Travel & Cruise 2nd Quarter 2018

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U.S. Virgin Islands Still Nice & Back in Business


President Tells How to Seize Opportunities in the Caribbean


Works to Increase U.S. Tourism Market Share



Europe & Asia Figures Show Continued Growth

CRUISE LINE Presidents, CEOs & Chairmen Discuss Current & Future Trends

• Steps to Regain Cruise Tourism After Disaster • Significance of Service Excellence & Memorable Experiences

YOUR PASSENGERS’ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS STORY STARTS HERE Shopping, beautiful beaches and attractions are waiting to be discovered by your passengers once they arrive. You’ll be able to enjoy our accommodations designed to meet you and your vessel’s needs. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit and





#US VIStillNice v i s i t USVI .co m ©2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism


The very moment your guests disembark onto Cayman’s shore, they’ll be greeted not only with the breathtaking sight of our stunning shades of blue, but with the warmth and hospitality of Caymanian culture. From award-winning restaurants to local historic sites and incredible shopping, the Cayman Islands promise so much more than a luxury island retreat.

Photo credit: Rebecca Davidson






53 LET’S GET TECHNICAL 12 Record Performances Propelling Cruise

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands

Lines to Continue Innovating and Improving A record 27+ million passengers and charttopping satisfaction mean more work needs to be done, according to presidents, CEOs & chairmen of the world’s largest cruise lines

16 Road Map to Normalcy: How to Get DEPARTMENTS

07, 09 President’s Letter

Travel & Cruise Magazine © 2018. 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 Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Suite 201 Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 Fax: (954) 441-3171 Published by:

In Partnership with:

Cruise Tourism Back on Track After Disaster Veteran Shore Excursions Executive & Destination Experience Expert Mico Cascais gives the must-have information for destinations to regain cruise tourism following tragic weather events

19 Aquila Celebrates 35 Aquilamazing Years and Reflects On What Has Changed in the Industry and Stayed the Same with Service Excellence Much has changed in Aquila’s 35 years, but authenticity & going the extra mile still set experiences apart, tells Aquila Founder Beth Kelly Hatt


24 MEETINGS & EVENTS 20 Planning for Your Future: 2018 FCCA Cruise Conference Workshops Preparing You for 2020 and Beyond

22 Puerto Rico’s Tourism Enchanting More Cruisers Than Ever Before and Welcoming a Host of Big Ticket Events With over 135 hotels, 4,000 restaurants, 13 golf courses, 16 casinos & 165 tourist attractions open, it’s no wonder travelers enjoy attending events in Puerto Rico, including the upcoming FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, tells PRTC Acting-Director Carla Campos

The information in this publication is provided “as is.” FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.




Catedral Primada de AmĂŠrica Santo Domingo



Features 44 U.S. Virgin Islands: “Still Nice” Cruise and cargo ships are berthing, power is back, roads are open, stores are welcoming shoppers, restaurants are serving local and imported delicacies, and Virgin Islanders are ready to host visitors

50 CLIA Joins Visit U.S. Coalition Hard at work to increase America’s tourism market share, CLIA is joining Washington policy leaders to promote travel to the U.S.

53 2017 CLIA Europe Figures Show Record 6.9 Million Europeans Cruise, Mostly in Europe

24 Seatrade Cruise Global Plus FCCA Equaled Opportunities for Success Cruise executives, meetings & networking events helped FCCA members develop business & relationships

34 P&O Cruises Offering Big Laughs at the

55 What to See and Do on a Western Mediterranean Cruise

Biggest Comedy Festival at Sea

35 Record Level of Guest Satisfaction

56 Partnering to Support and Promote Asia’s Cruise Tourism Growth

for Costa Cruises

26 CLIA’s Cruise 360: Providing

57 Australasia’s New Regional Cruise Lines


a Higher Purpose

29 CLIA Celebrates Winners of 2017 Cruise Industry Awards

ON BOARD 31 Royal Caribbean Eyes Next Generation of Cruisers with Multibillion-Dollar Investment in Ships, Experiences and Destinations Royal has upped the ante to provide advanced, customizable vacation adventures

32 Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes 26th Ship, Carnival Horizon The new, 133,500-ton ship

38 Bright Future for Caribbean Cruising FCCA President Michele Paige shares some of the reasons fueling the Caribbean’s current success, along with ways for stakeholders to maximize future opportunities

40 Eastern Caribbean Destinations Join Cruise Industry to Work Together and Become Even Better Cruise executives and destination representatives gathered to discuss best practices and lessons learned from the unprecedented hurricane season, prepare for the upcoming season and a sustainable future, and devise ways to improve

MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS 58 FCCA Platinum Member Highlights


Since 2015, the United States is one of only two out of th offers a host of unique innovations top and popular dozen destinations to see a decline in long-haul trav features for 3,954 passengers to Choose Fun

Percent Change in Arrivals from 2015 to 2017

32 Regent Seven Seas Cruises Culminates Multimillion Dollar, Fleet-Wide Refurbishment Program by Unveiling Newly Redesigned Seven Seas Mariner

33 Disney Cruise Line’s New President 33 MSC Cruises Introduces Artificial Intelligence to Serve Needs of Cruise Guests with Industry’s First Voice-Enabled Personal Assistant

United Kingdom

8% Germany -6.7% Turkey

4% France


9.3% China

United States

2.2% Italy 20.3% Saudi Arabia 16.5% United Arab Emirates

34 Celebrity Cruises Raises the Bar with Service-Centered Partnership


21.2% Canada


13.9% Thailand 22% Australia

Source: U.S. Travel Association





Michele meets with Carlos Joaquín González, Governor of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.



ome say that good things come to those who wait, but we in the cruise industry know that if your ship doesn’t come in, you swim out to it. Often the first in the market or the newest product gets market share and drives demand. To get or stay ahead, we must embrace a shark’s constant motion and be perpetually proactive in all facets of business. The cruise industry certainly understands this, which is how it remains the fastest-growing sector in the luxury travel market and why a record 27.2 million passengers are projected to cruise this year, five percent higher than the record set last year with 25.8 million global ocean cruise passengers. The industry’s proactive push has also led an order book filled with innovations and valued at more than $54.5 billion through 55 new vessels with more than 235,000 lower berths from FCCA Member Lines. It should then be no surprise that in 2027, capacity is projected to more than double capacity from just five years ago, and the continued growth of the cruise industry offers a unique opportunity for all of its stakeholders. Of course, to seize these opportunities and advance with the industry, we must all embrace its philosophy of constant renewal and innovation. This edition of Travel & Cruise highlights some of the ways the cruise lines and industry stakeholders are doing just that—from new ships, technologies and destination products, to demand generation and improved operations and experiences. It also captures what cruise operator presidents, CEOs and chairmen shared about the industry’s current trends and future developments, along with presenting input from industry experts like Mico Cascais, a veteran shore excursions executive and destination experience expert, explaining the must-have information to regain cruise tourism after disaster, and Aquila Founder (and the FCCA’s official training partner) Beth Kelly Hatt reflecting on changes throughout the company’s 35 years, but the focus on service excellence and authentic, memorable and relatable experiences remaining the same. Plus, it showcases how the FCCA helped Platinum Members and stakeholders work with cruise executives to build relationships and business, which will again be on display in San Juan from November 5-9 at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. I hope you find something to motivate, educate or entertain you in this issue, and I look forward to moving ahead together. Respectfully yours,

Michele M. Paige President FCCA SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 7





elcome to this edition to Travel & Cruise, the official magazine of the global cruise industry. In this issue, we cover industry news and some of the new top industry trends, as well as new partnerships. Also are some highlights of Cruise360, our biggest professional development event of the year. An important part of our commitment at CLIA continues to be the ongoing collaboration efforts within the cruise industry. CLIA has joined Visit U.S. Coalition, which includes travel and hospitality sectors working with policy leaders in Washington to promote travel to the U.S. Another has been the opening of our very first dedicated CLIA office in Singapore. And in the first quarter of 2018, our CLIA Asia also signed a three-year strategic partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). At our annual CLIA Cruise360 conference, which took place April 17 -23 in Fort Lauderdale, the focus covered diverse areas and topics. As the official conference in the global cruise industry, Cruise360 offers a “Panoramic View of Cruising.” Diverse keynote speakers included Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, documentary filmmaker and business strategist who is grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, as well as Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist and Emmy-award winning television host of the ABC series Ocean Treks. Sustainability and social responsibility were key topics covered in their keynotes, as well as being a focus of the different cruise executive panels. Following Cousteau’s keynote was a panel led by James R. Ferrara, president of InteleTravel. Each of these cruise line executives on the panel provided real examples of what they are doing, not just to maintain the oceans, but also their efforts helping the local areas where they dock their respective ships. Cruise360 also included diverse networking, ship inspections, the expansive trade show marketplace and being surrounded by the most influential people and leaders in the cruise industry. One of my favorite highlights continues to be our annual CLIA Hall of Fame Gala. This wonderful dinner, combined with “cruise style entertainment,” honored the winners of the 2018 CLIA Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards. On behalf of everyone at CLIA, we thank you, valued members of our community—Cruise Line Members, Travel Agency and Agent Members and our Executive Partners across the world. We thank you for your ongoing support. Our “One Industry, One Voice” philosophy continues. Best,


Cindy D’Aoust President and CEO SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 9

Let’s Get Technical

Record Performances Propelling the Industry to Continue Innovating and Improving


he State of the Industry set the stage for Seatrade Cruise Global’s agenda chockfull of workshops, panels, exhibiting and networking opportunities at the Broward County Convention Center. But more importantly for the auditorium packed with cruise tourism stakeholders, it gave a glimpse of the future, insight to current trends and input on how it all applies to attendees and their destinations. This information was all on the menu of the event’s keynote roundtable discussion featuring presidents, chairmen and CEOs of the world’s largest cruise lines. Moderated by Peter Greenberg, travel editor of CBS and Emmy-award winning investigative reporter, the panel included Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of 12 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation; Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. Their message was clear—despite the record performances, highest occupancy rates in a decade and a new high of 27.2 million projected cruisers in 2018, there is still plenty of potential as the industry continues to evolve from a niche player to a mainstay in the mainstream that aims to welcome a larger portion of the 1.8 billion travelers expected by 2030. Part of this will be filled by cruise lines adding more pages to the order book. Twenty-seven new vessels will sail in 2018 alone, and the total investment equals $60 billion over the next decade—a $10 billion

increase in just a year from 2016’s order figure—and will add more than 230,000 lower berths. As for industry efforts to add new and unexpected onboard features, like a race track, “no idea is absurd anymore,” according to Del Rio. “These ships are big. Anything can fit on them, and they are only going to get bigger.” According to Fain, they are also “fundamentally different than we built 10, 20 years ago” because designs have adjusted to meet the changing needs and desires of cruisers, which not only helps to generate demand keeping ships full, but also drive the highest guest satisfaction levels in the company’s history. And cruise lines are not only meeting today’s evolving wants and needs, but

predicting for the future. MSC Cruises, which Vago called the “latest kid on the block,” has matured quickly after starting in 2003 and growing 800 percent in its first 10 years. “Now we’re ready for our second phase of growth,” he continued and told that this means not only tripling passengers in the next 10 years, but also envisioning the desires, lifestyles, entertainment options and more that guests would want in the not-too-distant-future of 2030. While the look to the future is alluring, the focus on the present is equally enticing. “If this was Christmas and you were Santa Claus, I’d ask for nothing,” quipped Del Rio in regards to cruise lines’ record-breaking performances. This is partly due to the overall positive economic conditions, but as the panelists would show, it also has everything to do with the industry’s constant innovations, even when they have everything on their Christmas lists. “Part of what distinguishes our industry is we are not resting on our laurels,” told Fain, showcasing the significance of “coming up with new and better ways of doing things and disrupting ourselves before others disrupt us.” Part of this philosophy of good business coupled with grand aspirations has been on display in Cuba, with the cruise industry experiencing little impact from the recent restrictions. “Cuba has been terrific…a home run,” told Del Rio, continuing that they are doubling capacity in Cuba in 2018 with an additional vessel in Port Canaveral. “The Trump administration tweaks that were made to travel to Cuba impacted the cruise industry very little; it impacted land-based vacation much more, so there’s some way maybe we benefit from that, but quite frankly we didn’t need much benefit because the ships were full at very high prices,” he continued. However, he reminded that Cuba still has limited capacity due to infrastructure. “We all wish we had more tonnage available to go to Cuba…but hopefully that too will change.” “Cuba’s small,” said Donald, noting that while three ships across Carnival Corporation brands call Cuba, that only represents three percent of its brands’ 90 vessels.

“It’s a big world,” he continued, with the industry traveling to more than 700 ports. And he told that they all have potential for more: “Every market is underpenetrated, and we are the best vacation experience and the best vacation value there is.”


The poster child for all that opportunity in the big world has become China, with 130 million outbound tourists and the industry’s goal to capture five percent. “China’s stable,” told Del Rio. “It’s still a work in progress in many ways. I think we all see it as a long-term investment…we’re willing to be patient.” But after just arriving seven months ago, Norwegian has shown not too much patience is needed to succeed. “We’re very happy with our results in our first year,” continued Del Rio. “We were profitable in our first year. We’ll be even more profitable this year.


“But she’s still not achieving optimum results. We’re all working hard to bring them, figuring out what the Chinese consumer wants...We’ve conquered other markets, and we’re pretty sure we’re going to conquer this one.”

Asked by Greenberg about plans on how to refine the product, Del Rio pointed out that Norwegian Joy is the highest rated vessel in the fleet. “So we know the guests like it, and the ships are full. And now we have to work on other parts of the equation.” And Del Rio told that in addition to onboard experiences facilitating more yield, the other equation factors include expandable itineraries and lifting South Korea travel restrictions. What about demand—does that still exist now that the honeymoon phase is over? “Demand’s always there,” told Donald before pointing out that China will become “probably the largest cruise market in the world some time in the future.” He acknowledged that this will likely “be more of a distant future” because shipyards are limited to how many ships they can build, and those ships are sent to markets around the world. But even before this future, the industry is benefiting from China as a source market. As Donald indicated, cruise ships around the world are starting to welcome more Chinese passengers. “They all want to go on holiday; they all want visas to come to the rest of the world,” said Vago, while also noting the growing middle class and relatively lacking options of countries to visit in the China region, along with the potential if more options were available along the coast that are currently impacted by geopolitical concerns. “And the most important thing is this—it’s in their five-year plan…if it’s in their five-year plan, it’s going to happen,” told Donald. Fain pointed out that China demonstrates the industry’s ability of “creating something which didn’t exist before. I think our industry is actually known for the disruption it causes; it creates new opportunities.” And plenty of these opportunities still exist for the industry, which has evolved from a growth phase to a more mature mainstream option, which is key in growing consumer demand, according to Fain. “I think if you look at the industry as a whole, we are still young, still in our infancy, but I think we probably moved beyond the point where we ought SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 13

Let’s Get Technical

to feel…‘they don’t understand us’ kind of attitude. “I think people are beginning to understand us, and I think that’s why the industry is thriving. We are no longer a niche player…We are mainstream, and I think you are seeing that in the U.S., beginning to see that in Europe, see it in Australia, and in due course will see that in China and other parts of Asia. That’s part of the strength of our industry—the ability to get that message across.” Del Rio reminded Greenberg that he once called cruising “an American sport… That’s not the case anymore. We’ve all done a fantastic job of expanding our source markets—not just beyond China, extending in Europe, other parts of Asia, South America.” He told that alone helps with demand, but the industry’s success in sourcing the largest cohort of travelers, Millennials (which comprise 25 percent of Norwegian cruisers), has led to a “double dose of expanded demand.” So what do Millennials want, anyway? “They want exactly what the cruise line delivers—they want value, they want diversity, they want experiential events, 14 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

opposed to buying things…so we align pretty nicely with what they want,” said Del Rio. Donald told that this wave of Millennial cruisers “didn’t come as a surprise because they’re interested in experiences, which is what cruising is.


“When you cruise, you join a community. You’re not buying a product; you’re choosing a community. That’s why the brands are so different.” Another thing making the industry different—and an envious advantage to land-based tourism—is its ability to reposition assets.

“Adaptability is part of what makes us so resilient as an industry,” said Fain, while pointing out that sometimes it has its downsides. “People say you move too much…and we do, if this market is weak, we move over here, and the pendulum always swings too far…we never get it exactly right.” Of course, that sure beats not being able to move at all. “Most industries don’t get to move the pendulum at all; they sit there and suffer.” Donald told that part of this adaptability needs to be used to solve what he considers the industry’s top line—listening with empathy to ports and working together to mitigate overcrowding in regions around the world, including Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik. Though overcrowding is mostly driven by land-based tourists, the size and visibility of the ships makes them a symbol, and cruise lines need to be sensitive to that, he told, especially considering the future growth. After all, the industry always aims to develop mutual success with and the sustainability of the destinations, or as Donald said, “make every place we touch better.”

“What we’re really talking about is more sustainable tourism,” said Fain, who told cruise lines need to do a better job of spreading out their guests among different ports and excursions to avoid negatively impacting the destinations they visit. “It’s a question of where people go …[and] how do you bring people in a way that protects the environment, but also educates them,” he continued. “We want them to leave with memories and understanding. “When you do go and work with local communities, there is so much you can do to bring histories to life to make the experience more meaningful to the guest and more sustainable to the destination” As an example, he gave Royal Caribbean’s creation of Falmouth in Jamaica, giving an option in the middle of the other ports on the islands’ ends, along with reinvigorating the area and developing activities by enacting the local community. “What we ended up with is more people, but less density.” So how do cruise lines evaluate where to position their assets?

“Let’s start with security,” said Del Rio, pointing out that it has to be safe for ships “both in the navigational sense and also once we’re there.


“And then experiences—we want folks to get off the ships and experience what’s there.” He reminded that part of that is good business, with shore excursions as a large source of revenue, “but it’s also what the customer wants. So we’re looking for new experiences. We don’t want just another beach, but what can we do with these places?”

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And the answer is quite a lot, as Norwegian’s private development in Harvest Caye, Belize shows since it is now in the top three of Norwegian’s 500+ destinations, as do the numerous other cruise line private islands and hundreds of millions of dollars committed to improving those experiences. Of course, this should also come as no surprise, as cruise lines’ private ports often end up with some of the highest guest satisfaction ratings, with a reason being the simple control of the product’s delivery, along with creating products that guests want. Why should destinations make those kinds of investments in and pay the same attention to products and delivery? Vago stressed that these investments are crucial not just to attract cruise tourism, but also because passengers often sample destinations on a cruise and then return for land-based visits, multiplying the economic impact. And as Donald reminded, cruise ships’ destinations are ultimately decided by passengers. “We’ll take people where they want to go.” 

Let’s Get Technical

Road Map to Normalcy: How to Get Cruise Tourism Back on Track After Disaster By Mico Cascais, Principal, Mico Cascais Inc., Veteran Shore Excursions Executive & Destination Experience Expert


he weather events of 2017 impacted all of us, directly or indirectly, and many lessons have been learned from such tragic events. With this year’s hurricane season already here, one might hesitate to bring it up in conversation or copy, especially when last season’s storms are still so vivid, so fresh and still causing pain to so many. With that said, it is absolutely critical that we talk about what each destination must communicate with expedience and accuracy to both the cruise lines and FCCA following a significant weather event. As many witnessed and experienced, the cruise industry was sometimes the first to return to an impacted destination both in aid and as soon as deemed possible with guests, providing the much-needed economic impact to greatly assist a destination’s return to normalcy. This is only possible when certain critical information— including current conditions of all areas that play a role in a cruise call—is made available to the cruise lines and FCCA. 16 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

While one can always provide more information, the below underlined areas are of critical need and are the initial must-have information to assist the cruise lines’ operational teams and their respective CEOs in making the decision of calling or not calling a destination. It is then absolutely imperative that these get together to discuss the current situation— or even plan beforehand, if possible— along with the available options and all updated information. The overall objective is simple: a destination must be operationally sound in all areas and ready to provide the best possible guest experience in a safe and sustainable manner. Below are nine critical areas that need to be operationally sound and ready to deliver the best possible guest experience. Understanding the readiness of each will greatly facilitate the ability of the cruise line executive deciding whether to continue calling or return to your destination.

Maritime Readiness: Following a significant weather event, a complete study on the ability of a ship to safely navigate in and out of your port by the credited recognized body for navigation in your destination is a must.

Clearing of Roads: A destination must properly clear roads to allow both guests and citizens alike access to all venues that create the cruise guest experience. While guests may be understanding to recent events, they still expect to have a desirable experience when visiting your destination. Traffic congestion, while slightly more tolerable, must be addressed and resolved with expedience.

General Cleanup: The port, downtown, beaches and shore excursion locations—what one can consider the Cruise Guest Corridor, from gangway back to gangway—will need to be clean of debris and any hazards that may have come to surface.

an organized excursion, touring on their own or just enjoying a day at the beach. Making sure that enough venues are operational and ready for serving both guests and crew, who like to venture out for lunch in between their work responsibilities, is paramount.

Transportation: The availability of safe and reliable transportation for cruise guests both on pre-booked shore excursions and guests on their own is a crucial part to the experience. Total capacities must be given and updated as equipment comes on line.

Security Resources: At the port, in town and in particular the Cruise Guest Corridor and touristic sites, a state of orderliness and vigilance by police or dedicated security teams is extremely important.

Electrical Power Lines: Electrical power lines are usually greatly impacted by these storms and can create a lot of anxiety for anyone, and any down line must be properly repaired or at minimum secured and rendered safe of any potential hazard.


Food and Beverage Services: A great part of cruise passengers’ experience is enjoying the local cuisine, whether on

Retail Services: Stores must also be ready and open for business at the port and in particular the downtown areas. If downtown businesses are mostly closed, it will send a loud message to cruise guests’ perception that your destination is not yet open for business.

Shore Excursions: Prior to the storm, the shore excursions offered by each cruise line play a critical role in delivering the expected experience by cruise lines at the destination, so it is absolutely critical that the availability of these experiences and the true capacities are shared and updated as they change. This is one of the critical deciding factors of calling or not; while I cannot downplay any of the above, as they are all important, it would be meaningless from an experience point of view for a ship to call without available excursions and experiences for guests to enjoy.

I strongly encourage that each destination and the responsible persons or entity adapt the above suggested nine areas of importance as part of your critical template of information and part of your Road Map to Normalcy. If you provide such information with expedience, accuracy and frequency to the cruise lines and FCCA, this practice will serve you and your destination greatly to get cruise tourism back on track. 





Let’s Get Technical

Aquila Celebrates 35 Aquilamazing Years and Reflects On What Has Changed in the Industry and Stayed the Same with Service Excellence By Beth Kelly Hatt, Founder, Aquila and the Center for Cruise Excellence


ast year marked Aquila’s 35th year in business—and its 10 th since launching the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence and becoming the FCCA’s official training partner. To celebrate these milestones, Aquila held a “Party with Purpose,” designed not just to celebrate, but also to raise money to help where needed in the two regions close to our hearts: our home and the Caribbean and Central America. We were surprised and delighted by the level of the event’s success and the funds raised to help us accelerate the excellent service and return of visitors for some of the destinations in need. This milestone also was filled with time reflecting on the past 35 years and all the changes we’ve seen. Partnerships throughout the years have been important, and for Aquila, the one with the FCCA family has been particularly important, as we have the same goal of helping destinations and organizations thrive. Cruising is so different today than 35 years ago; ship sizes, onboard activities, technologies, global reach, guest demographics and more have drastically changed. Yet interestingly, some of the most important things have stayed the same. When we look back at the comments we’ve received as a tour operator and what we hear and see consistently in the destinations we work with, what’s most memorable for guests are the authentic experiences, the opportunities to engage with the local people and culture and the magical moments created by our guides and hosts in the places we visit. These are the things that are most important today, and they were just as important 35 years ago. There are so many examples, but some of our favorites include:

The person on the pier that greeted us with a big smile and welcomed us to their island,


• •

The passion shown by a tour guide in love with their region who brought their destination to life, The greeter who went out of their way to help a family find a dentist for a child in pain, The tour guide who held the hands of a blind person and moved them as she explained the ebb and flow of the tides, The tour guide who took the time to find stamps that a guest had been looking for, long after the ship departed, and mailed the special stamps to them, The local taxi driver who stopped to help guests who were lost, The guide who turned a stroll through a market into a fascinating, educational experience, encouraging guests to breath in the scent of the fruit or close their eyes and listen to the sounds and

The local person who instead of just giving the guest directions to a restaurant they were looking for, walked with them and told them about his favorite local dish.

As these examples show, guests love making connections with a place and its people. Sometimes, we encounter guests who are unhappy, but it is the skilled tour guide, greeter or other frontline person who understands that one never knows what someone is experiencing in their lives, and that they have the power to turn that situation around, sometimes even into a beautiful moment of compassion and understanding. No matter which cruise destination you call home, you can be sure there are stories of service excellence that go above and beyond the expectations. They happen when we treat our cruise guests as we would a friend coming to visit us in our own homes. They are a result of our kindness, caring and humanity. They are the ones that guests remember, and they are the ones we celebrate as we mark 35 Aquilamazing years!  Beth Kelly Hatt is the Founder of Aquila and the Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s official training partner. Contact Beth for more information about training programs and certifications at Beth@


Meetings & Events

Planning for Your Future: 2018 FCCA Cruise Conference Workshops Preparing You for 2020 and Beyond


reparations are full steam ahead for the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean. Taking place November 5-9 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it will offer meetings, workshops and networking and exhibiting opportunities with an expected 100 high-level cruise executives. A sneak peek of those workshops, which are open to all attendees, is below:

CHAIR TALK: A SPOTLIGHT ON CHAIRMEN & CEOS SHINING INDUSTRY INSIGHT Learn about the latest and greatest trends and developments driving the industry’s record success and future growth—and how it all relates to specific issues (and ways to improve business) for the audience’s stakeholders—as cruise operators’ Chairmen and CEOs take the stage to discuss a series of focused questions from Anne Kalosh, US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: BRAND PRESIDENTS SHARING DIFFERENTIATIONS DRIVING THEIR LINES & GUESTS Cruise brands are going all in to stand out and appeal to their target markets both 20 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

on board and on land, and you will get a glimpse of not only the world of innovations behind this differentiation, but also how and where cruise brands source their passengers, what those passengers want while both cruising and exploring destinations—including trends such as volontourism and health and wellness—and why cruise lines and stakeholders working together is a win-win situation. CREATING GREAT DESTINATIONS: FROM DEMAND TO EXPERIENCES, PORTS TO TOURS What draws passengers to destinations, and how can you increase both demand and guest satisfaction, from an overarching destination level to specific port, tour and transportation operations? A panel of high-level executives and successful stakeholders have the answers for you, along with examples of cruise lines’ own initiatives in their private ports, synergistic work with destination stakeholders and how to establish long-term mutual success and sustainability. CONNECTED EXPERIENCE: PASSENGERS’ UPDATED EXPECTATIONS CREATING A WAVE OF INNOVATIONS Technology has changed the way most people interact with the world, as well

as what they expect in their experiences, and the cruise industry has updated its programming to deliver on the evolving wants and needs on board, from guests opening doors with their wrists to booking entertainment options from their fingertips. How do cruise lines decide what and how to incorporate new technologies, are passengers’ on-land expectations also shifting and can stakeholders work with cruise lines to deliver a connected, streamlined experience? You will discover this and much more, like the next wave of possible innovations and ways to link up. US PORTS AUTHORITY FORUM You are invited to observe this roundtable of cruise executives and Port Directors from the US and Caribbean discussing:

• • • • • •

Meeting the demands of larger ships and increased calls, Maximizing passenger experience and pre-/post-stays in homeport cities, Crisis communication, Safety and security, Port sustainability and Working together to create bilateral partnerships. 

More information about the workshops, including panelists, and new features of the 25th FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show will be available shortly. Stay up to date and register by visiting

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Meetings & Events

Puerto Rico’s Tourism Enchanting More Cruisers Than Ever Before and Welcoming a Host of Big Ticket Events By Carla Campos, Acting Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company


here’s nothing quite like approaching Puerto Rico by sea—greeted by the iconic El Morro fortress in Old San Juan, visitors are instantly enchanted by the Island’s unique blend of old and new. Puerto Rico plays a strategic role as a critical hub for itineraries in the industry, given that the Port of San Juan is the busiest terminal in the Caribbean and the second largest in the western hemisphere. Just two and a half weeks post-Maria, our homeporting operations resumed with the sailing of Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas on October 7, 2017. We worked collaborative22 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

ly with our partners to make this impressive rebound happen, setting a precedent for the continued collaboration between the Island and our partners and serving as a model for future recovery efforts. I’ve witnessed the industry’s instrumental role in boosting Puerto Rico’s tourism sector over the last several months, and I’m incredibly excited about what’s to come as we look to the future. Puerto Rico has made a remarkable comeback thanks to the great collaboration with the private sector and the strong leadership of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. With incredible beaches, mouthwatering cuisine and 100+ exciting cruise excur-

sions available for enjoyment, there’s something for every type of traveler who arrives by sea. We’re on track for a record-breaking 2018/2019 cruise season with an expected 1.7 million passengers, translating to approximately $250M in revenue. We have more cruises than ever, with 14 homeport vessels (four more than last year), including Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, the Windstar Pride, Silverseas Silver Wind and Viking Sea. As our industry flourishes and our relationships with our partners continue to grow, Puerto Rico will host the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show for the next four years. We’re thrilled to welcome


our FCCA partners and industry representatives from destinations near and far this coming November to continue positioning the Caribbean as the premier cruising destination in the world. We pride ourselves on our hospitality, and we live for sharing the beauty of the Island with visitors. This event is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Puerto Rico’s capacities as a MICE destination, too. In 2018 alone, we have proven to be a convenient and appealing destination for international organizations looking to host large-scale events. In January, we hosted the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the largest and most important regional tourism event. It was particularly meaningful to host Marketplace this year, allowing us to reaffirm our readiness to welcome visitors from around the globe. Big ticket event organizers have also demonstrated their confidence in Puerto

Rico as a stellar destination. Since the start of the year, we’ve hosted the Divas 5K and Half Marathon, a PGA Tour special event and IRONMAN 70.3. We also hosted a two-game MLB series that had an approximate $17M impact on our economy. We’re looking forward to hosting a special production of Hamilton starring Lin-Manuel Miranda in January 2019, as well as the PGA Tour in 2019 and 2020. With over 135 hotels, 4,000 restaurants, 13 golf courses, 16 casinos and over 165 tourist attractions open, it’s no wonder travelers enjoy attending major meetings and events in Puerto Rico. Our state-ofthe-art facilities and wide range of accommodations make the Island a no-brainer for hosting. We currently have $1.9B of hospitality development in the pipeline and an existing lodging inventory undergoing exciting renovations. This, coupled with ease of access for American citizens—including daily direct flights from major cities, no

passport requirement and no currency exchange needed—enables seamless travel. Whether visitors are in Puerto Rico for business or leisure, they can enjoy year-round warmth, nearly 300 diverse beaches, delicious meals and unique attractions—from the largest tropical rainforest in the U.S. to three of the five bioluminescent bays in the world. Likewise, beyond its role as a superb MICE destination, Puerto Rico is the ultimate vacation for any type of traveler: the foodies, the beach goers, the adventure seekers, the nature lovers, the luxury travelers, the sports fanatics, the list goes on. And there’s no better time to visit. We’ve received numerous awards that continue to validate our destination every day—from TripAdvisor to Lonely Planet and other mainstream publications—listing Puerto Rico as one of the top destinations to travel to in 2018. As tourism accounts for roughly 10% of the Island’s GDP, visiting is the best way to support us right now. We are ready to enchant you.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 23

Meetings & Events


Seatrade Cruise Global Plus FCCA Equaled Opportunities for Success

his year’s Seatrade Cruise Global was an exciting and rewarding time for all attendees, offering ample opportunities to renew and create business partnerships, discuss ideas and tackle issues with the attending cruise line representatives and global stakeholders. Yet the FCCA amplified these opportunities for its Member Line executives, Platinum Members and partner destinations. After all, positively impacting the relationship and understanding between these entities is one of the FCCA’s main functions. It did this at Seatrade by providing multiple events and opportunities to put members on a first-name basis with FCCA Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs—interactions that spawn relationships and business.


“The FCCA maximized time and opportunities for cruise executives and stakeholders during Seatrade Cruise Global,” said Adam Goldstein, vice-chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and chairman of the FCCA, who was on-hand at numerous FCCA events throughout the week. “Time becomes extremely limited, and the FCCA made it possible to meet with important stakeholders throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, helping us work synergistically to improve cruise tourism in the regions.” To foster these engagements during Seatrade and actualize its resources and attendees, the FCCA programmed a block of functions coinciding with the event to ensure that Platinum Members had a direct line to the FCCA Member Line presidents, CEOs and executives who

decide where ships call, what is used and sold on board and how to invest in destinations and infrastructure. It began the Sunday before Seatrade at an annual welcoming party offering an intimate affair for Platinum Members and Member Line executives. Sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands and hosted by Governor Kenneth Mapp, the event let the group spark or strengthen relationships, prepare for the week ahead and sway to the steel drums while taking in the water views and delectable cuisine and talking to the attending executives, including Goldstein and Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises USA. More of these key players—such as Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line; Michael Bayley, president & CEO, Royal Caribbean International;

Arnold Donald, president & CEO, Carnival Corporation; Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president & CEO, Celebrity Cruises; and Andy Stuart, president & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line—hosted tables at the FCCA’s keynote Seatrade event, the 24th annual FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza. Taking place on Wednesday, March 7, the Gala joined more than 400 attendees looking to improve their cruise tourism business. After a 90-minute reception and silent art auction with the entire audience, attendees sat down with their pre-selected cruise executive for a private dinner with a side of product promotion, relationship building and business development. “The FCCA Gala facilitated networking between Member Line executives and cruise tourism stakeholders, while contributing to a good cause—the FCCA Foundation,” told Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. “Of course it is crucial to link anyone doing business in the cruise industry with decision makers from the cruise lines, which is the best way to build understanding and business relationships, but it is even more rewarding to improve the lives of citizens from the Caribbean and Latin America.” All proceeds benefitted the FCCA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable orga-


nization that funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America, including disaster relief, such as directly assisting the evacuation and providing life-sustaining supplies for tens of thousands last hurricane season; funding for institutions like hospitals and orphanages; and annual projects benefitting educational and children’s causes. Most recently, nearly 9,000 deserving children throughout 43 destinations had something to celebrate because one of the Foundation’s annual events— the Holiday Gift Project—delivered gifts, festivities and smiles. Both the Gala and FCCA Foundation’s efforts were possible because of Port Everglades, the Featured Event Sponsor; Port Canaveral and PortMiami, Partner Sponsors; the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Reception Sponsor; and Park West Gallery, whose contribution and assistance gave the silent art auction a voice.

The FCCA’s booth itself also served as a networking and business hub. Besides being a one-stop shop for all attendees to learn more about the FCCA and what it offers, the booth also hosted networking receptions to promote destinations and companies, while bringing together Platinum Members and cruise executives in a private atmosphere. Plus, many of the same executives and members cycled in and out of the booth for meetings arranged by the FCCA. “Our meetings and events made it possible for our partners to optimize the cruise executives gathered for Seatrade Cruise Global,” said Paige. “We pride ourselves in bringing executives and stakeholders together to discuss crucial operational issues and develop relationships that pave the way for future business and mutual success.” Indeed, this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global again benefited participants with its success-proven formula combined with new features and a new location, but the FCCA offered backstage passes to meet the rock stars—key decision makers from Member Lines. Or, as Goldstein put it, “…the FCCA’s meetings and events [made] it possible to meet with stakeholders who have ideas and projects I want—and need—to hear about.”  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 25

Meetings & Events

CLIA’s Cruise 360: Providing a Higher Purpose


rom ship inspections, training, workshops and diverse ship inspections, to special events and networking, CLIA’s Cruise360 continued “A Panoramic View of Cruising.” This year also focused on an ongoing theme: how traveling and cruising can provide a higher purpose. Held in Fort Lauderdale April 17- 23, 2018, Cruise360 let attendees have the opportunity to be surrounded by the most inf luential people and leaders in the global cruise industry, have fun, and celebrate the 2018 Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards dinner event. DIVERSE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS AT THREE GENERAL SESSIONS Each of the three General Sessions opened different keynote speakers who shared their own unique expertise, a special focus and passion. At the luncheon opening General Session I, held on Wednesday April 18, Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist and Emmy-award winning host of the ABC series, Ocean Treks, was the keynote speaker. The Presidents Panel 26 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

then followed featuring top executives in the cruise industry. Each gave an inside look into the current and future state of the cruise industry landscape, as well as the role the travel agent community plays in the growth of the industry. General Session II with brunch took place Thursday, April 19. The keynote speaker was Fabien Cousteau. Aquanaut, documentary filmmaker, and business strategist, Fabien Cousteau is the grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. Following Cousteau’s presentation was the “Sales and Marketing Leaders Take the Hot Seat,” where eight different senior vice presidents and vice presidents provided ideas and insights on how to grow sales. Rounding out the conference was General Session III with breakfast on April 20. Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation, shared his own insights. Following Arnold Donald’s presentation was a fun, interactive segment, “Small Ship Cruise Lines play ‘What’s My Line’” featuring different senior executives.

WIDE RANGE OF TRAINING, SHIPBOARD INSPECTIONS AND THE MARKETPLACE Professional development was a key part of Cruise360. New CLIA seminars were offered, as well as refreshed versions of current ones. And new this year were the pre-conference certificate programs that allowed travel agents to complete work needed for the different certifications. The Cruise360 Product & Destination Workshops offered diverse options for travel agents to also attend, ranging from social media, customer relationship management and ways to close sales, as well as ones focusing on destinations themselves. These sponsored workshops were designed to give agents in-depth knowledge along with insider tips, and invaluable tools to deliver quality service to their clients. Another terrific option were six different cruise lines showcases, featuring diverse ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines. The CLIA Marketplace trade show taking place on Thursday afternoon of April 19 provided over 150 different cruise lines, suppliers, tourism boards, travel

consortiums, hotels, convention centers, media, agency groups and resorts. Travel agents had the opportunity to reach out, learn more, and meet with key people at their booths. Something new offered as part of the CLIA Marketplace were exclusive cruise line offers just for these Cruise360 attendees. CLIA’S HALL OF FAME CRUISE INDUSTRY AWARDS AND DINNER CLIA’s special evening event, the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards and Dinner, took place the evening of Thursday, April 19, 2018. The 2018 Award Winners were honored at this gala dinner event, which included exciting “cruise style” entertainment provided by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. These special awards recognize individuals and organizations whose accomplishments and efforts represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry. “The nominees for Hall of Fame represent the best and brightest individuals within our industry, and the winners this year are some of the most talented and dedicated members of this group,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “We are so proud to host the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards to highlight the ongoing dedication and passion these individuals have for advancing the cruise industry.”


The three categories include Lifetime Achievement Award, Travel Agency Innovator Award, and Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to an individual from any aspect of the cruise industry who is an advocate for cruise travel, and who has had made a positive and remarkable contribution to the cruise industry. Two individuals were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Vicki Freed, senior vice president, Sales and Trade Support & Service, Royal Caribbean International, was one of the two Lifetime Achievement Award Winners. Vicki Freed oversees Royal Caribbean’s sales force, which has the largest sales team in the cruise industry. Freed joined Royal Caribbean International after working for 29 years at Carnival Cruise Line. Also an industry pioneer, Freed served as the first female chairman of CLIA from 1998 to 2000. Sandy Cleary, founder and CEO, CruCon Cruise Outlet was the other Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for 2018. Sandy Cleary, who started CruCon Cruise Outlet 25 years ago, began the business in her mother’s basement as a result of her love of cruise travel. Thanks to Cleary’s leadership and innovative marketing strategies, CruCon Cruise Outlet is now one of the largest sellers of cruises, with more than $135 million as far as annual cruise volume. TRAVEL AGENCY INNOVATOR AWARD WINNER The Travel Agency Innovator is awarded to a CLIA Agency Member who has demonstrated innovation in their approach to promoting cruise travel and growing their cruise sales. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, was the winner in this category. Founded by travel professionals, Cruise Planners® is a home based travel agent franchise network with more than 1,800+ franchise owners. “At Cruise Planners, our vision is simply to create innovative tools and programs designed to help our agents stand out in a busy marketplace,” said

Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. ELITE CRUISE COUNSELLOR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER The Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year is awarded to an Individual Agent Member who has demonstrated their commitment to professional development through achievement of the Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status. Gary E. Smith, ECC, TravelPerks Dream Vacations was the winner in this category. Gary has been in the travel industry for more than 15 years, and is an Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar, the highest accreditation in the cruise industry. He’s one of Dream Vacations’ top-producing travel agents. CLIA’S 2019 CRUISE360 CONFERENCE As the official conference of the global cruise industry, Cruise360 brings together Cruise Line Members, Executive Partner Members, Travel Agency Members and Individual Agent Members. CLIA’s 2019 Cruise360 Conference will be taking place April 1 – 8, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 27

Meetings & Events

CLIA Celebrates Winners of 2017 Cruise Industry Awards


ruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia revealed the winners of the 17th Annual Cruise Industry Awards in grand fashion. As the biggest night on the cruise calendar, 500 members and partners of the Australian and New Zealand industry gathered at the Star Event Centre Sydney on Saturday, February 24, 2018 to celebrate the achievements of the entire Australasian cruise industry. MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS It was a particularly big night for Perth travel agency Bicton Travel, which claimed the top gong in Australia for the fifth year in a row, making it an unprecedented seven gold Cruise Agency of the Year awards in total. “The secret of our success is sticking to our principles of continually training our staff with CLIA accredited training to look after our clients,” said Carole Smethurst, managing director of Bicton Travel. “We put the right people on the right cruises, which ensures they are happy customers!” Cruiseabout Kew was awarded silver, and Phil Hoffman Travel took the bronze in addition to Network Promotion of the Year– Australasia for the South Australian agency’s “Mega Cruise Sales Day.” In New Zealand, Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel won its first gold Agency of the Year award, with House of Travel Orewa taking the silver award. Last year’s winner,

Pukekohe Travel, rounding out the cruise agency accolades with the bronze award. “I am very proud of winning the New Zealand gold Agency of the Year award,” said Gerard Murphy, director of Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel. “We have got great people on the team and our suppliers back our innovation 100%.” Meanwhile Clean Cruising cleaned up in two categories, winning Online Agency of the Year – Australia, and taking the Australian Agency Promotion award. TED BARNEY RECEIVES CLIA HALL OF FAME AWARD A total of 20 awards were presented over the course of the evening, including the latest entrant to the CLIA Hall of Fame: Ted Blamey. A pioneer of the local cruise industry, his 30-year cruise career spanned from managing director of Sitmar Cruises Australasia to president and CEO of Sitmar International, CEO of Australia’s largest retail travel group Ansett Retail/Traveland and Chairman of Sydney Ports. And now, as head of

CHART Management Consultants, he advises global cruise lines, destinations and government authorities. RECOGNIZING AND REWARDING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said it was a stellar evening befitting the stars of the local cruise industry. “The CLIAs are all about recognising and rewarding the outstanding achievements of member agents who have had a big year of cruise and done their part to contribute to the incredible growth of the industry,” Mr Katz said. “We’d like to congratulate all the winners, finalists and also offer a special round of applause to all those who entered or were nominated,” he continued. “With so much great work right across the Australasian cruise industry in 2017, these awards are as important as ever and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shine a light on so many talented and passionate individuals.” MORE ABOUT THE EVENING CELEBRATION EVENT Sunrise newsreader Natalie Barr hosted the evening for the first time and the sellout audience were treated to a show-stopping performance by the incredible “Burn the Floor” dance troupe ahead of their Australian tour this year. The major sponsors of the 2017 awards were Dubai Tourism, Emirates, World’s Leading Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 29

On Board

Royal Caribbean Eyes Next Generation of Cruisers with Multibillion-Dollar Investment in Ships, Experiences and Destinations Launching the world’s largest and “most-Instagrammable” ship—the 228,081 GRT, 5,518-passenger Symphony of the Seas—was not enough for Royal Caribbean, which recently upped the ante by unveiling a multibillion-dollar investment in ships, experiences and destinations providing loyal guests and the next generation of cruisers alike with advanced, customizable vacation adventures. Adding to recently announced digital innovations (including frictionless check-in, stateroom technology and a new mobile app), the company committed $900 million to reimagining its fleet through a new modernization effort called Royal Amplified. Spanning 10 ships in four years and touching every facet of the guest experience on a lineup including Oasis and Allure of the Seas, as well as all Freedom and Voyager Class ships, the program will touch every facet of the guest experience and introduce a wide range of innovative features and bold, new experiences, including specialized pool spaces, experiential dining and nightlife concepts, and first-of-its-kind attractions like Sky Pad, an out-of-this-world virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience. “Royal Amplified is built on our passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to always exceeding our guests’ expectations,” said

Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We have designed this program to wow our loyal guests, while also attracting the next generation of adventurers.” And it did so by analyzing multiple years of guest satisfaction ratings, venue utilization data and crew interviews to focus the major investment on key features and experiences that matter most to travelers. Recognizing that a cruise vacation is much more than the ship itself, Royal Caribbean also unveiled one of its most ambitious projects yet, its new Perfect Day Island Collection, a series of private island destinations around the world. “It’s true that our ships are technological and engineering marvels in their own right and offer a multitude of unexpected experiences, but our destinations are an equally important part of the cruise vacation,” told Bayley. “We are introducing the Perfect Day Island Collection to deliver the most memorable vacation for adventure seekers on land and on board our ships.” The first in the collection, Perfect Day at CocoCay, is a $200 million transformation of its private island in The Bahamas into an ultimate family destination with something for everyone— from racing down the tallest and most thrilling waterslide in North America or riding the tide of the Caribbean’s largest wave pool, to taking

in the highest view in The Bahamas from a helium balloon 450 feet in the air, unwinding at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, or enjoying the perfect beach day. Scheduled for completion in fall 2019, the new Perfect Day at CocoCay will offer endless discoveries and shareable moments among seven distinctive island experiences. The line is also answering Millennials’ calls for more frequent, shorter vacations by amping up its short Caribbean getaways. This summer, Mariner of the Seas will undergo a $90 million modernization adding new thrills, including Sky Pad and a glow-inthe-dark laser tag experience, before sailing three- and four-night cruises from Miami, FL and redefining the weekend getaway. Sister ship Navigator of the Seas will follow in 2019, and receive an even more extensive modernization before joining Mariner of the Seas to offer short escapes. In 2019, both ships will call extensively on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean also has a robust lineup of new ships on the horizon, including the Quantum Ultra Class Spectrum of the Seas, an evolution of the Quantum Class of ships set to debut in 2019; a second Quantum Ultra Class ship in 2020; a fifth Oasis Class ship in 2021; and a new class known as Icon, with ships delivered in 2022 and 2024, both which will be largely powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cells.


On Board

Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes 26th Ship, Carnival Horizon In a traditional maritime handover ceremony held at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet, on March 28. After four European sails and a trans-Atlantic crossing arriving in New York on May 23 for a pierside overnight gala and naming ceremony featuring the ship’s godmother, Queen Latifah, the 3,954-passenger Horizon will sail a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eightday Caribbean sailings from New York, and then shift to Miami for a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning September 22. “Carnival Horizon is an absolutely stunning ship offering so many ways to ‘Choose Fun’ both inside and out,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “In addition to the many exciting innovations previously introduced on Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon offers some new one-of-a-kind features and attractions that make this ship truly special allowing our guests to create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,” she added. Carnival Horizon features several unique innovations—including the first-ever Dr. Seuss water park, Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri and four craft beers


developed by the line’s expert brewmaster Colin Presby— along with the fleet’s most expansive retail space, with top brands like LeVian, Victoria’s Secret and, for the first time, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Breitling and Hublot in its modern two-level, mallstyle shops. The second in the line’s highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Horizon also offers fun innovations like the bike-ridein-the-sky aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, the Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool, and Family Harbor featuring extraroomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge. Like its name implies, Carnival Horizon also includes food and beverage outlets with a view through both indoor and al fresco seating options at venues such as Bonsai Sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and Library Bar. It also features a star-studded entertainment lineup with three new shows created in partnership with leading creative directors from Broadway, Los Angeles and London’s West End— Soulbound, Celestial Strings and Vintage Pop—designed to maximize the ship’s sophisticated and interactive LED screens and showcase the talents of the shows’ performers.

Carnival Corporation Orders Third New Ship for AIDA Cruises Carnival Corporation has signed a shipbuilding contract for a third next-generation cruise ship for its rapidly growing AIDA Cruises brand. Scheduled for delivery in 2023, the new 180,000-ton ship, being built by leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft GmbH at its shipyard in Papenburg, will include an estimated 2,700 staterooms and extensive selection of popular onboard features. Featuring Carnival Corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design and the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology, the ship will also be AIDA’s third fleet member fully powered at sea and in port by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Regent Seven Seas Cruises Culminates Multimillion Dollar, Fleet-Wide Refurbishment Program by Unveiling Newly Redesigned Seven Seas Mariner In the final phase of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ $125 million refurbishment program, the company completed its bowto-stern upgrade of Seven Seas Mariner, elevating the ship to the level of elegance set by Seven Seas Explorer® and providing a consistent look and feel to the entire fleet. Seven Seas Mariner completed a 20-day drydock at Chantier Naval de Marseille and reemerged with dramatic new culinary experiences, elegant new suite designs, and completely renewed elegant guest spaces. “I’m constantly amazed by the attention to detail that goes into our ships, and the newly refurbished Seven Seas Mariner is no different, from the luxurious décor down to the intricate design elements,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Set New Record for Most Bookings in a Single Day Upon opening reservations for its newest luxury ship, Seven Seas Splendor™, Regent Seven Seas Cruises had the best single booking day in the brand’s 26-year history, accounting for a 32% increase over the previous all-time high on inaugural season launch day for Seven Seas Explorer® in January 2015. With the highly anticipated ship as the driving force, the company not only saw record bookings for her inaugural season, but they also had strong reservations across the other four ships in the fleet.

Norwegian Encore Opens for Sale with Cruises to the Caribbean Norwegian Encore, the latest addition to Norwegian Cruise Line’s young and modern fleet, will invite travelers to discover or rediscover the beauty and culture of the

Caribbean islands with cruises now on sale for voyages beginning in fall of 2019. Guests can now book their ultimate cruise vacation on Norwegian’s fourth Breakaway-Plus class ship, the final ship in the most successful class of the company’s history. For her inaugural 2019 season, Norwegian Encore will cruise out of Miami every Sunday, and sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning with her first journey on November 17, 2019 through April 12, 2020. Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam to Feature More Staterooms, Redesigned Pinnacle Suite and Artfully Inspired Accommodations Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam is set to debut in December 2018, and when setting sail from the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, she will feature distinct stateroom enhancements. The newest 2,666-guest Pinnacle-Class ship will have eight more staterooms than sister-ship Koningsdam, and all categories have been reimagined from top to bottom to showcase more thoughtful touches and innovative additions. Among the most noticeable enhancements is the redesigned Pinnacle Suite and reconfigured Family Staterooms. However, Nieuw Statendam still displays all stateroom hallmarks introduced on

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Breaks Ground On New Terminal at PortMiami On April 25, Norwegian Cruise Line tinued partnership with Miami-Dade Holdings Ltd. celebrated the groundCounty, our commitment to excelbreaking of the new and dedicated lence and Miami as a world capital,” Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at said Frank Del Rio, president CEO of PortMiami—a state-of-the-art termiNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. nal scheduled for completion by the “As a global cruise company we’re fall of 2019, as Norwegian Encore, the transforming and elevating guest newest ship of the Breakaway Plus experiences through design and innoclass, debuts in Miami with seasonvation on our ships, and this new teral cruises to the Caribbean. “This minal at PortMiami is the next step in iconic terminal represents our conthat journey.”

Koningsdam, including single-cruiser accommodations, as well as a wider range of suite configurations. Disney Cruise Line’s New President Jeff Vahle, a 28-year Disney veteran, has been named president of Disney Signature Experiences, a new grouping that includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney and Disney’s Hawaii resort Aulani. Succeeding Anthony Connelly and Karl Holz, he takes the helm with the line poised for significant growth, as three new ships are planned for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023. “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to be part of an incredible team that makes magic for millions of guests every day at Disney destinations around the world,” said Vahle. “I look forward to leading this creative, dedicated and hardworking team as we build on the success of these businesses during this unprecedented era of growth and innovation.” MSC Cruises Introduces Artificial Intelligence to Serve Needs of Cruise Guests with Industry’s First Voice-Enabled Personal Assistant MSC Cruises recently revealed another industry first with the introduction of a digital cruise personal assistant as a new feature of MSC for Me, the Company’s digital innovation program. This new and ground-breaking guest service, developed in partnership with HARMAN International, will debut on MSC Bellissima, which was constructed at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France and christened in the port of Southampton, UK on March 2, 2019. The virtual personal assistant is a conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation that can communicate, learn and intelligently predict guests’ needs and make relevant suggestions. “This is another example of how we are continuously innovating to better serve the needs of our guests, not only for the cruise guests of today but those of the SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 33

On Board future as we shape the future of the cruise holiday,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “We employ state-of-the-art technology in a uniquely comprehensive way, building it into every step of the development of our new ships, starting from their conception and design to the final guest experience.” MSC Cruises Introduces Signature Range of Vinoterapy Spa Treatments MSC Cruises has launched a signature collection of spa treatments created with the LAJATICA vinotherapy products from Bocelli Wines. Exclusive to the MSC Aurea Spa, the treatments debuted on the Miami-based MSC Seaside, and will soon be introduced on MSC Cruises ships fleet-wide. Strengthened by the anti-aging and firming properties found in grapes, these luxurious facial and body treatments are made with natural extracts from the Bocelli family vineyards and blended with Tuscan plants and essential oils.

Celebrity Cruises Raises the Bar with Service-Centered Partnership Celebrity Cruises is raising the bar on service in a first-of-its-kind travel partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. A global authority on luxury service, Celebrity entered the partnership to tap into Forbes Travel Guide’s 60 years of expertise as the modern luxury brand continues to refine its already heralded award-winning guest experience. Integrating its vast experience in assessing and verifying service and facility at the finest hotels and resorts in the world, Forbes Travel Guide now shares the same standards of luxury service to support Celebrity in the brand’s ongoing quest to raise the bar on service excellence. Ready, Set, Sweat: Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch Kick Their Fitness Offerings Into Higher Gear Together, Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch have set out to buff up fitness at sea, inspired by the latest innovations

Holland America Line Introduces the World’s Largest Emerging Art Gallery by ArtLink In advance of World Art Day, Holland interactive art events; delve deeper America Line announced its develinto the cultures they visit through opment of a unique and special art the region’s unique art and craftwork; experience on board its ships and on and take home a genuine memento of shore during cruises. Launching this their experience. The program will be summer through partner ArtLink, the centered in an onboard gallery space new program will deliver a unique art exhibiting works by emerging artists experience throughout the fleet where curated from the destinations visited guests can participate in a number of by the ships.


and wellness trends in the world. The redesigned onboard program includes 20 new fitness classes and seminar experiences for guests with six class categories based on different core needs and exercise groups: Sweat, Conditioning, Longevity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, and Acupuncture. “At Celebrity Cruises we’re always looking for ways to pump-up the volume and raise the bar,” said Brian Abel, SVP, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “Together with the Canyon Ranch team, we saw the opportunity to enhance our guest experience by revamping our fitness program and adding brand new classes inspired by the latest developments in fitness.” It’s Getting Hot in Here: Hollywood Hot Glass Comes Aboard Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Cruises has made the onboard experience even hotter with the addition of Hollywood Hot Glass, expanding the brand’s previous hot glass programming with a brand new hands-on element. Hollywood Hot Glass will host a live glassblowing demonstration on The Lawn Club at the beginning of participating sailings. Following the live demo, guests will be able to register for their own Hot Glass Class, where they’ll work with an instructor to create their very own piece of art. P&O Cruises Offering Big Laughs at the Biggest Comedy Festival at Sea P&O Cruises will give Kiwis a good reason to laugh out loud with the launch of ‘The Big Laugh,’ a first-of-its-kind comedy festival at sea on board Pacific Jewel in August 2018. Nine big-name Kiwi and Aussie comics including Cal Wilson, Brendhan Lovegrove and Heath Franklin will deliver 22 shows and a combined 1,000 minutes of jokes at the jam-packed three-night festival, serving up many different types of comedy genres every day and night, from big marquee performances to intimate gigs in the stylish bars and lounge. The announcement comes as P&O Cruises launches its biggest ever season of comedy, comprising nine dedicated comedy cruises departing Auckland in 2018 and 2019. P&O Cruises President Sture

Myrmell said the introduction of the biggest comedy festival at sea aimed to build on New Zealand’s growing interest in comedy on land and at sea. “P&O Cruises loves comedy as much as our guests do, and it’s been a hugely successful part of our itineraries, with 650 shows now performed across our fleets each year,” told Myrmell. “Since 2009 we’ve delivered 99 dedicated comedy cruises with over 600 comedians, delivering more than 30,000 jokes and entertaining over 170,000 guests. By the end of 2019, we’ll have carried out close to 200 comedy cruises making P&O the biggest provider of comedy in New Zealand and Australia.” Princess Cruises Sails to the Rhythm of the Caribbean by Introducing New Immersive Cultural Experiences Beginning this summer, Princess Cruises guests sailing to the colorful Caribbean will experience a new immersive cultural experience with the “Rhythm of the Caribbean,” offering an authentic dive into island life. From the moment guests step aboard their Caribbean cruise, they will be swept away in the lively spirit of the islands with enticing cuisine, signature cocktails, exhilarating entertainment, enrichment and authentic regional experiences. Princess Cruises Debuts Curated Culinary Experiences with New Bon Appetit Partnership Princess Cruises announced a new culinary shore excursion program in collaboration with the number one food lifestyle brand, Bon Appétit, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in culinary experiences inspired by their surroundings while cruising to destinations around the globe. Through this new partnership, Princess guests will receive a deepened understanding of the destinations visited through a small group, sensory journey of authentic culinary experiences drawing from the life of locals. The shore excursion offerings will immerse explorers in local ingredients and cooking styles, as well as demonstrations and tastings from local chefs and personalities.

Holland America Line Introduces Culinary-themed EXC Tours™ Developed in Partnership with FOOD & WINE® The long-time partnership between Holland America Line and FOOD & WINE has delivered immersive culinary experiences for more than a dozen years. The collaboration is expanding with a collection of exciting culinary-themed EXC Tours™ (shore excursions), that explore food, wine and culture in some of the world’s hottest gastronomic locales. “Holland America Line continues to develop deeply immersive experiences in the ports we visit, and through our partnership with FOOD & WINE we’ve been able to craft exceptional new excursions that show the culinary side of these destinations in some very special ways,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

Guests Will Soon Be Able to Explore the World Without Ever Leaving Their Table on the Transformative New Celebrity Edge From an exhilarating, sky-high dinner cantilevered 16 decks above the ocean, to an immersive fusion of technology, animation and dining, like nothing guests have ever experienced at sea, and everything in between, the latest culinary hot spots will be found miles at sea on Celebrity Cruises’ transformative new ship, Celebrity Edge. With 29 world-class, palate-pleasing venues—including four main dining restaurants, two exclusive Suite and AquaClass restaurants, seven brand new specialty restaurants, five complimentary dining venues, and 11 bars and lounges—guests are invited to embark on a cross-continental culinary journey with more restaurant and bar options than ever before.

Seabourn Expands Culinary Offerings with “Earth & Ocean at the Patio™” – An “Al Fresco” Dining Experience Seabourn has a new dining experience for guests to savor in the open sea air: “Earth & Ocean at The Patio™”, an a la carte dinner venue developed by consulting Chef Anton Egger to entice guests with candlelight seating and a sophisticated menu celebrating flavors rooted in authentic local favorite foods from around the world. Debuting with the launch of the line’s newest ship, Seabourn Ovation, the new poolside al fresco culinary option will be offered during dinner service and will be fleet-wide by spring 2019.

Record Level of Guest Satisfaction for Costa Cruises Costa Cruises has achieved record satisfaction levels for its holidays. In February, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) recorded from guests on board the fleet’s ships was the highest in the company’s recent history. The largest NPS increase for Costa was in Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Dubai cruises, thanks to the product being given a more distinctive flavor, with onboard services more in keeping with the itineraries, along with operational improvements. This was joined by the continuing high levels satisfaction with Mediterranean and South American cruises.

Oceania Cruises Introduces Innovative New Dining Options Oceania Cruises has unveiled new dinner menus that build onto its resume as a leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line. The menus feature an incredible spectrum of world flavors as well as an all-new Executive Chef’s Food & Wine Pairing, available every evening and featuring the chef’s selection of exquisite dishes specifically curated for their complementary and contrasting flavors. Another stand-out attraction of the menus are the new “Global Cuisine” dishes each evening with bolder and more adventurous ethnic dishes for travelers with a spirit for spice.

More Popular Than Ever, Cruising’s Biggest Fans Now Include Millennials Cruising no longer is just the fastest-growing part of the vacation industry, it is now one of the hottest vacations for Millennials, who represent a primary and often elusive target for marketers across industries. In the 2018 Cruise Travel Report prepared for CLIA, cruising was the top vacation choice in every age range—and Millennials are the group most likely to say they either “definitely will” or “probably will” book a cruise for their next vacation. Overall, an impressive 94 percent of Millennials say they are likely to book a cruise for their next vacation.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 35


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COLOMBIA, LAND F SABROSURA The South American country invites travelers from all over the world to enjoy its more than one thousand rhythms. ‘Colombia, Land of Sabrosura’ is the slogan of the new tourism campaign ProColombia launched worldwide in 2018 that is using music as a promotion tool and that emphasizes on the uniqueness of Colombian people. Sabrosura is the irresistible attitude and optimism that transforms visitors into friends. It's lived in every corner of Colombia, a word synonymous of joy, passion and laughter. It's seen in the unforgettable landscapes, the crystal-clear waters as well as in the cities bursting with culture. The campaign’s musical theme is a mix of typical Colombian instruments and rhythms on an electronic base, interpreted by several avant-garde artists that represent the country’s diversity of regions: Alexis Play, Alkilados, the ‘Cholo’ Valderrama, Elkin Robinson, Herencia de Timbiquí, Fonseca, Irie Kingz, Juan Pablo Vega, Maía, La Mamba Negra, Mr. Black, María Mulata, Martina La Peligrosa, Piso 21, Puerto Candelaria, Sebastián Yatra and Yuri Buenaventura are the 17 ‘Sabrosura’ ambassadors. “Music is a great tool for attracting tourists”, says Felipe Jaramillo, President of ProColombia. “Is not only the most consumed content in the world but it represents Colombian identity. In fact, different market studies showed us that music generates great recall in travelers who visit our country”.


Colombia has approximately 1.025 rhythms grouped into 157 genres, which is a distinctive factor of its cultural wealth. Renowned Colombian artists such as Shakira, Juanes, Maluma, Carlos Vives and J. Balvin lead the world’s top 10. In recent years, the UNESCO has included several cultural expressions as a major musical component on its list of World Intangible Heritage. The most recent one was Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs (2017), Vallenato (2015), the marimba music, traditional chants and dances from the Colombian South Pacific region (2015), the Black and White Carnival (2009), and the Carnival of Barranquilla (2003). Besides, the OAS - Organization of American States – proclaimed the Bambuco, torbellino, cumbia, mapalé, currulao, berejó, contradanza and the indigenous singing of the Amazonian tribes as Cultural Heritage of America. ProColombia’s president considered this announcement as “recognition to the cultural wealth of Colombia, a country where the music is not only heard, but lived fully”. Bogotá and Medellín are included in the Creative Cities Network, chosen by the same organization, which recognizes its commitment to the development of musical environment. Furthermore, cities such as Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín have become an scenery of more than 40 major musical events with international recognition which attract music lovers from all over the world.




Bright Future for Caribbean Cruising FCCA President Michele Paige delivered the keynote address at Seatrade Cruise Global’s Future of Caribbean Cruising Panel. A lightly-edited transcript of that speech is below:


here’s truly something for everyone in the Caribbean, and it’s easy to be upbeat about such an incredible region, with more than 1 million square miles where travelers can do everything from lounging at the beach and in volcanic mud baths, to zip lining over rainforests and exploring underwater caves—all in one trip! Besides its unparalleled destination products, the Caribbean continues to benefit from proximity to the world’s leading source market, North America (though it still caters to source markets around the world and cruise lines like the German AIDA and TUI; British P&O Cruises; and Italian Costa and MSC). Of course, the resurgent U.S. economy has been another tailwind for the Caribbean, helping support higher yields and ticket pricing. And the opening of Cuba and its pent-up demand continue to drive more people to consider cruising for the first time…and there is certainly much more potential in Cuba, along with new destinations, including MSC’s Ocean Cay, Carnival’s Grand Bahama project, Norwegian’s Harvest Caye and enhancements in Great Stirrup Cay, and Princess Cays’ renovations and enhancements. But perhaps the biggest driver is the industry itself. As you will hear from these prominent panelists, numerous differentia38 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

tions and innovations are driving another record year, with 27.2 million passengers expected to cruise the world’s oceans in 2018—a 10 percent increase compared to 2016—and cruise lines seeing their best-ever earnings and yields. To grow this capacity, cruise operators continue to add pages to the order book, with 50 new builds on order for FCCA Member Lines, representing 220,000 lower berths and an investment value of more than $51 billion. These ships reflect not only the industry’s progress and innovations, including a new wave in connectivity and personalization, but also cruise lines’ numerous strategies to develop unique brand identities and reach their markets and demographics— from action-packed go-kart tracks and SkyRides, to celebrity chefs, butler service and destination immersion. The industry is also working to continue growing demand and consumer sentiment, with initiatives like movies and TV shows featuring cruise experiences, and millions of dollars spent every year to market destinations. And those efforts have paid dividends. Not only has demand for cruising increased 20.5 percent in the last five years, but past misconceptions have been reconceived, and younger generations are embracing cruising, with 70 percent of Millennials saying they

“definitely will” take a cruise this year, setting up the industry for long-term success. So it’s no surprise that capacity in the Caribbean is increasing. According to CLIA’s State of the Industry, the Caribbean accounted for 35.4 percent of the global deployment capacity market share in 2017, up from 33.7 percent in 2016. And our Member Lines’ projections call for a 4.5 percent year-over-year passenger arrival increase in 2018. It’s also no surprise that a close relationship has formed between the industry and the Caribbean, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my and the FCCA’s job to develop these kinds of partnerships. In fact, the bonds are closer to family ties, which is appropriate since the Caribbean was the birthplace of modern contemporary cruising 50 years ago. That’s why the tragedy of this unprecedented hurricane season truly tugged on our heartstrings. And it’s also why we were so committed to help in every possible way. Though nothing can bring back the lives and homes lost, I could not be prouder to be part of an industry that contributed more than $30 million to relief efforts, evacuated or provided temporary housing onboard for 10,000 people, and used more than 40 cruise ships to deliver provisions and support.

On Land

And I am also honored that the FCCA was able to help by communicating with destinations to ascertain needs and help coordinate evacuation efforts, along with providing life-sustaining supplies— such as sleeping pods, cots, mattresses and multi-thousand-square-foot structures for housing and schooling—for nearly 10,000 people, and adding a workshop to discuss lessons learned and preparations for a sustainable future, including planning for events like climate change, at our FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. We also launched a multifaceted marketing campaign to let potential consumers know that the Caribbean was open, with nearly 100 ports unhindered by the storms ready to welcome travelers, while displaying the recovery efforts by the affected destinations. That campaign was so successful— with more than 5 billion impressions, 30 celebrity Public Service Announcements, and a measurable improvement of those taking a Caribbean vacation—and the affected destinations’ recoveries were so swift that we refocused to the sunny side of the messaging: educating about the region’s vastness and displaying the “Caribbean for Everyone”—from waterfalls and rainforests to volcanoes and deserts, and culture and cuisine influenced by the Dutch, French, Spanish, British and a Creole mix of it all—all united by year-round great weather, friendly people and spectacular beaches. However, the most important actions were by the citizens themselves, who would wake up drenched in sweat without air conditioning to go work 18-hour days

restoring touristic products and services like power and air conditioning before returning to their powerless homes. And they did it with the same friendly, welcoming smile that tourists see every day, knowing those efforts would inject a needed economic boost, with cruise tourism generating a direct economic impact of $3.2 billion, on top of more than 75,000 jobs and $976 million in wage income, in 35 Caribbean and Latin American destinations studied during the 2014-2015 cruise year.

“…THERE IS CLEAR SYNERGY BETWEEN DESTINATIONS AND CRUISE LINES…” The faster-than-expected recoveries were also a testament to the leaders of these amazing destinations, and I am grateful that Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty is here to discuss that perspective and the U.S. Virgin Islands’ incredible efforts. After all, it takes partnership between destinations and cruise lines to maximize the potential existing in this exponentially growing industry.

CLIA’s 2017 Cruise Travel Report found that 68 percent of cruisers identified the destination of their vacation as the most important factor influencing their vacation choice. Cruisers also use their trips to experience and discover new destinations. In fact, this year’s Report found that 90 percent of cruisers consider cruising to be a good way to sample destinations for non-cruise vacations, and the majority said they have returned to a place visited on a cruise. So there is clear synergy between destinations and cruise lines, and the industry relies on its destination partners to help continue growing demand and competing against options around the world. From new tours and infrastructure to streamlining operations and improving retail options, to marketing that builds buzz around destinations to entice people to visit either on a cruise or land-based vacation, destinations’ efforts and initiatives have proven integral to the industry’s continued success. Beyond that, the industry needs destinations to deliver on the same kind of differentiation on land as passengers see on board—from close-knit, immersive and ultra-luxe to high-volume and low-cost, from action and adventure to rest and relaxation, and even trends like voluntourism and health and wellness, or needs like multilingual provisions for international guests…all in a way that resonates with travelers, aligns with cruise lines’ identities and guests’ psychographics, and gives an authentic taste of the destination’s culture. But we can only achieve this by working together and understanding the wants, needs and offerings of all parties. And this is why I am so proud that the FCCA builds that understanding and togetherness by joining cruise executives, destinations and stakeholders for meetings, workshops, events and simple networking throughout the year, including our keynote event—the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, taking place this year from November 5-9 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fortunately, from what I see almost everyday in interacting with our partners, and as was clear in the swift, proactive efforts after the hurricanes, the destinations and people are ready, willing and able to do whatever it takes. So I know we have a long, sustainable and successful future on the horizon.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 39

On Land

Eastern Caribbean Destinations Join Cruise Executives to Work Together and Become Even Better


or the last few months, Eastern Caribbean destinations like Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands have already been welcoming tens of thousands of cruise passengers per day after recovering from the tragic and unprecedented hurricane season. But instead of celebrating their past accomplishments, they are looking to the future. That is why those destinations led a coalition also including the British Virgin Islands and Dominica to visit the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and discuss best practices and lessons learned, prepare for the upcoming season and a sustainable future, and devise ways to improve and become even better than ever. Government and private industry representatives from those destinations joined the monthly FCCA Operations Committee Meeting on April 19, where high-level executives from FCCA Member Lines—which operate about 200 vessels and 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity—gather to discuss operations and opportunities in the region. “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has been bringing cruise passengers to the Caribbean for over 50 years. Our belief in the region, and our commitment to its continued growth, is stronger today than it has ever been, so it was a delight to be able to meet today with government and tourism officials from throughout the Caribbean to work together on charting the best course forward for the Caribbean,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), who made an appearance at the meeting. “I want to also extend my sincere thanks to the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association for facilitating the meeting, and for their invaluable role in building relationships between the cruise line companies and the destinations in the Caribbean.” Destination representatives included U.S. Virgin Islands’ Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty; St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism, Economic 40 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

Affairs, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Cornelius de Weever; Dominica’s Minister of Tourism and Urban Renewal, Hon. Robert Tonge; British Virgin Islands’ Minister of Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool; and Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s (PRTC) Chief Strategist, Ronald Castro. They joined with FCCA Member Line executives including Howard Sherman, EVP, Onboard Revenue, Port & Destination Services & Casino Operations, NCLH; Steve Moeller, vice president, Commercial Development, NCLH; Sandi Weir, vice president, Destination Development & Government Relations, NCLH; Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, Commercial Port Operations, Carnival Cruise Lines; Albino Supino di Lorenzo, vice president, Operations, MSC Cruises USA; and Arnaldo Zanonato, senior manager, Port Adventures, Disney Cruise Line. Nicholson-Doty credited the constant communications and updates with the FCCA and Member Lines to assisting with everything from relief supplies and evacuation efforts to navigating the road map to not only return cruise ship visits, but also ensure that every passenger would have something to enjoy and see that the USVI was still nice. She told that the USVI people were crucial to that cause, as they rallied to ready the destination and were ecstatic to see their efforts come to fruition when welcoming guests again—and that they remain committed to delivering an exceptional experience. Castro echoed the significance of the partnership with the industry and commitment from cruise executives, with some even visiting the destination immediately after the hurricanes to help get the port online to receive both cargo and cruise vessels. He told that in combination with the peoples’ and stakeholders’ tireless efforts and a well executed and transparent communications and marketing strategy led to an incredible recovery, with homeporting operations resuming only two and a half weeks after the disaster. And all

agreed how vital that homeporting is for the region and that it adds more reasons and ways to work and grow together. “We are committed to working with our FCCA partners and our neighboring destinations to continue positioning the Caribbean as the premier cruising destination in the world,” said Carla Campos, acting executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “The government of Puerto Rico worked collaboratively to resume operations as quickly as possible recognizing our strategic role as an important hub for itineraries in the rest of the Caribbean, and we’re very much looking forward to what we anticipate will be a record-breaking 1.7M passengers for the 2018/2019.” Port St. Maarten Officer Alex Gumbs also praised the FCCA and Member Lines for the relief efforts and the continual feedback, and he reiterated the importance of citizens’ efforts. He told St. Maarten quickly enacted a strategy to gather both the private and public


sectors to meet with a former cruise line executive to prepare for cruise passengers’ return, especially in terms of messaging to deliver, and focus on the silver lining of the catastrophe by finding ways to enhance offerings and rebuild even better than ever. To this end, he mentioned one

of the best decisions was bringing a large delegation of stakeholders to participate in the 2017 FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show to discuss the progress and opportunities with the 100 FCCA Member Line executives in attendance. These opportunities to improve took center stage at the meeting, with the destination representatives and cruise executives focusing on authentic experiences that tell the destinations’ stories while diving into numerous sites throughout the region with potential for retail, restaurants and things to see and do. The destination representatives and cruise executives also discussed plans for both the upcoming hurricane season and the foreseeable future, including establishing a network of destinations to facilitate the transfer of necessary goods and creating a process to identify needs for individual destinations for both relief and an ongoing basis. “Participating in the FCCA Operations Committee Meeting provided

us an excellent opportunity to share best practices with our colleagues from the BVI, Dominica, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico,” said Nicholson-Doty. “By working collectively to develop strategies to enhance the visitor experience in our destinations, we can help to ensure we remain part of a highly sought-after itinerary.” In all, the joint effort proved so proactive that the cruise executives suggested holding similar meetings every quarter with the FCCA Operations Committee, which would further the efforts of the regular events the FCCA hosts throughout the year to bring together cruise executives and destination stakeholders with the goal of developing mutual success. One of those, the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, is expected to gather 1,000 stakeholders and 100 high-level cruise executives for meetings, workshops and networking opportunities from November 5-9 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and it is open for registration at  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 41

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Magens Bay on St. Thomas is a popular attraction for locals and cruise passengers alike.

U.S. Virgin Islands: “Still Nice”


isitors to the U.S. Virgin Islands will see some relics of the hurricanes that slammed into the islands last September, but the good news is the Territory is very much back in business. Thanks to amazing cooperation between residents and local government, and with the support of federal agencies, cruise and cargo ships have been berthing at Virgin Islands ports, electric power is back, major roads are open, stores are welcoming shoppers, restaurant larders are filled with local and imported delicacies, and Virgin Islanders are ready to host visitors. Kind souls and helping hands have been key to the recovery thus far, starting with wonderful tourism industry partners and friends, including the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and the USVI’s cruise and airline partners. The Territory’s tourism industry family was crucial in helping to conduct mercy missions after the hurricanes, bring supplies and kick-start the tourism rebound. Traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands is a breeze for U.S. citizens. The Territory has been part of the United States since the U.S. bought it from Denmark in 1917, meaning that U.S. citizens do not need passports. Now is a great time for Americans to support their fellow citizens by visiting the islands and helping the economy recover. The U.S. Virgin Islands is famous for duty-free shopping, which is particularly 44 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

generous for U.S. residents, who can take home $1,600 worth of duty-free purchases. There are great deals to be found on jewelry, watches, electronics, designer brands, souvenirs and many other items including, of course, the world-renowned locally distilled rum. Visitors are always happy to discover they can take six bottles of liquor home dutyfree from the U.S. Virgin Islands, provided one of the bottles is locally made. While St. Thomas is known as a luxury shopping hotspot, St. Croix and St. John also offer a unique shopping experience, with a focus on locally handmade items, such as jewelry and art. Local artisans really capture the spirit of the U.S. Virgin Islands, so a piece of their work is a perfect souvenir to remember the USVI From luxury beachfront villas with amenities like infinity pools and private chefs, to more modest accommodations, the USVI offers a broad range of places to recharge your batteries. St. Croix was less impacted by September’s hurricanes, and visitors will find many options for overnight accommodations, including family-friendly resorts such as The Buccaneer, luxury villas, B&Bs and the brand new boutique hotel, The Fred, located in downtown Frederiksted. Although the storms were less gentle with hotels on St. Thomas and St. John, there are still options for overnight visitors to the islands. Villa rentals have long been

Cruise ships in St. Thomas.

a popular choice, and now that power has been fully restored to the Territory, villas of all sizes and configurations are available. Visitors seeking an authentic island experience can stay at family-run guest houses or book an Airbnb rental. And, if they yearn for wind and waves, chartering a yacht for the week is a highly popular choice for couples and families who want to sail or power yacht from one beautiful bay to the next. Once ashore, guests can promenade the bustling downtown areas of St. Thomas, sampling its enchanting eateries and shops, not only along historic Main Street, at the portside malls in Havensight and Crown Bay, but also at Yacht Haven Grande, Red Hook and Frenchtown. On neighboring St. Croix, restaurants and shops are open in the historic towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted and many points in between. In downtown St. John, nearly all restaurants and shops are open, including those at Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay, which is popular for shopping and incredible dining.

On Land The USVI is emerging as a culinary hub in the Caribbean, with St. Croix leading the way. Many restaurants offer fresh farm-to-table and sea-to-plate options for visitors looking to savor the destination’s culinary offerings. In the aftermath of the hurricanes, many restaurants have refined their menus, adding even more delicious local produce to their culinary lineups. The U.S. Virgin Islands is famous for being home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. While the hurricanes briefly

enjoy popular self-guided hiking trails to Honeymoon Beach and Salt Pond, as well as to the Reef Bay Trail and Cinnamon Bay Loop. On St. Croix, open National Park sites include Point Udall, which is definitely worth a selfie as the easternmost point of the United States. Other available experiences include visiting Buck Island Reef National Monument and Salt River Bay National Historic Park. The Territory really does have something for everyone—except snow! In addition to soaking up the sunshine on pristine, sandy beaches or wandering through historic national parks, there are many activities visitors can enjoy. On St. Thomas, Coral World Ocean Park, Mountain Top, Phantasea Botanical Gardens, VI Ecotours, Skyride to Paradise Point, St. Thomas Food Tours and the

Shopping in St. Thomas

caused several popular beaches is in full swing. to be closed temporarily, beaches across the Territory have been cleared and are now open. While some of the beaches in the USVI experienced erosion as a result of the hurricanes, there was a silver lining to the hurricane clouds on St. Croix’s Buck Island, where the powerful surf generated by the storms actually made the beach bigger, so visitors now have even more space to relax and explore at this national monument. World-renowned Magens Bay, St. Thomas’ most visited beach, has reopened with hundreds of new coconut palms and other local trees replanted to beautify and shade the shoreline. On St. John, visitors have returned to pristine Trunk Bay to enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear waters. Those heading inland during their stay will be delighted to learn the Virgin Buck Island off of St. Croix Islands National Park on St. John has is as beautiful as ever. reopened trails, sites and beaches. Off the beaten path, visitors can once again

Frenchtown Brewery are just a few of the popular attractions. On St. Croix, visitors can enjoy The Buccaneer Golf Course, the casino at Hotel Caravelle, Virgin Islands Food Tours, snorkeling and scuba diving, and, for a spectacular finale to an exciting day, nighttime kayaking at a bioluminescent bay. Visitors can lap up the history of sugar and its importance to the economies of the Caribbean, while savoring the smooth pleasures of rum, the region’s iconic spirit, during a visit to the Captain Morgan and Cruzan Rum distilleries, both on St. Croix. The government, under the leadership of Governor Kenneth E. Mapp and Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty, is looking for ways for visitors who want to help the islands recover to do so through voluntourism. The recently launched Purpose in Paradise program brings together visitors and the community groups that can most benefit from voluntourism contributions, a win-win situation for everyone concerned. To sum up, after the hurricanes, the USVI is back and open for business! As visitors are discovering every day, and as the new marketing campaign proclaims, the U.S. Virgin Islands is “Still Nice.” 


On Land


Costa Maya: An Ultimate Cruise Port

nclaved in a beautiful corner in the Mexican Caribbean, surrounded by a vast jungle and white sandy beaches, Costa Maya offers not just a cruise port, but also a destination full of activities under a new concept—an adventure port. Going south in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and engulfed by thick jungle, this themed port serves as gateway to numerous adventures in Mahahual, the small fishermen village where Costa Maya is located and which is rapidly growing thanks to the revenue and cultural diversity brought in by the tourists. Inside this fantastic themed port, built specially for cruise guests, with cutting-edge technology and first-class infrastructure on its three berthing positions, a wide array of activities, services, and products are offered to the more than a million cruise passengers and crew members who visit each year on cruise ships.


Cultural experiences, such as the interactive Chocolate Museum giving a sample of cacao’s history and traditional tequila tastings, are brought to life with the help of characters of pre-Hispanic and colonial era and give a sense of Mexico’s emblematic spirit. For those craving the delicacies of a Caribbean paradise, Costa Maya offers a variety of options on the menu. From the delicious Mexican cuisine at Flavors of Mexico to the mouthwatering grilled seafood at El Faro, such delicacies are the perfect pairing for the premium drinks and pre-Hispanic beverages offered in the many bars located across the port. A good journey starts with fresh baked Mexican bread inside “El Pan Dulce” accompanied with the colors and aromas of a fresh organic salad made with tropical fruits of La Frutería. Costa Maya is also a perfect place for family vacations, as the options are endless

for the kids to have a blast, either feeding colorful birds at Aviarius or snorkeling with the majestic rays in Ak´ua, a dive-in aquarium. In both of these experiences, kids and adults alike will learn about animal conservation and the importance of taking care of our world. Back on the streets of this amazing port, street performers dressed as pirates, circus artists, and Mayan warriors, join folkloric dancers to create a festive ambiance as the outstanding Papantla Flying men, fall from a 90-meter pole, entertaining and amazing everyone. After a day of adventure, guests will have a unique way to relax with the incredible Mayan Healing Rituals, which are more than the beauty procedures found in a regular spa. They let guests experience a set of traditional Mayan treatments made to nurture and heal the soul, while pampering the body with massages and artisanal organic balms.

Looking around the port, the ambiance of a 1940s expedition reminds of a welcoming paradise for visitors of all ages, honoring the adventurous spirit in every guest and providing them with a safe place to enjoy life in the Caribbean as it is supposed to be— relaxing, full of color, and at the same time, packed with fun and thrilling experiences. On the other side, for those visitors who feel the call of the jungle and want to go beyond the port gates, Costa Maya has amazing options to explore the beach, the jungle and the local life in Mahahual. From riding a Catamaran and snorkeling in Banco Chinchorro, part

of the second-largest reef in the world, to visiting the ancient Mayan Ruins in Chacchoben and swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Bacalar, the 7-color lagoon, Costa Maya turns every day into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the adrenaline junkies, there are expeditions to the jungle onboard amazing ATVs, Jeep Willys and buggies—a safe and immersive experience into the Mexican jungle that will rev up with adrenaline the heart of the bravest explorer.

For those looking for a more cultural experience out of port, a sightseeing tour around Mahahual is the best option to immerse in the local life and enjoy the soul of this marvelous Caribbean village. All official tours are fun guaranteed and completely safe, as there is a modern fleet of buses and vehicles and external venues that comply with the highest standards in the industry. Every member of the Costa Maya Team has been trained to not only fulfill, but also exceed the expectations of guests, always maintaining a safe

environment and the entertaining atmosphere of a Caribbean paradise. Last, but not least, among the many options to spend the day soaking up sun and having a blast is Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom—an adventure park inviting visitors to discover new quests inside the Great Pyramid, flying over the jungle on the zip lines and the Kukulcan zip-coaster and defeating the Mayan demons heading down in the exciting water-slides. With an endless list of things to do at Costa Maya, it is easy to see how Costa Maya brings together the best of Mexico and its cultural richness, music, dances and colorful traditions that amuse guests every time they visit. So, when planning a cruise vacation to the Western Caribbean, make sure it includes Costa Maya as part of the itinerary for an unforgettable experience.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 47

On Land


CLIA Joins Visit U.S. Coalition

ruise Lines International Association (CLIA) joined a coalition of travel and hospitality sectors to address the decline in international travelers to the U.S. Created by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the Visit U.S. Coalition is focused on working with policy leaders in Washington to promote travel to the U.S. and reverse the recent decline in America’s share of global travelers. CLIA is a member of USTA and is supportive of pro-travel and tourism initiatives. Each year over 100,000 international travelers embark on a cruise from U.S. seaports.

CURRENT MEMBERS OF VISIT U.S. COALITION With the addition of CLIA joining Visit U.S. Coalition, their members now include the following: • • • • • • • • • • • •

American Gaming Association American Hotel & Lodging Association American Resort Development Association American Society of Association Executives Asian American Hotel Owners Association Cruise Lines International Association International Association of Exhibitions and Events International Franchise Association National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation Society of Independent Show Organizers The Real Estate Roundtable Travel Technology Association


• •

U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S. Travel Association

Global Travel Continues to Expand Despite United States Decrease International travel is America’s top service export, and the second export overall. While the global travel industry continues to expand, the U.S.’s share decreased from 13.6 percent in 2015 to 11.9 percent last year. Growing numbers of international travelers are choosing destinations in Europe or Asia over trips to the U.S. America’s loss in market share has negative opportunity costs for the U.S. economy and as a result, $32.2 billion has been lost in spending by international travelers, 100,000 American jobs have not been created and 7.4 million fewer international visitors came to the U.S. CONTRIBUTION TO THE U.S. ECONOMY BY INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS In 2016, international visitors contributed $245 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting the 15.3 million American jobs that depend on travel. In that same year, the cruise industry alone contributed $48 billion in economic impact and supported almost 400,000 jobs. The coalition endorses the following positions: • •

Embrace international travel to the U.S. as a national priority. Expand intelligence sharing and stream-

• •

line the travel entry process. Make America’s visa system more secure and accessible to international travelers. Increase security and efficiency in America’s travel screening systems at U.S. ports of entry.

CLIA’S ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND EFFORTS CLIA supports the efficient, seamless entry and screening process at U.S. ports of entry, particularly at seaports. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for screening all foreign visitors and returning American citizens and passenger ships. In the past, CLIA encouraged the increase of CBP funding and staffing resources directed to maritime activities to ensure that CBP has the resources to fulfill its mission at seaports. The Visit U.S. Coalition will partner with the Administration and members of Congress to regain by 2020 the nation’s lost share of the global travel market. CLIA will assist in educating policymakers and advocating for policies that allow for robust international travel to the U.S. CLIA engages in year-round advocacy engagement on numerous policy priorities for the common interests of the cruise community. CLIA looks forward to working with the other Coalition leaders to grow the U.S. portion of the global travel market and strengthen the travel industry’s substantial contribution to the U.S. economy and job growth. 




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On Land

2017 CLIA Europe Figures Show Record 6.9 Million Europeans Cruise, Mostly in Europe


uropeans continue to cruise, with almost seven million cruises taken by European holiday-makers in 2017. This is record high of 6.9 million cruise passengers reported in latest figures compiled by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). And this represents an increase of 2.5 percent Europeans who cruised in 2017 over ones who cruised in 2016. Germany saw the strongest growth at 8.5 percent, reaching a record of nearly 2.2 million passengers. UK and Ireland was up by 0.5 percent with over 1.95 million cruise guests. Italy has grown to nearly 770,000 passengers (2.5 percent growth), and Spain continued to grow for the second year running with an increase of 6.4 percent.

WHERE EUROPEANS HAVE BEEN CHOOSING TO CRUISE Three-quarters of European cruisers stayed close to home, choosing itineraries within Europe in 2017. This represents a slight decrease from 2016, due to fewer ships in the Mediterranean and higher volumes in the Caribbean. The Mediterranean and the Atlantic Canary Islands accounted for half of all European cruise bookings, with the rest coming for itineraries in Northern Europe and the Baltic. Outside Europe, the Caribbean, transatlantic cruises, and itineraries taking in the Middle East and Africa were the main choices for European cruise travelers. MORE TRENDS The 2017 findings also revealed that there is a clear relationship between average age and cruise length. Confirming that older generations cruise for longer periods was one. In addition, the youngest cruisers came from Italy while cruisers in the UK tend to be older. And younger cruisers enjoyed the Mediterranean, while the Baltics and Canary Islands attracted more of the older travelers.

ADDITIONAL KEY FIGURES Beyond the overall growth of Europeans who cruised in 2017, some key figures for CLIA Europe included these areas: • •

• •

6,941,000 Europeans took a cruise in 2017, for an average duration of 8 nights. Germany leads the source market in Europe with 2,189,000 passengers, the largest significant growth of 8.5 percent in one year United Kingdom, with a 0.5 percent increase in passengers, had a record year with almost 1.95 million passengers. Italy is showing a growth of 2.5 percent. Spain takes the fourth position with a 6.4 percent, confirming a consistent two-year headway after the economic downturn of 2014/2015.

• •

Most Europeans choose to cruise in Europe. The Mediterranean remains the most popular destination, but Northern Europe is becoming increasingly popular too, growing by 8 percent in 2017. The average age of cruise passengers is between 42 (Italy) and 57 (UK) Cruise length varies from market to market, averaging from 10.4 days in the UK to 7.3 days in Italy. There was no variation in Germany in 2017, with an average of 8.8 days spent on board. Other European markets, such as Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium, are all showing positive development with growth from 3.1 to 5.9 percent.

With more Europeans continuing to cruise, along with growth, these latest statistics and figures share positive trends.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 53

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On Land

What to See and Do on a Western Mediterranean Cruise


he Mediterranean is truly one of the most popular regions for cruising in the world. So much so, that it’s split into two halves, Eastern and Western Mediterranean, in a bid to simplify the myriad choices open to cruisers. Steeped in history and boasting world-famous sites, along with mouth-watering cuisine to entice even the fussiest of eaters, the Western Mediterranean is a true cruise gem. The Western Mediterranean itineraries focus on the ‘Big Three’ destinations: Spain, France and Italy. Bucket-list cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, and Nice are all within reach on a Western Mediterranean cruise. One of the few downsides of such a rich itinerary is the full-on nature of the sightseeing on a Western Med cruise. With just a day in each port, it’s important to plan and prioritize what you want to see.

PLANNING AND TIPS Top tips? Pack comfortable flat shoes, good to wear when pounding the ancient cobbled streets. Also take sunscreen and a hat. Ensuring that you take time to relax and soak it all in is another must. For example, after visiting the world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence, take time for a long lazy lunch in a beautiful historic piazza. Enjoy the food, the wine and the world-class people-watching. Another thing to bear in mind is that accessing cities such as Rome, from

Civitavecchia, and Florence, from Livorno, can mean a transfer time of around 90 minutes by road or rail once the ship has docked. Others, such as Barcelona, Palma, and Nice, have shorter transfer times as the ships are able to dock closer to the city center. Among the many ports of call on offer, here are just a few of the must-see choices when in Barcelona, Marseilles, Civitavecchia, and Naples. BARCELONA The iconic city of Barcelona is one of the Spain’s most recognizable locations. A gorgeous gothic marvel, its port is within walking distance to some of the city’s most idyllic spots and hidden treasures among the vibrant culture on offer. Check out the still-unfinished, highly decorative masterpiece, Sagrada Familia, the Gaudidesigned cathedral. It is now 70 percent complete and on track to be finished in 2026—the centenary of Gaudi’s death. MARSEILLES As France’s largest port and second biggest city, you can’t go wrong with taking a trip through the picturesque streets of Marseilles. With art galleries, highend shops and a picturesque old harbor, Marseilles has much to offer. Browse the markets, marvel at the millionaire’s megayachts and enjoy a bowl of the city’s signature dish, bouillabaisse, a tasty fish stew.

CIVITAVECCHIA A central port for the Mediterranean and the gateway to Rome for cruise passengers, Italy’s capital Civitavecchia is a bustling, rich web of culture and adventure. It’s a natural landmark location for any traveler. The tricky part will be prioritizing which of the iconic sights to see. From the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum? All are there to be explored and enjoyed. NAPLES One of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean, the port of Naples is ideally situated for excursions to Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri and beyond. The city sits in the shadow of the great Mount Vesuvius, which is just a short trip get to. Naples is a beautiful corner of the world already, and another plus? How many ports can boast being neighbors with an active volcano? Naples offers that as well. MUST-SEES AND MORE Enjoying the rich history, culture and adventure that a Western Mediterranean cruise provides along with diverse cuisine can best be done with advanced planning. Coupled with so many ports to explore, the Western Mediterranean is a cruising gem.  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 55

Partnering to Support and Promote Asia’s Cruise Tourism Growth


his year has seen an exciting start with the rapid growth of cruising in Asia, and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) grew alongside by opening its very first dedicated CLIA Asia office in Singapore, with a regional manager, Ms. Wong Jiali. Supported by CLIA’s Australasia office, CLIA Asia’s focus is to build membership and support CLIA travel agent members as the cruise industry continues to expand across the region. In the first quarter of 2018, CLIA Asia signed a three-year strategic partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). They also received strong membership interest from travel agents across Singapore and India. STB & CLIA: FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PARTNERSHIP CLIA’s collaboration with Singapore is a strong step forward in growing the awareness of cruising in Southeast Asia. The three-year alliance will see STB and CLIA tap into their complementary strengths. They will undertake travel agent training, enhance destination marketing efforts, spur regional port development and exchange technical and regulatory best practices. 56 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

There will be an increased focused on travel agents training and substantially growing product knowledge to ensure travel agents put the right guests on the right ships to the right destinations. CLIA is confident that their global expertise in travel agent training will assist in growing the industry’s cruise knowledge in South East Asia. Currently there are joint travel agent training events being planned in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. INDIA CONTINUES TO SEE SIGNIFICANT CRUISE GROWTH CLIA cruise lines have witnessed considerable growth from the India market in 2017. Luxury cruising has also been identified as one of the stronger segments in terms of growth. In January 2018, CLIA participated in and presented at the South Asia Travel and Tourism’s travel show, SATTE 2018. Held in New Delhi this year, as South Asia’s leading annual travel show, this marked another milestone as far as CLIA’s efforts in India. Mr Peter Kollar, CLIA’s International Head of Training and Development, spoke in front of a packed house of nearly 300 travel partners on the latest innovations from the industry and gave valuable tips on how to use

these in selling cruises for today’s market. The address was received well with travel agents showing a keen interest in CLIA’s training and accreditation. SINGAPORE’S CONTINUED CRUISING GROWTH The growth of cruising continues in Singapore, and in 2016, it experienced an impressive three percent market penetration rate. Encouraged by the strong interest from Singaporeans for cruise holidays, local key travel agencies such as Chan Brothers Travels, Dynasty Travel and Citystate Cruises have come on board and joined CLIA. “CLIA’s Learning Academy is an eagerly anticipated platform for the cruise industry to elevate the skills and product knowledge of regional and international cruise sailings,” said Ricky Leong, deputy head of Chan Brothers Travel, Worldwide Cruise Centre. “Agents will now be able to easily identify the type and the nature of our customer to find them the right cruise.” CLIA is also partnering the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) on a cruise workshop for NATAS’ members in April 2018.  Further information about the accreditation program for Asia can be found on

On Land

Australasia’s New Regional Cruise Lines


s the growth of the cruise industry continues, CLIA Australasia is experiencing this as well and is excited to welcome their latest regional cruise lines: Ganges Voyager, Pandaw Expeditions, Aurora Expeditions and Coral Expeditions. MORE ABOUT GANGES VOYAGER Ganges Voyager has been introduced by Exotic Heritage Group. Their 28 allsuites are among the largest in the world from the pioneers of India river cruising. On board guests can enjoy organic fare, Yoga Guru, and diverse excursions. This truly is the most immersive, dynamic, and transformative river cruise experience in Asia. The rivers of India unlock secrets to millennia’s past, away from the anonymity and unsustainability of mass tourism. The backdrop of towns, villages and peoples have remained unchanged over time, coupled with a pristine landscape also unchanged since the time of the Buddha. There are no other tourists and no other river traffic. Join Ganges Voyager cruising the Ganges and become part of history. PANDAW EXPEDITIONS: UNIQUE BEGINNINGS AND GROWTH Pandaw Expeditions had a unique beginning. In 1998, Paul Strachan discovered

an original Clyde-built steamer called the Pandaw and arranged for its lease and restoration. Pandaw Expeditions was born and a unique concept and style of river cruising was created. The Pandaw experience is all about exploring remote and often hard-to-navigate rivers and coasts in specially-designed luxury small ships. Each ship, hand-crafted in brass and teak, is an object of beauty in itself. A Pandaw adventure is very different from that offered on an ocean-going cruise. The ships are small scale, the atmosphere is informal, and very friendly. AURORA EXPEDITIONS: SMALL GROUP AND EXPEDITION STYLE TRAVEL Aurora Expeditions has remained at the forefront of small-group, expedition style travel to Polar Regions and other wild places for more than 25 years. Australian-owned and founded by renowned mountaineer and explorer, Greg Mortimer and his wife, Margaret, Aurora Expeditions focuses on exploration of remote destinations, adventurous activities and close wildlife encounters, offering its travelers intimate experiences through a range of flexible, innovative itineraries. Some voyages offer mountain climbing, sea kayaking, photography, polar snorkeling & scuba diving options.

Expert naturalists, geologists, historians, guides and crew help unlock the wonders of these special places. Setting sail by November 2019, their first purpose-built, state-of-the-art expedition vessel will push the boundaries even further. As the first expedition vessel featuring the X-Bow, the Greg Mortimer is set to redefine expedition cruising. CORAL EXPEDITIONS: SMALL SHIP ADVENTURES IN AUSTRALASIA Coral Expeditions has more than 30 years’ experience in small ship adventures in Australasia, taking guests to some of the most beautiful yet undiscovered regions. Its f leet of small Australian-f lagged and crewed ships are specifically built for unique and remotes destinations. These include Great Barrier Reef, Kimberley, Tasmania, Cape York & Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Islands of the South Pacific and many more. With a small f leet of ships, 4 in total, accommodating 42 to 120 passengers, Coral Expeditions is Australian f lagged and Australian crewed. In April 2019 Coral Expeditions will welcome the fourth ship to the f leet – Coral Adventurer, accommodating 120 passengers.  For more information about CLIA cruise lines and river cruise marketing affiliates please visit


Members & Travel Agents Kingstown Cruise Terminal rocked with live music and glittered with carnival costumes in a scintillating farewell to an exciting, record-breaking season.

USVI: STILL NICE The U.S. Virgin Islands is “Still Nice” and open for business. Following last September’s hurricanes, power has been fully restored, all ports are open and cruise ship traffic has normalized. Restaurants, tours, beaches and attractions on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are open and available for visitors.

DOMINICA REBOUNDS! As of May, Dominica has welcomed 27 cruise calls after recovering from Irma, and 95 percent of sites and attractions are open to accommodate visitors. Dominica continues to be safe, secure and welcoming! Come Discover Dominica on your next cruise. We await you!

A FESTIVE END TO ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES’ CRUISE SEASON On April 14th, cruise passengers reveled in a matrix of activities in celebration of the final day of the 2017/18 cruise season in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The 58 SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

ACAPULCO TO HOMEPORT MAGELLAN CRUISE Starting February 2019, Acapulco will once again become a homeport as it welcomes the Magellan cruise of Cruise and Maritime Voyages. The destination is constantly attracting national and international travelers to experience the destination’s gorgeous beaches, exhilarating nightlife, yearround warm weather and cultural richness.

smashing previous records for passenger traffic. With improvements at Terminal 6, the port is able to accommodate more passengers. Between March 25 and April 1 50,256 passengers passed through the port, a record throughput.

BARCELONA & MALAGA CRUISE PORTS WELCOME SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS Barcelona & Malaga Cruise Ports, operated by Global Ports Holding Plc, welcomed the maiden voyage of Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world with a capacity of 6,750 passengers. Barcelona will serve as its homeport throughout the season, hosting the ship 33 times.

PUTTING THE “PEARL” IN PORTMIAMI Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. is the design architect for the NCL’s new Terminal B project at PortMiami. The 166,500 SF terminal will set the standard for passenger comfort and experience. Drawing inspiration from a nautilus, with its spiraled and multi-level façade opening up to grand ocean views, the modern terminal will become the new “pearl” of Miami and redefine the city’s skyline.

PORT TAMPA BAY WELCOMES RECORD PASSENGER TRAFFIC Port Tampa Bay welcomed six cruise ships in one weekend for the first time ever,

GRENADA NAMED BEST CARIBBEAN DESTINATION 2018 BY TRIP EXPERT Grenada has been named Best Caribbean destination 2018 by Trip Expert—the destination’s third award following Caribbean Destination of the Year titles given by Expedia and Caribjournal. Trip Expert used lists of must-visit destinations for 2018 from leading travel media along with their formula identifying the best accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.

& Aquariums. This further cements its commitment to animal care and guest experience, as well as its values of respect and conservation.

170TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN MARTINIQUE From April 29 to May 27, 2018, SaintPierre—formerly known as the Little Paris of the Caribbean before the eruption of Mount Pelée volcano in 1902—celebrated the 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Martinique. Cultural events, guided tours, sports activities helped commemorate the occasion.

BTB CREATING TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES IN BELIZE Visitors to Caye Caulker and Punta Negra can now enjoy numerous activities in a relaxing environment thanks to BTB, which recently donated beach umbrellas, tables and chairs to these destinations. Caye Caulker is the second-most visited destination in Belize while Punta Negra is a destination with great tourism potential in the southeast coast.

TWO DOLPHIN DISCOVERY HABITATS ACCREDITED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS & AQUARIUMS Two of Dolphin Disovery’s habitats, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, are now accredited by the Association of Zoos

the Year of the 2018 Seatrade awards. TGM is also developing the first Global Online waste tracking system for 360º environmental compliance.

CRUISE SHIP EXCURSIONS BETTER THAN EVER Cruise Ship Excursions is getting bigger, bolder and better after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. All boats are near full recovery, and exciting new tours have been announced, including Pirates of the Virgin Islands, with four schooners carrying 49 “swabs”, and Snorkel Express to Christmas Cove, featuring snorkeling and fun on two fast 100+ passenger “Breeze” boats.

AMERIMED HOSPITALS AWARDED “ACCREDITED” STATUS BY JOINT COMMISSION INTERNATIONAL After a week-long survey, Amerimed Hospital in Cancun has been awarded “Accredited” status by The Joint Commission International, another step toward excellence in healthcare that will continue to bear fruits for years to come. For more, please visit

TGM NOMINATED COMPANY OF THE YEAR IN THE 2018 LLOYD’S AWARDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR OF THE 2018 SEATRADE AWARDS TGM, recognized as the first true Global Solution for ship generated waste management and full Environmental compliance, has been nominated as Company of the year in the 2018 Lloyd’s Awards and Environmental Initiative of

ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S SHEKAR GROVER A FINALIST IN THE BECARDI LEGACY GLOBAL COCKTAIL COMPETITION Royal Caribbean guests are invited to enjoy a world-class cocktail. Bartender Shekar Grover is a finalist in the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition celebrating professional bartenders globally. Try his ‘Royal Legacy’, a blend of Bacardi Ocho Anos, Martini Rosso, date infused Martini Blanco, and dashes of chocolate and plum bitters. RESTORED LOCOMOTIVE ON TRACK FOR ST. NICHOLAS ABBEY Starting November 30, visitors can journey through time aboard the restored locomotive from the award-winning St. Nicholas Abbey in Barbados. In this 45-minute ride, guests will witness panoramic views at 30 feet high while traversing the picturesque Cherry Tree Hill. SEATRADE CRUISE GLOBAL SAYS SO LONG (AND SEE YOU IN MIAMI) Seatrade Cruise Global, along with our attendees and exhibitors, is proud to organize an event that places the highest regard on sustainability—for our industry, our communities, and our planet. We want to say Thank You to our attendees and exhibitors for a great 2018 event. See you in Miami!  SECOND QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 59

For fly-in convenience, culture, non-stop entertainment, or simply relaxing in the warm Southern California sunshine, nothing beats a cruise vacation out of the Port of Los Angeles. Our world-renowned home-ported cruise lines offer exceptional accommodations and itineraries to suit any passenger preference. And when your clients are back on land, there’s no limit to the fun they can have in greater LA – one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. So book them on a one-of-a-kind experience that they’ll truly love. Follow us on

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