are walking distance from our cruise terminal. As a guest in our hotels, the hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to the cruise terminal. Enjoy our southern cuisine in our fine restaurants. During pre- and post-stays, experience our local family attractions. Our major interstates allow for easy access to Mobile with an extensive drive-to market covering most of our southern states. Our regional airport is also convenient for those who wish to travel by air.
The Authority is converting an existing cargo building into a functional and attractive passenger terminal that can accommodate a 3,450-passenger cruise ship. CH2M HILL architects and engineers are leading the project and are supported closely by many local Charleston design professionals.
New Cruise Ships on the Way Port of Miami 2012 The 2012 cruise season is shaping up to be a banner year with three newbuild ships joining the Port of Miami cruise fleet— Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Breeze, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection and Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Riviera.
The design reflects input from numerous public meetings and close work with the Authority, cruise customers, and U.S.
The new cruise season also features Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which now operates out of Port Everglades, and will
16 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
relocate to join its sister company Oceania Cruises at the Port of Miami.
Aruba Ports Authority welcomed the 2011-2012 cruise season in mid-October of this year by receiving a total of 30,575 passengers in October alone, bringing the total cruise passengers from January until October 2011 to a total of 423,534. This represents a 6.3% growth or 25,116 passengers more than the January 2010October 2010 term. The overall amount of crew visits also increased. A total of 179,700 crew members arrived at our port up to October 2011. Compared to a total of 164,550 who arrived during the same period during 2010, this is an increase of 8.4% or 15,150 crew members more than last year. Port projections for 2012 are promising and indicate that the coming year will remain a strong year as well for the industry.
Cruise Industry News & Platinum Highlights Park West Gallery Partners With Holland America to Expand Art Programs
For more than 42 years, Park West Gallery has introduced more than 1.3 million collectors in over 60 countries to the world of fine art. Through its art programs aboard cruise ships and land-based art events conducted throughout the United States and Canada, Park West Gallery provides an educational, entertaining and welcoming environment to first-time and veteran art collectors alike. Park West Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of its art programs onboard 10 of Holland America Cruise Line’s 15 ships by the end of 2011. “We’re thrilled to bring our art programs to Holland America and hope to inspire a whole new group of collectors to bring the passion for fine art they feel during our events back to their local communities,” says Albert Molina, president, Park West Gallery, Florida. Park West Gallery will have art programs aboard a total of 47 ships by the end of the year, including the entire Carnival, Norwegian and Regent Seven Seas cruise line fleets. RAK Porcelain Presents Nabur
RAK Porcelain collections have become a benchmark in the hotel and catering world, thanks to their original designs, optimal strength and durability. Today, RAK Porcelain presents Nabur, which demonstrates new sculptured curves and ingenuity in its design, created with cut-
ting-edge technology. Discover NABUR and all of RAK Porcelain’s collection on www.rakporcelain.eu Nabur, innovative and infinite combinations Besides the natural grace of its feminine curves, Nabur has been created to also be extremely practical. At cocktail parties and informal receptions, the design of the “Party Plate” gives you a free hand to hold a glass and to enjoy these fine moments to the full. Small sauce boats and dishes are part of a set with twin platters. The various pieces allow numerous combinations and so give free rein to culinary creations.
on cruise-specific topics, including: hospitality; research; presentation; preparation; and risk management. Successful completion of an exam and video assessment at the conclusion of the course earn participants their International Certification in Tour Guide Excellence. To learn more about how your company or region would benefit, visit www.tourguideexcellence.com. Grand Bahama Remains the Destination of Choice for Millions of Carnival Cruise Passengers.
Online Tour Guide Excellence Training Offers Extra Value for FCCA Members
Aquila’s decision to deliver its highlyregarded Tour Guide Excellence program via the internet is creating buzz among international tour operators.
Grand Bahama’s economy got a boost on November 9, 2011 as approximately 3,600 passengers arrived during Carnival Magic’s inaugural trip. Captain Giovanni Cutugno says he personally chose Grand Bahama as a port of call because he knows that they are always welcome.
The first to take advantage of a special rate for FCCA members is Panama-based Aventuras 2000, which has offered an incentive program for its tour guides to enroll in the training course. “This course will help our guides understand how to give excellent service, so that the clients leave with total satisfaction,” explains Simon Schachtel.
The Island’s beauty lies in the cruise port, coupled with the beaches, warm weather and warmth of the people. Passengers disembark with great anticipation to experience “The Captain’s Galley” where they can enjoy delicious tropical cuisines, unforgettable fruit daiquiris, local music and a great party atmosphere. The conch fritters, BBQ chicken, fried fish, cracked conch, lobster, shrimp and guava duff tantalize your taste buds.
The online tour guide certification program by Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence was announced at the FCCA Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It involves six interactive sessions
The beautiful waters, rich with seafood, run from shallow banks to the tongue of the ocean. In fact, we have more territorial waters than the rest of the Caribbean, making our seafood the best in the world. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 17
Who’s Cruising Now? As passenger demographics change, so do attractions, itineraries, ships and more. By Jeffrey Laign
And those numbers don’t apply just to North Americans, Thornton says. “The average age of passengers has dropped in Europe and emerging markets, such as Asia.”
“Cruising once appealed to an elite class: seniors, retirees and newlyweds,” says Terry Thornton, vice president for marketing and planning at Carnival Cruise Lines. “Now it’s a viable holiday for a diverse market looking for value.”
Kids are cruising, too. As the industry was taking off, children at sea were something of a rarity, even considered a potential distraction to the older adults who were paying to enjoy a nice, quiet voyage. Now, on the megaships of Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and other cruise lines, decks are devoted to entertaining younger passengers, leaving their parents free to pursue active interests or simply to savor some well-earned down time in a spa or private cabana.
hey’re younger, probably have a couple of kids in tow, and may even live on the other side of the planet. Meet the modern cruiser, a breed that differs significantly from travelers who hit the decks in the ‘70s, when the leisure cruise industry was getting its sea legs.
The face of cruising has changed significantly in recent years. On cruise ships today you’ll see more children, more families, more dining alternatives, and more onboard activities. When it comes to cruisers, in fact, the clock seems to be ticking backwards. In 2004, a Cruise Lines International Association poll of passengers found that the average cruiser was 55, with an annual household income of $75,000. Just four years later, CLIA was reporting that the average age of a cruiser had dropped to 46, and household income had mushroomed to more than $90,000.
In fact, CLIA studies, show that percentages of children cruising younger than 18 nearly doubled from 13 percent in 2002 to 25 percent in 2008. However that wave of kids, is likely to be engulfed by a tsunami of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age and the affluent beyond, says Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “There are 78 million of them, with more time and money to cruise. What that means for our industry is fascinating.” Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 19
The World Awaits But the biggest difference you’ll note on cruise ships is that not all passengers will be speaking English. A great many, in fact, will hail from around the world. “The most dramatic industry change in demographics over the years has been the globalization of the business,” says Thornton. “Cruise lines are now sourcing a significant number of passengers from Australia, Europe and other countries around the world. While North America is still the largest source market, other countries, such as the U.K., Germany, Italy, and others, are now very important and growing fast.” To meet the needs of more diverse passengers, cruise lines have developed specific brands and products. Carnival Corporation brands targeting cruise markets outside of North America include Costa Cruises (all of Europe); Aida (Germany); P&O; and Cunard (U.K. and Australia). Brands are also developing cruises—from short, inexpensive getaways to longer voyages—to match the budgets of changing cruisers. “The cruise industry is attracting a very broad consumer demographic,” Thornton says. “There are now cruise brands in the contemporary, premium, luxury and small niche segments of the market that attract a wide range of consumers.” The cruise lines’ nod to the burgeoning family sector includes more supervised children’s areas packed with video games, Internet consoles and a range of activities the whole family can enjoy, including water slides, ice rinks, rock-climbing walls, putting greens, bowling alleys and Grand Prix and golf simulators. Royal Caribbean innovated many of those family-friendly attractions. Their wealth of onboard innovations appeal to all age groups—from the adventure-seekers who want to hang ten while surfing Royal Caribbean’s FlowRiders to someone looking for a leisurely stroll amidst Central Park’s lush garden of real greenery and flowers. Disney is famous for its appeal to kids, offering everything from onboard character meet-and-greets to room service menu fun foods and themed restaurants. Yet the 128,000-ton, 2,500-passenger Disney Dream features other Imagineering innovations that passengers of all ages can appreciate, like the interactive portholes that stream real-time outside views to inside cabins (while also occasionally accompanying them with Disney characters) and the AquaDuck, the industry’s first “water coaster,” which will propel guests at high speeds up,
20 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
down, around and off the sides of the cruise ship through an acrylic tube. Norwegian Cruise Line became renowned for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which makes it easier for families to cruise, allowing them to choose when and where to eat and play. This dining concept has revolutionized the industry, with many lines following suit. It truly heralds the changing of times from the traditional dining venues, which only offered a single dining room and buffets, as the new model provides choices to meet any palette—from a sandwich at a café or a burger and shake to Italian restaurants, sushi and steakhouses. Norwegian has also offered groundbreaking offerings, like the first ice bar at sea. And when the adults want to get away by themselves from time to time, they’ll find plenty of places to do it, from themed nightclubs and private sundecks to brand-name shops and spas that rival those along Rodeo Avenue. That’s not to say that cruise lines have all the bases covered. There are plenty of consumer markets still awaiting development. In the United States, there’s still a huge untapped market of cruisers. About 15 percent of U.S. travelers have cruised. Nearly half of the rest (85 percent) respond that they have considered the idea of cruising, but for one reason or another, haven’t cruised. To entice more first-time cruisers, lines are modeling onboard experiences on land-based leisure activities and attractions. Bedding in staterooms rivals top-of-the-line linens in world-class hotels; dining has evolved from all-youcan-eat buffets to the haute cuisine creations of celebrity chefs; and after-dinner shows have all the glitter of Broadway productions and Vegas shows. CLIA survey respondents, in fact, said that they thought cruising was the best value for leisure money. Nearly all rated their cruise experience as “satisfying,” and 80 percent said cruising was a good way to sample destinations before visiting them again on a land-based vacation. When it comes to cruise passengers, the world is still a vast marketplace, and lines are making the most of it by tapping new markets, revitalizing and improving established ones, targeting specific demographics and offering unparalleled value. As Thornton says, “The cruise industry will continue to aggressively pursue the international sourcing of passengers to take advantage of new and expanding markets around the world.”
Be one with awestruck. Be one with lush rainforests. Be one with this Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef. As one of the last unspoiled places on earth, you’ll feel an intimate connection to authentic experiences in Belize. All this just a two-hour flight from the U.S., in the only English-speaking country of Central America. Call 800-624-0686 or visit TravelBelize.org/fcca. And just be, in Belize.
M O T H E R NA T U R E ’S BEST KE PT SECRET
Cruising to Cuba
When will the wait be over? “While the embargo continues, there is an end in sight.” By Chris Roberts “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain speaking. Having departed Florida last night, we are now on our approach to the entrance of Havana harbor. For those of you on the open decks, look to our left and see the two imposing fortresses standing guard to greet us. On the right of the channel, the tour buses are lining up along the malecón, and the morning sun blankets the skyline of the Caribbean’s largest city.”
Americans have no convenient cruise vacation to Cuba Seven million passengers traveled on cruise ships in the Caribbean last year. There were 122 ships sailing in the region – 98 percent from American companies, owners of the cruise industry. Canadians are the largest in-bound market for tourism, accounting for nearly a million arrivals annually. That compares to about 40,000 Americans. Cuba’s existing cruise market caters to Europeans, mostly Spanish.
Imagine a cruise to Cuba and what it would be like. Don’t be ridiculous. Cruises ended when overnight ferry service from Tampa dropped off the earth in 1958. Since then, the cruise industry has all but avoided Cuba. Having recently returned from a visit to the Cuban cruise ports, my estimate of when we can stand on deck and hear the morning announcement on an American brand cruise ship is closer than you may think. Strides are being made (and comments may surprise you).
That is the situation and the opportunity, says Havana’s port director. “The American cruise market is too big to ignore,” explains Jose A. Lopez Picos, a 41-year veteran with the nationalized port management. “If everything were resolved, we could attract 3.5 million visitors, including half a million cruise passengers, but there would have to be serious changes in legislation.”
Even now, there are cruise companies offering itineraries that include the island nation. Spain’s Quail Travel Group, operating under the name Happy Cruises, publicizes seasonal seven-day voyages departing Havana aboard the 900-passnger, 20-year-old MS Gemini. Stops include Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Nassau. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, the U.K.-based company, features a 35-day, 10-port cruise that overnights in Havana. The refurbished 800-passenger Boudicca departs January 19, 2012 from Southampton, England. United Caribbean Line, a startup company headed by a former cruise executive, Bruce Nierenberg, is planning roundtrip ferry service to Havana from Tampa. Presently the company has no ships, nor permission to operate from either government. Maybe it is easier to buy a ticket to outer space. 22 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
For starters, cruise lines presently are forbidden from going to any U.S. port for six months after visiting Havana or the country’s other two docking ports – Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The solution is simple – the trade embargo ruling has to change. Then Carnival Corporation’s brands, Royal Caribbean, and others can cultivate and groom a fledgling cruise business in the Caribbean’s largest country. While the embargo continues, there is an end in sight. Positive buzz is flowing like Havana Club rum. Fueled by the March 2011 announcement from the Obama administration, travel restrictions for U.S. citizens are now further relaxed; at least 11 more airports in the United States are awarded rights to accommodate flights in and out of Cuba. The Revolution was in 1959. It’s only taken 52 years. “Obama is doing what he can,” says Fernando Gonzalez de
Silva, Associated Press senior producer, based in Havana. We chatted at Las Terrazas, one of the restaurant/bars Ernest Hemmingway used to frequent, a stop on the “Get to Know Hemmingway” city tour. Based in Havana for the past ten years, the veteran reporter covers hard news, including the embargo. “Officials here in Cuba think their efforts are greater than those of the U.S.” When the anticipated door opens, prominent commercial giants, other than the cruise industry, will have a deeper stake in the country’s 11 million consumers. When allowed, Kimberley Clarke, Kraft, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble will push to step ashore first. It is striking to walk through a neighborhood grocery store and not see any recognizable necessities. Crest, Cheerios, Tide, you want it – not there. Should Royal Caribbean have their eyes on doing turnarounds in Havana with the Oasis of the Seas? Take your time packing. Some goals might be too grand. “The harbor could never handle it,” says port director Mr. Picos. “The maximum we can accommodate is a 70,000-ton ship with 2,000 passengers. Longer berths are planned, but not needed today.” The largest ship to come in recent times is the 1,500passenger Thomson Dream (January 2011). What you need to know now When will the wait be over and what is needed? Better infrastructure? The existing finger of the three-prong cruise terminal can handle two smaller ships with ease. When visionaries say that Havana lacks infrastructure, they can only be referring to facilities to dock mega-ships. The one well-maintained terminal, built in 1930, and the harbor itself cannot accommodate any vision of a mega-cruise model.
four ships. That is not likely, says Mr. Picos. “There will be no money spent on improvements until we have more ships,” he adds. The present terminal building with docking for two ships is unique, compared to going ashore in other Caribbean ports. First of all, it is indeed a formidable building, 16,000 sq. ft. on two levels, not an open-air cement pier leading to an openair shopping center. And history is across the street. The lower level has room for 20 motor coaches, enough space to move luggage and tour passengers boarding or the in-bounds coming from Jose Marti International Airport. When the port has traffic, it all flows well. The upper level’s dated wooden parquet floor has endured, along with the planters, souvenir shop, and encased architect’s model of the port’s future, providing the cruise embarkation experience an interesting museum-like quality. Ship photographers can forego the usual backdrop for your boarding picture. After the security checkpoint, pose in front of two attention-getting vintage American cars, gladly extinct and on display leading to the gangway – one is a 1958 Lincoln Continental (375 hp). The other gem (for fans of such) is a blue 1948 Dodge with automatic transmission (102 hp). Auto Zone should be a sponsor. The classics are donated by the Cuba National Transport Museum and serve as an iconic symbol of the country, a visible remnant of a lost era when U.S. automakers had a piece of the action. Today, Hyundai and KIA are the leading car sellers,
This means companies with small ships – Silversea, Seabourn, and select Princess Cruises vessels will be the obvious winners in the early days. If one or two of the other vacated harbor buildings were renovated, the port could host
Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 23
though showrooms are quiet. Better examples of restored 1950s American cars are abundant everywhere, especially in the taxi brigade – a site to behold. The story about the cars stands alone and makes you wonder what type of transportation Fidel and Raul used during their formative years. Cuba’s other two ports Questions about those vintage American cars can be answered at the auto museum, located near Cuba’s second cruise port – Santiago de Cuba, along the southwest coast. For the cruise passenger, the harbor entrance is spectacular, protected by the imposing Castillo del Morro. Its firepower kept out intruders for 200 years. The last attack was by the United States fleet in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Today, the beautifully restored fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tour for the lucky ones who sail into the port city now. Once past the fort, the approach channel meanders six miles inland before the ship docks. You can see one of Cuba’s three mountain ranges in the distance. Closer is Santiago de Cuba’s oil refinery, with its pluming smoke stacks by bay’s edge. Santiago’s port director, Leonardo Naranjo, showed me around the pier. More of a cargo facility, there is one small passenger building that serves as a security checkpoint. No shops, but room for a dozen tour buses - the large, new ones from China.
stand in line to tour the restored mustard-colored military barracks where Fidel once battled. The exterior is pocked with bullet holes, a reminder of the July day in 1953 when young Fidel and his followers launched their assault. The former president of Cuba eventually gave his revolution victory speech from the balcony of City Hall, a mile away. The third of Cuba’s cruise ports is also along the south coast. Cienfuegos is the smallest and least known of the trio. Saga Cruises’ 446-passenger Sea Pearl II had one call this year. The unique five-day voyage was the only sailing to include all three Cuban ports, plus an overnight in Havana. Too bad it wasn’t filled with cruise executives. Cienfuegos, with its own colonial past, has striking architecture, wide streets and promenades. Saga is not returning in 2012. But Compaganie Du Ponant, a French based cruise line, is offering two 6-night sailings from Santo Domingo in December 2011, calling on all three ports, with an overnight in Havana. The Havana cruise experience While Santiago and Cienfuegos offer plenty to see (including the country’s oldest house, dating back to 1514), what intrigues most is learning the secrets of the capital. There is an aura around you when you pose by the bust of Earnest Hemmingway in El Floridita Restaurant, one of his favorite Havana hangouts. When “Papa” won the Nobel Prize, the statue was placed at his favorite bar stool, where he downed daiquiris. Hint: The city tour stops here.
Mr. Naranjo is another of Cuba’s maritime legends – 23 years servicing import/export shipping and leisure cruises. He smiles and puts politics into perspective. “Three years ago we were receiving rice from Houston.” Then he points to a ship berthed and adds, “Now we are unloading ships from China. But I heard that rice is cheaper from Miami.”
The cruise traveler, either now or tomorrow, can step back in time by merely crossing the busy harbor road. The restored historic district surrounding San Francisco Plaza is footsteps from the gangway. No taxi is required. Is that a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air that just passed by?
Fred Olsen’s cruise schedule includes Santiago de Cuba, and it should. Besides the castle, the city of 500,000 people is filled with history of the Revolution. Locals and visitors
U.S. Congress determines the future of U.S. cruise lines in Cuba It is no surprise that there is uncertainty about the future of
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Americans cruising to Cuba. Tourism Ministry official Jose Manuel Bisbe said about 10,000 cruise passengers visited last year, down from a record 100,000 in 2005, due to Pullmantur Cruises being sold to RCI. Industry experts are ready for a boost to a region that already boasts being the number one cruise destination. Expect three years until you can hear the morning deck announcement on an American brand ship. There are a variety of opinions as to when.
the chance to engage with Cuba and bring their experience back to Congress. It is likely that Mr. Obama will put forth another broad proCuba initiative. Consider his next announcement to be a timely pre-election tactic, designed to gain travel industry and Cuban-American support in 2012. That’s only a year away. It is worth repeating – take heed smaller cruises lines. Maybe we should be asking when any cruise line will devote resources to secure this amazing itinerary addition.
Rick Sasso, MSC Cruises’ president, told the Palm Beach Daily News in 2010, “It’ll probably take one, two or maybe three years before the necessary developments are completed. Lots of work has to be done. We also have to be sure there’ll be no political backlash.”
“I have sat on three different task forces during my career to plan cruises to Cuba,” says Michael Pawlus, director of itinerary planning for Silversea. “It will revitalize the 3-/4day and 7-day market.”
Frank Del Rio, the Cuban-born founder of Oceania Cruises is on record with the St. Petersburg Times as saying, “Ten minutes after Castro dies, negotiations to open up Cuba will begin.” He goes onto say, “It is forbidden fruit, and that gives it very strong appeal.”
Tom Anderson, EVP North America at Intercruises, the global tour and shoreside services company, says, “Any itinerary that includes Cuba will sell, sell, sell. I thought it would be a few years until there was progress with the country, and that was a decade ago.”
It should be noted that the timing for U.S. cruise lines entering Cuba is set by Congress ending restrictions on travel and on business contracts, not by the passing of either Castro.
Though interest in cruising to Cuba grows, cruise lines are tightlipped about any current plans to paint the mysterious country into their Caribbean landscapes. But as we have seen, deployments are altered quickly when market conditions change. A three-year forecast is realistic, enough time to get ready for anything.
While not headlining any discussions about Cuba becoming a Princess Cruises port of call, Steve Nielsen, VP Caribbean and Atlantic shore operations, is pleased to say, “I have been to Cuba twice – the first time was over 20 years ago. The tour transportation was a flat bed truck with seats in the back. My second visit was about five years ago. There were Mercedes taxis and 1956 Chevrolets taking people on sightseeing tours. Progress was being made.” Some believe the next step is to get President Obama to use his power to end restrictions on non-tourist travel, giving a cross section of mainstream Americans and opinion leaders
Cancun businessman Jose Maria Jimenez, general manager for Iberoservice’s ground operation in Mexico, travels to Cuba for meetings. He thinks about Havana and says, “You see what it is and what it could be.” Then there’s the California couple I met, heading home from a cultural exchange to bird-watch (Cuba is open to cultural groups). They told me, “Visiting Havana is like getting to know a distant relative.” Chris Roberts is a freelance travel writer, based in Hollywood, Florida. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 25
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Project Breakaway Continues Trend of Engaging Offerings Aboard a Luxurious Modern Boutique Hotel
orwegian Cruise Line has announced a duo of new 144,000-ton, 4,000-passenger Freestyle Cruising vessels, dubbed Breakaway and Getaway, scheduled for release in April 2013 and April 2014, respectively. Appropriately named, these ships have the focus of offering an opportunity for passengers to break away and getaway from the daily routine of work, school and daily stress and find a reprieve at sea. Moreover, they encompass the movement Norwegian Cruise Line is making as a company. “When you take that frame and apply it to Norwegian, we’re breaking away as a brand, trying really hard to define who we are,” said Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. And this definition has come in the form of a complete respite from daily life and an immersion into the engaging atmosphere with all of the amenities and lavish luxury that Norwegian has become synonymous with.
The pair of 4,000-passenger ships certainly does represent further progression for Norwegian Cruise Line, which will be increasing its capacity by 30% upon the couple’s completion, and it shows the brand’s commitment to learning from their past in order to build their future. “We wanted to combine the feel of Epic with the best of what we’ve learned from each ship we’ve built,” told Sheehan. Indeed, many popular features from Norwegians’s fleet will be incorporated, such as The Haven that was introduced on the Jewel class (which will be
“…we’re breaking away as a brand, trying really hard to define who we are.” –Kevin Sheehan, CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line and Chairman of the FCCA further discussed later), and Sheehan mentioned: “…we can say that all of the stuff that everybody likes on Epic will be back. We think that all of Epic’s entertainment options are winners. But beyond everything, guests who have gone on the Epic have said the flow of the ship is terrific… Epic is a ship that’s really conducive for people to be out very late at night. The location of the casino, pub and lounges keeps the ship very active, unlike the old contemporary ships, where it was dinner, show, bed. So we’re definitely pushing that idea of the ‘action ship’ forward. We know it works well, so what we’re try-
ing to do here is to refine that to improve the overall offering.” New amenities on the Breakaway series that have been announced so far (most information has been concealed and will be revealed gradually over the following months) include the makeup of the new staterooms. “The overall design theme for Project Breakaway’s staterooms is ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea.’ We strongly considered the overall needs of our guests when designing these staterooms and wanted them to be greeted with an ambiance that is warm and inviting and has a very contemporary feel with clean, modern lines,” said Sheehan. “We also wanted to maximize the use of space within the staterooms, so that our guests are as comfortable as possible and storage space is wellplanned throughout. Ultimately, our Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 27
The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite - Living Room
goal is to achieve a really good balance of form and function - well designed, beautiful, comfortable and sensible living space.” To accomplish this goal, Norwegian Cruise Line commissioned design group Priestmangoode of the United Kingdom, working alongside Tillberg Design of Sweden. Priestmangoode had past success with Norwegian, when they won accolades and awards for designing the Studios—the first staterooms specifically designed for solo travelers on Epic. The Breakaway staterooms combine the functionality of the line’s Jewel class with the contemporary touches of Epic. The 1,024 balcony staterooms and 238 mini-suites (enlarged versions of the staterooms) are set in rich paneling with warm tones and accent colors. They feature a separable king size bed with a pillow-top mattress set against a chestnut leather headboard cushioned and tufted to make reading, sitting up and watching TV in bed more comfortable. There is also a convenient lighted recess above the bed to store books, magazines, etc.; sofa beds with additional storage; built-in 26-inch flat screen TV’s; a vanity area with shelving and storage space; other recessed nooks to fully optimize the space; and a full-size closet with sliding doors. Another heralded feature is the redesigned bathroom, which strays 28 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
from Epic’s translucent model. The balcony stateroom’s bathroom incorporates a contemporary, clean design with plenty of space (Norwegian executives have already tested it in a Marx brothers recreation). It has multiple richwood shelving areas to help eliminate clutter and put all toiletries within reach. There is also an enclosed vanity underneath the sink, which hides the trash bin and provides more storage. The built-in sink is spacious, and the private shower keeps the ladies in mind with its shaving bar. The mini-suites’ roomier versions of the staterooms offer extra space everywhere, especially in the bathroom, which incorporates a double sink with two faucets and a mosaic glass tile backsplash. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the oversized spa-like shower with a rain showerhead and multiple body spray jets, along with a separate handheld showerhead. Other suites are available in The Haven. “These private enclaves at the top of the ships are home to our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations offering the utmost in service and elegance. With the introduction of the suite complex on our Breakaway ships, we felt it was appropriate to brand this space as The Haven by Norwegian to better identify and describe the unique luxury cruising experience we offer…with The Haven by Norwegian, we truly have
The Haven Courtyard
our own private boutique hotel on Norwegian Epic, Gem, Pearl, Jade, and Jewel, along with our new Project Breakaway ships, offering the ultimate in luxury and service at sea,” said Sheehan. The Haven on Project Breakaway is comprised of 42 suites located on decks 15 and 16, and it includes a private restaurant; a cocktail bar; and a concierge desk and area for guests to relax, get a drink and make dining, entertainment or spa reservations. It also includes a two-story courtyard and pool area with two whirlpools, a private sundeck, private massage rooms, changing areas and a sauna. Additionally, The Haven guests have direct, private access to the ship’s spa and fitness center, along with a plethora of other pampering inclusions: 24hour butler service, all of whom receive formal training by the International Institutes of Modern Butlers; poolside valets; specialized keycards; white tablecloth in-suite dining; priority reservations to specialty restaurants, spa amenities and entertainment options; exclusive invitations to private events; priority embarkation/disembarkation; priority boarding of tenders; in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines; gourmet treats delivered every evening; and much more. The largest and most luxurious suites within The Haven are the two Deluxe
The Haven Lounge
The Haven Restaurant
Owner’s Suites, which feature an elegantly appointed living room and dining area, complete with a wet bar. In the bedroom is a plush king size bed with pillow-top mattress facing floor-to-ceiling windows and a capacious wraparound private balcony. The bathroom has an oversized bathtub, two modern vanity sinks and a luxury shower. If even more space is needed, the Deluxe Owner’s Suites can be joined to the Owner’s Suites, creating a grand suite that can sleep up to eight guests. The 21 two-bedroom family villas have two bedrooms and two bathrooms—just what the doctor ordered for any family needing a house call. The separate living room and dining area includes a single sofa bed, writing desk, bar and more. The master bedroom contains a luxury-laden king size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, and the master bathroom is appointed with a separate shower, oversized oval tub looking out to the sea and two modern vanity sinks. The second bedroom includes a double sofa bed and full bath. The Haven accommodations are rounded out by the 17 Courtyard Penthouses, featuring king size beds with pillow-top mattresses, a separate living and dining area, a single sofa bed, writing desk and plenty of storage spaces.
Outside of The Haven on other decks throughout the ship are eight aft-facing penthouses and 10 forward-facing penthouses. The penthouses have a living room and dining area with a double sofa bed and writing desk. The bathroom incorporates a modern design with double bowl sinks, a curved oval bathtub and a separate shower. And Norwegian is continuing the Spa Suites introduced on Epic. These 16 suites are appointed with tranquil spa décor, a king size bed, a dining area, and an in-suite whirlpool. They also provide easy access to the adjacent spa and fitness center, along with complimentary access to the thermal spa suite during operating hours. Norwegian is also bringing back the popular, award-winning Studio staterooms for solo travelers. The 59 Studios are specifically designed and priced for the solo traveler to maximize personal space. They also feature private keycard access to the Studio complex and exclusive two-story Studio lounge and bar. Those looking for tranquility will appreciate the 28 Spa Balcony and 20 Spa Mini-Suite staterooms, which have serene spa décor and convenient access to the adjacent spa and fitness center, along with complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suite during operating hours.
Oceanview staterooms are also being re-introduced on the Breakaway ships, with large picturesque windows offered in the 158 staterooms to give a good view of the getaways. Approximately 42 of these will be Family Oceanviews, which will sleep up to five guests and have a bathroom similar to the MiniSuite, with a modern double sink, bathtub and a second wardrobe for extra storage. There will be plenty more to learn about the upcoming Project Breakaway through the impending releases, but the information announced so far shows that the future is certainly bright. This ultra-luxury ship will offer the pinnacle of Norwegian’s learning and developments and help Norwegian further navigate their way to a truly spectacular destination, one where every passenger is pampered and provided with everything they could want. So prepare to break away in May 2013. Breakaway will begin its sailings from New York, its year-round homeport, replacing the Norwegian Star and embarking on a minimum of 88 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal through March 31, 2015. Following the inaugural events, Breakaway will sail a series of 22 seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda beginning May 12, 2013 through October 6, 2013, departing on Sundays and spending three full days in Bermuda and three days at sea. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 29
Grenada: A Southern Caribbean Port of Call
he November 29, 2011 tourism conference in Grenada marked the culmination of the Observance of Tourism Month. In the distinguished presence of tourism ministers from Grenada, Barbados and St. Kitts/Nevis, the 3-year strategic plan for the advancement of Grenada’s tourism industry was revealed by the director of tourism, Mr. Simon Stiell.
Standards. Furthermore, developing the shopping experiences of the cruise visitors is also slated for major emphasis. Other ‘export ready’ sectors identified by the plan are the yachting and dive sectors, even though it is recognized that significant ongoing development and flexibility are required to ensure long-term growth and sustainability of these valuable niches.
Apart from elaborating on the eight strategic initiatives that are being adopted over the ensuing years, tourism stake holders, service providers, policy makers, government officials and tourism practitioners were edified about the ‘export readiness’ of the cruise ship sector and how this niche is being positioned to stimulate further manageable and balanced growth in Grenada’s tourism industry. It referenced the need to implement measures aimed at maximizing the economic contribution of the cruise sector to the Grenadian economy by facilitating improvements designed to upgrade existing attractions and sites, as well as greater compliance of standards established by the Grenada Bureau of
Grenada is the spice-producing component of a region that is designated the most dependent on the tourism industry. Consequently, concerted efforts are required to educate residents about the value of the industry and the role each individual must play to sustain its viability. Therefore, the Ministry of Education is currently executing a tourism education programme where volunteers are used to introduce tourism to students in 26 schools. Additionally, among the initiatives scheduled for introduction as part of the new tourism strategic plan is the National Tourism Consciousness Campaign, where Grenadians will be introduced to practices and attitudes that will positively promote the establishment of a more pro-tourism society.
30 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
Though the cruise industry is growing more globalized, there continues to be a special affection for the attributes that are associated with Grenada. This 120square-mile island with 100,000 hospitable inhabitants remains confident about its capacity to impress both new and repeat cruise ship passengers. Prior to the commencement of the current cruise ship season, both the government and private sector groupings were involved in training exercises to heighten general knowledge of Grenada and hone weak areas existing among some of the service providers and stakeholders. Tourism ambassadors have received refresher courses to facilitate continued effective communication on issues ranging from Grenada’s history to current innovations, services, and adventures. Product wise, the world’s first underwater sculpture park has been upgraded with two new statues. The first is a replica of The Christ of the Deep, which was initially displayed on the Carenage, where it was blessed officially on the October 22, 2011. This was convened
during a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Bianca C and the hospitality, selflessness and ‘Spice Isle’ spirit that was shown by the Grenadian people to the over 670 passengers and crew. In its new location, as the statue looks up to the surface of the water with its arms outstretched, it is a wonderful piece of living art for both diving and snorkeling visitors.
tors. Its unique authentic cultural experience promotes various traditional and non-traditional aspects of Grenada’s heritage. These range from theatrical performances and dance to steel pan music, calypso and local arts and craft. Tours and excursions are encouraged to make stops at this innovative Grenadian attraction where satisfaction is guaranteed.
The second culturally important and robust sculpture—Sienna—is based on a character from the short story “A Different Ocean,” written by Grenadian author Jacob Ross. Sienna is a young girl gifted in free diving. The story follows friendship and betrayal as her talent is exploited in search of a long-lost treasure.
Another culinary attraction similar to that of the Gouyave Fish Friday and the St. Mark’s Food Festival is emerging in the form of the Woburn Conch Shell Extravaganza. Every imaginable concoction involving the delicious conch (Lambie) will become available at this unique site on Wednesday nights. It is expected to become the perfect location for a midweek pre-party communal tourism experience.
These additions are part of a regeneration plan initiated to continue the development of the Underwater Sculpture Park, which has become a large and important part of Grenada’s diverse tourism product for visitors. The innovative Spice Basket Cultural Village continues to bring a new spin to the cultural options available for visi-
In addition the traditional natural and man-made sites and attractions that cruise ship visitors have already enjoyed in Grenada, recent efforts to expand the offerings have resulted in the creation of the Tercentennial Park and a refurbished Fort Matthew.
Both stayover and cruise ship visitors continue to expect the familiar pleasure and gratification from inhaling the rich, pure, spicy air of Grenada. Additionally, the thrill associated with meandering up and down the hilly lanes of the historic town for shopping bargains allows for moments of reflection regarding the modus operandi that prevailed over the centuries. The petroglyphs and amazing photography of the agonizing final hours of the Bianca C at the Grenada National Museum are also worth experiencing. So too are the anecdotes and passionate demonstrations at spice plantations, fortifications, rum distilleries, waterfalls and other attractions that are lauded for their edification and enjoyment. Indeed, Grenada is so endowed that the discerning cruise passenger will find that by virtue of its safety and warmth, this destination, situated 12 degrees to the Equator’s north, has remained a preferred environment for the type of rest, relaxation and pleasure that is so necessary for health, longevity and a great vacation.
Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 31
San Juan Hosts 18th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show By Chris Roberts
s the oldest city under the American flag, San Juan deserves all the tourism attention that it receives. The remarkable Old Town, an incredible new convention facility, and a solid agenda attracted more than 1,000 delegates to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s 18th Annual Conference and Trade Show, October 3-7, 2011.
The welcoming ceremony took place at the recently opened convention center, the largest in the Caribbean and the most technologically advanced. An exotic rainforest setting, with the sounds of coki tree frogs and waterfalls, served as the stunning backdrop for guest speakers. Princess Cruises’ Jan Swartz, head of the marketing committee for Cruise Line of America (CLIA), gave the keynote address and outlined the state
of the cruise industry. “These are challenging times,” said Ms. Swartz. “There has been an ebb and flow of growth in the Caribbean.” Accompanying FCCA Chairman Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line on stage, Puerto Rico’s Governor Hon. Luis G. Fortuño also welcomed the gathering of cruise executives, delegates, and ministers of tourism. He cited, “The impact of the cruise industry in Puerto Rico accounts for 2,400 direct jobs and contributes $245 million to the local economy. In all, we have experienced an eight percent increase in total visitors this year.” Winners of the FCCA Essay Contest were acknowledged during the opening ceremony. Trevonette Johnson, 10, from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Muta Abiff, 15, from St. Thomas, USVI, tackled and scored with the
topic: “What Does Sustainable Tourism Mean to Your Destination?” Once the conference was opened for business, it was time for a full schedule to foster communication between the attendees and the more than 100 decision makers of the cruise industry present in the form of cruise executives and even lines’ presidents and CEOs. The evening functions, like the opening ceremony and the nightly dinners and festivities that were hosted by Puerto Rico, Bacardi and others, bring together the attendees and executives in a more casual setting to allow them to feel comfortable as they get to know each other’s business, both personally and professionally. This also represents a good balance between the casual atmosphere and the formal business transpiring during the Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 33
Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño at the opening ceremony of the 18th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show.
daily sessions of one-on-one meetings, workshops and seminars and the trade show. The one-on-one meetings are one of the most important functions of the conference, as they unite attendees with the cruise executives of their choice to discuss any pertinent business and to gain insight from those that decide where ships go and what goes on the ships— one of the best ways to do or learn how to do business with the cruise industry. The trade show is just as valuable because it brings these same decision makers to see the products that destination and individual companies offer, and traffic was consistent and appreciated. Those manning the 40+ booths, with over 100 companies represented on the trade show floor, found that the convention center layout helped to bring people, products and services together. “The trade exhibition and conference program has evolved significantly,” said Jon Ingleton, executive editor for International Cruise & Ferry Review. “It’s an unrivalled opportunity to network with cruise industry executives and destination representatives across the region. After such a long absence, it will now become a regular feature in my annual conference travel plans. While the total cost of participation is not cheap, especially when coming from the U.K., a return on investment is assured.” 34 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
FCCA Platinum Members gathering together for an exclusive luncheon at Club Nautico.
Like the trade show, workshops and seminars also experienced good traffic. Four full-house Q & A sessions covered a variety of shore excursions topics and destination marketing. “Today your marketing message needs to reach around the world,” said panelist Christopher Allen, director of deployment and itinerary planning at Royal Caribbean International. “There is a lot of talk about social media, but the guests’ word-of-mouth is the best social media.” From Proexport Colombia, President Maria Claudia Lacouture gave an eyeopening presentation showing how her country did a complete turnaround to grow its cruise business. “Destinations need to have a plan to promote themselves to cruise lines, and the crew on the ships.” Carnival Corporation’s port development expert Giora Israel added, “There is a better chance a bartender can sell a tour than the shorex staff. Give the crew a passenger experience.” Princess Cruises’ Lisa Jensen, manager of Caribbean & Atlantic shore operations, sat on both shore excursion panel discussions and said, “I was pleased to see that accessible travel and issues concerning the American Disabilities Act (ADA) were on the agenda. It is a growing demographic and becoming more important. We’re
all looking for tours that address this segment.” “The workshops were more informative than ever,” said Gerry Aird, managing director at Whitchurch Tours in Dominica. “Everybody had a part to play, and those who attended got a response to their questions.” Conrad E. Pole, general manager of Antigua Pier Group, added, “I felt that the conference and trade show was wellorganized, and I was quite impressed with the Puerto Rico Night Extravaganza, in particular. He added, “The workshops were very informative and provided a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges of the industry.” A conference highlight for many was seeing and hearing an amazing ensemble of leadership – major cruise line CEOs all on the same stage (see separate article). Annika Bratt, vice president of sales for Elite Shore Excursion Foundation said, “I think it was perfect. Great hotels, convenient to the convention center, and we were all together to meet.” Richard Turrentine, general manager for Mexico-based Tropical Tours, surmised it well when he said, “You can put this one in the win column. I think everyone enjoyed being here and went away with a good feeling.”
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STATE OF THE INDuSTRy
Despite Challenges, We Succeed By Jan Swartz, Executive Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Customer Service, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line and CLIA Marketing Committee Chair
am sure there will be little disagreement that the past few years have been some of the most challenging times our industry and other industries have seen.
The global financial crisis of late 2008 triggered the largest decline in equities seen since the Great Depression in the United States. This drop, the contraction in credit, and increased volatility of the markets generally have combined to reduce consumer confidence in many markets around the world. And jobs lost in 2009 are still not filled. There has also been plenty of additional bad news in the news for our business. Our challenges have ranged from economic distress in Europe to tragic natural events, like earthquakes and volcanic ash clouds. So looking back over the last few years, one could say we have faced much gloom and many challenges. Yet despite this economic backdrop, as CLIA’s marketing committee chair, I can share a very favorable report—likely unique amongst virtually all other leisure businesses—that the cruise industry continues to grow. In 2010, CLIA cruise lines experienced their 20th consecutive year of passenger growth, carrying 15 million cruise guests – our all-time record. And even more important to our economics, the CLIA fleet continued to sail during this period with over 100% capacity
utilization based on lower berths. A total of 50 new vessels have been added in the 2009-2012 time period, and, in fact, Carnival Corporation recently celebrated the addition of its 100th ship, Carnival Magic. And Caribbean capacity has risen from just over three million passengers in 2001 to more than six million in 2011. We believe the cruise industry has succeeded during this period of challenge due to four key factors. 1. Vacation Penetration Cruises still represent a very small sliver of the total vacation pie, with less than 4% of the North American population taking a cruise each year. The story is similar in the UK market, with less than 3% of the population cruising, and in Continental Europe and Australia/New Zealand, the numbers are less than 2%. This gives our industry considerable headroom for growth. 2. Value We all know that during tough times, the humor gets dark. One of my favorite testimonials about the value of cruises is a homemade powerpoint that got sent virally around the Internet in the last few years, where a passenger lists many reasons why living on a cruise ship beats a nursing home any day. The reasons includes such thing as, “I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant” and “Clean sheets and towels every day and you don’t even have Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 37
to ask for them.” It ends with a call to “send this to all who dream of a luxurious old age.” Now we don’t target this as a market, but it makes for a good laugh about the value of cruising. 3. Innovation The third reason why we’re successful is that we innovate in many dimensions of our business. Our port partners innovate by creating new facilities, such as Fort Lauderdale, which accommodates the largest ships while minimizing the feel of crowds. Similar innovative facilities have debuted in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. They innovated in Barcelona by constructing their cruise facilities to include two stand-alone terminals linked by an overhead passenger walkway. This design provides the port with the flexibility to accommodate one megaship utilizing both terminals, or two or more smaller ships using the individual terminals. We innovate with our shipyard partners to design facilities and features for our guests that allow them to explore and play in entirely new ways at sea, like bowling, boxing, ziplining and surf-riding. And we innovate with marketing. Wow, there were so many examples to pick from over the last year. We saw the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, Kevin Sheehan, in the major US television show, Undercover Boss, where he painted railings and served food incognito. We saw Gerry Cahill of Carnival don a bathing suit to check the safety of the water slide on Carnival Dream on a Facebook posting. We saw Adam Goldstein of Royal Caribbean on Flickr’s photostream playing ping-pong on Allure of the Seas. We saw Richard Fain of Royal Caribbean surf-riding, and we even saw my own boss, Alan Buckelew, lead by example on our Travel Bucket List blog by sharing his own very personal story as a Vietnam vet returning to Vietnam on a Princess cruise.
The cruise lines’ marketing teams have used some very innovative, cutting edge techniques to capture consumer attention. 4. Teamwork The last reason for our industry’s success is that we work as a team to deliver some of the finest customer service in the service business. At a time when the elephants and the donkeys in the US can barely work together, teams of crew, port operators, tour operators, government bodies, suppliers and local communities from most of the world’s countries work successfully together to create incredible vacation experiences for our guests. Similarly, onboard our ships, our multi-national employee teams work seamlessly together with the same dedication. For example, on Princess ships alone, our Caribbean crew members hail from the islands of Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Trinidad. So despite the dark clouds, our future remains bright, and CLIA predicts another record year ahead for our member lines. In conclusion, I have one last thought. Virtually everyone reading this article is somehow connected to the cruise industry. Whether you’re a port or destination, shipbuilder, or supplier, you’ve chosen to align yourselves or your business with our industry. After reading about how our industry is weathering the economic storm (and our prospects for future growth), I hope you agree that you’ve made a wise decision. It speaks to the partnership and commitment from everyone in our industry. This teamwork is vital to our industry’s success and potential. It’s a partnership where we’ve all adapted and worked hard, and we can see the benefits of this in the strength of the cruise business.
Cruise Industry CEOs Headline San Juan Panel By Chris Roberts
ll participants in the 18th annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference and Trade Show in San Juan were invited to attend an exclusive gathering that assembled seven cruise lines’ chief executive officers—the industry’s top leaders—in a lively session to answer questions and comment about their companies. Moderated by Michele M. Paige, president of the FCCA, each member of the panel endorsed the cruise industry’s growing significance globally. They touched upon the economy, the Caribbean, and the future. “I remain very excited to be a part of this,” said Dan Hanrahan, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “This will be an industry that thrives in the future.”
Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd, called himself the “grizzled veteran” and referenced the memorable metaphor: “I feel like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s fifth husband – “I know what to do, but how to make it interesting….” This is why there was such a focus on investments on product improvements and destinations. It has become a familiar motif for the cruise lines’ brass to talk about their own product improvements and investments in new ships and destinations’ infrastructure and port development. Yet this year, the presidents and CEO’s also asked for the destinations to make similar efforts to stimulate demand and innovate and improve the visitor experience. “All the research still shows people care where they are
going,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Today’s cruiser expects more. It’s a combination of overall itinerary that makes the cruise sell marketing and branding are key. “You compete against destinations all over the world,” told Gerry Cahill, president and CEO, Carnival Cruise Lines. “We’re all under a lot of pressure, but we’re in it together. We all have to work to find more ways to stimulate demand.” This partnership in creating more demand is something Mr. Hanrahan echoed when reporting that he had a good discussion with regional government leaders about “what we can do collectively to drive more business to the Caribbean.” Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International also reminded of the global scale. “Be thinking about business in global terms,” he urged while pointing to the fact that today’s consumers have high expectations and seek “more quality and higher experiential elements. The bar has been raised.” In order to keep up with the Joneses, Goldstein continued that destinations must brand and market themselves and figure out how to “bring to life what you have to offer.” One of these Joneses and another example of cruising and competing with the global scale is the growing market of Australia. Micky Arison, owner of Carnival Corporation, cited Australia as the fastest growing market, though he also noted, “There are head winds.” Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 41
Marie Walker, director of tourism for the island of Anguilla, was one of a handful of delegates who spoke on the microphone to get feedback on her destination and get some insight how to run with the competition. “It’s one of my favorite places,” responded Rick Sasso, president and CEO, MSC Cruises. “Don’t ever assume that anyone of us here on this panel knows everything about your destination. Keep being proactive.” Mr. Sasso added, “Think of your destination as a place to photograph.” He cited his first time in Nassau snapping pictures of the street police in colorful uniforms and advised, “If you can make your police look more appealing, so that everyone wants to take their picture, visitors will remember the good time they had.”
another 1,000 directly in this region.” He added that even the two new ships (Magic and Breeze) have tropical décor and reflect colors of the region. Switching to the more immediate relevance of the economy and fuel costs, Kevin Sheehan, CEO at Norwegian Cruise Line stated, “There has been a degree of uncertainty since 2009. This may continue for the next year or two.” Mr. Fain reminded the audience that, “the cruise industry is resilient. What’s important is that our industry is flexible, no matter what the circumstances are. We must have the best product delivery and guest satisfaction.”
Mr. Cahill reestablished this sentiment by instructing that the number one thing destinations should do is “make your guest experience so good that guests come back and become advocates for our brand.”
“It is now 10 times more expensive than it was in 1994,” said Mr. Cahill in regards to the rising costs due to increased fuel prices. “We’re under a lot of pressure, but we’re in this together. We have to figure out new ways to stimulate demand for our product.”
The focus on this symbiotic relationship was broadened when Mr. Cahill spoke about the company’s presence in the Caribbean “We’re a great fit for the region and employ 4,000 people from Caribbean nations on our ships. We also employ
And as Mr. Hanrahan reminded, “The demand depends on how we continue to innovate…We need to make sure guests come back and say, ‘What a wonderful time we had in the Caribbean.’”
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“Being Competitive and Staying Competitive” By Steve Hites, President - St. Kitts Scenic Railway Ltd., & Skagway Street Car Company, Inc. FCCA Panel Presentation, San Juan, Puerto Rico., October 4, 2011
There are a number of things to constantly consider if you’re going to have a successful tour program. 1.Telling Your Story: I always like to suggest that tour operators who are dealing with guests from North America read the book Caribbean by the late James A. Michener, the famous novelist and writer. Many North Americans have read his best-selling books, and Caribbean has shaped some of the images they have and how they look at this region. Many North Americans have also seen the series of Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean films. These motion pictures also have done their part to create images or “mind’s eye” pictures for visitors of what some of the story of the region looks like. As for our part, in each of our destinations, what we need to do is to “find the story.” You have to know what the story is so you can tell it. Then you have to ask, “Is it interesting to my guest? How can I involve my guest in the story? What in this story can my guest personally relate to?” On the St. Kitts Scenic Railway (SKSR), the history of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is offered from pre-history through European discovery to the present day using the route of the train as the story line. We build each chapter of the story around the things that are seen from the train as we see them along the way. While this is easy with the scenic spots, like ocean, beaches and volcanoes, you have to be able to do this everywhere. Example: Through the industrial area (which is not all that scenic, even on the Scenic Railway!), we have an opportunity to talk about the rock quarry; “Armor rock from here is used to protect the docks and waterfront from hurricanes and storms,” the piggeries: “Pursuing animal husbandry on our island is an important way to create wealth for people out in the villages; such activities allow local farmers to make
money and save for things, like paying for higher education for their children,” the scrap vehicle graveyard: “It’s expensive to ship even junk off the islands!” and the landfill: “how do the islands deal with their solid waste?”. All of these are things that the guests are interested in: hurricanes, agriculture, the basics of how an island “works,” etc. Try to compare it with their situations where they live, and it makes your situation even more exotic. Even your landfill can be exotic, but you have to make it that way. We have other tie-ins. I’ll just focus on the North America audience, but remember: the focus for your story needs to be different for your different audiences if they are British, German, Italian or Chinese. Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury, was born and raised on Nevis. We tie in the story and the views of Nevis Island from the train, and the tour director holds up and shows everyone a US $10 bill with Hamilton’s face on it. The 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson’s great-great-grandfather was one of the earliest European settlers on St. Kitts. Everyone from the US knows Jefferson. We go by his great-great grandfather’s tomb and relate the story. In Skagway, Alaska, we always tell the story about Sarah Palin’s house on our “Skagway Street Car City Tour.” This is a tour highlight because she is the most famous person who ever lived in Alaska. Everyone can relate to her personally. A note on this: no other tour company in town goes by her house because many of the drivers for other companies don’t “like” Sarah Palin. My two cents worth: Don’t ever let your own opinions get in the way of the story for your guests. It’s about THEM, not YOU. What would they want to see? Training Your Guides: I’m a tour driver, myself. I consider it a very honorable profession. We in the profession are professional storytellers. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 45
This storytelling is so important that if you really want to be sure you are doing it right, you can’t completely leave it to someone else. You have to get out there. Go out and give your own tour at the start of the high season. Make all of your tour guides go out with you, and make them listen to you and how you give the tour. Then, ride your own tour. Listen to your driver guides and what they are saying. Offer constructive input, suggestions, comments, and compliments. Sometimes you’ll get a new gem from them or get a chance to correct something that needs correction. But you can’t know it unless you go out there, watch, listen, and take notes. We use the Directorial Dress Rehearsal Tour concept: we start a new guide out reading books on a required reading list; then they take training trips with other trained guides; and then they each take their final check trip doing the tour… with me. Take notes. Sit down with them afterwards. It’s like a theatrical show. You’re the director. You need to direct. If they pass (and almost everybody who has followed the system above does by this point!), they are ready to go out with the guests. Infrastructure: Guests want SAFE. Cruise lines demand it, or you won’t work with them. Guests want CLEAN. What you would want for your family when you travel is what has to be your standard. And everybody wants everything to be as EFFICIENT as possible. Beyond that, you have to have the best you can afford. The perception of your guests is everything. And you have to watch the competition. What are they doing, and how will these things affect you? This goes hand in hand with re-investing back into your company to go forward. Staying Ahead of the Curve: Be aware of the market. What do people want to do? Read the newspaper. Watch the news. Check the internet. Keep your eyes open as you travel. Look at the menu for what kind of tours are being offered in other parts of the world. Is there an idea that you can adapt for your region or destination? Be aware of potential saturation in a market: is the demand for a product big enough for “this many” of them? If not, will they begin battling for market share using lower and lower pricing, or will they try to create unique and differentiated versions of the product? I call this the “glass bottom boat” problem, where the same tour is in every port of call on an itinerary, or, even worse, there are multiple offerings of the same product in the same port. NOTE: Duplication of product only works in either a rapidly expanding marketplace—i.e. the number of cruise passengers coming to your destination is growing larger, so there is a need 46 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
for more and more things for these guests to do—or in a situation where the similar products are differentiated into unique products by adding other components together with them. Example: At SKSR we had a situation where guests were being forced to choose between the train tour and the catamaran tour. We studied the numbers and then created the new “Rail/Sail” tour program which combined the two tours into one experience. It costs more, but it gives the guests both “big” tours. It’s been very successful. We’re adding new rail cars over the next three years that will allow us to create more of these new “combination products” that put together multiple experiences that guests want into a single package. Consistency: You have to be able to produce the same tour or the same experience over and over again 500,000 times and have it still get rave reviews. It has to be fresh each time. 99% of this falls back on training. You can only get consistency if you train your team to be consistent, and this requires your own personal involvement to be done right. You can still be “spontaneous” with consistency; we try to keep the feel of the one-on-one “small group” with a personal touch that we gave to make each tour seem individually special. “You’re getting a ride with a local here, folks. We’re going to give you the inside view of our little island, so hang on. Here we go! Over there, it’s old Mrs. Pollack. Hello, Mrs. Pollack! She comes out to wave at the train each day. She’s an honorary member of the Scenic Railway crew with her smiles, and her waving from her front porch. She blows kisses to the passengers. We bring her a Christmas ham every year, just like the rest of the railway crew. The only time she has ever missed greeting the train was when she got sick one day and had to go to hospital!” You get the idea. It still works. Efficiency: From a survival perspective, this is probably the most important. You have to be efficient to stay in business. I can offer the railroad example from St. Kitts. We started running the train in a full 30-mile circle around the island, and it took as much as 3 and 3/4 hours to do this rail-only tour. Guests were exhausted; it was too long. So we cut the railroad part of the tour down to only 2 hours; ran the train out 18 miles to La Valle Transfer Station (where the railroad met the Island Main Road); stopped; transferred the guests to sightseeing buses; and continued to complete the final 12 miles of the circle island tour on the buses for the final 45 minutes. Dock to dock the tour now only took 3 hours. But in addition to the fact that we had come up with a better tour experience for the guest was the underlying fact that we
could now operate the tour in the other direction, using the buses first and then connecting to the train. This gave us a revenue seat in both directions, and we did not have to either deadhead equipment empty or run an overly long tour that bored the guests and got poor reviews. Now a train with 200 guests goes out; swaps guests with the buses at La Valle Transfer Station; and brings another 200 “new” guests back into town. We carry 400 revenue-generating guests on a round trip on a train with 200 seats. This has saved the Railroad from the high cost of building additional railcars at a cost of US $500,000 per car. Reinvest Back In to Go Forward: At the Scenic Railway, we have just completed the construction of a brand new US $500,000 railroad shop and maintenance facility for our locomotives and passenger cars at Needsmust Station in St. Kitts. We now have all of our office and operating team in one building under one roof. We’re in the final design phase for a brand new 30-inch gauge diesel hydraulic locomotive for the railroad to power our passenger trains. This locomotive will have twice the horsepower as our 32-year old Lyd2 locomotives and have head-end electrical power (generated from the locomotive) to eliminate the use (and extra dead weight) of our non-revenue Power Generation Car. And finally, we are building a 6th railcar for the train, which will be US ADA compliant and provide access to our railroad tour for cruise passengers with disabilities. A 2 new” locomotive and a 7th railcar are planned for 2012-2013, with an 8th car in 2014. Writing Marketable Tour Descriptions: If you’re not good at “wordsmithing,” and there are lots of people who are not, you should seriously consider hiring this part out. There are lots of good writers out there who can help you come up with variations for your tour description. But once it’s written, you have to go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Remember: a tour description is like your tour training; only you can really know if it is saying what you want to have said, and only you know if
it’s saying what you actually do on the tour. Be sure you highlight the things that make you different. What are those things for your tour? You need to know! What are the things that “sell” your tour? Do you know what those things are? For the St. Kitts Scenic Railway: “Last Railway in The British West Indies:” history, scenery, a full circle tour of the entire island, lush rainforests, jagged volcanoes, seacoasts, dramatic bridges, the songs of the Scenic Railway choir – we’re the only railway in the world with its own choir - free drinks…!!! My own observation: don’t go over the top! It should “read well” and sound honest and true. Use descriptive words, but not run-on sentences and overly flowery phrases. They just don’t sound right to the ear. If you don’t know what sounds good, bring in someone with the right ear. Reason? You have to write to your audience. Where will the tour description be used or displayed? A white water river rafting tour for 20 year olds that is being marketed online will have a very different tour description than the city tour that is being marketed in the print version of the AARP Magazine to senior citizens. The cruise lines can help you here. The shore excursion departments have teams of very talented people who know their guests and know what words work and don’t work with them. They will be happy to help you with your tour description. But you have to be the final proofreader and be responsible for what goes out. Be absolutely sure it says what your tour actually does! Finally, I have these words taped to the wall above my desk. Whenever I’m having a tough day, I can just glance up and see them. They’re from an old Acura automobile TV ad campaign, but they ring true across the years to any entrepreneur anywhere, anytime. Take them to heart. “Chase the dream, not the competition.” Godspeed to each and every one. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 47
CURAÇAO – Hotspot of the Caribbean and the Spot to be at for the 19th Annual FCCA
t is not an accident that Curaçao is affectionately referred to as “Dushi Kòrsou” by its locals, which means “Sweet Curaçao” in the local Portuguese and Creole influenced language, Papiamentu. Its candy colored architecture, rich heritage, charming landmarks, and lovable people makes this island sweet and fruitful in every way, and also as diverse and interesting as its population. Curaçao—the largest island of the ABC trinity, together with Aruba and Bonaire—is home to a multi-cultural population of nearly 140,000 souls, consisting of 40 different nationalities, living together in peace and harmony on a surface of just 44 km² (17 square miles).
Willemstad, the historic capital, is a UNESCO world heritage site and shows the roots of Curacao and its eclectic population; it was built around the narrow canal entrance of the 48 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
main harbor, the St. Anna Bay, because of Curaçao’s prominence as a trading destination and its reliance on its harbor. The famous pontoon bridge connects the ‘Punda’ (eastern part) and the ‘Otrobanda’ (western part) city areas together, making the harbor and all shipping-related activities a tangible part of the island’s experience, which sets aside Curaçao from most other Caribbean destinations. Over the last few years, Curaçao has enjoyed statuses and accolades such as a “hotspot,” “the best well-kept secret,” and listings as the Top 10 destinations by Bing, SmarterTravel, Passport Magazine and Fodor’s. The tourists visiting Curaçao are as diverse as its product. The European market, namely Dutch, but also German, Belgian and Scandinavian, and the US, Latin American and other
2-day sailing schedule to overlap the distance. Due to the demand and the island’s appeal, Curaçao, together with the other ABC islands, now headline several 7-day itineraries coming out of the Sunny State - a venture nobody could imagine 5 years ago. The dynamics of cruising has changed, and Curaçao positively transitioned with this change. Brilliant prospects being presented to Curaçao through the cruise industry, and the island expects an increase of cruise passengers with larger vessels from all mainstream and ‘niche’ cruise lines. Curaçao is able to keep up with the dynamic demand of the cruise industry. Due to the augment in size of the cruise vessels, a berthing shortage emerged inside the St. Anna Bay canal, and a T-shape jetty was constructed just outside of the harbor entrance at the Otrobanda-side. The ‘Megapier,’ as the berth is popular known, accommodates the larger cruise vessels visiting Curaçao, although the Mathey Wharf is still frequently used for big and more moderate ships. But during the high season, the port may be congested. Curaçao is also ready to proceed into the future and the increased demand, as the government of Curaçao has ordained the construction of a new cruise berth, adjacent to the existing Megapier, just outside of the harbor. The current T-shaped jetty and the newly erected dockage must be interconnected and made accessible by a novel land development, consisting of a new terminal and infrastructure for dispatch of tours and taxi. With this new berthing, Curaçao can assure its amount of calls and redirect itself for further growth as a cruise hotspot. Caribbean nations are ‘discovering’ the island’s appeal. The US market is increasing, while the Brazilian, Colombian and Venezuelan markets are emerging, due to better flight connections. The same makeup is seen in the cruise industry. The island’s cruise market is comprised of 65% of the US-based passengers, departing from Florida and Puerto Rico; 20% of the overall market share comes from South America, departing from Colon, Panama; and 15% from European Lines, departing from Barbados and the Dominican Republic. The market demand is growing every year, not only for stayover tourism, but also for the cruise industry. While in 2005, 269,488 cruise passengers visited the island. In 2012, a record of 529,826 passengers are expected. In just 5 years, the amount of cruise visitors almost doubled and is still increasing with the ongoing berthing requests from the cruise lines. In the recent past, Curaçao was part of a 10-day to 14-day itinerary, with cruises coming out of Florida, because of the
And there are even more options for the present and future; the nearby Caracas Bay, a natural sheltered deepwater port within a 12.87 km. (8-mile) radius from the inner city, can always be called on as an optional berth and can even be developed into an exclusive cruise berth. Although there are no intentions for major development at this moment, the government is drafting a master plan of the area that contains two T-shape jetties, bearing in mind that the island must manage its expectations and closely watch the developments in the cruise industry. Curaçao is positively looking forward to the 19th Annual FCCA Conference and Trade Show, October 1-5, 2012, and it has shown why it was chosen to serve as host because of its ability to drive demand and change with the times, itineraries and technology. The island is confident that for the coming years, it will be a ‘hotspot’ within the industry and will play a crucial role in defining the new Caribbean itineraries, based on the conventional market and emerging markets in South America and Europe. Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 49
TuRN AROuND PORT ¨A DREAM FOR COuNTRIES¨
n the cruise industry, one of the main goals of any destination is to be able to have turn around ships in their ports; the main reason is the economic impact that a ship’s turn around brings to the country. The economic impact can be measured in several ways as tourism in general brings progress to a variety of elements in the economy, such as an increase in: jobs, food sales, hotel occupancy rates, tourism expenditures, retail sales and last, but most important, is the promotion of your country around the world as a cruise ship homeport. There are several countries in Latin America that have benefited from having a ship homeport in their countries, as is the case for Brazil (which has had more than 10 ships doing turn around 50 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
during their season in the last five years), Argentina, Dominican Republican, Barbados and Mexico. Central America needs more homeports in both the Caribbean and in the Pacific, especially in Mexico or Panama, as this will facilitate the arrivals of ships to their ports. Panama is taking a big step on being able to offer homeport cruise terminals in both oceans, as it is one way to develop the Pacific Coast Cruise Terminal that will add to the already existing Colon 2000 Caribbean Terminal. Panama has taken advantage of its location in the middle of the Americas, where in a three and a half hour flight’s time you can have more than 450 million people that are able to take your cruise.
the most important task for any entity seeking a turn around port. Having the right airlift is the key to a successful operation, and in Latin America, COPA AIRLINES has converted Panama to the main airline hub in the area with 180 daily flights to 57 destinations, covering all Latin American countries. Other airlines serving Panama include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta, KLM, IBERIA, Condor, Sunwing Vacations, Air Transat, Nolitours, TAME, Avianca, Aires, Santa Barbara Airlines, TACA, and there are talks about a charter service to main cities to Latin America, including CVC from Brazil. This airline access is the most important asset that Panama has as a turnaround port.
But how you get them to your country is
The main supplier of tourists to
Panama’s turn around port comes from neighbor countries, such as Colombia (population 44,000,000), Venezuela (population 27,000,000), Brazil (population 200,000,000), Mexico (population 111,000,000), Argentina (population 41,000,000), Peru (population 30,000,000) and Ecuador (population 15,000,000). All of these countries have benefited from a very healthy economy for the last 10 years, and Panama is Latin America’s shopping destination of the area. In fact, most passengers come to Panama two or three days before just to take advantage of the shopping and other tourism attractions. Panama has also seen how the hotels increase their occupancy rate during the cruise season, with many groups and conventions coming to Panama to spend several days in Panama City and then taking the cruise. Because of this new business to Panama, COPA AIRLINES has increased its frequency of catering service from Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina over the last three. Panama has witnessed this mutually beneficial relationship between the airlines, hotels and destination because of the new market that being a homeport provides. Home porting in Latin America should be lucrative for the marketing cruise executives; just imagine having a 500 to 600 million-person population that have not cruised before ever but are suddenly exposed to this new way of travel that offers the best value of any vacation. There are always issues that need to be addressed, as the market is different; the mentalities are different; and the buying behaviors are also different. But in this changing world economy, one of the best tactics is to have your buying market dispersed in varying areas so there is always a consumer for your product—a destination for your ships and a populace interested
in sailing on them—and home porting in Latin America certainly provides all of this. Cruise passengers are the most loyal repeat customers, and they are always looking for new experiences and new routes; that is why we have seen an average of 7% American boarding on cruises from Panama. Another factor is Panama’s good relationship with the U.S. because of the Panama Canal, which is currently expanding and a very unique tourism product. Routes definitely help make a successful cruise. Now we have a new element to the decision of a cruise route - crude oil. It is going up and down, and now it is the key element when deciding where to put the cruise ships. Panama is advantageous because of its location in the middle of the Americas, and the Caribbean has an advantage in the dif-
ferent routes to the Caribbean islands and to Central American countries. A combination of both, with perhaps an inclusion of Mexico routes, offers some of the most benefits from this aspect. Having this as one of our strengths makes the possibility of having several different vacations packages, making it possible to sell several cruises to the same cruise passenger. Having your destination as a homeport is a dream come true, as there are only a few places where you able to take a cruise vacation. Being a homeport increases your local economy in areas where only the cruise industry can help: taxi drivers, luggage handlers, check-in personnel, workers of the agriculture industry, and hoteliers. Panama has the potential for this and many other opportunities. As we say, “Everything can be done in Panama, and we are ready for it.” Fourth Quarter 2011 • Cruising Magazine 51
Faces In The Industry Fitzwarren Kirkland – Chief Engineer, Holland America Line “Hard work brings success.” This is my philosophy. My name is Fitzwarren Kirkland, born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica, which is my permanent place of residence. I am currently serving as Chief Engineer onboard Holland America Line ships.
In January 1999 I joined Holland America line in the position of 3rd Engineer. I was promoted through the ranks of 2nd Engineer, 1st Engineer and now my current position as a Chief Engineer. My seafearing career started on cargo ships in 1988 as a Cadet Engineer, and I progressed to 2nd Engineer, after which I decided to join a cruise line. My maritime education commenced in Jamaica just after graduating high school, and further studies continued in England to achieve my Chief Engineer License.
Looking back, I was always fascinated by ships going through the channel just adjacent to my high school and dreamt of one day working on one such vessel. My dream began to take shape when close to finishing high school, an open day career presenter outlined the process of becoming a maritime professional. The rest is history. As a result of living by my philosophy, I was awarded the employee of the year for Holland America Line seagoing personnel for the year 2009. Holland America Line has an equal opportunity policy for all employees, as well as great benefits, such as their study leave program, sick leave, pension scheme, and spouse travel, to name a few of which I have benefitted from. One of the great things about Holland America Line is the respect for the environment and the emphasis and policies they have put in place to protect it. I enjoy working with different nationalities and seeing the different cultures displayed onboard. Personally, I get a great deal of satisfaction from solving technical issues and making improvement on systems and equipment on board. I enjoy all aspects of my job and obtain job satisfaction, which makes it more worthwhile. I have definitely chosen the right profession!
Adrian Guillén – Room Service Supervisor, Royal Caribbean International Hi, my name is Adrian Guillén, and I was born and raised in Managua, the capital of the beautiful country of Nicaragua. I have been working for Royal Caribbean International for almost six years, and it has been a very nice experience so far. When I began my career with Royal Caribbean, it was completely different than other jobs I had before. I had the chance to meet many people from different countries, cultures, and languages. There were many good things to learn, and it soon became like a new home at sea with a lot of new friends, adventures, and visiting many countries that I had just seen on TV.
I started as a Mess Attendant taking care of the Crew Food Services, which gave me a chance to meet all Crew Members and Staff on board. But I always kept in my mind the main reason why I decided to join RCI: my family, who always motives me to look forward to improve myself, then I push myself to learn always something new.
In my first contract, I got promoted twice, and during my second contract, I set a goal for myself to become a Waiter, which I did. This allowed me to be close to the Maitre ‘D’s office, and I started doing office boy position for the Maitre ‘D and Head Waiters. All this experience helped me to become ROC (Restaurant Operation Coordinator). After a while, I became Room Service Supervisor, learning lots of different jobs in the restaurant operation division, and at this moment, I am still looking to improve more and to become Head Waiter and keep on going. I encourage anyone that loves to travel, meet people, has a great personality and also loves the Hotel industry to work on cruise ships; it will be a life changing experience. Get out there and join the “Nation of Why Not”! 54 Cruising Magazine • Fourth Quarter 2011
Bring It On! We Can Handle It.
For information contact Ricky W. Kunz, Vice President Origination 713-670-2400 | www.portofhouston.com
A delegation from Antigua visits with the FCCA Operations Committee.
Searching for a way to entice more guests to savor your finest ships? Try a port that consistently delivers enviable homeport passenger counts. Port Canaveral offers your guests relaxed arrival on uncongested highways, clear signage, stress-free parking and a spirit of ease that’s at the heart of the cruising mood. Plus this year we’re building an innovative new cruise terminal and third parking garage as more frosting on the cake for you and your guests. To ensure that you get your slice of this market, contact Cruise Development at 321-783-7831, extension 232. CARNIVAL DREAM | CARNIVAL ECSTASY | CARNIVAL SENSATION | DISNEY DREAM | DISNEY MAGIC | NORWEGIAN SUN ROYAL CARIBBEAN FREEDOM OF THE SEAS | ROYAL CARIBBEAN MONARCH OF THE SEAS | (DISNEY FANTASY 2012)