“We are glad we worked with our operators to ensure we had enough tour variety to offer guests in port and wherever possible to include a safe shopping experience.” –Anonymous cruise executive “A big plus for us was promoting information (such as the island map) in a digital format. We did this with a QR code along with a display so passengers can pick up a map on their own.” –Anonymous destination representative “Coordination between the port and the tour operators was key to our success. The port of Nassau had a meeting at the port to review protocols and dispatching areas with the tour operators. As the port is under construction during return to service, it was key to a successful operation.” –Anonymous cruise executive 2. What was your biggest lesson learned? “Flexibility. Even with all of the best laid plans, changes are bound to happen, sometimes, within hours of the call. It is important to have the ability to amend programs quickly and adhere to local protocols. We have never used the word ‘fluid’ so much in one year.” –Anonymous cruise executive “We learned that human nature is unpredictable, and we find passengers and collaborators reluctant to respect the mandatory protocols for the protection not only of our community, but of everyone, including the guests. It is important that, despite the resistance, we keep doing our job to make each arrival a safe destination.” – Anonymous destination representative “The biggest lesson this global pandemic has taught us is that as a team and as individuals we have to be prepared to constantly reassess the way we are operating, both in terms of providing a top excursion product and in terms of keeping our team and our guests safe. This virus and the requirements to operate change constantly and anyone not prepared to change with it will be left behind.” – Anonymous tour operator “The biggest lesson learned is that
communication is very vital and never just assume and if not sure always ask for help.” –Anonymous cruise executive “We learned that passengers still require and want face to face information. Don’t assume everyone avoids interaction.” –Anonymous destination representative The expectations continue to be high, but the collaboration between a destination’s cruise community and the cruise line is now higher than ever. Cruises are sailing successfully due to a continued focus on teams, communication, and collaborations. In Canada, where Aquila is based, we can’t wait to see the return to sailing in spring. We continue to learn the best practices and lessons from all our friends in other parts of the world so that we too are
successful when the time comes. These lessons also help Aquila continue to develop new training programs, and we invite you to check our website for all those programs. The cruise industry is returning to sail all over the world, and the demand for cruising continues to rise. We have spent time reflecting, training, communicating, and investing…and now we are ready! Beth Kelly Hatt is the President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s official training partner. Aquila’s approach to training is one of assessing the needs of a destination or operator and developing a strategic training plan that helps raise the level of excellence throughout the destination. Contact Beth for more information at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com.
THIRD QUARTER 2021 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 31