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Meetings & Events Jamaica, when a guest was bitten during a tour, told Melville, but the proper preparation plan sucked out the venom. “The procedures worked perfectly,” he said. “The bottom line is training. We have 1,200 team members. We have to train over and over again.” He continued that the time of tour creation is the best opportunity to think about anything that could go wrong and how to address it, also advocating Royal Caribbean’s sustainable tour operator certification because “It’s so detailed. It helps you think about things.” “Every aspect of the tour should have a risk assessment,” informed Manjencic. When it comes to transportation, for example, that involves considering a response for a flat tire, a breakdown and any type of accident, in any setting. “We do risk assessment, but we rely on our operators to have a plan in place,” she continued. When an operator provides a great emergency response plan as part of any new excursion proposal, this plays favorably into cruise line decision-making, according to Cascais, continuing that training should be triggered routinely whenever new staff are hired or a new tour is implemented – and protocols should never rest solely on one person. “Prepare staff so anyone can step in,” echoed Pallot-Shweky, and keep updating the plan to stay current. For example, should active shooter drills now become a part of the manual? And after the incident, immediate, accurate and regular communications are vital. “Keep updating the cruise line as the situation develops,” she continued, telling the first call in any emergency should be to 911. The next call is to the shore excursion department, if a cruise line tour, or to the port agent if an independent tour. Manjencic also pointed out that it is critical to inform all relevant parties, including every cruise line with a ship in port, of any incident. The entire panel agreed in emergencies, it behooves everyone to help. “Guests need and deserve TLC – human kindness,” said Pallot-Shweky in pointing out that it is simply the right thing to do.

Of course, it also has some practical benefits. Besides lives, brand reputations are at stake. Manjencic shared how proper response to an incident resulted in guests sharing positive stories with the camera crews. “You’re really protecting the name of your destination, which is so crucial,” confirmed Cascais. The final workshop took place on October 24, with moderator Albino di Lorenzo and panelists of Diana Block, Vice President, Revenue, Itinerary & Destination, Virgin Voyages; Carol Cabezas, COO, Azamara; Christine Manjencic; Christopher Martin, Director, Port Operations, Holland America Group; and Arnaldo Zanonato, Director, Regional Experiences Development, Silversea Cruises giving the lowdown on high-class cruising in “Luxury Cruising.” While all shared different approaches—from attainable luxury to all-inclusive and complete pampering, and from entirely focused ships and brands to ‘ships within a ship’ and high-end suites onboard almost every ship (with 75% of suites on bigger ships)—one trend remained constant: all guests want exclusivity and memorable experiences. That ranges from a luxury guest on Norwegian Cruise Line quickly booking a villa in Harvest Caye, which sell out almost immediately, to giving those villas away to Oceania and Regent suite guests, with that market of ‘travelers, not tourists’ looking to engage in completely authentic, cultural and people-to-people experiences—something the luxury market now places a high and almost inelastic premium on, considered as an investment into their personal development—such as spending thousands of dollars to be a fisherman for a day in Portofino, and to the unexpected and even unheard of places and experiences synonymous with Silversea. Yet what remained the same for luxury guests, and with the core consumer-facing messaging throughout all of the workshops, is that vacations and guests are truly no longer one-size-fits-all, and while cruise lines have worked to truly understand and attract their guests, there is still more work that can be done between cruise lines and destinations to fit every guest like a bespoke suit. FOURTH QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 21

Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

Travel & Cruise 4th Quarter 2019  

4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA and the cru...

Travel & Cruise 4th Quarter 2019  

4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA and the cru...

Profile for fcca