THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY FOURTH QUARTER 2018
Taps Cultural Roots & Natural Diversity to Sprout Cruise Tourism
ARNOLD DONALD & ADAM GOLDSTEIN Repeat: ‘The Caribbean Is Open!’ PIERFRANCESCO VAGO Shares How the Caribbean Can Grow Globally if ‘Status Quo’ Challenged
Full Coverage of the Input & Opportunities Offered by 150+ Member Line Executives at the FCCA CRUISE CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW Record $3.36 Billion Generated by Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean & Latin America in 2017-18 Season Over 6,000 Children in 32 Destinations Receiving Holiday Gifts & Joy Industry Highlights Why Travelers Should #ChooseCruise Destinations Arming ‘Frontlines’ with Service Excellence ‘Significant Growth’ in the UK, ‘Tremendous Potential’ in Asia & Australia ‘Stamps Its Place on the Global Cruise Map’
YOUR PASSENGERS’ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS STORY STARTS HERE Shopping, beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring attractions and exciting activities await those arriving at one of our USVI ports. Our ports are designed to keep passengers and crew happy and to meet the needs of our partner lines. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
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CRUISE THE BVI FROM COAST TO COVE. Uncover the true spirit of the BVI while enjoying the best-kept secret in the Caribbean. Disembark at Tortola Pier Park, where unique local craft shops and authentic restaurants neighbor international brands and lively entertainment. Spend your day on land, where endless possibility is just a beach away, or out at sea with the wind in your sails.
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ON THE COVER
SPOTLIGHT 12 Top Cruise Industry Executives Host Second Media Call to Tell ‘The Caribbean Is Open!’ Arnold Donald—Carnival Corporation president & CEO & CLIA global chair— joined Adam Goldstein—Royal Caribbean vice chairman & FCCA chairman—to again update media on the region 16 MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago Shares the Caribbean’s Global Opportunities if Destinations and Stakeholders Challenge the ‘Status Quo' As a global powerhouse, MSC Group represents opportunities around the world for the Caribbean, but “the ‘status quo’ can no longer work…”
On the cover: The Cayman Islands
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 email@example.com 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:
MEETINGS & EVENTS 20 Partnership and Improvement Take Center Stage at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show More than 150 executives from FCCA Member Lines— including 11 presidents or above—shared the recipe for success with 1,000 tourism stakeholders, and this epic coverage includes pages from their cookbook served up during the workshops, meetings and networking events 28 FCCA and Partners Bring the Caribbean and Latin America Closer to Europe at Seatrade Med 30 Holiday Gifts, Cheer and Festivities Shipped to Deserving Children in the Caribbean and Latin America More than 6,000 deserving children throughout 32 destinations will receive holiday presents and cheer through this year’s FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project
31 Students and Schools Throughout 19 Caribbean and Latin America Receive Scholarships in FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Competition 32 Cruise Industry Celebrates Female Leaders in Cruising on Boss’s Day
ON BOARD 34 Cruise Industry Highlights Why Travelers Should #ChooseCruise 37 Celebrity Edge Arrives to ‘New Home of Modern Luxury’ Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and first of a new class in more than a decade has arrived home in a revolutionary new terminal, the first designed exclusively for Celebrity 37 Newest, Largest and LNG-Powered Carnival Cruise Line Vessel Begins Construction Carnival’s 180,000-ton vessel marks a big step for the company’s ‘green cruising’ platform as the first-ever ship operating in North America to use LNG 38 MSC Cruises Immerses Itself in UltraLuxury with Order for Four New Ships A “natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club,” MSC dives into the ultra-luxury market with an order for four 500-cabin, 64,000ton ships 38 Order on Deck for Three New Ships, Two New Ultra-Luxury and One Expedition, for Silversea Cruises “With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising,” tells Silversea Executive Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio 39 New Cunard Ship Will Celebrate the Brand’s Storied Heritage with a ‘Whisper’
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.
FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 3
DR CRUISE TO #
Catedral Primada de AmĂŠrica Santo Domingo
Features 52 Land-Based Attractions Bolster Cruise Options 54 Cayman Islands: The Ideal Cruise Destination With deep cultural history and diverse experiences, Cayman Islands is looking to its roots when branching out with new enhancements like a cruise berthing facility 56 Rejuvenation of the Cruise Experience in the British Virgin Islands The soft, white beaches are as picturesque as ever, and guests can expect plenty new Instagram moments through enhancements focused on cultural experiences 58 Dominica Surges into New Cruise Season 59 Step Out and Be Inspired by Saint Lucia’s Tourism Village Destinations 60 Aruba Marks 60 Years of Cruise Tourism
39 Celebrity Cruises Unveils the First-Ever Glamping Experience at Sea 39 Carnival Cruise Line to Complete Most Extensive Fleet-Wide Enhancement Program in Cruising Consistency and innovation are key to Carnival’s growth and appeal to new cruisers, according to President Duffy, and its fleet enhancement program paired with new focuses like tech plays will assure a high level of service on “any ship, any port, any itinerary” 40 Carnival Corporation Recognized as CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for OceanMedallion, Unveils OceanView New honors and rollouts show technology’s “endless application in the travel business to transform and maximize consumers’ precious vacation time,” according to Chief Experience & Innovation Officer John Padgett 41 Next-Level Adventures on Navigator of the Seas The latest, and third vessel, from the Royal Amplified fleet modernization builds on the program’s success in creating iconic pools and attractions, as well as the elevated dining and nightlife, that travelers seek on shorter and more frequent getaways 41 Holland America Line Debuts New Club Orange Program with Exclusive Benefits and Premium Amenities
41 Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises Further Enhance the Guest Experience 42 Princess Cruises Revamps SHARE and Honored by SHAPE Magazine and Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement 43 Captain Marvel Joins Epic Line-up of Super Heroes Aboard Disney Cruise Line 43 MSC Cruises Expands Environmental Stewardship Program by Launching Global Commitment to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
ON LAND 46 Study Reveals Record Cruise Tourism Expenditures in the Caribbean and Latin America $3.36 billion in expenditures, along with over $900 million in wage income, was generated by cruise tourism during the 2017-18 cruise year, despite a historic hurricane season 50 Live from Cruise Destinations’ Frontlines Aquila President Beth Kelly Hatt shares why destinations are arming their ‘frontlines,’ those interacting with guests, with the tools to provide memorable experiences and service excellence with every interaction
64 Costa Maya: Growing a Destination in a Sustainable Way 67 Rural Tourism in Costa Rica Brings Meaning to Transformative Travel 70 Confidence in the UK Cruise Industry Continues to Grow The “significant growth in the UK cruise market has not gone ignored by the industry,” according to CLIA UK & Ireland Director Andy Harmer 71 CLIA Asia Wraps Record Year The numbers again tell the story: “Asia is still an emerging market with tremendous potential…” 72 A Crazy Rich Time Made Possible in Singapore 73 Excitement Ahoy as Australia Sails into Thrilling Summer Cruise Season “Australia has the attention of the world’s leading cruise lines and has stamped its place on the global cruise map,” tells CLIA Australasia & Asia Joel Katz Managing Director 74 Australia’s Northern Secrets
MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS 76 FCCA Platinum Member Highlights FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 5
PRESIDENT’S LETTER: FCCA
“THE GOAL IS NOT TO BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER MAN, BUT YOUR PREVIOUS SELF.”
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Micky Arison CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION
–THE DALAI LAMA
Michael Bayley PRESIDENT & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Adam Goldstein FCCA CHAIRMAN VICE CHAIRMAN ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Jeff Vahle PRESIDENT DISNEY SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES Richard E. Sasso CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES (USA) INC. Andrew Stuart PRESIDENT & CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
FCCA STAFF Michele M. Paige PRESIDENT Adam Ceserano SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Terri Cannici VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Omari Breakenridge DIRECTOR, DIGITAL STRATEGY & CREATIVE SERVICES Mario Aguirre DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS & PROGRAMS Justin Paige DIRECTOR, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIC MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS
ith a new year on the horizon, we often reflect on the past and look to the future, Michele meeting with Karine Mousseau, Tourism focusing on successes and Commissioner for the Martinique Tourism Authority failures, strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully you see mostly successes and strengths and can further develop those muscles. However, keeping our weaknesses in sight and building them into strengths is equally important. Of course, true progress comes not through sudden, drastic change, but long-term planning and adaptation focused on constant improvement. The cruise industry continually upholds these principles, and the FCCA helps stakeholders apply them through partnerships and inside access to the industry’s inner-workings. One of the ways we offer this is through events with executives from FCCA Member Lines, and you can read all about the knowledge and opportunities that were available during a historic 25th annual edition of our keynote event and the largest and only official cruise tourism conference and trade show in the Caribbean, the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico from November 5-9. Partnership and constant improvement were the focus of the meetings, workshops and networking opportunities for the more than 1,000 attendees and the event’s largest-ever delegation of cruise executives from FCCA Member Lines, with more than 150, including 11 presidents or above, and the insights and opportunities available there fill the following pages. This edition of Travel & Cruise also highlights efforts many destinations are taking throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, along with the value of cruise tourism, which directly generated a record $3.36 billion in the region during the 2017-18 cruise year despite a historic hurricane season, according to a new study by Business Research and Economic Advisers (BREA). Further in the spirit of partnership, ways to give back are featured, including the annual FCCA Foundation essay competition, which awarded the efforts of 34 students and schools throughout 19 destinations, and the Holiday Gift Project, which will deliver gifts and smiles to more than 6,000 underprivileged children throughout 32 destinations this year. So please take a minute to read about and learn how the FCCA and our partners are growing stronger together Respectfully yours,
Jessica Lalama EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Vanessa Gutierrez ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Michele M. Paige President, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 7
VENTURE BEYOND THE ORDINARY.
The very moment your guests disembark onto Caymanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shore, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.
PRESIDENT’S LETTER: CLIA
CLIA GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Arnold Donald CLIA GLOBAL CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT & CEO CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC Micky Arison CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION& PLC Kerry Anastassiadis CEO CELEYSTAL CRUISES Pierfrancesco Vago EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES Frank Del Rio CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS Adam Goldstein VICE CHAIRMAN ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Richard Fain CHAIRMAN & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Manfredi Lefebvre CHAIRMAN SILVERSEA CRUISES, LTD.
CLIA STAFF Cindy D’Aoust PRESIDENT & CEO Megan King SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH Mike McGarry SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC AFFAIRS & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Caroline Johnson SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP OPERATIONS Brian Salerno SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARITIME POLICY
elcome to this edition of Travel & Cruise, the official magazine of the global cruise industry. At CLIA we continue to concentrate on the ongoing growth of the global cruise industry by building ongoing relationships and unifying. Our “One Industry, One Voice” philosophy continues. In this issue, we share more about the excitement with different cruising destinations throughout the world, along with continuing top industry trends. The surge of growth in Australasia and the significant growth in the UK cruise market are two. Australia provided a parade of brand new ships as well as some beloved favorites this summer. The UK cruise industry continues to grow, with a number of new ships being launched in Southampton, as well as cruise lines choosing to have British home ports. Another was the ever-growing number of cruise lines combining a cruise with unique land-based attractions. And a fun story focuses on Singapore as it continues to reinvent and reimagine itself. When Boss’s Day took place this October 16, one way CLIA celebrated was to recognize the powerful and influential women in leadership roles guiding the cruise industry today. As the cruise industry has continued to grow, the number of women working in diverse roles within the industry has seen tremendous growth as well. Also in October, CLIA highlighted why travelers should #ChooseCruise. This initiative, previously known as Plan a Cruise Month, featured the latest information about cruise travel, promotions and best deals, along with cruise insights across the industry’s social platforms. Five top reasons to #ChooseCruise include Fulfill the Bucket List, Unpack Once, Go on an Adventure, Prepare to be Pampered and Healthy Living. On behalf of everyone at CLIA, and to you, valued members of our community—Cruise Line Members, Travel Agency and Travel Agent Members, as well as our Executive Partners across the world—we thank you for your continued support. Best,
Cindy D’Aoust President and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
Joshua S. Good SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL FINANCE FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 9
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Top Cruise Industry Executives Host Second Media Call to Tell “The Caribbean Is Open!”
he cruise industry had a clear message: The Caribbean is—and always was—open, and both the destinations and cruise lines have improved since last year’s historic hurricane season, with a focus even more fixed on partnership and longterm mutual benefits. That was emphatically delivered by some of the cruise industry’s leaders hosting a call on September 20 to update media on the region. Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation and global chair of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA); Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises and chairman of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA); and Michele Paige, president of FCCA, took to the phones for their second time since the storms, joined by 29 media and 14 industry attendees. “Any chance to talk about the Caribbean is exciting,” said Paige when opening the call. “How could it not be with energy stored in every inch of the region’s more than million square miles ranging from beaches, rivers and waterfalls to mountains, forests and 12 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
deserts; from ancient ruins to bustling towns and city centers; and dozens of unique cultures and cuisines influenced by the Dutch, French, Spanish and British—all with yearround great weather, crystal-clear turquoise water and friendly people? “However, this is a special opportunity to shine light on this incredible region, its destinations and, most importantly to me, the people. It has been my personal mission for almost 30 years—and the FCCA’s since 1972—to maximize cruise tourism’s potential for destinations and the people, whom I now not only consider family, but truly believe to be the Caribbean’s greatest resource… “After all, the people create the experience. Beyond the cultures and societies they have developed, they are the ones establishing and running the authentic and engaging tours; owning, managing and operating the ports, restaurants and shops; and handling all the logistics making it possible for guests to have a worry-free day. Plus, every person interacting with a guest becomes a part of that trip and life, from a tour guide telling an unforgettable story to a smiling local at a store.
“They are the reason that around 10 million cruise passengers this year alone will receive a warm welcome in the Caribbean, as they enjoy great vacations and make memories that will last a lifetime. They are also why after a small section of the region witnessed a historic hurricane season last year, there was an equally historic recovery by destinations like the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “It was because of the people’s willingness to work 18-hour days dripping sweat after sleeping without air conditioning, all to restore those kinds of utilities for potential guests, knowing a true turnaround required tourism’s crucial contribution to their economies and livelihoods… “Those tireless efforts certainly paid off and showed not just these destinations’ and people’s ability to face adversity and come back even stronger, but also the strength and resilience of the entire region.” Goldstein started by stressing “that the vast majority of Caribbean destinations were not affected at all by the storms”—something he reminded had been done for more than a year, “but I
Spotlight think it’s something that bears repeating whenever possible. “As for the destinations that were affected, I really want to express on behalf of the FCCA, congratulations. Congratulations for the tremendous effort to recover as quickly and fully as possible. I think this is underscored by a reinvigoration of the sense of partnership between the region and the cruise industry. “Michele talks about family, and I think the situation last year was the kind of event that reminds everybody in a family of how much they mean to each other. And I think that’s what took place as between the cruise industry and the region. And the commitment that there is to build back better… “So fundamentally, one-year post storms, the affected ports are basically back to business as usual. Obviously there is still work going on around the destination, but the guest offerings are fundamentally intact…from a deployment standpoint, every port is back in operation… customer service is at normal levels, and in some cases better…” As he pointed out, there were other improvements over the last year, with tour capacity 90 percent greater compared to a year ago, and he also reiterated the affected destinations’ focus on enhancements and improvements. “And the conversation with travel agents…is not at all about last year’s storms...there is not noise about whether these destinations are ready to deliver great experiences for guests. “On the last note, I’d like to thank our travel partners who are sailing with Caribbean with confidence. They recognize and they market the reasons the Caribbean maintains its number one position on the role of cruising, which in short is that the destinations are phenomenal as the source markets are considerable. “If there are any travel agents to remain weary, I would very much encourage you to update your research…and you will see that the Caribbean is open for everyone.” “The Caribbean is not just the world’s largest market for cruise vacations, it’s also one of the most popular destinations in the world.” told Donald. “It’s a truly unique part of the world with unmatched beauty, fascinating history and vibrant cultures that millions of people love to visit and explore.
“We began sailing to the region with our very first ship back in 1972, and over the years, our brands and the Carnival Corporation have had the pleasure of sailing tens of millions of guests to the Caribbean to enjoy absolutely great vacations. In fact, this year alone, we have eight of our brands visiting 58 ports in 28 countries and territories in the Caribbean—and as a total, more than 5,000 port calls. “What a lot of people don’t fully realize is that the Caribbean is a very large area covering a million square miles and a multitude of destinations. So it’s important for us to once again
“THE CARIBBEAN IS ALWAYS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” –ARNOLD DONALD, PRESIDENT & CEO, CARNIVAL CORPORATION, & CLIA GLOBAL CHAIR
emphasize that the vast majority of the region was completely unaffected by last summer’s storms…most of the region remained fully open with absolutely no interruptions, whatsoever, with our industry continuing to sail millions of visitors to the Caribbean. “Now, that’s one of the reasons for our call today…as you’ll recall, we held a call last October to let people know that the Caribbean was indeed open for business following the storms. And that was an important message back then to get out, as
many people had made vacation plans for the Caribbean. “Of course, tourism is extremely important to the livelihood of people living and working in the region. Fortunately, that message carried far and wide, and people continue to have great vacations in the region. “For those impacted destinations, it was truly amazing to see the outpouring of love and support from around the world, including from our industry. Our ships along with many others in the industry delivered supplies and provided shelter and transportation to help affected communities with their most immediate needs. “Following the initial emergency response, we were all very proud of how quickly cruise operations returned to normal in those handful of destinations, some within a matter of weeks…and things are now much brighter for those few destinations that were impacted. “The result of lots of hard work, support and, as Michele so clearly articulated, the spirit of the people living in the Caribbean—their strength and their determination have led a remarkable recovery for those few destinations that were impacted. “Now over the past several months, we’ve turned our attention to our longer-term necessities in the Caribbean. Our team has worked closely with affected islands and multiple NGO partners to design localized projects, tailored to meet the specific needs of each community. “We also undertook several initiatives led by Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, AIDA cruises…supporting community needs and eight destinations in the Caribbean. In each case, our focus has been on finding ways we can support children, education and preparedness for future emergencies. “And at the same time, it creates sustainable long-term impact for years to come. We are honored to help our friends and our many employees in the Caribbean build an even brighter future for the next generation. “The Caribbean remains the cruise industry’s most popular regional destination because it has it all, and that has never changed. There is truly something for everyone and countless opportunities to experience something new with every cruise.” FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 13
Spotlight When the call opened for questions from the media participants, Chris Palmeri of Bloomberg asked about how cruise lines handle consumer expectations in adverse situations like hurricanes. “All of us who have been in the business for a long time are always somewhat amused by these questions…because the great advantage of our industry—if the weather’s bad one place, we take you to another,” said Goldstein. “There is no other sector of travel they can do that.” He also told this unique advantage is only getting better: “We were able to be quicker and more effective with our compensation offering for our one ship affected by Hurricane Florence this year because we knew exactly what we needed to do.” But sometimes perceptions misalign with realities, as the industry knows through its long battle of misconceptions before emerging as a mainstream vacation option, so the next question by Brian Major of TravAlliance Media seemed even more fitting—how does the industry counteract negative consumer sentiment? “That’s what we’re doing here today,” told Donald. “Just reminding people how vast the Caribbean is, how easy and fast it is to move our vessels and still give people a great experience for those moments when a storm might interfere with a previously planned itinerary. “The Caribbean is very large and has lots and lots of destinations and opportunities to experience…and we attempt to counter any negative perceptions that might come from people focusing on a particular storm or a particular destination… “The Caribbean is always open for business. Our ships sailed full during the storms
14 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
last year and are sailing full now, with people having a great time in the destinations. “If there’s a storm in Texas, that doesn’t keep people from going to New York…we have to just help people understand that the Caribbean isn’t one specific dot; it’s an expansive place with many options, and our assets are mobile.” Goldstein pointed out another industry advantage: “We’re very fortunate in this industry to have our travel agency outreach to the consumers, and there are tens of thousands of agent professionals
“…THE PEOPLE—WHOM I NOW NOT ONLY CONSIDER FAMILY, BUT TRULY BELIEVE TO BE THE CARIBBEAN’S GREATEST RESOURCE.” –MICHELE PAIGE, PRESIDENT, FCCA
who understand that the Caribbean is open for everyone.” The agents talk directly to customers, he reminded, and their knowledge pays dividends in not only informing about new offerings, retail, marketing and more, but also situations like this. “So I think we’re in a good position to combat…anything that might affect the industry.” So were there any lessons learned or “tweaks” to be made following last year’s season, asked Hannah Samspon of Skift. “Yes, we just dealt with so many different permutations last year, and I think it put us in a position where we could react even faster than we have historically,” answered Goldstein. “And we’re all trying to get faster and better all the time. Continuous improvement is one of the hallmarks of the cruise industry.” Another hallmark is service, and he pointed out Hurricane Florence as an example of improvement already in the customer focus through rate offerings and itinerary changes. “Every year somewhere in the world there are typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes; this is a part of annual weather on the planet, so, we’re dealing with it,” said Donald. “In our case, with 106 ships going to 700 ports around the world, we deal with it every year somewhere, and we are pretty adept from cumulative learning.” One of those lessons came from establishing more back-up centers and relocation strategies to maintain operations, he informed. “In addition, since last year, particularly through Michele’s efforts, we’ve been much more proactive as an industry in working with the destinations to make sure that they
take stock of the lessons that they learn. And that sharing of best practices amongst them will contribute to the destinations being even more resilient in the future.” Goldstein then gave an example of that increasing resilience in response to a question from Anne Kalosh of Seatrade regarding improved infrastructure and the handling of future events. He told of plans for power lines, port facilities, water supply, schools and more—all of which they aim to make permanent. He pointed out similar conversations probably happened around destinations for years, “but my sense is that they’ve never happened with the intensity…about let’s do this right, let’s do this in a way that really pays off for return on investment and facilities into the future.” Donald reminded that those were not just conversations, but actions taken by destinations throughout the years. “There’s been a long history of making certain the infrastructure…is hurricane resistant… and that’s one of the reasons why many of the places we were able to accept cruise ships again relatively shortly after these storms that the places that were impacted. That infrastructure was reasonably strong, and where it needed repaired, it’s now even stronger.” What has also been a trademark, but even further strengthened over the last year, is the partnership between the cruise lines and destinations—not just on a professional level, but also the human element. For Carnival—besides the $10 million contributed through the Carnival
“…WE’VE BEEN MUCH MORE PROACTIVE AS AN INDUSTRY IN WORKING WITH THE DESTINATIONS...” –ADAM GOLDSTEIN, VICE CHAIRMAN, ROYAL CARIBBEAN, & FCCA CHAIRMAN
Foundation and Miami Heat and Micky and Madeleine Arison Foundations, and multiple ships providing assistance and supplies—that has meant schools throughout the region as a result of their work with the destinations to determine their greatest needs. “I grew up in New Orleans, going through a number of hurricanes and per-
sonally had live in a shelter…and the most important thing is to kind of get back to life as normal. Part of that especially for young people is going to school.” “It’s something very important to listen to what the destination needs are,” said Goldstein. “The public officials are clearly trying to look out for what’s most important to their people as they go through the recovery process. “And one of the reasons why our company was very quick to invest in the recovery of Magens Bay Beach in St. Thomas was because…that could restore one of their premium offerings to all customers, not just cruise customers. We took that as a way that we can help and…generate economic benefit for the people when they really, really need it.” Looking at the bigger picture and a longer-term plan, he told, “There’s obviously a symbiotic relationship between the long-term health of the cruise industry and the Caribbean…the number one cruise region in the world. “One of the things that I think we, the leaders of the companies, all realize is we have a social responsibility to assist the communities of the Caribbean if we want for them to be vibrant providers of great guest experiences 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now… “I think that recognition existed years ago, but it was amplified or augmented by the common experience that we all share…and I think the recognition of how important we are to each other was never more apparent than a year ago.” FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 15
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago Shares the Caribbean's Global Opportunities if Destinations and Stakeholders Challenge the ‘Status Quo’ Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, delivered the keynote address at the 2018 FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. A lightly-edited transcript of his speech follows.
any of you might not know, but the MSC Group is one of the world’s biggest shipping corporations: the second overall when it comes to cargo, with over 500 vessels globally. We also have made substantial investments on ferry vessels, as well as trucking and railroad, and we have the sixth-largest terminal portfolio worldwide. In total, this supports more than 100,000 employees in 155 countries. Shipping is our lowest common denominator. Everything we do relates to the seas and the maritime world. The sea is where our founding family found its fortune 300 years ago. This is where our present is and where our future lies. Being 100 percent family-owned and family-run allows us to look beyond quarters. When we strike partnerships, the long-term always takes the priority. The MSC Group was established in 1970, but it was not until 2003 that we built our first cruise ships. When our Group embraced the cruise business, we already 16 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
had a wealth of maritime expertise at our disposal. We used it to develop three innovative prototypes that became ship classes. We built 12 innovative cruise ships and grew by 800 percent in just 10 years. Today, we are working on another four separate next-generation prototypes. The first two, our Meraviglia and Seaside classes, are already operating. Many of you will have noticed the beautiful MSC Seaside calling at your ports. She is one of 17 more MSC Cruises ships that we will have been built between 2017 and 2027, making our fleet one of the youngest at sea – and the cruise brand the fastest-growing in the history of this industry. When designing the ships of tomorrow, we invest in the most innovative environmental technologies. With each new ship, with every new prototype that we introduce, we are constantly making substantial advances to minimize our footprint. On air emissions, we are investing in technologies to reduce SOx and NOx from our ships’ exhaust, such as exhaust gas
cleaning systems and SCR systems, and five LNG-powered vessels will join our fleet in the next years. We are also heavily investing on solid waste management, wastewater treatment, and other areas. By March 2019, we will have phased out single-use plastics from our fleet. We come from the sea, and live off the sea. Our future lies on the sea. For us, for the Aponte family, sustainability is not an end in itself, but a never-ending journey of continuous improvement. Another thing that makes MSC Cruises such a unique line is our origins. We are the only major European cruise line. Europe is our home. It’s where we established our brand, where we grew our operation and where we became the number one cruise line by 2015. Having consolidated our leadership in Europe, we are now expanding our operations globally. The new tonnage that we are building will support this global expansion, and it starts right here in the Caribbean.
This season we will have five ships based in the region. We will be homeporting in Bridgetown, Cozumel, Havana, Fort de France and Pointe à Pitre—helping fill airports, taxis, hotels and restaurants across the entire region. But that’s not the end. We will continue deploying in these shores our latest, our most innovative and our greenest ships. This is a key priority for us, despite the talk about market saturation in the Caribbean increasing. We see plenty of growth opportunities in this region. We are a unique cruise brand, with a unique and truly global customer base. We source our guests in 70 markets worldwide. Every year we welcome more than 170 nationalities on board our cruise ships. We have built one of the industry’s most extensive travel agent distribution networks. Our guests come from all over Europe, South America, Mexico, Japan and China. Our challenge, in this region, is actually to source more North Americans, as our ships are constantly already full with guests from all corners of the world. We bring the most diverse customer bases in the industry to your doorsteps, and as we source them, we are also promoting your beautiful countries and cultures. These guests generate sizable economic impact and help create and sustain jobs when they are on board our ships and visit each destination, along with when they come back with their extended families for extended land-based vacations. This is where we see future growth coming from—for us and you. This is exactly how we plan to grow our presence in this region. To be successful, we need to work in partnership, all of us. Only by working together can we ensure sustained and sustainable growth in the Caribbean. The first step that we need to take is to acknowledge that future growth is far from certain. Today, the Caribbean remains the world’s number one cruise destination, but gone are the days when you faced little competition from the outside. Other regions have noticed the sizable benefits the cruise industry can bring to their economies and societies. Many have worked hard to attract international cruise lines to their shores. They continue to work towards this end today. Europe was the first region to succeed.
European countries saw an opportunity to attract more tourists and profile themselves internationally, and 27 percent of the global cruise capacity is there now. Asia is now doing exactly the same. I was in Shanghai two weeks ago, seeing this for myself. What they are doing to make things happen is simply unbelievable. Their new cruise terminal is one of the very best that I have ever seen.
“WE BRING THE MOST DIVERSE CUSTOMER BASES IN THE INDUSTRY TO YOUR DOORSTEPS...” Yet, 35 percent of the global cruise capacity is still here. Yes, you are the leading cruise region, but will you manage to increase this share in the future or to at least sustain it? The cruise industry will add at least another 110 ships to the global fleet in the next 9 years. That’s more than 250,000 lower berths. How much of this growth can the Caribbean capture? The “status quo” can no longer work; it cannot meet the challenges of the future. That’s why working in partnership is so important.
“WHEN WE STRIKE PARTNERSHIPS, THE LONG-TERM ALWAYS TAKES THE PRIORITY.” Partnership is key. Partnership through this Association, the FCCA—the past has shown us that we can achieve remarkable things together, even when facing extreme adversities.
Take last year’s devastating hurricane season. We all joined forces to help the affected islands and nations endure. Think of the pivotal role the FCCA played to bring cruise lines and destinations together. Let’s draw the lessons that we learnt and continue to achieve great things working together. Looking towards the future, we all need to work together to provide the best possible customer experience. This is something that none of us can do alone—not the cruise lines, not the ports, not the destinations and not the tour operators. The cruise experience starts the moment a guest books their cruise. It won’t finish until they are back at home after their vacation. Many things happen in between: airports, flights, transfers, terminals, embarkation, life on board, ports of call, shore excursions, disembarkation, etc. None of us alone is in a position to guarantee a front-to-end amazing experience, but together we can. We are also in constant competition with traditional, land-based vacations, and we know that first-time cruisers enjoy the product so much that they likely repeat in the future, many times over their lifetime. Let’s work together to encourage more people to try the cruise product, and let’s ensure that even more people repeat. At MSC Cruises we constantly examine trends and guests’ expectations. This helps us adapt and constantly evolve our offering, ships and services. Cruise destinations need to do the same. Remember, cruise tourism works like window shopping. Every cruise guest that spends a few hours on your shores is a potential customer. If they enjoy the experience, they will come back in the future – not for a day, but for a whole week. Dear partners, we are gathered here for a purpose. We need to take advantage of the opportunities to collaborate. We can and must do more to make good on our promises to continue promoting Caribbean cruising. Together, we can keep the Caribbean as the world’s most important destination for cruising, for many years to come. At MSC Cruises, we are committed to doing our part, and we look forward to working with you all and walking this road together. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 17
Santa Marta NATURALLY MAGICAL There is a bay where reality dances with magic, a different place, home to mountains and beaches that come together, where food is a mix of bold flavors of three continents, rhythms and instruments make your soul sing, and indigenous groups recharge your mind with legendary wisdom. It’s a place where the wonders of nature meet the heart driven by hospitality.
Simón Bolivar passed away and the place that host the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art.
Santa Marta, the oldest city in Colombia, the second in South America, is a cultural and historic destination, home of a unique architectural heritage like the oldest Basilic Cathedral in Colombia
It´s strategic location makes Santa Marta the perfect place to have accessibility to a whole package of touristic sites like Minca (small town with rivers and more than 400 bird species, one hour away from the Centro Histórico), the Tayrona Park (home to beaches ranked world´s top 10 by The Guardian) and La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (declared Natural Biosphere Reserve by the Unesco), home of Teyuna (The Mini Machu Pichu).
Once you drop off the cruise ship, you will walk through the Rodrigo de Bastidas pier, where you will travel through the history of Santa Marta and you will see El Morro Island, meanwhile you pass through restaurants, cafés and handicrafts markets. A Five minute walk will take you to Simón and the Gold Museum, which displays the history of the city through the iconographic regional objects, jewelry and indigenous costumes. At this point, you will walk in the Callejón del Correo, epicenter of bars and restaurants that will take you out to Los Novios park which is the hotspot of the city’s nightlife.
With quality urban beaches like Taganga (a colorful fishing village sourrounded by mountains, twenty minutes away from the Centro Histórico where you can dive and see the coral reef), El Balneario del Rodadero (One of the main touristic and commercial sectors, twenty minutes away, where you can practice water sports and beautiful sunsets), Bello Horizonte and Pozos Colorados; Santa Marta is a full of natural splendor, a wide range of temperature zones, hundreds of exotic species and all the Caribbean shades of blue that come together in one of the world’s highest coastal rangers, that create a unique biological surprise.
If you want to make a review of the America’s continent history, La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is the perfect place. A twenty minutes ride by taxi, will drop you off to the house where liberator
Reconnect with paradise, the ancestral and the exotic in a city that is Naturally Magical. Santa Marta is waiting for you.
Meetings & Events
Partnership and Improvement Take Center Stage at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
here are plenty of reasons for excitement this year, with historic opportunities to build business and relationships with the cruise industry,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA, when opening the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest and only official cruise tourism conference and trade show in the Caribbean. “We are so grateful to all throughout Puerto Rico for making it possible to not only have this event, but also all the enchanting options and the charming long-term partnership between the destination and cruise industry.” Taking place in San Juan from Nov. 5-9, the event gathered over 1,000 attendees and the most executives from FCCA Member Lines in the event’s 25-year history—more than 150 total and over 10 presidents and above—to develop mutual understanding and success through an agenda balancing business and fun, from meetings and workshops to networking functions. In all, the theme of partnership and improvement took the focus. 20 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“Partnership is the principal theme of this conference – and well-deservedly so,” said Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises and FCCA chairman. “Not just public-private partnership, but profound and proactive partnership – and not just PPP, but BBB: Build Back Better.” Hon. Luis Rivera Marin, lieutenant governor of Puerto Rico, and Carla Campos, executive director of Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), reinforced the need to work together “through solidarity” while further honoring some results so far because of that partnership—from cruise ship horns signaling an economic boon through a projection of a record 1.7 million cruise passengers, representing $215 million, during the 2017-18 season, to the landmark deal for San Juan to host the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show until 2021—while commemorating the historic event. Hon. Allen Chastanet, prime minister of Saint Lucia, roused the crowd to a standing ovation through his focus on
unity, as well as the need for an honest self-assessment. “We have problems,” he said. “It can’t be business as usual.” He told that though Puerto Rico has made a remarkable rebound since the storms, “if Puerto Rico is genuinely concerned about recovery, it can’t do it alone. The ships can’t just come to Puerto Rico and have nowhere to go. Your future is equally dependent on the strength of the other islands.” Some of those islands have challenges to meet, he stressed, including lacking infrastructure investment and innovation to meet everything from demand to climate change, along with high debt and need for improvements in sectors like education and banking. Not one of the Caribbean’s nine central banks has a tourism economist, despite 85 percent of the region’s foreign exchange coming from tourism. Banking reforms are also needed, he told, with projects taking four to five years to start. He rallied the crowd in his call for dialogue and unity. After all, cruise
tourism and land-based tourism are interdependent, he informed. “We need each other.” It was obvious through the executives’ record attendance and speeches, including the keynote address delivered by Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, and printed on the preceding pages—along with their actions during the subsequent time and words on the following pages—that the cruise industry was just as committed to that theme of partnership. Destinations also showed a symbol of their commitment to cruise tourism through the event’s most-ever high-level government representatives, with more than 30 ministers of tourism or above, as Paige pointed out and pointed to destinations’ firsthand displays of dedication through impressive spaces on the trade show floor. In fact, it was the largest trade show in event history – fitting enough to capture the attention of the historic executive audience. Any booth put a product, company or destination on attendees’ and executives’ minds, and special pavilion options made waves with grand sizes, prime locations and the opportunity to showcase a destination or company as a team and even host
private meetings with chairmen, presidents and CEOs directly in the pavilion. MEETINGS In addition to the private meetings in pavilions, numerous meetings took place throughout the event, ranging from the Heads of Government Forum joining high-ranking government officials and top-level FCCA Member Line executives, to pre-selected one-on-one meetings for delegates – with nearly 50 executives taking meetings and more than 74,000 possible meeting variations for delegates to give a pitch and receive everything from individualized input to business opportunities from those who decide where ships call, what is sold and used on board and how to invest in products and infrastructure. “The one-on-one meetings are an important tool for both the participants and the cruise industry,” said Matthew Sams, vice president, Caribbean relations and private islands, Holland America Group. “For us, we frequently learn about new developments and products, and we are able to help fine-tune them to best fit the cruise lines. For the participants, it gives them a real vantage point in knowing what the lines are looking for and how to appeal to them.”
Partnership and constant improvement were also the focus of the event’s keynote meeting, the Heads of Government Forum. A long-term fixture of the event to build partnership and discuss topics at both a destination and regional level, this year’s meeting was amplified by the historic delegation of both high-level cruise executives and destination representatives. In addition to cruise executives representing various sectors, eight presidents or above participated: Micky Arison, chairman, Carnival Corporation; Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line; Roberto Fusaro, president, MSC Cruises USA; Adam Goldstein, vice chairman, Royal Caribbean Cruises; Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Richard Sasso, chairman, MSC Cruises USA; Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises; and Jeff Vahle, president, Disney Signature Experiences. They were joined by the forum’s largest-ever high-level government delegation, with 33 ministers of tourism or above, including Barbados Prime Minister Hon. Mia Amor Mottley; British Virgin Islands (BVI) Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith; Cayman Islands Premier Hon. Alden McLaughin; Montserrat Premier Hon. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 21
Meetings & Events
Donaldson Romeo; Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Ricardo Rossello; Saint Lucia Prime Minister Hon. Allan Chastanet; and the State of Yucatan Governor Hon. Mauricio Vila Dosal. Also participating were mayors or ministers, commissioners or secretaries of tourism from Antigua & Barbuda; Belize; Curacao; Dominica; Cozumel, Mexico; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Panama; Progreso, Mexico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; State of Baja California, Mexico; State of Sinaloa, Mexico; St. Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; and United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Governor Rosello opened the forum by underlining its importance in engaging a full joint effort between the private and public sectors, along with showing Puerto Rico’s commitment to cruise tourism. He addressed the challenges because of the hurricane, but told it also led to an opportunity to build back better—not only through infrastructure, but also in policy to promote a platform to “innovate and create a new environment.” He then shared Puerto Rico’s “road map” for the future, involving policy measures, moving forward on strategic bets like tourism and destination marketing. He stressed, however, that this map was not meant to only be local and told that the entire region must work together. “If we come together, I am convinced that…will be the best path for all of us.” The forum then engaged in a roundtable format to discuss points including 22 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
ways to drive year-round traffic by refusing to rest on laurels and seeking constant improvement and long-term planning, as well as topics such as employment opportunities and purchasing and sourcing—all with the main idea of fostering partnership. “It’s clear that the bond of the industry and destinations is as strong or stronger than it has ever been,” told Goldstein, and as a further sign of the industry’s commitment, five of the cruise operators detailed their planned investments throughout the region. However, embracing Sasso’s tenet, “if it’s not broken, make it better,” the forum helped further foster the partnership—from the reception preceding the meeting and the subsequent discussions on developing strategic alliances, to the presentations by BVI Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith; Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) Executive Director Carla Campos; St. Maarten Minister of Tourism Hon. Stuart Johnson; and USVI Commissioner Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty. The presentations concentrated on best practices, lessons learned and longterm plans and improvements through their remarkable recoveries after last year’s hurricane season, assisted by their united efforts with both each other and the first-ever joint destination meetings with the FCCA Operations Committee taking place in April, June and September 2018. Further in the spirit of helping their neighbors throughout the region, the Eastern
Caribbean delegation is formulating those best practices into a document to share with the entire region. Throughout the meeting Vago reinforced similar themes of partnership and challenging the status quo from his opening ceremony keynote address. “We are gathered here for a purpose. We need to take advantage of the opportunities to collaborate. We can and must do more to make good on our promises to continue promoting Caribbean cruising. Together, we can keep the Caribbean as the world’s most important destination for cruising for many years to come.” NETWORKING Some of those opportunities to collaborate were offered less formally—with chances to meet and mingle with the executives at unique networking functions giving a taste of what Puerto Rico has to see, do, eat and drink. Alongside gatherings and lunches throughout the meetings, workshops, Trade Show and VIP room, the event featured nightly social receptions. Open to all attendees and participating executives, they mixed the group to create or grow relationships that lead to mutual understanding and success – all while being enchanted by some of Puerto Rico’s local sights, sounds and flavors. Casa Bacardí, Vivo Beach Club, Bella Vista Terrace and the Trade Show floor itself hosted the events, with features including live music, cultural dancing and other local tastes like food stations from
roast pork to ice cream and buffets with salads, artisan breads and local delicacies from chicken and cheese to pineapple kebabs with sauce from Bacardi rum. There were even tours available for all participants and executives. Launching the morning of Friday, Nov. 9 and wrapping the event, the tours provided an unforgettable opportunity to develop relationships and business. While spelunking in Cueva Ventana and discovering the local Taíno culture, getting a different taste of culture through the Bacardi rum tasting tour or walking food tour in San Juan’s newest dining destination, La Calle Loíza, or shopping ‘til they drop at the Mall of San Juan, attendees and executives learned more about both Puerto Rico and each other. Plus, a special trip for select cruise executives taught them about Ponce and let them discover what it offers as a possible cruise port, with the destination receiving its first cruise calls after a hiatus and investing in initiatives including the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence’s Frontline Training Program days before the event. WORKSHOPS Additionally, lessons about the industry’s inner workings and building mutual success formed the curriculum of workshops led by expert panels of executives and destination representatives. The participating chairmen of FCCA Member Lines—Micky Arison, chairman, Carnival Corporation; Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal
Caribbean Cruises; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises—along with the moderator and senior editor of Travel Weekly, Tom Stieghorst, took the wheel following the opening ceremony for “Chair Talk.” Fain praised “the importance of a conference like this…to bring [the government officials and cruise line executives] together and help us to work better together…We need to work together as never before.” That work together was perhaps a silver lining of last year’s storms, the panel agreed – that partnership and perhaps Arison’s opportunity to work with J. Lo through the ‘Caribbean is Open/ Caribbean for Everyone’ campaign. The entire panel praised those results and affirmed the need for more good press to battle misconceptions. Arison even shared the origin story of the campaign, born from him talking to someone at the airport who had canceled their trip to an unaffected island out of fear that the entire Caribbean was impacted by last year’s storms, and reminded of the importance in sometimes simply talking to people and remaining cognizant that perception is not reality. The industry knows all about correcting misperceptions, now finally benefitting from a growing position as a mainstream vacation option with clearly defined brands and customers. “I think that’s part of the success of the cruise industry….we have different brands, and each of the brands have dif-
ferent characteristics,” said Fain. “But I think what we’re all talking about is as the industry grows, we need to continue to appeal to a very diverse set of desires from our guests, and we need to work closely with the destinations to make sure that we’re providing them with all the kinds of things that they’re looking for.” As Vago pointed out, that vision has also shifted to addressing what will be different for cruising in the future. He told designing the experiences that people are going to want years from now in a world where technology is constantly changing is a challenge and opportunity MSC savors. Arison reinforced that, telling cruise companies strategically plan for 10 years out and longer, with the planning cycle has lengthening because of shipyard availability pushing newbuild orders “further and further out.” Planning for the short-, mid- and long-term future was something else the entire panel agreed on—not only for themselves, but also for destinations to consider in the same way, from changing technology and consumer demands, to more global travelers. The world and industry are becoming more global, said Vago, and “Japanese need people to speak Japanese; Chinese need people to speak Chinese.” More than language, the entire experience needs to be translated based on those consumers’ specific wants and needs, he continued. The global nature of cruising represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Caribbean if issues like that are identified FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 23
Meetings & Events
and addressed, he told, but stressed the need for the proper infrastructure and experiences catering to multiple nationalities in order for the Caribbean to grow or even just maintain its current 35 percent capacity share. “Future growth is not certain.” Arison echoed the need for guides fluent in languages like German, Italian and Spanish for many of Carnival Corporation’s brands, which he called the “number one issue” for a brand like Costa in the Caribbean. And Fain reminded of Royal Caribbean’s large source market penetration in Asia and Europe, pointing to another challenge, or potential opportunity, in growing the presence of Caribbean cruising to Europeans through a “better job of explaining…the differences between the islands.” After all, when passengers are choosing their vacation, “destination is always at the top of the list.” Presidents and CEOs took the stage Tuesday afternoon. Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International; Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line; Roberto Fusaro, president, MSC Cruises USA; Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises; and Andrew Stuart, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line, joined the moderator and FCCA president, Michele Paige, for the “Presidential Address.” “All of us are growing and focused on exceeding guest expectation,” said Duffy. 24 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
For Carnival Cruise Line, this includes “lots of new ships” and refurbishments to constantly support a consistent experience across the large fleet, and even focusing on popular smaller ships and continuing to draw “cruise rookies” in new markets through initiatives like a wave of North American homeports. “What should destinations be doing? It really is to make sure you understand our guests.” She also suggested focusing on delivering experiences for those that explore on their own instead of shore excursions, as well as considering crew, who not only spend at destinations, but also serve as onboard ambassadors and recommend things for passengers to see, do and eat. Fusaro expanded on Vago’s earlier thought of the Caribbean needing to support global growth through the proper infrastructure and experiences catering to multiple nationalities, stating that guests from around the world are looking for authentic, cultural experiences – and with the wide variety of guests MSC serves, diversity in offerings is key. “We definitely are a little bit different,” said Montague, with Regent’s entire fleet being fewer than the new ships on order for most of the panelists, but including Regent Seven Seas Explorer, “the most luxurious ship ever built.” “It’s a bold statement,” but Montague tells she live up to it through focusing on craftsmanship and “every single detail.” This also speaks to the level of service Regent provides and expectations of their
guests, which Regent spends considerable time studying behavioral markets to find “like-minded” passengers to “group together” – “who do in fact spend a lot of money wherever they go.” Bayley praised the “evolution of the cruise industry” and “extraordinary” growth, with constant increases in the American market, especially in the newto-cruise segment—and development in China and across the Atlantic based on demand for existing products. For destinations, “the real opportunity” lies in engaging in the same kind of strategic planning as cruise lines, he continued, which means understanding the customers, volumes, segmentations and more and then designing products and experiences to match their needs of not just today, but also what are believed to be the needs of the future. Today, that is already playing out in a shift from things to experiences and from volume tours—though he admitted volume bus tours would always fill a need—to “carefully curated” experiences and trends like multi-generational travel, with one of the suites on Symphony of the Seas selling for $90,000 per week. Looking to tomorrow, Bayley told destinations must also link in to the tech and connectivity demands growing by the megabyte per second – and that includes updates like facial recognition software to eliminate friction points and maximize guests’ invaluable time on vacation. Curated experiences also form the model for Norwegian’s freestyle cruising
model, with the freedom for every passenger to create their own individual journey on board, told Stuart. Ashore, he said destinations and stakeholders “help us curate this experience,” and to facilitate that, Norwegian informs shore excursion providers about the variety of things their passengers want. Currently, those wants include adventure trending, anything with nature, access to exclusivity and shopping, and he agreed there is still a need for volume tours, along with the help to manage them. For anything else destinations or stakeholders may want to know about Norwegian’s guests, Stuart told they are more than happy to provide it: “We’ll share!” High-level executives representing numerous sectors throughout the industry took the floor Wednesday. Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, global port and destination development, Carnival Corporation, and chairman of the FCCA Operations Committee, moderated a panel including Russell Benford, vice president, government relations, Americas, Royal Caribbean Cruises; Russell Daya, executive director, marine and port operations, port developments and itinerary planning, Disney Cruise Line; Albino Di Lorenzo, vice president, cruise operations, MSC Cruises USA; Christine Manjencic, vice president, destination services operations, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Crystal Morgan, director, deployment planning, Princess Cruises; and Matthew Sams, vice pres-
ident, Caribbean relations and private islands, Holland America Group, in “Creating Great Destinations.” Torres opened by praising the “strong buzz around what we’re doing as partners” and encouraged the audience to think of the top five reasons for people to visit their destination –and to focus on delivering them. After all, through metrics he and panelists shared, cruise lines are constantly evaluating destinations to find the things that are working. “We want to sell the destinations,” he told, and they also want to see passengers on shore, which is the greatest metric in terms of success. Anywhere above 70 percent is ideal. Manjencic focused on the elevated experiences that guests now want in destinations, meaning exclusivity and privatization, not mass tours, along with uniqueness and memorability – and they are willing to pay for that kind of luxury, she told. “The Caribbean is a top luxury destination, but are you delivering a luxury product?” Daya embraced Disney’s storytelling roots in discussing the origin of the British Virgin Islands’ Tortola Pier Park, with Disney and Norwegian working closely with the government, port and local businesses. He told key to all of that was the true collaboration and focus on finding the destination’s natural story and highlighting its best attributes, while also joining all parties to deliver a consistent, unified approach.
That consistent delivery, along with control of elements like cleanliness and constant friendliness for guest interaction, is something Sams credited for the success of private islands – and something the panel agreed all destinations could incorporate, especially with a focus on investing in human resources. Concentrating on making an island and the experiences unique, especially in relation to its local culture, was affirmed by Di Lorenzo—who also shared how MSC Cruises focused on its own one-ofa-kind island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve—and Benford, who dived further into cultural immersion that is now driving guests. However, sometimes the sum adds up, as Morgan reminded that “no island can exist alone” because it must be part of an itinerary. She also shared how destinations can zero in on cruise lines if they know the brand and its passengers. In Princess’ case, they “sail everywhere and sell everywhere” and can represent possible expanded source markets for the Caribbean. The final workshop took place on Thursday, Nov. 8 and gathered top representatives from both the cruise line and destination sides, with Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises and chairman of the FCCA, serving as moderator and joining Richard Sasso, chairman, MSC Cruises USA; Giora Israel, senior vice president, global port development, Carnival Corporation; Beverly Nicholson-Doty, FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 25
Meetings & Events
commissioner of tourism, USVI; Carla Campos, executive director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC); and Alex Gumbs, business development and marketing manager, Port St. Maarten, for “Investing in Your Future. “The theme of this panel is specifically around partnership, but also partnership has been a recurring theme in not only the other panels and meetings…but of the FCCA,” said Goldstein. The panel showed how this was displayed during crisis following last year’s storms, with Sasso pointing out that ships could have been moved, but instead stayed to help. For MSC Group, that help also came through as reaching out to their own subsidiaries and partners and “six degrees of separation” to find all the resources and then “connect the dots” for initiatives like providing containers carrying water and even a semi-permanent school, along with ferries to transport people in need. “Connecting those dots” on a larger scale is something all need to focus on moving forward as the region will have to find ways to “challenge the status quo” in order to grow or maintain its capacity, he continued. Proper planning also took the spotlight throughout the crisis and can be viewed as a bigger picture. In terms of crisis management, Nicholson-Doty confirmed that all the hard work is done in the preparation, and Sasso pointed to things for other destinations to consider for the future, including forming a crisis management plan and properly coor26 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
dinating on efforts like relief supplies to prevent duplication and ensure the essentials arrive. In the end, Sasso said that the experience brought all closer together, and the incredible recovery in Puerto Rico showcases the efforts and resilience, while also serving as a sterling example of what partnership can do. Israel also praised the recovery, however told the focus should not be on building back quickly, but to build back sustainably and with the ability to “better survive” such storms by preparing infrastructure and utilities for the new reality of weather patterns—something Gumbs pointed out had already happened following initiatives from previous storms, such as mostly underground power, leading to a recovery of months instead of years. Puerto Rico had obviously done that when building back better, and that tied to another key lesson learned by the destination and shared by Campos: “assess and adapt.” She also echoed the earlier theme of the importance of the people themselves and preparing them for the messaging and experience to deliver to ensure consistency, while also tracking trends and metrics to understand when to pivot messaging. Nicholson-Doty echoed the need for that communication with stakeholders throughout the destination, but also pointed out that same kind of ongoing dialogue is needed with the cruise industry, and all the destination representatives praised
their work with the FCCA Operations Committee in better understanding the needs and ways to improve—including plenty of new experiences, which she told are especially vital considering the 60 percent of repeat visitors to St. Thomas. The idea of reinvention was also mentioned by Gumbs and literally printed on the St. Maarten delegation’s shirts, and he reaffirmed the significance of preparing stakeholders. For St. Maarten, that even meant creating workshops specifically for the purpose of gathering stakeholders to teach the story to tell guests – and one of its new experiences, the award-winning Rockland Estate, is a sign of partnership, with Carnival Corporation investing in it as part of its strategy to support local operators and attractions that display natural assets and provide unforgettable experiences. Despite the success story written in the midst of tragedy, the panel went on to discuss and peek at chapters of the book with challenges to come—including changing consumer trends, increasing competition from a global playing field and the need to focus on sustainability and implement environmentally friendly measures as the industry continues to exceed compliance, while wanting its partners to do the same—but agreed that for those embracing the spirit of partnership and constant improvement, smooth sailing is ahead. For more coverage, including full features of the workshops and opening ceremony on Facebook Live, please visit @FCCAupdates.
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Meetings & Events
FCCA and Partners Bring the Caribbean and Latin America Closer to Europe at Seatrade Med
he Caribbean and Latin America were further connected to Europe for the second consecutive year through a joint initiative between the FCCA and its partners. Together with the United States Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Belize, Chukka Caribbean Adventures and Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA attended Seatrade Med and targeted the audience of over 2,300 professionals, including influential cruise executives, through joint trade show space featuring networking receptions, arranged meetings and more. “With the increasingly global nature of the industry, bilateral partnerships abroad are becoming even more valuable,” said Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and chairman of the FCCA. “The FCCA has a long history of developing these partnerships, and this initiative offered a proven way for its Caribbean and Latin American partners to get closer to European cruise lines, stakeholders and source markets.” Through its long-standing partnership with Seatrade, the FCCA coordinated a trade show pavilion that
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made the focus and showcase the partners, each having an individualized booth and meeting space to capture the attention of and engage the audi-
ence. Additionally, the FCCA fostered engagement by arranging networking receptions, while also leveraging its resources and contacts to help schedule
private meetings with the participating cruise executives. In all, this led to meetings between the FCCA’s partners and Adria Bono, shore excursions director of Silversea Cruises; Jack Cochrane, senior itinerary planner for Carnival UK Group; Jose Negron, vice president of strategic port development for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH); Tine Oelmann, director of destination management and operations of TUI Cruises; Sandraw Weir, vice president of destination development and government relations for NCLH; and Steven Young, vice president, port and shore operations, Carnival UK Group – along with itinerary planning executives from Cruceros Pullmantur, a Costa Cruises destination management executive and many other cruise executives and travel stakeholders. “I am thankful to our partners and Seatrade for making this opportunity possible,” said Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. “The FCCA’s core mission is built on mutual success, and this helped continue connecting the world of cruising for both us and our partners by developing invaluable relationships in and understanding of a key market.”
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Meetings & Events
Holiday Gifts, Cheer and Festivities Shipped to Deserving Children in the Caribbean and Latin America
his holiday season, Santa’s climbing down cruise ship smokestacks instead of chimneys as he travels to 32 destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Because of the efforts of Old St. Nick, the FCCA Foundation, FCCA Member Lines and participating destination partners, more than 6,000 deserving children will have something to celebrate this year during the 22nd annual FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project. The FCCA Foundation contributed gifts selected for age groups and genders specified by the destinations. With Member Lines’ vessels serving as a sleigh and crew as elves, they are bringing the presents to the destinations, where representatives have coordinated festivities both on board and on land. During the celebrations, with guests ranging from Santa and Shrek to Mickey Mouse and The Cat in the Hat, the children will not only receive their presents, but also the gift of a memory that will last a lifetime. “This project celebrates children and the spirit of giving by providing a very special day of fun and gifts to well-deserving kids in our port communities,” said Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, global port and destination development, Carnival Corporation. The spirit and cheer extends past the children; all of those involved exemplify it and realize the project’s importance, knowing the children probably would not receive toys and smiles otherwise. “Being a part of the [Holiday Gift Project] allowed me to experience what it is to make a life by what we give,” said Sherryl Bacayo, training specialist on Norwegian Jewel. “It was such a great joy to see smiles on those lovely little ones. I felt the true spirit of Christmas.” “You could see the happiness and excitement on the kid’s faces as the boxes of toys were offloaded and Santa Claus came to their school,” said Dorothy Dorado, youth director for Carnival Liberty. “It felt so good to see the kids jumping and screaming when they saw us coming. We left the school with tears in our eyes.” 30 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“…A VERY SPECIAL DAY OF FUN AND GIFTS TO WELL-DESERVING KIDS…” –CARLOS TORRES DE NAVARRA, VP, GLOBAL PORT & DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT, CARNIVAL CORPORATION.
“We are honored, and humbled at the same time, that we are able to participate in sharing the blessings to other people…we believe that we can change lives, one person at a time,” said Marc
Raymundo, human resources manager for Celebrity Infinity. Sherryl, Dorothy and Marc touched not just on the sentiment, but also on part of the importance of the festivities and the meaning for all involved—helping kids enjoy being kids, a concept seemingly simple, but mostly unknown to the children in shelters and homes benefitted by the project, and something that has a lasting effect on all involved. This was also the effect Michele Paige, president of the FCCA, recognized: “The FCCA Holiday Gift Project brings happiness to children who truly deserve it.
provided for causes and projects like these over the Foundation’s 25-year existence.
“…WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN CHANGE LIVES, ONE PERSON AT A TIME.” –MARC RAYMUNDO, HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER, CELEBRITY INFINITY
The cruise industry is proud to give back to the communities of the destinations we call, and I cannot think of a more rewarding way than bringing cheer and aid to children who need it.” She encapsulated the main mission of not only the Holiday Gift Project, but also the entire FCCA Foundation—to improve the lives of those less fortunate throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, primarily for children’s causes. Every smile is a reminder of this mandate and an invaluable return on the time, efforts and funds
Participating Destinations: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Antigua; Aruba; Belize City, Belize; Bonaire; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cartagena, Colombia; Coco Cay, The Bahamas; Colon, Panama; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Curacao; Freeport, The Bahamas; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Half Moon Cay, Eleuthera, The Bahamas; Harvest Caye, Belize; Labadee, Haiti; Martinique; Nassau, The Bahamas; Princess Cays, Eleuthera, The Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; Samana, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Croix, USVI; St. Kitts; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Thomas, USVI; and Tortola, BVI Participating FCCA Member Lines: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International
Students and Schools Throughout 19 Caribbean and Latin America Receive Scholarships in FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Competition
fforts and education of children and schools throughout 19 Caribbean and Latin American destinations were again awarded through the annual FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Competition. This year 34 students submitted, with the participating kids and their schools receiving nearly $25,000 in scholarships. “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping children, and I am proud of all the ways the FCCA Foundation achieves this,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “The essay competition is particularly special because it directly benefits children’s futures and encourages them to continue striving in their scholastic endeavors, while helping their schools develop even more exceptional students.” This year’s participants focused on the cultural aspects of their country that
cruise passengers should experience—with all essays showcasing not only the diverse cultures and histories throughout the destinations, but also and most importantly, the students’ excellence in writing and ability to understand cruise passengers’ perspectives and roles in the destinations. Understandably, it was difficult to choose winners, but the FCCA Foundation awarded first-, second- and third-place honors to participants from the junior division, consisting of students between nineand 12-years-old, and the senior division, featuring students between 13 and 16. First place in the junior division was Xara Mon Desir from Cayman Islands, and Kia Knight from Barbados took the gold in the senior division. Those champions and their schools will both receive $3,000 academic scholarships, and the
winners and a chaperone will be invited to accept their prizes at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show Opening Ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday, November 6. Second place in the junior division was Leilene Amaya Muggins from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Ariel Albert from St. Lucia earned second-place honors in the senior division. Those winners and their schools each receive $1,500 scholarships. Third place in the junior division was Arjenel Browne from St. Kitts, and Ajahni Rosario from the U.S. Virgin Islands took bronze in the senior division. Both they and their schools will receive $1,000 scholarships. To reward the fantastic efforts of all participating students and their schools, the other participants and respective schools will receive $200 scholarships. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 31
Meetings & Events
Cruise Industry Celebrates Female Leaders in Cruising on Boss’s Day
n October 2018, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) invited travelers to #ChooseCruise and celebrate the cruise industry. One of the many ways CLIA celebrated was recognizing the powerful, influential women in leadership roles throughout the industry on Boss’s Day, October 16. Boss’s Day first began in 1958 as a way for employees to share their appreciation when it came to their bosses and this secular holiday has continued on. “The cruise industry is filled with talented, female professionals leading teams to propel the industry forward every single day,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “From onboard services and marketing to executive leadership, the cruise industry would not be in the successful position it is today without the women who steer this sector of the travel industry.”
NUMEROUS NOTABLE WOMEN GUIDING THE CRUISE INDUSTRY TODAY The cruise industry has continued to grow over the past decades, and with it, the number of women working in diverse roles within the industry has also seen exponential growth. From the hundreds of female CLIA-Certified Travel Agents to the leading women executives in top positions at cruise lines, there are so many distinguished, true leaders. Here are some of the most notable women guiding the cruise industry today: • Kristin, Karst, AmaWaterways AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Kristin Karst is a charismatic, entrepreneur leading her teams by example and following what she calls her four pillars for success: positive thinking, passion, partnerships and personal interaction.
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• Pamela Hoffee, Avalon Waterways - In 2018, Avalon Waterways announced that Pamela Hoffee was taking the helm as managing director, overseeing all things river cruising for the company. For 15 years, Pam has led product and operations for the Globus family of brands. As the NEW managing director of the company, Pam will steer this leading river cruise company into the future, supported by a team across the globe. • Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line Carnival employs some of the most talented employees in the cruise industry, all led by President Christine Duffy, who oversees more than 40,000 employees both on board and ashore across their 26 ships. Christine has more than 30 years of diverse experience in the industry, first beginning when she worked as a travel agent. She held different CEO roles before becoming president of Carnival Cruise Line in 2015. • Jackie Chase & Jamie Paiko, Cunard Line Cunard’s North American marketing team is helmed by two women, Director of Public Relations Jackie Chase and Senior Director of Marketing Jamie Paiko. Both have been with Cunard Line for several years. • Diane Moore, Paul Gauguin Cruises Recognized as a leading expert in the industry, Diane Moore joined Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2010 as executive vice president and was later promoted to president. Diane has more than 40 years of cruise and travel experience, and her first job out of college was actually working for a cruise line. • Edie Rodriguez, Ponant - Edie Rodriguez is Americas brand chairman and special corporate advisor for
PONANT, the world’s leading luxury yacht expedition cruise line. Rodriguez has over 30 years of experience in executive roles in the cruise and travel industry. In recognition of her business leadership, she was named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of The Year” in May 2017, and was selected as Luxury Daily’s “25 Luxury Women to Watch for 2017.” • Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises – Known as a game changer, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo has over 33 years of experience in different roles at Royal Caribbean International. In 2014, Lisa was appointed president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. She’s overseen and guided the launch of several next-generation cruise ships. An avid champion for diversity and inclusion, Lisa proudly hired the first female American captain, the first female Ecuadorian captain and the first female African bridge officer.
These women, along like many other women in the cruise industry, are passionate about the industry and believe in making a positive difference.
Barbados Beyond our shores J
ust when you thought you knew it all about Barbados – the glorious white sandy beaches with exciting watersport activities, the endless sunny days and rum-soaked nights, the luxury resorts and enchanting restaurants – you find out that there’s so much more the island has to offer!
If you thought you knew it all about Barbados, get ready to find out what else lies beyond our shores. You’d be surprised that close to the port in the capital Bridgetown, are a number of museums that safeguard the history of our island. Did you know that Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth? The interactive Parliament museum, housed within the West Wing of the Gothic-styled Parliament Buildings, traces the development of our democracy in a collaborative way. Another incredible museum in Historic Bridgetown is known as The Exchange, where the development of business and trade in the city through the decades is featured. The building houses two exhibition gallery floors and an art gallery. You may have heard of George Washington House, the site where the first American President stayed on his only trip outside of the United States, but did you know of the Garrison tunnels, a network of passageways running for miles under the Garrison Savannah area? In the North, St. Nicholas Abbey is a 17th century Jacobeanstyle mansion that is one of the island’s finest historic sites. Coming soon is their exciting feature attraction of an antique replica steam engine train that will take passengers on a remarkable journey that will include the stunning vista at Cherry Tree Hill.
As Barbados continues to innovate, the island recognises the importance of the natural ecosystem and many of our newest attractions certainly play their part in ensuring our commitment to protect, produce and preserve. Coco Hill forest is one such experience where 53 acres of rainforest overlook the East Coast of the island. Visitors can engage in ‘green therapy’ surrounded by hundreds of palm trees, fruit trees and medicinal trees. Harrison’s Cave Eco-Adventure Tour lets you get down and dirty as you walk, creep and crawl through natural passageways to explore cave formations like the original discoverers of the cave did. Hunte’s Gardens, located in the center of Barbados' rain forest in a sink-hole-like gully, offers a picturesque series of mini-gardens. Vibrant colours and textures of rare, exotic plants offer the visitor an uplifting and fulfilling experience.
There’s so much more adventure waiting for you to discover in Barbados. Ask your travel agent for more details or visit us at visitbarbados.org Photos from top to bottom: Kadooment festival, Parliament and its museum, Hunte’s Gardens, St. Nicholas Abbey, Coco Hill, #1 Bajan Bus tour.
Cruise Industry Highlights Why Travelers Should #ChooseCruise
n October, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) presented highlights on why travelers should #ChooseCruise. The initiative, formerly known as Plan a Cruise Month, featured the latest information about cruise travel, the best deals and promotions as well as the cruise insights across the industry’s social platforms. “The #ChooseCruise campaign is a way to highlight the many amazing reasons why travelers should choose a cruise for vacation,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Cruise travel can offer experiences and adventures that are unique to each traveler giving them the chance to check off bucket list items in a fun, carefree way.”
repacking suitcases and coordinating travel can take its toll. Cruising is the simplest, worry-free way to explore multiple destinations, all from the home base aboard ship. • Go on an Adventure - Many travelers are looking for more adventure when it comes to vacationing, and cruise travel can deliver. Alaska is still the favored choice for adventure or expedition travel, with 78 percent choosing the Last Frontier State as their destination. Cruisers’ other choices that offer high adventure include Darwin’s favorite, the Galapagos Islands (59 percent), the South Pacific (51 percent) and Antarctica (43 percent).
MAKING MILESTONES MEMORABLE ON A CRUISE Every day on a cruise ship is a celebration, so it’s no wonder that many travelers choose to commemorate life’s greatest moments while on a cruise vacation. These range from weddings, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, reunions, and retirement to everything in between. #ChooseCruise shared insights and tips about cruise travel so travelers could make the most out of those milestones and memories. FIVE REASONS TO #CHOOSECRUISE Cruising provides so many options for travelers to consider and enjoy, and #ChooseCruise announced its starting five: • Fulfill the Bucket List - It’s nearly unanimous; 95 percent of travel agents say they’re seeing an uptick in new cruise destinations because travelers are seeking to knock things off of bucket lists. Sixty-two percent of agents say they are seeing more cruises booked to Alaska, making it the top growth destination in the cruise industry. Other top destinations: Caribbean/Bermuda/Mexico (41 percent), Mediterranean Europe (36 percent) and Canada/New England (36 percent). • Unpack Once - Traveling to multiple destinations on a single trip is a great way to maximize vacation time, but the hassle of checking in and out of destinations, packing and 34 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“CRUISE TRAVEL CAN OFFER EXPERIENCES AND ADVENTURES THAT ARE UNIQUE TO EACH TRAVELER…” –CINDY D’AOUST, PRESIDENT & CEO, CLIA
• Prepare to Be Pampered – From service to spas, cruise travel is known for pampering passengers. Suite guests are often welcomed with personal butlers and suite stewards. This level of service offers guests valet service and help with any special requests.
Some cruise lines offer the ultimate one-ofa-kind luxury experiences at onboard spas, from 24K-gold facials to chocolate body massage treatments. • Healthy Living – Cruise lines are offering more healthy living options for travelers than ever before. Cruise chefs offer health conscious foods for various dietary needs, from keto to gluten- and dairy-free. Fitness equipment, classes and seminars keep guests on track, while onboard activities like zip lines, ice skating and surf simulators offer fun ways to keep active.
TAILORING THE PERSONALIZED CRUISE TRIP Tying into the Five Reasons to #ChooseCruise are some other key things to consider. Travelers can leverage the expertise of a CLIA-certified travel agent to tailor their personalized cruise trip. For instance, with Go on an Adventure, a CLIA-certified travel agent can help travelers find special excursions, along with some special, culturally immersive ceremonies or experiences that might be available based on that particular destination they’re traveling to. When it comes to Prepare to Be Pampered, a CLIA-certified travel agent can once again provide more ideas and suggestions on what is available on that ship when it comes to services, ranging from spas to treatments. As cruise destinations continue to grow, Fulfill the Bucket List is another area a CLIAcertified travel agent can provide more “real time” information on the special experiences in those diverse destinations. TRAVEL AGENT SUPPORT With more than 27.2 million cruisers expected to embark on a cruise by the end of this year, these travelers can leverage the expertise of a CLIA-certified cruise travel agent to tailor a personalized cruise trip. Travel agents offer their clients real-world experience and industry insider expertise, as well as exclusive deals and promotions available through CLIA initiatives like those offered during #ChooseCruise in October.
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Celebrity Edge Arrives to ‘New Home of Modern Luxury’ Following more than four years of planning and 23 months of construction at the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees and the newbuild and Celebrity Cruises teams, and after a 4,000-mile, 15-day transatlantic crossing from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, the game-changing Celebrity Edge finally arrived home—the ‘new home of modern luxury,’ Port Everglades’ Terminal 25 (T25) in Hollywood, Florida—on November 18. “The arrival of Celebrity Edge today book-ends a major chapter in the growth of Celebrity Cruises,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. “It’s the culmination of years of dreaming, designing and dedication to bring this magnificent ship to life. A new era is truly upon us.” “The completion of her first-ever transatlantic crossing and arrival at T25 marks such a historic moment for Celebrity Cruises,” added Lisa LutoffPerlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, when viewing this momentous occasion from the bridge of Celebrity Edge with Fain. “This has been more than four years in the making. The collaboration and effort between teams across the world all comes together in this incredible moment.”
After the arrival of Celebrity Edge— Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and the first of a new class in more than a decade—at T25, Lutoff-Perlo and Fain then hosted a grand opening ceremony in the revolutionary new terminal, marking the official grand opening of the first terminal designed exclusively for the Celebrity brand, dubbed the new home of modern luxury.
Brought to life in collaboration with Broward County’s Port Everglades, Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. and Moss Construction, T25 melds a stunning, warmly inviting design with unique technology, such as Expedited Arrival, which will make the check-in process absolutely seamless, as well as an interactive light wall art installation. T25 will also offer The Retreat guests a singular experience along the path to The Retreat, with an exclusive lounge, elevator lobbies, screening areas and even a private rooftop terrace.
The New Sound of Adventure, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, Makes Bombastic US Debut Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the new sound of adventure, made her highly anticipated debut to the cruise capital of the world on November 9, forever changing the status quo on vacations for adventure-seekers everywhere. Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S. “Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment—all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences.” Symphony features a next-level collection of new experiences including the two-story Ultimate Family Suite for eight guests includes an in-suite slide and “Royal Genie” concierge; new restaurants, including Hooked Seafood with fresh, New England-style favorites, and made-to-order Mexican “street fare” at El Loco Fresh; a glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure; and an always-evolving Royal Caribbean app, enabling expedited arrival, more personalization and interactive onboard features. Symphony of the Seas also features a playlist of the greatest hits that Royal Caribbean guests know and love from the iconic Oasis Class ships. The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas encompasses 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 1,188 feet in length. Each week, Symphony will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or the ship’s signature Boardwalk neighborhood. Newest, Largest and LNGPowered Carnival Cruise Line Vessel Begins Construction When Carnival Cruise Line held a steel cutting ceremony in Finland on November 15, it not only marked the start of construction on the brand’s newest and largest FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 37
On Board 180,000-ton vessel, but also the beginning of a new chapter of the company’s “green cruising” platform in what will be the first-ever ship operating in North America to use liquefied natural gas (LNG). The traditional steel-cutting ceremony held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, signified the official start of construction of the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed, to be delivered in 2020. At the ceremony, the company also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull design that celebrates its legacy as America’s Cruise Line and pays homage to maritime tradition while building upon the company’s iconic color scheme that has made Carnival one of the most recognizable brands in travel. “This new ship promises to be truly special, from its groundbreaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. Following the steel-cutting ceremony, construction began on the 5,200-plus-lower-berth, 1,130-foot-long ship that will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and will be the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by LNG—part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” design platform—when operating from Port Canaveral beginning in 2020. Details on the ship’s inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel’s vast array of exciting culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival’s founding.
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MSC Cruises Immerses Itself in Ultra-Luxury with Order for Four New Ships MSC Cruises and Fincantieri have signed an MOA to build four 500cabin, 64,000-ton, ultra-luxury ships for a total value in excess of €2bn. With the first to be delivered in spring 2023 and the remaining three to come into service one per year over the following three years, the new class promises a highly innovative design with groundbreaking options for comfort and relaxation, as well as the latest environmental technology and other cutting-edge maritime solutions. “It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalized MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7.” “We are extremely satisfied that to launch a new class of ships in the luxury segment, MSC Cruises has recognized that our design will help them create a new generation of ships that will be cutting edge both in terms of safety and technological content, and with particular attention paid to passenger comfort,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.
Order on Deck for Three New Ships, Two New Ultra-Luxury and One Expedition, for Silversea Cruises New additions are on the way for Silversea Cruises, the ultra-luxury and expedition cruise brand that recently joined the Royal Caribbean family. Silversea signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build two new vessels in a new Evolution class—with the first expected to deliver in 2022—along with a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct a new expedition vessel, named Silver Origin, to serve the Galapagos Islands and expected for delivery in March 2020. “We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft on the Silver Evolution series and De Hoop for Silver Origin,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s executive chairman. “With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galápagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel.” “We are excited to get to work helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, which finalized its two-thirds acquisition of Silversea earlier this year. “There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travelers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them.”
New Cunard Ship Will Celebrate the Brand’s Storied Heritage with a ‘Whisper’ Cunard has appointed world-renowned designer Adam D. Tihany as creative director of its upcoming new ship. Tihany—who has led the way in restaurant design, creating signature restaurant interiors for such culinary stars as Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal—will oversee the entire interior design process of the much-anticipated that will join the Cunard fleet in 2022. “The name Cunard is obviously magical and I’m very excited to be involved in this project,” said Tihany. “If you look at the history of Cunard, it has always been a forward-looking brand. It has a classic image, but actually each ship has been innovative for its period. We want to continue this tradition and move the brand forward with the creation of this exciting and spectacularly beautiful new ship.”
Work is ongoing, and Tihany promises plenty of surprises: “Guests can expect a much lighter, contemporary feel, but crucially it will still feel like a Cunard ship, and Cunard’s loyal guests will feel very at home. The new ship will celebrate Cunard’s British heritage, but with a whisper, not a shout.” The ship, Cunard’s first new build for 12 years will be the 249th vessel to sail under the Cunard flag and when she joins Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in the Cunard fleet, the luxury cruise brand will have four ships in service for the first time since 2000.
Celebrity Cruises Unveils the First-Ever Glamping Experience at Sea The first ship ever designed exclusively for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora, just introduced another enticing industry first: a once-in-a-lifetime camping experience on the top deck of the luxury yacht that allows guests to dine, drink and, yes, even sleep under one of the most spectacular night skies in the world. “Celebrity Flora was specifically designed to bring our guests closer to the Galapagos Islands than ever before…and now our new Galapagos Glamping experience gives guests an incredible opportunity to experience the destination the ship was built for, on a whole new level, under the millions of stars above,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises.
“On behalf of Cunard, we are extremely excited for Adam Tihany to be leading the creative design of our newest ship,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. “Cunard’s 249th ship will continue to innovate and define luxury at sea while nodding to the company’s storied history. Adam has been a friend of Cunard for many years, and we look forward to his creative leadership and sharing more designs as they come to life.”
Four star-struck guests per night will be able to book the top deck onboard experience and participate in this one-night-only adventure that breaks down the walls and bring guests closer than ever to this stunning destination while enjoying campfire-inspired culinary delights—from cocktails and carefully selected wines to s’mores— specially curated for the evening, a delicious dinner and spectacular sunrise with a full bed-side breakfast. To help guests fully appreciate the breathtaking views this experience offers, a naturalist will also be available to highlight the stars and constellations visible from this region of the world directly from the cabana seats.
Carnival Cruise Line to Complete Most Extensive Fleet-Wide Enhancement Program in Cruising The dry dock transforming Carnival Victory into Carnival Radiance represents the final phase of Carnival Cruise Line’s $2 billion fleet enhancement program that has brought the addition of the line’s popular culinary, bar and entertainment innovations to complete an “any ship, any port, FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 39
On Board any itinerary” level of service and offerings across its fleet of 26 ships—one unparalleled in the cruise industry. “We have been investing in our products, amenities and experience offerings at unprecedented levels, which are driving higher results in guest satisfaction, passenger yields and onboard revenue,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our guests and travel agent partners can count on a high degree of consistency and quality vacation offerings across all our fleet and homeports regardless of what ship they’re sailing on.” As part of the fleet enhancement program, popular features are nearly ubiquitous across the fleet, with consistent level of experiences from WaterWorks aqua parks, specialty dining, entertainment, enhanced accommodations and amenities to the more than five million passengers who annually sail with the line. Carnival launched its fleet enhancement program in 2011. Since, it has completed refurbishments to more than 20 ships; taken delivery of three new ships and has three additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2022; grown its annual passenger count from 4.1 million to 5.2 million guests, with lower berth count increasing from 58,000 to 70,000; and amplified its voyage operations from 1,400 to 1,700 sailings per year. Duffy said that Carnival’s top quality offerings and consistency across its fleet have attracted more guests that are new to cruise, as well as solidified Carnival cruise brand loyalists by providing new and exciting shipboard choices. “Our guest satisfaction ratings continue to trend upward, reflecting our ability to exceed our guests’
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expectations by delivering an excellent experience,” she continued. As Carnival completes this phase of the capital investment and fleet expansion program, it is focusing more intensely on providing a better onboard technology experience for guests. Recent data shows that the Carnival HubApp—which is now available fleet-wide and has generated more than 4.5 million downloads since its introduction in January 2015—had at least one guest who downloaded the app in nearly two-thirds of all staterooms, and more than half of all guests interacted with the HubApp at least once during the cruise. More than 20 percent of onboard specialty dining and tour excursion purchases are placed using the HubApp, contributing to the double digit lift in onboard revenue since introduced. This summer on its two new Vista-class vessels, 40 percent of guests purchased the HubApp’s onboard chat feature, and the HubApp is also driving internet revenue, with penetration now averaging more than 50 percent of all guests across the fleet. Carnival is also piloting a “pizza anywhere” delivery capability on select vessels with the eventual goal of allowing guests to order food and drink options directly from the HubApp for delivery to their location on board. The enhanced NextGen connectivity system has proven extremely successful on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, enabling fast and reliable Wi-Fi at sea. Further deployment of this technology on Carnival Radiance will provide even more guests the opportunity to enjoy superior connectivity. Additionally, Carnival is investing in an enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure to bring more robust service across the Carnival fleet by 2021.
Carnival Corporation Recognized as CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for OceanMedallion, Unveils OceanView Carnival Corporation was named a CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for the OceanMedallion, the revolutionary wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations. Originally unveiled by Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, and championed by Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), at CES 2017, the Medallion device persistently connects a cruise guest’s unique digital identity with an intelligent shipboard Experience Internet of Things (xIoT) ecosystem to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of personalized service on a large scale. The device enables all aspects of an elevated guest vacation including hassle-free payment, keyless, personalized stateroom access, frictionless embarkation, on-demand services and more. “Few accolades are as prestigious as the CES Innovation Awards, and we are incredibly honored to receive this recognition for game-changing innovation,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. “Rarer is for the travel industry to be driving the apex of applied innovation in the IoT space. This award helps to further validate that technology, particularly IoT, has endless application in the travel business to transform and maximize consumers’ precious vacation time.” The honors followed another first for the travel industry, with the announcement of OceanView Mobile, the first travel content app from a travel provider that lets people explore the most popular destinations wherever and whenever they choose. The new app will let consumers watch the most popular U.S. travel series and other original travel shows at home, on the go and at sea.
Next-Level Adventures on Navigator of the Seas New, record-breaking experiences are coming to a reimagined Navigator of the Seas. With a $115 million modernization, Navigator will offer vacationers a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites, including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, two daring waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, Insta-worthy nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities for the whole family. “Each Royal Caribbean ship brings a new adventure uniquely designed to deliver on our guests’ preferences from A to Z,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “After launching our Royal Amplified modernization program with Independence of the Seas and then redefining short getaways with Mariner of the Seas, we are challenging ourselves to take it to the next level. Every detail matters, and we’ve mapped out an unmatched combination of innovative features and experiences for this top-to-bottom transformation of Navigator of the Seas.” Navigator’s top decks will be the center of this unforgettable weekend escape with adrenaline-inducing and feel-good moments from bow to stern. The Perfect Storm brings a new wave of excitement with the boldest duo of waterslides yet: The Blaster, the cruise line’s first-ever aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea, and Riptide, the industry’s only headfirst mat racer featuring an exhilarating finish through a translucent tube with endless ocean views. Signature Royal Caribbean features like the FlowRider surf simulator and rock-climbing wall will round out these next-level feats. The completely reimagined, resortstyle poolscape is infused with Caribbean
vibes. New to the scene is The Lime and Coconut. The two-level signature bar will sweeten sunsets with cocktails as pool days transform into pool nights with extended hours, live music and a “rooftop” deck for a bird’s-eye view. When hunger strikes, the weekend goes uninterrupted with casual grab-and-go spots on deck like tasty Mexican street fare at El Loco Fresh and American classics at the first Johnny Rockets Express. Having originally debuted on Voyager Class, the cruise line’s signature Royal Promenade will tout new restaurants, retail and nightlife, including To Dry For, the first standalone blow dry bar at sea, offering blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes. Younger kids will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new take on the Adventure Ocean youth program in a newly designed open, free play space. With trained staff and the cruise line’s award-winning programming, the modern concept will let imaginations roam free with activities organized by interests at every corner. The teen areas will also sport updates with a redesigned Living Room, the teen-only laidback hangout, as well as a new “hidden” entrance. Rooted in research and guest feedback, Royal Caribbean’s investment of more than $1 billion in the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience. Navigator of the Seas, the third ship to be reimagined, builds on the program’s success in creating iconic pools and attractions, as well as the elevated dining and nightlife that travelers seek on shorter and more frequent getaways.
Holland America Line Debuts New Club Orange Program with Exclusive Benefits and Premium Amenities Holland America Line is introducing the unique Club Orange program that provides exclusive benefits and amenities to guests looking to elevate their cruise experience. From a private dining venue to priority services and a dedicated concierge hotline, Club Orange allows guests to opt in to extra privileges that are available to a limited number of guests on each cruise. “Club Orange allows guests to add extra premium benefits and luxury amenities to their cruise for a great value,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “One of the reasons people choose Holland America Line is because of the quality of what we offer—the best food at sea, the most authentic live entertainment and our award-winning service—and Club Orange is another way for guests to enhance their cruise experience.” Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises Further Enhance the Guest Experience Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced two guest experience enhancements that reflect guest recommendations and emerging luxury cruise trends, and Oceania Cruises has unveiled a suite of new guest service enhancements as part of the line’s OceaniaNEXT initiative. Regent’s enhancements include the opening of its pool grills to serve relaxed, gourmet dinner al fresco fleetwide—complementing the gourmet dining room experience through an alternative more relaxed dinner experience after a day of immersive shore excursions—and the ability for guests to use shipboard credits toward ship-based purchases prior to departure. “Every guest has a slightly different definition of luxury,” says Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague. “For some, the ability to relax and enjoy the finest cuisine in a casual setting, while watching the sunset from the pool deck of our ships and seeing the ocean waves go by, is luxurious.” Through the new suite of guest service enhancements as part of the line’s OceaniaNEXT initiative, guests FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 41
and their travel agents can now utilize shipboard credit prior to departure to purchase sought-after experiences; the OceaniaCruises.com homepage has been redesigned with new, intuitive navigation to
make planning and managing an Oceania Cruises experience easier than ever; future cruise booking savings and incentives have been extended for guests and travel agent partners; and through partnership with Luggage Forward®, guests can have baggage or equipment shipped from their doorstep directly to any Oceania Cruises voyage and then back again. “As OceaniaNEXT continues to evolve, travelers and travel agent partners will see we are innovating and enhancing all aspects of the Oceania Cruises experience, in ways both large and small, yet always meaningful and impactful,” said James Rodriguez, executive vice president of Oceania Cruises.
Silversea Enhances Onboard Entertainment Program with Brand New Musical Productions Silversea Cruises is raising the curtain on six entirely new theatrical performances. Developed in partnership with renowned Luna Rossa Productions, the new shows will be performed in the theatres aboard the cruise line’s ultra-luxury ships and will enrich the existing onboard enter42 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
tainment program. Each of the new shows will be exclusive to a particular ship, adding to three productions that are common to all ships, and feature high-quality musical tracks spotlighting the talents of The Voices of Silversea, vivacious costumes, evocative set designs, and elaborate visual effects.
Princess Cruises Revamps SHARE and Honored by SHAPE Magazine and Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement After unveiling a revamped mouth-watering six-course, fine-dining experience from award-winning Chef Curtis Stone at SHARE, Princess Cruises was recognized by SHAPE magazine as a winner in its fourth annual Healthy Travel Awards, representing the best wellness hot spots and programs, recognizing the cruise line’s state-of-the-art Lotus Spa and Fitness Centers onboard its 17 cruise ships. “Part of enjoying a cruise vacation includes the ultimate relaxation—the act of keeping up with fitness goals, pampering yourself and getting the ultimate night sleep at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We’ve made it a priority to keep our Lotus Spa and Fitness Centers current with the most popular exercise classes and equipment for our guests.” All this follows on the heels of news that the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) honored “Fantastic Journey” with its Thea Award of Outstanding Achievement, adding more authenticity to guests’ rave reviews for the mesmerizing theatrical show with elaborate costumes and state-of-the-art multimedia technology developed through the long-standing collaboration between Princess Cruises’ creative director Kerry Lovegrove and American Idol’s Danny Tesson. MSC Cruises Adds Exclusive Masterchef Juniors at Sea Experience to Award-Winning Family Offering MSC Cruises has announced the launch of MasterChef Juniors at Sea, a brand-new and exclusive kids’ cooking competition. Following the introduction of MasterChef at Sea program for adults last year, this latest
announcement marks an extension of the Company’s partnership with MasterChef producers, Endemol Shine Group. MasterChef Juniors at Sea is currently available on MSC Seaview, and will roll out across the rest of the fleet starting March 2019. Captain Marvel Joins Epic Lineup of Super Heroes Aboard Disney Cruise Line In 2019, Disney Cruise Line guests will be the first to meet Captain Marvel when she makes her debut during Marvel Day at Sea. For the first time ever, guests will encounter one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe as part of an action-packed, day-long celebration aboard select Disney Magic sailings departing January 6 through March 8 from Miami.
Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal to Open First ‘Big Chicken’ Restaurant at Sea Aboard Carnival Radiance Carnival Radiance will be the first cruise ship to feature “Big Chicken,” a seagoing version of a new restaurant created by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. The menu will feature a mouth-watering variety of fried chicken sandwiches and fries, with flavors to match Shaq’s larger than life personality, all free of charge.
“Big Chicken has been a dream of mine and now that our land-based restaurant is open, it’s only natural to bring it to sea, as well,” said O’Neal, who opened his first land-based Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in late October. “As Chief Fun Officer, I want to bring even more fun to every aspect of a Carnival cruise, including what guests eat.”
MSC Cruises Expands Environmental Stewardship Program by Launching Global Commitment to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics MSC Cruises announced another new chapter in its environmental stewardship program by introducing a commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet globally and introduce sustainable alternatives if available. Under its Plastics Reduction Program, by the end of March 2019, MSC Cruises will effectively phase out an extensive number of plastic items from all its ship operations and ashore, replacing them with environmentally-friendly solutions. As a first step, the Company has already taken action to replace by the end of 2018 all plastic straws with 100% compostable and biodegradable substitutes. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 43
THE POWER OF A PREMIER CRUISE PORT There are so many reasons to choose Port Everglades. Our modern, efficiently operated terminals make transit a breeze. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just two miles from FLL international airport, and minutes from world-famous beaches. Plus, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fully scalable. We can accommodate any size ship or passenger volume, moving passengers from curb to ship in just 15 minutes. Year-round berthing available. Discover how Port Everglades propels your business forward in powerful new ways. Visit porteverglades.net or call 800-421-0188.
Study Reveals Record Cruise Tourism Expenditures in the Caribbean and Latin America
he Caribbean and Latin America welcomed record economic contributions from cruise tourism during the 2017-2018 cruise year, despite dealing with a historic hurricane season. According to the latest study by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies, cruise tourism directly generated $3.36 billion in total cruise tourism expenditures—more than 6 percent higher than the record set by the previous study in 2015—along with nearly 79,000 jobs paying more than $900 million in wage income in the 36 participating destinations. “We could not be prouder of these results and what they mean for all of our neighbors and partners throughout the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “Beyond showing what cruise tourism brings to these destinations’ economies, which was crucial in restoring lives and communities following last year’s historic hurricane season, many of the findings will also serve as the foundation of building further mutual success between cruise lines and destination stakeholders.” The study measured direct spending impacts through passenger surveys and crew surveys; cruise line spending for services and provisions; port revenues; and employment generated by cruise ship calls. Measurement of economic impacts was calculated by collecting data from local government agencies, regional development agencies and inter-
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national economic agencies to evaluate impacts on employment, wages, port fees and taxes. KEY FINDINGS • Cruise tourism generated $3.36 billion in expenditures, up 6.3% compared to the last study in 2015 and the previous record. • 78,954 jobs were attributable to the industry—up 5.2% compared to the last study—paying a total employee wage income of $902.7 million. • Destinations welcomed 25.2 million onshore visits from cruise passengers, with an average spend of $101.52, generating a total of $2.56 billion. • Destinations welcomed 4.4 million onshore visits from crew, with an average spend of $60.44, generating a total of $265.7 million. • Cruise lines spent $534 million, an average of $14.8 million per destination. • The 29.6 million passenger and crew visits represents a 5.2% increase compared to the previous study, and the 32 common destinations in the 2015 and 2018 studies experienced a 6.5% increase in passenger visits. • Average per passenger spend increased for 23 of the 32 common destinations, and 12 destinations recorded average spend rates above $100 per passenger – up from nine in 2015. • On average, a single transit cruise call with 4,000 passengers and 1,640 crew generates more than $378,000 in passenger and crew spending alone: $339,450 and $339,330, respectively.
INDIRECT BENEFITS The study’s measure of cruise tourism expenditures did not include indirect benefits of cruise tourism, including supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, though the estimates of these expenditures served as the basis for total employment and wage impacts. The study also did not account for other indirect benefits, such as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests; nor did the study measure other methods of cruise line spending that benefit destinations, including NGO partnerships and marketing.
HURRICANE IMPACTS Results were skewed by last year’s historic hurricane season—with destinations like British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the United States Virgin Islands seeing declines due to the temporary effects, while still totaling expenditures more than $500 million during the study and now regularly welcoming more than 10,000 cruisers per day due to their remarkable recoveries.
DESTINATION BREAKDOWNS • Eleven destinations had direct cruise tourism expenditures of $100 million or more: Cozumel had the highest level of direct cruise sector expenditures with $474 million in spending. In addition, Cozumel had the highest volume of onshore passenger and crew visits with 4.16 million total visits and an average total
expenditure of $113.85 per passenger and crew visit. The $474 million in cruise tourism expenditures generated an estimated 11,945 jobs, the highest level among the 36 destinations, paying $78.2 million in wage income.
Furthermore, BREA Principal Rich Higginson told that if St. Maarten and US Virgin Islands—the top two destinations in average per passenger spending for both this and the previous study—had simply remained flat in passenger visits since the last study, instead of losing 2 million, that yearover-year average per passenger spending would have increased for the overall study. Additionally, the temporary impacts led to increases in destinations like Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire. According to the study, all of this showed “further proof that the Caribbean cruise industry is strong, and the member destinations, in all their beauty, continue to be both resilient and successful.”
The Bahamas, with 2.97 million combined passenger and crew visits, had the second-highest volume of visits in the Caribbean. It also had the second-highest level of direct expenditures with $406 million. Thus, each visit generated an average total expenditure of $136.53 across all passenger and crew visits. The Bahamas also benefitted from the generation of 9,004 jobs paying wage income of $155.7 million, the second-highest totals for employment, and the highest for wages in the Caribbean. Jamaica had the third-highest level of direct expenditures with $245 million in spending by cruise lines and their passengers and crew. The combined passenger and crew onshore visits totaled 2.05 million visits, and on average each passenger and crew visit generated an average $119.45 in total direct expendi-
tures per visit. The $245 million in cruise tourism spending in Jamaica generated an estimated 8,293 total jobs and $56.6 million in wage income. The Cayman Islands had the fourth-highest number of passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.89 million visits and the fourth-highest volume of direct expenditures, $225 million. The Cayman Islands had an average total expenditure of $119.10 per passenger and crew visit. The $225 million in cruise tourism spending in the Cayman Islands generated 4,622 total jobs and $92.2 million in wage income during the 2017/2018 cruise year. The U.S. Virgin Islands had the fifth-highest level of direct cruise sector expenditures with $185 million in spending. In addition, the U.S.V.I. had the eighth-highest volume of onshore passenger and crew visits with 1.12 million combined visits. It also had the second-highest average total expenditure rate of $165.09 per passenger and crew visit. The $185 million in cruise tourism expenditures generated an estimated 3,439 jobs paying $77.9 million in wage income, the fourth-highest wage total. Puerto Rico benefitted from $151 million in total cruise tourism expenditures, which in turn generated 3,644 jobs and $56.0 million in wages. The economic impacts of cruise tourism in Puerto Rico were generated by both homeport and port-of-call visits. In fact, Puerto Rico led the Caribbean in passenger embarkations with over 361,000. The island destination ranked fifth in passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.28 million visits. On average each passenger and crew visit generated $118.31 in total direct expenditures. St. Kitts had the seventh-highest cruise tourism expenditures, with $149 million. It also ranked seventh in combined passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.14 million visits, which generated an average total expenditure of $130.86 per visit. The $149 million in direct expenditures, in turn, generated an estimated 2,065 jobs paying $17.6 million in wage income. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 47
On Land St. Maarten, with $143 million in cruise tourism expenditures placed eighth. Due to the temporary impacts from the hurricanes, St. Maarten fell from third-most to out of the top 10 in terms of combined passenger and crew onshore visits. Its 933,900 combined visits are more than 40 percent below the previous study. These visits generated an average total expenditure of $153.38 per visit across all passenger and crew visits, fourth highest. The $143 million in direct expenditures, in turn, generated an estimated 3,499 jobs paying $72.3 million in wage income. St. Maarten had the fifth-highest spend on wage income. The Dominican Republic had a total of nearly $135 million in total cruise industry expenditures, ninth highest. Driven in large part to the opening of Amber Cove, the combined passenger and crew onshore visits in the Dominican Republic were up more than 80 percent from the previous study to approximately 967,000. The $135 million in cruise tourism spending in the Dominican Republic generated 4,052 total jobs and $17.4 million in wage income. Honduras had the 10th-highest direct expenditures with $107 million in spending by cruise lines and their passengers and crew. The combined passenger and crew onshore visits totaled just over 1 million visits. On average each passenger and crew visit generated $105.53
in total direct expenditures. The $107 million in cruise tourism spending in Honduras generated an estimated 2,198 total jobs and $11.6 million in wages. Aruba benefitted from nearly $103 million in total cruise tourism expenditures through more than 780,000 combined passenger and crew onshore visits. On average, each passenger and crew visit generated $131.68 in total direct expenditures. The $103 million in total expenditures, in turn, generated 2,255 jobs paying more than $38 million in wages. • The next 10 destinations with expenditures between $50 and $100 million accounted for 22 percent of the total cruise tourism expenditures with a combined total of $745 million in direct spending. Direct spending among these 10 destinations ranged from $52.9 million in Guadeloupe to $89.5 million in Costa Maya. In addition to Costa
36 Participating Destinations with Total Cruise Tourism Expenditures (in $US Millions) Excluding Employment Impacts Antigua & Barbuda ($77.7) Aruba ($102.7) The Bahamas ($405.8) Barbados ($71.0) Belize ($86.1) Bonaire ($30.2) British Virgin Islands ($12.6) Cayman Islands ($224.5) Colombia ($59.8) Costa Maya, Mexico ($89.5) Costa Rica ($29.2) Cozumel, Mexico ($474.1)
Curacao ($71.7) Dominican Republic ($134.7) Ensenada, Mexico ($40.4) Grenada ($19.2) Guadeloupe ($52.9) Guatemala ($11.1) Honduras ($107.4) Jamaica ($244.5) Manzanillo, Mexico ($2.7) Martinique ($38.2) Mazatlán, Mexico ($15.9) Nicaragua ($5.7)
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Panama ($77.8) Progreso, Mexico ($32.7) Puerto Chiapas, Mexico ($1.6) Puerto Rico ($151.2) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico ($42.5) St. Kitts & Nevis ($149.3) St. Lucia ($59.4) St. Maarten ($143.2) St. Vincent ($16.4) Trinidad ($3.5) Turks and Caicos ($86.5) United States Virgin Islands ($184.7)
Maya, Turks & Caicos ($86.5 million) and Belize ($86.1 million) each had total cruise tourism expenditures in excess of $85 million. • The next six destinations with expenditures between $20 and $50 million accounted for 6.4 percent of the total cruise tourism expenditures and a combined total of $213 million in direct spending. Direct spending among these six destinations ranged from $29.2 million in Costa Rica to $42.5 million in Puerto Vallarta. Ensenada ($40.4 million), Martinique ($38.2 million) and Progreso ($32.7 million) each had total cruise tourism expenditures in excess of $30 million. • The remaining nine destinations each had less than $20 million in direct cruise tourism expenditures and had a combined total of nearly $89 million in direct cruise tourism expenditures. This accounted for about three percent of the total. Cruise tourism expenditures among these destinations ranged from $1.6 million in Puerto Chiapas to $19.2 million in Grenada. In addition to Grenada, St. Vincent ($16.4 million), Mazatlán ($15.9 million), BVI ($12.6 million) and Guatemala ($11.1 million) each had in excess of $10 million in total cruise tourism expenditures.
The full study—which is engaged by the FCCA in partnership with its destination partners every three years as one of many ways to foster the understanding of cruise tourism, its benefits and how to best actualize its potential—and its Volume II, which focuses on the specific spending within the destinations and metrics including passenger satisfaction, time spent ashore and types of shore excursions, as well as similar studies dating back to 2001, are available at F-CCA.com/Research.
Live from Cruise Destinations’ Frontlines By Beth Kelly Hatt, President, Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s Official Training Partner
e all understand that guests’ unforgettable memories are created not only by their experiences, but also—and arguably more importantly—by the people throughout destinations. Everyone a guest interacts with becomes part of their once-in-a-lifetime story, and sometimes that story and satisfaction rating all boils down to a smile or frown from one of those persons. So how are destinations ensuring service excellence by this invaluable resource, what we call the ‘frontline,’ from those greeting guests as they disembark and taking them on their tours, to the port staff welcoming them back? And what other opportunities can we leverage by joining the frontline in the trenches and seeing where to streamline experiences and enhance flow? Aquila has focused on exactly that while delivering frontline training in several destinations over the last few months, and we are reminded time and time again of not just the importance of the frontline personnel, but also the value they can bring to cruise destinations looking to deliver all-encompassing service excellence and the best possible impression for guests, which has been shown to encourage more 50 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
passenger spending and better ratings, reviews and likelihood of return visits and recommendations for destinations. The FCCA Frontline Workshop is an interactive session designed with opportunities for participants to engage through activities and group discussions, all with the overarching goal of first understanding both cruise lines’ and passengers’ expectations, and then seeing how all the unique pieces throughout the frontline fit together to form that perfect puzzle of excellence. Customer service is the focus, and topics range from making a positive impression and communicating effectively, to understanding cultural differences, dealing with difficult situations and handling complaints, along with much more. Throughout the workshop, participants discuss the opportunities and challenges in their own destination, suggest ways to improve guest satisfaction and offer ideas that could help them deliver excellent service. There has not been a workshop yet without engaged participants asking excellent questions and seeking ways to improve, while gaining the understanding that every interaction with a guest is an opportunity to provide a memorable experience.
“…EVERY INTER ACTION WITH A GUEST IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE A MEMOR ABLE EXPERIENCE.” For one example from the dozens of programs Aquila has delivered this year, the United States Virgin Islands performed a frontline training in both St Thomas and St Croix this May, which Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty told was part of the Department of Tourism’s commitment to
On Land offering continuing education opportunities for Virgin Islanders to ensure the Territory remains a sought-after location for today’s travelers, especially in the aftermath of last year’s storms. “We will not rest on our laurels, given the importance of the hospitality sector to our socioeconomic development and to elevating the quality of life for all Virgin Islanders,” she continued. With more than 200 frontline personnel participating and even Commissioner Nicholson-Doty and her teams on hand, ready to further embrace their recently
recovered cruise tourism and its economic boost, the energy was electric. “We were excited by the attendance and high level of engagement in both St. Croix and St. Thomas,” said Aquila’s Melanie Colpitts, who delivered the training. “They were passionate, spirited groups who were quick to engage in discussion and brainstorming about how to raise the level of excellence with customer service for cruise passengers visiting St. Croix and St. Thomas.” Aquila also commends Commissioner Nicholson-Doty and her teams, who listened to the ideas and feedback from the frontline. Through their interactions with guests, the frontline sees guest reactions and receives guest feedback firsthand, so they have valuable feedback for destinations looking to continually enhance the experience. While the opportunities and challenges were not the same on St. Croix and St. Thomas, the commitment to seek ways to improve, work together with increased communication and proactively look for ways to deliver excellence to guests were the same. Together, the participants came up with ideas on how they could “wow” guests and exceed expectations, including being warm and genuine, explaining the local culture and special features of the destination, and treating their guests like cherished family members. Even though some of
the ideas had been heard before, when it comes directly from their comrades on the frontline, the odds are better for the ideas to manifest into positive actions. So it is no surprise that when we asked for comments upon completion, many indicated that they were leaving inspired to deliver nothing short of excellence when it comes to guest service. “This is typical feedback from the FCCA Frontline Training, but we never get tired of hearing it,” added Melanie. Also typical were comments indicating a desire for more training, such as “I would like to see more of these workshops”; “More training mandatory for all parties”, and “More conferences like this more often.” Obviously frontlines are hungry to learn and improve, as they all have great pride in their destinations and understand that service excellence is key to excellence in cruise tourism – and that door of excellence can be unlocked by training and maximizing the frontline’s crucial perspective, feedback and invaluable interactions with guests. Beth Kelly Hatt is the president of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s official training partner. This is one of many training options offered through that partnership—from online tour guide training to onsite, hands-on approaches like these for destinations and tour operators, there is a way to increase service, satisfaction and understanding of the industry’s and passenger’s wants and needs. For more information about this or any other training program, please contact Beth at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com.
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Land-Based Attractions Bolster Cruise Options
n ever-growing number of cruise lines are combining a cruise with unique land-based attractions – and for good reason. With holidaymakers increasingly seeking more adventurous, immersive experiences, it is an obvious and natural move for cruise lines to invest in memorable land-based attractions to combine with a cruise. One popular element is having a private Caribbean island as one of the port-of-calls, owned or leased by the cruise line and used exclusively by their guests. Having the luxury of a private island is very appealing, and so it’s no surprise that many lines are investing in this attraction. Royal Caribbean has two islands, Labadee and Cococay, where guests can dive into watersports, water parks and allyou-can-eat BBQ buffets. MSC Cruises’ private island located in the Bahamas is split into six unique areas, all with their own distinctive atmosphere. Norwegian Cruise Line’s and Princess Cruises’ guests can enjoy Great Stirrup Cay and Princess Cays respectively, where they can snorkel with turtles and relax on beach52 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
front cabanas. And Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Castaway Cay’ has so much to offer for adults and kids alike, including of course being greeted by favorite Disney characters throughout the day. Another popular land-based attraction is pre- and post-cruise tours. For holidaymakers traveling further and wanting to maximize the time they spend exploring new destinations, cruise and tour packages are ideal. These packaged tours offer a great way for guests to take in more of a destination or region and see it from two different vantage points: land and sea. A cruise around Japan could be paired with a bullet train to stay in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) with Azamara Club Cruises, or a cruise on the River Kwai could be followed by two nights in a private villa in Kanchanaburi, Thailand with Regent Seven Seas. Scenic offers hybrid options on both its Egypt and Jordan cruises where guests can view the incredible sights at sea and then explore even further with flights to Giza and Luxor. Alaska and Canada have become extremely popular as cruise and tour
destinations. With the latter, guests can experience the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains by rail on the Rocky Mountaineer before or after their cruise holiday. The former, Princess Cruises, offers guests the chance to add on a wilderness lodges and rail tour where guests travel on the line’s ‘Direct-to-theWilderness’ rail service and then stay in the heart of Alaska at one of Princess Cruises’ five Alaska wilderness lodges. Extended land stays are perfect for those who want to see, do and experience more and in turn are a fantastic way to attract travelers who have never been on a cruise, as well as those who’ve grown to love cruise holidays. Pre- and post-cruise land tours are also a great way to boost commission for agents and introduce customers to lucrative new sectors. Whether it’s ocean or river, combining a land-based element of a holiday with a cruise offers a chance for agents to prove their worth, as giving customers a “truly bespoke cruise holiday” will likely to encourage repeat business.
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
For more information, visit www.portoflosangeles.org or www.lawaterfront.org
Cayman Islands: The Ideal Cruise Destination
ome to clear skies, beautiful coral reefs and unspoiled white sandy beaches, the Cayman Islands is the idyllic island escape for travelers. Its three islands—Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman—are steeped in a deep cultural history, with a diverse array of experiences that can be enjoyed by all ages and interests. Few other Caribbean islands can offer the diversity of experiences in one place like the Cayman Islands. With world-class shopping, innovative epicurean delights and unique activities found only in Cayman, it’s easy to see why the Cayman Islands port is a must on Caribbean cruisers’ bucket lists. Whether visitors are seeking the unbothered comforts of a city escape without the shopping mall crowds, or memorable adventures above and below the water, the Cayman Islands is sure to provide an unforgettable cruise getaway. The Cayman Islands welcomes many calls from the world’s leading cruise providers, including Carnival Cruise Line, Disney
Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises. With the anticipated development of its new cruise berthing facility, the destination is on target to further enhance the visitor experience, while maintaining the beauty of the islands for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike. CRUISE INTO CAYMANIAN HISTORY & CULTURE While its stunning underwater and watersport activities continue to draw sun-seeking tourists, travelers fresh off the cruise ship can look forward to George Town’s 54 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
duty-free shopping with truly unique Caymanian art and craft souvenirs. Visitors can treat themselves to a shopping spree at one of Camana Bay’s many storefronts where they will discover everything from international luxury brands to local treasures as they embrace the local architecture and beautiful island weather. For a glimpse into the island’s deep history and cultural traditions, cruise visitors should make time to experience any of George Town’s fascinating historical sights beginning with the Cayman Islands National Museum. Dating back to the 1800s, the Museum operates out of Cayman’s oldest surviving public building, serving as a great testament to the destination’s efforts to keep Caymanian history alive and well. Art aficionados can check out the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, which celebrates Cayman’s impressive artistic talents through both permanent and temporary collections. Pedro St. James Castle provides anoth-
er incredible opportunity to experience Cayman’s living history. A quick taxi ride from George Town, it is home to the more than two centuries’ old “Great House,” which has lived through numerous iterations throughout the years, including a courthouse, jail, restaurant, and most notably, the founding place of democracy in the Cayman Islands. Aside from soaking up fascinating expert-led tours, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea that stretch for miles, along with the all-new Outpost Bar, which offers delicious cocktails featuring locally-made Caribbean rum. CRUISE THROUGH THE CULINARY CAPITAL OF THE CARIBBEAN Foodies will feel right at home in the Cayman Islands as culinary curiosity is essential to the Caymanian experience. Heralded as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, the destination features fine dining in combination with sun, sea and tropical landscapes. Boasting more than 200 restaurants and culinary influences from all over the globe, the Cayman Islands provides an endless array of options to suit any palate. Abundant in natural resources, the Cayman Islands is also ahead of the curve in the Caribbean’s farm-to-table movement,
boasting a diverse homegrown food scene at various restaurants committed to dishing up only locally-sourced fare. The epicurean scene in the Cayman Islands is year-round, boasting numerous gastronomic events to fit every traveler’s needs. The year starts with the esteemed Cayman Cookout, hosted by Chef Eric Ripert and famous tastemakers such as José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse. Travelers who attend this exclusive festival will enjoy dynamic cooking demonstrations, exciting local tours, tastings and dining events. Taste of Cayman takes over the cosmopolitan waterfront district of Camana Bay and invites visitors and locals to sample more than 45 Grand Cayman restaurants and distributors. Later in the year, the destination heats up for Restaurant Month and Cocktail
Week, offering discounted dining, tasting rooms and more at some of Cayman’s best restaurants with special prix-fixe menus and happy hours. All the destination’s culinary events offer hungry travelers the opportunity to savor and sip the distinct flavors of the Cayman Islands. UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURES LAY ABOVE & BELOW For water enthusiasts, Grand Cayman boasts more than 240 unique dive sites for experienced divers and even beginners to enjoy. With four walls running around the entirety of the island, Grand Cayman is often considered to be one of the world’s best wall diving destinations. Divers can take in unforgettable sights at the purpose-sunk Kittiwake wreck, Cayman’s latest treasure teeming with a kaleidoscope of rare sponges, grouper, urchins and more. A trip to the Cayman Islands is not complete without a dip in the famous Stingray City Sandbar, one of the most popular cruise stopover experiences, where families have the chance to get up close and personal with dozens of
friendly stingrays ready to welcome swimmers with a good luck kiss. Water sports also abound across the island to satisfy thrill seekers and the less adventurous alike, from jet skiing and and other adrenaline-pumping water activities, to snorkeling or crossing the island to peaceful Rum Point for paddle boarding and kayaking adventures
through the mangroves. In their excursions, explorers are likely to spot sunbathing iguanas, sleepy starfish, mini sea anemones and fascinating upside-down jellyfish amidst the captivating landscape. With the Cayman Islands’ beautiful breezy weather, kiteboarding, parasailing and windsurfing are favorite pastimes. Guests can glide through the water, kite in hand, accompanied by one of the Cayman Islands’ expert instructors or parasail more than 400 feet above Grand Cayman for an adrenaline rush and stunning panoramic views. Visitors can also choose from several interactive wildlife encounters and natural attractions. Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park on the eastern side of the island boasts colorful exhibits such as the Blue Iguana Habitat, a lake and a wide variety of bird species. Explore the path less traveled by venturing to Crystal Caves, one of Grand Cayman’s newest natural attractions, where guests can navigate spectacular underground caves teeming with stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations millions of years in the making. And for those looking to simply lounge on the beach, the award-winning Seven Mile Beach promises the ideal setting to relish in absolute relaxation. Here, guests can lay in the sand, soak up the sun and sip on a perfectly chilled Cayman Mama cocktail, all while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the public beach and popular local bar, Calico Jack’s. Above all, the warm and friendly nature of Caymanians, known as ‘Caymankindness,’ adds to any vacation experience, providing a distinctive atmosphere that cannot be found elsewhere. Whether delving into the rich history and culture of the islands, exploring the meticulously preserved natural wonders or savoring its extensive culinary offerings, visitors can expect to experience a ‘Caymankind’ spirit that will leave them with a lasting impression. With a myriad of experiences on land and below the sea, the world’s best beaches, premier culinary offerings and unparalleled “Caymankind” hospitality, guests will quickly learn why a cruise to the Cayman Islands is an experience second to none. For more information, please go to visitcaymanislands.com.
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Rejuvenation of the Cruise Experience in the British Virgin Islands
iscover one of nature’s best-kept secrets when you cruise into the British Virgin Islands. Set among 60 islands, cays, atolls and isles, this destination is overflowing with unique culture, tasty food and endless adventures. A cruise stop gives guests and crew a chance to uncover the true spirit of the BVI and make them want to plan a trip back to immerse themselves deeper. The BVI made national news in September 2017, when Hurricane Irma struck the islands. A little more than a year later, the BVI is ready to welcome all visitors back. The soft, white beaches are as picturesque as ever, the structures have been rebuilt, and sailors and cruisers alike are steering their boats toward the shores. Ongoing restoration efforts ensure that the islands will not only be entirely back to normal, but enhanced and better than ever. All cruise visitors will have the pleasure of arriving at the newly improved cruise pier and shopping center, Tortola Pier Park. A colonial style entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the cruise port is located in Road Town, Tortola, 56 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
the territory’s capital and largest island in the BVI. The brightly colored buildings offer a warm welcome and house over 54 businesses, including unique BVI concept stores and popular international brands. Once disembarked, travelers and crew will find themselves within walking and driving distance of many attractions. Logistically speaking, Tortola Pier Park can accommodate two large ships at the dock and two more ships anchored in Road Harbour. Scheduling ensures all guests feel unique and special upon their arrival, with tour guides and transfers ready to show guests the beauty of the British Virgin Islands. Crew members have access to a crew lounge and dining, and banking and medical services are conveniently available for all. While exploring the complex, guests will encounter enthusiastic locals, coffee shops, vendors selling delectable food and lively entertainment. From steel bands performances, jazz festivals to parades, Tortola Pier Park has a wide range of events to entertain visitors and locals all year long. While strolling among Tortola
Pier Park’s stores, shoppers will be quick to notice the unique product selection, from exclusive international brands to eccentric local crafts that can only be found in BVI, ensuring the opportunity to find the perfect keepsake to take home. All shopping is duty free, so be sure to take advantage of fabulous deals on electronics and other items that are useful while cruising. With choices of cocktail bars, cigar lounges, fine dining restaurants or eateries serving a quick bite, guests will be sure to find the perfect spot to unwind and pique their palates. Travelers should sample some authentic Caribbean flair like a bite of the famous Caribbean spiny lobster or a BVI Painkiller, the most famous cocktail of the British Virgin Islands. Originally invented at the Soggy Dollar Bar at Jost Van Dyke, the Painkiller is made with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice and Pusser’s Rum topped with grated nutmeg. Visitors rave over the many places to explore and experience beyond the hub of activity at Tortola Pier Park. Available activities include shopping, seeing historical sites, hiking, kayaking, zip lining,
On Land Main Street and Waterfront Drive increase the options for shopping, dining and exploring. Enjoy a stroll along historic Main Street, featuring authentic vernacular island architecture and home to the historic Her Majesty’s Prison Museum. The museum is either strategically or coincidentally sandwiched between two historic churches: St. George’s Anglican and Road Town Methodist Church. Road Town Ferry Dock, a mere five-minute walk away, is the gateway to exploring the islands of Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Transportation and rental options are available for guests to venture out further from the Tortola Pier Park area and visit
the 300-plus-year-old Callwood Rum Distillery. For a quieter beach option, the pristine Long Bay Beach at Beef Island is about a 30-minute drive from Road Town. Sage Mountain National Park, which boasts 86 acres of lush vegetation ready for hiking, is just 16 minutes away by vehicle. Original Virgin Canopy Tour, located off the Ridge Road, offers exciting zip lining with spectacular, breathtaking views overlooking Road Town and the Tortola Pier Park. For excursions more off the beaten path, visitors can island-hop to Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the four main islands and home of the laidback island spirit, or head northeast to Virgin Gorda for a dip in the island’s celebrated Baths, exploring its famous natural granite boulders. Excursions to Anegada will be offered for the 2018-19 cruise season. Visitors will be able to have greater connectivity to share their experiences with friends via the installation of free WiFi at key visitor traffic areas, including Crafts Alive, Road Town Ferry Dock and Cane Garden Bay Beach. Free WiFi will also be available at Spanish Town Ferry Terminal and the Baths National Park in Virgin Gorda during the 2018-19 season. The British Virgin Islands government has carefully developed an exceptional guest experience, providing a perfect place to start a trip or assemble prior
other key attractions on the island. Cane Garden Bay, a mere 20-minute drive from Road Town, is a popular whitesand beach, with several beach bars, gift shops and water sport activities like jet skiing and parasailing. It’s also home to
to reboarding. With so much to discover on the islands, guests leave planning their next trip back to the BVI.
“THE SOFT, WHITE BEACHES ARE AS PICTURESQUE AS EVER…” standup paddle boarding, sailing excursions, scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. In the nearby Road Town area, there are several shopping options, including the colorful Crafts Alive Village, which sells local handicrafts, art, t-shirts and other souvenirs. There are also popular shops like Sunny Caribbee offering uniquely packaged spices and souvenirs. Pusser’s Road Town Pub and Company Store, which is accessible from both Waterfront Drive and Main Street, invites guests to try their take on the Painkiller.
For more information regarding any of the activities, events or locations mentioned above, visit BVITourism.com or call 1-800-835-8530.
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Dominica Surges into New Cruise Season
ollowing the fanfare and massive crowds from World Creole Music Festival, Dominica’s 2018-19 cruise season made an official and strong start on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The destination welcomed Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Summit to its shores, with Summit and the more than 2,000 passengers arriving at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth in the island’s capital, Roseau. The season continued full steam ahead followed by calls from both Carnival Fascination of Carnival Cruise Line and MV Mein Schiff 5 of TUI Cruises on Nov. 6, 2018, docking at Roseau Cruise Ship Berth and the Woodbridge Bay Port, respectively, and bringing well over 4,000 passengers to the island’s shores. To welcome them, activities included a series of cultural entertainment on the Dame Mary Eugenia Charles Boulevard, Woodbridge Bay Port and Trafalgar Falls. Preschoolers of the SPICES Centre and Bright Beginnings preschools formed part
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of the welcome ceremony to greet cruise visitors upon arrival at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth by waving the national flag. In total, Dominica expects to welcome 189 cruise calls and 304,000 passengers this season, including nine ships discovering Dominica and its nature and adventure for the first time. Inaugural ceremonies with plaque exchanges will be held aboard the respective ships. The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) solicits the cooperation of all tourism stakeholders in ensuring a welcoming and enjoyable experience for the cruise visitors. The Government of Dominica will continue its effort in promoting Dominica as a desirable cruise destination so as to increase cruise calls to Dominica. One of the DDA’s initiatives came to a close just before the cruise season’s beginning. Kes the band moved the crowd and brought down the curtains down on the 20th edition of the Dominica World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) in the
early hours of Monday, Oct. 29, amidst widespread fan satisfaction and praises to the organizers, DDA. The 2018 WCMF—which featured an impressive lineup of artists representing the various genres of Creole and soca music from Trinidad and Tobago, dancehall and reggae from Jamaica and afro-pop music from Nigeria—did not disappoint the thousands of fans present at the Windsor Park Stadium for the “Three Nights of Pulsating Rhythms” from Oct. 26-28. Dubbed the most indigenous music festival in the region, the WCMF was back after a year’s absence due to the passage and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. This year’s festival displayed an array of homegrown and international acts who came to perform in an act of solidarity with Dominica and its people, as well as to entertain the thousands of local and visiting fans of the festival.
Step Out and Be Inspired by Saint Lucia’s Tourism Village Destinations Saint Lucia’s new Village Tourism program has earmarked eight local communities in which to capture the deep-rooted culture and heritage, and package them in a way that will deliver authentic, unique and experiential vacations for every kind of visitor.
ruise passengers are invited to come in, hang out and be inspired by Saint Lucia’s Village Tourism program, as the Ministry of Tourism has earmarked eight communities around the island for tourism development. Under the Village Tourism program, Gros-Islet, Anse La Raye, Canaries, Soufriere, Choiseul, Vieux Fort, Micoud and Dennery will be elevated to tourism destinations, each highlighting a unique aspect of the island’s arts, culture and heritage. In March 2018, the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) and the Government of Saint Lucia signed an agreement to establish the institutional framework and roadmap for Village Tourism. That project, coupled with the provision of business development support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), will enhance the capacity to provide goods and services for the Village Tourism market. Saint Lucia, an island located in the middle of the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, is teeming with history and a compelling unique culture. The island was first settled by Arawak Indians around AD 200, with the Carib culture superseding by AD 800. The
early Amerindians (Arawaks and Caribs) called the island “Iouanalao” and “Hewanorra,” meaning “island of the Iguanas.” So strategically located is Saint Lucia that the British and the French fought over her control 14 times—each winning seven of those battles. This rich history will be highlighted throughout the villages in the new Village Tourism project. Anse La Raye is an idyllic fishing village where the livelihood of many residents centers on the nearby seafront and the catches fishers haul in every day. The same is true of the towns of Gros-Islet and Soufriere, which are at the heart of Saint Lucia’s tourism industry. What may be lost on many visitors is the history, culture and heritage that lie within these three communities. Capturing those hidden gems and packaging them in a way that everyone who visits can have an authentic, experiential vacation is what the Village Tourism program aims to achieve. Anse la Raye, Soufriere and Gros Islet will be the first three hamlets to undergo a metamorphosis into Tourism Villages under a pilot project that is expected to be launched early 2019. The idea is to convert each of
the communities into a tourism destination that will showcase unique aspects of the rich culture, heritage and history in the arts, art, music, cuisine, and festivals, among others. Saint Lucia showcases some of its cultural heritage through a series of festivals in the calendar year that fall under the Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. These include Jazz, Carnival, Roots & Soul, Mercury Fest, Food & Rum, DiveFest, and Arts & Heritage – and each has a distinctive appeal to various groups. Each hamlet will incorporate the festivals into fringe events within its Village Tourism destination so visitors can get the full experience so being on Saint Lucia. Music is an integral part of Saint Lucia’s culture. From the rhythmic sounds of “Solo” music, featuring a dominant lead singer accompanied by homemade drums and timbrels, bean-filled coconut shak-shaks and a back-up chorus, which dates back decades, to the modern pop culture-influenced melodies, the island’s musical proclivity is inescapable. The country and western genre is so widely embraced by the young, and not so young, in communities around the island that it seems almost indigenous to Saint Lucia. Of course, the island’s organic dennery segment genre has penetrated the most unlikely of markets around the world and has propelled many visitors to travel to Saint Lucia. Concentrating all those musical forms in a Music Village is part of what the Village Tourism project aims to do. With so many things to see and do in the villages, cruise passengers will soon have the opportunity to enjoy a whole new experience as each of the eight communities will showcase something authentic and unique. There should be no worry about getting around to the villages and back to the ship in time for departure, as taxis and rental cars are readily available upon disembarkation. And as you cruise out into the sunset, you will remember how enchanting your village experience was, which will inspire you to begin planning your next cruise to Saint Lucia to visit other hamlets that have been established as quintessential tourism destinations. Saint Lucia’s Village Tourism entity is expected to commence work on the project in January 2019. For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit StLucia.org.
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Aruba Marks 60 Years of Cruise Tourism By Tina Causey-Bislick, Editorial & Creative Director, Blogger
or those of us living on the island of Aruba, it still takes our breath away to behold a majestic cruise ship slowly materializing on the horizon. These imposing but placid vessels, gently gliding like floating cities across our turquoise coastline and making their way to our port, always bring a special kind of energy as passengers line the decks for their first view of our southern Caribbean island. One can only imagine what it must have been like back in 1958 when the Prudential-Grace Line first began making weekly visits to Aruba, with the ships Santa Rosa and Santa Paula arriving with eager tourists who were anxious to discover this little-known gem tucked away in the farthest reaches of the Caribbean. And imagine the excitement of the locals—tourism here was in its infancy, with the oil refining industry still packing the economic punch. You could count the number of hotels on one hand, and the Aruba Tourist Commission—the island’s first organization devoted to promoting tourism—had formed just five years earlier. Aruba was an entirely new and different island for the cruise ship tourist, 60 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
with miles of sugar-white beaches to comb and tranquil seas with vividly clear waters to swim in, flanked by an intriguing and unusual backdrop of cacti and unspoiled countryside. Arubans were eager to share their unique heritage and culture, and they soon discovered they had an innate gift for hospitality, setting the stage for a decades-long love affair with welcoming cruise passengers, who arrived as strangers but left as friends from what is now known as the One Happy Island. Sixty years later, the love affair remains strong, and although tourism is the economic pillar of our economy and Aruba is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, our beaches and, more importantly, the friendliness of our multicultural people are still the two key components of what makes Aruba an in-demand destination for cruise ship travelers. The Aruba Tourism Authority surveyed more than 3,700 cruise passengers throughout 2017 and up to September 2018, finding that an impressive 72% of cruise passengers choose their cruise based on Aruba being on the itinerary. Those endless stretches of beaches are still
just as impressive today as they were 60 years ago, with the same survey indicating that our beaches are rated as our top attraction, scoring a 6.64 out of 7, and the friendliness of our multilingual locals (most locals speak four languages) scoring 6.54 overall. Aruba’s array of day tours, attractions and excursions, as well as the feeling it gives of being safe and secure in the area, were also highly rated. Aruba’s continued popularity as a cruise destination is reflected by the 5.8% growth in the number of guests visiting Aruba by cruise this year (through September 2018) compared to 2017. The island is attracting more first-time visitors as well, with 79% enjoying Aruba’s hospitality for the first time compared to 50% last year, as well as a demographic that is skewing younger. ARUBA DOES NOT REST ON ITS LAURELS The island continues to invest in infrastructure to better accommodate cruise guests, allowing them to enjoy the island to its fullest in the short time they are here. A multimillion-dollar investment in an upgraded port has created an
On Land museums and shopping districts—with riders able to hop on and hop off at various stops along the route. Aruba continues to invest in quality programs and hospitality courses for the local community, like the Aruba Tourism Authority’s Aruba Certification Program,
enhanced sense of arrival. The former site of the island’s cargo operations, adjacent to the cruise terminal, is earmarked for improvements in 2019. With Aruba’s beaches rated as the number one attraction for cruise visitors, two new restroom facilities, as well as convenient food and beverage options, were added to Eagle Beach, chosen by TripAdvisor readers as the number four best beach in the world, and Arashi Beach, a “play with the locals” beach that offers a more off-thebeaten-path experience. Aruba’s downtown experience combines world-class shopping opportunities with the island’s heritage and history. The island introduced the Caribbean’s first solar- and battery-powered street trolleys, which pick passengers up at the cruise terminal for complimentary transportation through historic downtown Oranjestad— featuring colonial architecture, galleries,
offered to individuals servicing the island’s tourism industry. This course provides a foundation in Aruba’s history, culture, and heritage, allowing members of our local community to be accurate and engaging storytellers, sharing our island authentically. The recent 4th annual Cruise Symposium Aruba (CSA), organized by the Aruba Tourism Authority and commemorating the cruise industry’s 60 years here, included international keynote speakers. Additionally, the Cruise Department within the Aruba Tourism Authority organizes multiple workshops and seminars led by local and international educators throughout the year for local stakeholders. A LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY With a growing tourism economy comes the need for sustainable efforts to responsibly maintain the island’s environment
and natural resources. In addition to the government’s focus on ending the island’s reliance on fossil fuels in the near future, Aruba has taken steps that have shown real-time results, including a ban on single-use plastic bags, implemented in 2017, and as of January 2019, all sin-
gle-use plastics, foam containers, and sunscreens with oxybenzone (a chemical that destroys our fragile reefs) will be banned. Aruba’s private and public sectors will continue to collaborate to continually identify measures for viable sustainability in order to preserve our natural beauty, leaving our future generations with a thriving environment to enjoy and share with visitors to our island for another 60 years and beyond. ABOUT THE AUTHOR I made a major lifestyle change, threw all caution to the wind, and moved from North Carolina to Aruba in 1999. The sun, sea, and sand have always called my name—the beach is my happy place, and Aruba my One Happy Island! My two children, Taylor and Brianna, both attended the International School of Aruba, and although they are now living and working in the United States, Aruba will always be home for them. I also found my Aruban soulmate here, my husband, Michael Bislick. I love sharing my experiences of island life—the eclectic collection of personalities and nationalities that call Aruba home, friendships I have forged here, my favorite local haunts and adventures, and my culinary wanderlust are my favorite things to share. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 61
A day in Martinique Treat yourself to a tropical paradise.
ou may have only a few hours to explore Martinique, but a taste of this French Caribbean island’s many treasures will leave you longing to return. Here’s a handy itinerary to help you make the most of your shore excursion. FORT-DE-FRANCE AND THE GRAND MARCHÉ Once you’ve docked in Fort-de-France, head straight for the Grand Marché, a vibrant, friendly market in the heart of town. Here, you’ll find rows of fragrant spices, medicinal herbs, exotic fruits, and local crafts such as wooden bowls, fruity homemade liqueurs, wooden swizzle sticks called bwa lélé, and traditional straw hats known as bakoua. Be sure to snap some pictures in front of the gorgeous tropical flowers! From the Grand Marché, it’s a short walk to Fort-de-France’s most impressive cultural landmarks: the exquisite 19th-century Schoelcher Library, the seaside fortress Fort Saint-Louis, and the imposing Saint-Louis Cathedral. For directions to these and other notable sights, download the free Martinique Tour app or ask one of the many street guides wearing red jackets; you’ll see them all over downtown.
LES TROIS-ÎLETS Hop on the ferry that departs from Fortde-France Bay every hour on the hour and head to Pointe du Bout in Les Trois-Îlets. Enjoy a leisurely swim in the Caribbean Sea before sitting down for lunch at one of the many beachside restaurants serving delicious Creole food, sandwiches on fresh baguettes, excellent crêpes, and a dizzying variety of ice creams. For an authentic Martinican experience, order a plate of accras—crispy, tender codfish fritters—and a Ti-Punch cocktail made with the island’s famous rhum agricole, a unique, earthy rum produced from local sugar cane. Spend the afternoon exploring local history at La Savane des Esclaves (the Savannah of the Slaves)—a fasci-
nating open-air museum that received a 2018 Travelers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor—or admiring terra-cotta pottery at Le Village de la Poterie. When you’re ready to wind down your adventure on the island of flowers, catch the ferry back to Fort-de-France. By the time you sail away, you’ll be planning your next visit!
Grand Marche by D.Giral
Bibliotheque Schoelcher by D. Giral
La Savane des Esclaves by D.Giral
Martinique beach beside traditional fishing boats
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The French port of call in the Caribbean... VoilĂ !
Strong and unique culture
This Caribbean island boasts modern cruise terminals only a stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw from safe and vibrant urban centers, local gourmet cuisine, unspoilt nature, and exciting excursions for everyone. A warm Creole welcome awaits you in Martinique!
World-class rums and fine gastronomy
Pointe Simon Terminal in Fort-de-France Bay
Visit us today
Land of natural wonders
Costa Maya: Growing a Destination in a Sustainable Way
hen it first opened back in 1999, Costa Maya was a small cruise port hidden in a little fisherman village of less than 500 inhabitants, receiving one or two small ships per month and surrounded only by the thickness of the virgin Mayan jungle and the blueness of the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. Today, with the efforts of a strong, committed team and after having endured Hurricane Dean in 2007, Costa Maya is renovated, thriving and becoming one of the most important cruise ports â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not only in Mexico, but also in the Western Caribbean. A consolidated destination that preserves the singular enchantment of the original port, but which now receives a million annual tourists onboard the top four cruise operators: Carnival Cruise Corporation, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises, along with their numerous brands. Soon, with the opening of a fourth berthing position, the port will increase its capacity to 1.5 million passengers per year. There is no set formula for success, but the results speak for themselves. This year Costa Maya has received more passengers than ever, growing 38 percent compared to
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the previous year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; growing big and fast, but not growing alone. This success has brought amazing results for Mahahual, the little village that houses the port. Costa Maya is helping Mahahual develop in many ways, not only providing new jobs for the local people and increasing the quality of the existing ones, but also taking actions to protect the environment, ensuring every process and procedure helps the port and destination to grow sustainably.
In the never-ending search for ways to improve the quality of life in Mahahual, Costa Maya supports initiatives like Wayak, the local community center where everyone is welcome to gather and enjoy the hundreds of non-profit events, activities, workshops and courses taking place every year. We believe in social responsibility and sustainable development, and we make them a priority. As proof of that, Costa Maya was awarded by the Mexican Center
for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) with the Socially Responsible Company distinctive. We plan on reinforcing our commitment with the environment and the community every year. Nature has blessed the destination, giving us a fantastic place to explore, and it is our commitment to share it with our guests in a responsible way. While the Mexican Caribbean is stunning, we know that what really makes passengers come back time after time is the adventurer spirit that Costa Maya awakens in themâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the certainty that, no matter the age, no matter the gender, no matter the background, every passenger who ventures into Costa Maya will always find an excellent experience. The wide variety of tours and activities both inside and outside the port deliver on the same promise: fun is guaranteed at Costa Maya. Either on a cultural expedition to the Mayan ruins in Chacchoben, a gastronomic journey inside the port filled with Mexican delicacies like chocolate and tequila, or an adrenaline-packed adventure through the jungle driving an ATV, there is always a way to make lifetime memories when visiting Costa Maya. We aim to provide an adventure in every tour, and we know the key lies beyond the foliage of the trees. We pride ourselves in making our tours and expeditions around unique and creative concepts. Every venue and tour has been crafted
with a certain kind of passenger in mind. We know the diverse clientele of the cruise industry has even more diverse needs, so we aim to exceed their expectations. It is our goal to make every passenger feel we are here for them. We are a team that creates life experiences! Our new venue on the beach, La Bamba, is the standing proof of that. Built around the surferÂ´s lifestyle concept, and with a shipping container architecture, this beach club is ready to delight sunseekers who are young at heart. Following the successful structure of all the other venues at Costa Maya, La Bamba welcomes its visitors with a full themed atmosphere, refreshing drinks served by the expert hands of our bartenders, the best tropical rhythms on the DJ console and an astounding view of the Caribbean Sea framed by palm trees over fine white sand. This amazing beach club is built to comfortably accommodate up to 600 hundred visitors, and it is located just 10 minutes away from the port, going all the way to the south crossing the little town of Mahahual, so, just getting there becomes an extraordinary scenic tour. For passengers who love snorkeling, La Bamba will become their favorite snorkeling spot, as it is located right in front of the best area of Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral atoll in the Northern Hemisphere and the second-largest reef in the world, where species like the beautiful Carey Turtle swim along many colorful fishes and rays, well protected by the branches of colorful coral. Kayaking over the crystal-clear waters to reach the reef is a must when coming to Costa Maya, and our beach clubs are the perfect starting point. The best part of the tour to La Bamba is that passengers can take in all the Vitamin Sea they need, as there is no set time to go back to port. Each passenger is free to return to the port at their own leisure, always having their transportation ready with complimentary taxi service. With this and other new venues opening in the future, there will be much more to do at Costa Maya, so getting bored will never be on the menu. Sailing away to Costa Maya is the perfect way to welcome the holidays. This year we have a great surprise prepared for our passengers to close a phenomenal year. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 65
Rural Tourism in Costa Rica Brings Meaning to Transformative Travel Authentic encounters help travelers connect with themselves and others.
oday’s travelers want to bring home more than tan lines and souvenirs. Many aspire to achieve personal enrichment through life-changing experiences that create a shift in perspectives— of the world and the self. Enter transformational travel, the key to meaningful interactions, immersive encounters and genuine communion with nature and culture. According to the Transformational Travel Council, “we need travel to do what travel has always done: Build bridges, foster understanding, enlighten humanity, and bury fear, insecurity, and intolerance.” Travelers searching for the exhilarating payoff of transformative adventures should consider rural tourism in Costa Rica—an authentic experience impossible to imitate. Rural tourism activities in Costa Rica offer travelers an intimate glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage and communities. Itineraries include visits to local farms, tasting traditional dishes in the warm company of Costa Rican families, hiking into the unspoiled natural landscapes and more. The benefits of rural tourism reach far beyond strengthening the economy; they help develop local communities, create unforgettable memories and enhance the Costa Rican identity—for both visitors and Ticos (Costa Rican residents) alike. Sustainability efforts regenerate and rejuvenate. Various hotels and inns offer visitors the opportunity to experience ecological tourism in a breathtaking natural environment. Many lodging options have undertaken ecological strategies with the ultimate intention of regenerating the land. Throughout the country, guests can participate in activities such as hiking, bird watching, historical and cultural tours. Additionally, many of the local organizations offer culinary tours, which provide a
360* view of sustainable farming and food production—the essence of organic farmto-table. These activities provide visitors the perfect opportunity to taste a variety of fresh locally produced ingredients, which are the bedrock of Costa Rican cuisine. AGRICULTURE TOURS PRESERVE AND CULTIVATE Various eco-lodges blend agriculture, education and tourism by offering adventure and ranch tours, hiking trails and botanical gardens. Community farms and resorts are self-sustaining and have been reforesting the formerly barren land into an area rich in biodiversity, while preserving the essence of the Costa Rican rural heritage. There are also educational centers and models for sustainable farmers and gardeners. Objectives include motivating visitors from around the world to cultivate and harvest organically and sustainably. CONSERVATION EXPEDITIONS EDUCATE AND ILLUMINATE Travelers can experience guided nature, conservation and cultural expeditions, along with outdoor activities such as swimming beneath a waterfall and organic fishing, all while enjoying appearances by local wildlife to help visitors forget all about cosmopolitan living. Cultural touches include
tours of an authentic sugarcane mill and learning about coffee and citrus production, two crucial commodities that form the backbone of the Costa Rican economy. Travelers who choose rural tourism positively impact the quality of life for Ticos. In economic terms, travelers help create new employment opportunities for women and youth, by diversifying income-generation sources. Culturally, visitors who participate in rural tourism aid in the ongoing preservation of the local Costa Rican identity and culture. In regards to the environment, rural tourism participation helps to increase awareness for sustainable use of natural resources. Gone are the days where sipping exotic cocktails while lounging by the hotel pool were the only activities on a traveler’s agenda. Today’s explorers often want to be physically and spiritually changed when vacationing, and Costa Rica can help achieve this personal enrichment while creating unforgettable memories. For travelers who want to reap the many benefits that transformative travel can reward, the rich coast awaits. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 67
Guatemala, Heart of the Mayan World A place you can visit and never forget, with ancient kingdoms, history, architecture and nature that keeps you living new things each minute. LA ANTIGUA GUATEMALA La Antigua Guatemala preserves a centuries-old history in numerous churches, museums and ruins, which can be explored along the cobbled streets while walking through the city. The ancient legends and traditions are alive in all corners. Among the numerous museums that can be admired are the Ancient Book Museum, where the first-ever printed book in Guatemala is exhibited; the Museum of Colonial Art, with displays of paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries; the Capuchin Museum, with works of colonial and modern art, as well as archaeological artefacts; and last but not least, the archaeological museum Casa Santo Domingo. For the curious, La Antigua offers many shops and markets, where a sheer endless number of country-style textiles, ceramics, as well as high-quality silver and gold works, locally produced leather goods or precious mineral and jade jewelry are waiting to be discovered. Among the numerous churches, standouts worth a visit include the pilgrimage church of the Apostle Philip, the Temple of Saint Bartolomé Becerra, the Church and Monastery of Our Lady of La Merced, Santa Clara Monastery, the Church and Convent of the Reconciliation, the Church of the Apostle St. Peter and the Monastery of the Society of Jesus. These sacred places add a romantic touch to the city and make it a favored setting for weddings and events. On the axis between the impressive Plaza Central and the Palacio del Noble Ayuntamiento, an original building dating from 1743 with a two-story colonnade facade of solid stone, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales deserves special attention. The square with the Sirens Fountain from 1737 and the parish Church of San José at the entrance of the original Cathedral of Santiago de los Caballeros form the historic heart of the city. In the back part, surrounded by a few lively restaurants and bars, lie the ruins of Santa Catalina Monastery with elaborately carved angelic figures and a striking archway, which gave inspiration to its street name, Calle del Arco. 68 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
The city has many quaint colonial-style boutique hotels and a good variety of restaurants, which is not only attractive to visiting tourists, but also for business events and congresses. From a culinary point of view, Antigua is a cosmopolitan city where international culinary delights are to be found alongside local specialties such as Tamales, Chuchitos, Pepián or Hilachas. For those who are looking for exercise, there are spectacular mountain biking trails through the hills and mountains surrounding the Panchoy Valley. Here, adventurers find the perfect stage for virtually any outdoor activity. There is a wide offer for tours to the idyllic farms in the surrounding area, especially excursions on horseback are an unforgettable experience. Zip-lining, bird watching, coffee plantation tours including coffee tasting or baths in hot volcanic springs add to the huge offer of extraordinary activities. PETÉN, MAYA WORLD ADVENTURE In the north of Guatemala lies the Heart of the Mayan World. Fourteen municipalities form the heartland of the ancient realm, where various indigenous languages such as Itzá, Lacandón, Mopán, Q’eqchi’ and Ixil are still spoken. Flores is the regional administrative center and starting point for discovery trips to the numerous tourist attractions of the district. Situated on a small island in the lake of Petén Itzá, the town not only fascinates its visitors by its location, but also by its winding alleys, picturesque shops, restaurants, hotels and street stands with typical dishes of the region. TIKAL NATIONAL PARK Tikal means “place of voices,” and with its 576 square kilometers, it is one of the largest cities ever created in the Mayan realm. Since 1979, the whole area has been declared World Cultural and Natural Heritage. On this gigantic surface, more than 3,000 archaeological buildings and artefacts have been excavated, which originated during pre-classical and classical periods. The Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the Archaeological Park of Tikal, stands
the top steps, the dizzy-eyed viewer gets a spectacular view over the entire park. Temple VI is also called “Temple of Inscriptions” because of the glyphs hewn into the cornice. QUIRIGUÁ ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK Quiriguá is located in the region of the Valle Bajo del Río Motagua and was declared a National Monument in 1970. In 1974, the area became an archaeological park, and in 1981 it was given the status of a World Cultural Heritage site for its cultural and historical significance. The history of the village goes back to the late pre-classical period, in which a Mayan civilization prevailed, but eventually perished at the end of the Late Classical period. The existing buildings date from the late period, while the buildings of previous
out from all the other temples and sites. The square is framed by the so-called “Temple I” (Temple of the Great Jaguar) and II (Temple of the Masks), as well as by the northern and the central Acropolis. The square of the Great Pyramid or the Lost World, as well as the Palace of Windows, with its many connected rooms, is one of the oldest buildings in Tikal, next to a series of other monuments. Temple III or the “Temple of the Jaguar Priest” is famous for its elaborately carved cornices. Temple IV (“Double Headed Snake Temple”) is the tallest in Tikal, rising 70 meters in the air. From
generations were built over and are now hidden in the ground. The highest stelae of the Maya that have been found so far are here. The stele E surpasses all others with a height of 10.6 meters. It represents K’ak’ Tiliw Chan Yopaat, the regent of Quiriguá. Other more common representative buildings such as an Acropolis or the Great Square, the ceremonial place, can be found here. The Acropolis consists of palaces decorated with colorful stucco vaults as residences for the elite. The central square was a public place where religious ceremonies were held and where steles with zoomorphic motifs were placed. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 69
Confidence in the UK Cruise Industry Continues to Grow By Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK & Ireland
ver the last decade, the number of UK travelers taking to seas has almost doubled, meaning that more Brits are cruising than ever before. With almost 2 million Brits taking a cruise last year, and 90 percent of them planning to go again, there has never been a better time to Choose Cruise. This significant growth in the UK cruise market has not gone ignored by the industry. As cruise lines continue to invest millions into building new ships, the UK is reaping the benefits. In August, Azamara Pursuit sailed her maiden voyage from Southampton, where her christening ceremony also took place. Independence of the Seas and Celebrity Eclipse also returned to UK market, with the latter relocating from England to Ireland to make way for newto-market Celebrity Silhouette.
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And there are even more ships are on the horizon. MSC Bellissima will be christened in Southampton in early 2019, and Saga’s new-build duo, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, will launch in 2019 and 2020, respectively. P&O Cruises’ Iona will launch in 2020, the largest ever cruise ship built for the
“THIS SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN THE UK CRUISE MARKET HAS NOT GONE IGNORED BY THE INDUSTRY...”
British market with capacity of over 5,200 passengers, and Cunard revealed last year that it is building what will be the largest cruise ship in its history, with the 3,000-passenger ship joining the iconic fleet in 2022. Furthermore, just recently Celebrity Cruises announced that its second Edgeclass ship, Celebrity Apex, will be christened in Southampton in 2020 and sail a mini-season in the UK. The ship will join Celebrity Silhouette, marking the first time the line has operated two ships in the UK. The number of new ships launching in Southampton and lines choosing to have British homeports are great testaments to the strength of the UK cruise sector. And as the number of Brits taking a cruise holiday is expected to increase, the UK market can look forward to even more cruise lines christening their new ships in Britain in the future.
CLIA Asia Wraps Record Year
sian sourced ocean passenger numbers achieved another record high in 2017, with 4.052 million taking an ocean cruise (up 20.6 percent from 2016)— representing 15 percent of the total global volume. More importantly, Asia is still an emerging market with tremendous potential, presenting opportunities for the cruise industry to further expand across Asia. CLIA’s dedicated Asian office rounds off an eventful first year with a myriad of activities to support this fast-growing cruise market. TRAINING THE ASIA TRAVEL AGENTS CLIA actively participates in cruise conferences across Asia. In 2018 CLIA Asia was involved with over 15 agent workshops and training events, along with keynote addresses at some of the premier industry events in the region. CLIA’s inaugural participation in ITB Asia 2018: ITB Asia, one of Asia’s leading travel tradeshows, took place in Singapore from October 17-19. CLIA organized a seminar to equip travel agents both new and familiar with selling cruises, providing the skills to match the right products to consumers. Partnering with eight cruise/river brands, the two-hour seminar “Navigating the Cruise Industry Towards Greater Profits” highlighted the latest trends and opportunities, while sharing tips on how agents can use the different cruise brands’ unique selling points for Asian cruise passengers. CLIA also participated in regional trade events throughout Asia: CruiseWorld Asia 2018 (Singapore), Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific (Shanghai), 13th China Cruise Shipping Conference International Expo 13th (Guangdong)
and an Indonesia Cruise Workshop (Jakarta). At these events, travel agents benefited from gaining actionable, meaningful Asia cruise trends to assist them in leveraging the tremendous opportunities present. There were also training sessions that focused on how travel agents can overcome consumer perception of cruising and deepen the agents’ understanding of profiling ports & destinations.
“…ASIA IS STILL AN EMERGING MARKET WITH TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL…” INAUGURAL #CHOOSECRUISE CAMPAIGN IN ASIA For the first time, #ChooseCruise, CLIA’s month-long global campaign, was launched in Asia. In addition to PR activities to promote cruising as a preferred holiday option, CLIA Asia also launched dedicated consumer and travel trade activities throughout the month of October. A CLIA travel agent search was introduced on CLIA Asia’s website cliaasia. org allowing consumers to search for details of their local CLIA travel agent and contact them for advice and to book a cruise. CLIA Asia travel agent members now have access to newly created mar-
keting toolkit with materials, such as customizable media releases, newsletter articles, social media tiles and infographics, which members can use to develop promotional material targeting local media, their email database of clients and social media followers. A refreshed Cruising Southeast Asia 2018/2019 module is also available for agents to update their knowledge on this fast-growing region. INDIA GAINING STEAM According to 2018 Asia Cruise Trends, Indian passenger numbers grew with 16.1 percent compared to the previous year. Although the penetration rate is still relatively low, the growth over the past years signals strong potential for this emerging market. CLIA was honored to present the latest cruise innovations at SATTE 2018 (New Delhi), a major trade show attracting over 25,000 delegates, while CLIA also participated in Singapore Tourism Board’s familiarization trip in August for 26 Indian travel agents selling cruise. At the event, CLIA provided useful tips to these agents on becoming effective cruise advocates and gaining profitability in their business. CruiseClub, a CLIA partner also conducted training workshops to over 100 attendees in each of the tier 2 cities of Raipur, Indore, Coimbatore and Lucknow along with TTJ TravMart. The formation of the India Cruise Lines Association (INCLA) in July this year shows the keen interest of both the Indian government and the industry to focus on cruise development. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 71
A Crazy Rich Time Made Possible in Singapore Imagine not just what you can do in Singapore, but who you can be. After lunch, head to The Intan, a lavish home museum. Tours, traditional tea and kueh-making (bite-sized snacks or desserts) sessions are available for booking. Some tours are also personally conducted by owner Alvin Yapp. A PASSION FOR EXPLORING… With stunning waterfront views and futuristic Supertrees up to 50 metres in height, the 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay made the perfect venue for rich-
he city-state is constantly evolving, reinventing and reimagining itself with people who are passionate about creating new possibilities. Take a page from the blockbuster hit and best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians, and bask in the wealth of activities that the city has to offer through the various filming locations. Whether you are a ‘foodie,’ ‘culture shaper’ or ‘explorer,’ enjoy customized experiences that relate most to your interests and passions.
FOR THE FOODIES… Featured in Crazy Rich Asians as the hawker center where lead characters Nick Young and Rachel Chu had their first meal after touching down in Singapore, Newton Food Centre is home to over 80 hawker stalls. Sample local delights from stalls like Thye Hong Hokkien Mee (stir-fried prawn noodles), TKR Satay (grilled skewered meat) and Heng Carrot Cake (a savoury fried dish made of eggs, rice flour and white radish). Hardcore foodies can also embark on food tours around Chinatown. Sample over 10 dishes of popular Singaporean Chinese traditional and street foods on the Chinatown Food Walk by Betel Box or join Wok ‘n’ Stroll’s Next Generation Hawker Food Tour featuring renowned hawker food stalls such as Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway Chap, which was praised by the late Anthony Bourdain. 72 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
IF YOU ARE KEEN ON CULTURE… Trace the footsteps of Eleanor Young, the controlling mother of Nick, just before her dramatic confrontation at the mahjong parlor. The intricately decorated shophouses along historic Ann Siang Hill were built in the late 19th to 20th centuries and sport Peranakan motifs that incorporate Asian and European architectural influences. Many of these shophouses have been repurposed as trendy restaurants, but one Chinese clan house has been painstakingly preserved. For a more in-depth discovery of the Peranakan culture, visit the charming neighborhoods of Joo Chiat and Katong. At Rumah Bebe, learn about Peranakan culture through the assortment of intricate heirlooms on display inside this turquoise-colored heritage building. Beading is a Peranakan tradition involving embroidering tiny colored beans onto shoes, bags and other accessories. Take a beading class or book a private in-house tour for an immersive experience of the Peranakan culture. (Advance bookings required.)
boy Colin Khoo (Nick’s best friend) and fashion icon Araminta Lee’s wedding of the year. With landscapes ranging from the ever-changing floral displays at the Flower Dome, to the misty highlands of the Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay is sure to please all kinds of nature lovers. As the sun sets, be dazzled by the Garden Rhapsody lightshow held against the majestic Supertrees, with shows running daily at 7.45pm and 8.45pm. A stone’s throw away is the Marina Bay Sands, the setting for Nick Young and Rachel Chu’s lavish engagement party. This integrated resort is an iconic landmark along Singapore’s skyline, and visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of the cityscape from the Sands Skypark. To round off the night, consider a stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Guests have exclusive access to the famed Instagram-worthy infinity pool overlooking Singapore’s Central Business District.
Excitement Ahoy as Australia Sails into Thrilling Summer Cruise Season
rom a few of the world’s largest and newest ships to a flotilla of the most luxurious vessels at sea and a smorgasbord of onboard offerings, Australia is sailing into one of its most exciting summer cruise seasons, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia. The bumper cruise season kicked off on Saturday, September 15 with the arrival of the first international ship of the 2018/19 season, Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess. During its six-month season of cruises from Sydney, the 3,650-passenger ship will thrill guests with an adults-only Hollywood Pool Club, private karaoke rooms and a glass walkway that extends over the ocean. Launched in 2017, Majestic Princess is Princess Cruises’ newest ship and its largest to cruise down under, bringing the cruise line’s total Australian-based ships to four this past summer with Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Golden Princess cruising out of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Fremantle and Auckland. Pacific Princess will also call at Sydney, Cairns and Darwin in February 2019 as part of its world cruise. Creating some excitement for expedition cruisers, Ponant’s brand new small ship Le Laperouse will make its maiden visit to Australia in early 2019, offering a season of cruises in the Kimberley. The 184-passenger ship debuted earlier this year and boasts an underwater bar with marine viewing opportunities, Michelin-starred French fine dining and a stunning infinity pool. MSC’s 3223-passenger Magnifica will also call at Sydney for the first time in January, bringing some Italian glitz down under, and Norwegian Jewel will be returning refreshed, having just completed a drydock. Silversea’s newest luxury vessel and flagship, Silver Muse, will join Silver Whisper, and make her inaugural sailing to Australia as the first new Silversea ship to the region in 10 years. The largest ship to call Australia home, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, returns to Australia in late November for its longest season yet, sailing from Sydney until late March. Meanwhile Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will make history when offering its first
Australian season of cruises from Sydney and Melbourne in February and March 2019, marking the longest deployment of a Cunard ship down under. Queen Elizabeth will briefly be joined by sister ship Queen Victoria in February. Luxury aficionados will be spoilt for choice with Seabourn’s Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Encore; Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony; and Regent Seven Seas’ Mariner and Navigator. Plus, Oceania Regatta returns to Australia in January.
“…AUSTRALIA HAS THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD’S LEADING CRUISE LINES AND HAS STAMPED ITS PLACE ON THE GLOBAL CRUISE MAP.” –JOEL KATZ, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CLIA AUSTRALASIA & ASIA”
CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said all this activity showed “there’s no doubt that Australia has the attention of the world’s leading cruise lines and has stamped its place on the global cruise map.” What he told was particularly exciting was the range of ships, “…including ultra-luxury, expedition and mega-ships…
[and] some never-before-seen onboard features, such as an underwater bar, which we expect will entice a whole new generation of cruisers onboard.” In addition to the international visitors, local ships will continue to offer a variety of sailings around the country with P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria offering the cruise line’s first three-ship deployment in Brisbane, while Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend will sail on a record nine cruises from Melbourne in January and February. Ensuring ports right around Australia receive the economic benefits of cruise tourism, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will make her maiden call to Burnie in Tasmania on February 18, P&O will offer its biggest-ever Adelaide program from January to March, and Holland America’s Amsterdam, Noordam and Maasdam will make seven maiden Australian calls this season including Norfolk Island, Bunbury, Broome, Kuri Bay, Gladstone, Airlie Beach and Newcastle. While Sydney remains the cruising gateway to Australia with 45 ships making 285 visits to the Harbour City this summer, regional New South Wales towns will also reap the rewards of cruise tourism with the Sapphire Coast set to welcome 15 ships; Newcastle looking forward to hosting 10 ships, which is twice as many as last season; and Port Kembla set to receive two ship visits after welcoming its first cruise ship last summer. With a plethora of ships homeporting and transiting through a record number of Australian ports this summer, cruising provides far-reaching economic benefits around the whole coastline. Cruise operators require a massive shopping list of food, beverage and other supplies when they sail local waters, and the cruise passenger dollar flows right across the spectrum from hotels, restaurants and cafes to tourist attractions and transport. Wherever the ships go, economic opportunity follows. According to CLIA Australasia statistics, more than 1.34 million Australians cruised in 2017, and the cruise industry makes a multi-billion-dollar annual economic contribution in Australia. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 73
Australia’s Northern Secrets
he cruise sector in Australia’s Top End continues to expand, driving the need for operators to find exciting new destinations and experiences to meet the appetite of today’s adventure traveler. Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is evolving for that purpose as an emerging destination for the cruise sector. Over the 2017/2018 cruise ship season, Darwin had 45 cruise ship visits with around 55,000 passengers plus crew. Cruise ships in particular provide a significant boost to local tourism operators and small businesses, particularly over the wet season, which is a typically quieter time of year for tourism. More Australians than ever are opting for a cruise holiday, with around one third sailing locally. As a result, Darwin is a growing hub for smaller expedition vessels exploring the coastline of northern Australia during the dry season. Expedition vessel activity saw the arrival of 42 ships from April to September 2018. Adventurous cruisers now have options: to travel west across the majestic Kimberley region to Broome, or to travel east, visiting remote Indigenous communities in pristine and undeveloped environments. The City of Darwin is embracing every visiting ship, encouraging retail and 74 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
hospitality operators to open outside of normal business hours. Pop-up markets, food stalls, music and wildlife in the CBD create activities that motivate visitation and add experience to the City and Waterfront/wharf precincts. GO WEST Hosting expedition vessels for over 30 years, the Darwin-Broome and Broome-Darwin route is now well established and continues to grow to meet demand. Debuting in 2017 with four departures, Ponant’s luxury cruise vessel, L’Austral, returned with a further four departures in 2018. Ponant has scheduled the deployment of the ultra-modern newbuild expedition vessel, Le Laperouse, for six departures in 2019. Ponant’s vessels have joined Coral Expeditions, who had three vessels undertaking 30 arrivals/departures from Darwin in 2018, with 34 scheduled arrivals/departures in 2019, and Noble Caledonia’s MS Caledonian Sky with three departures. This level of homeporting provides broad economic benefit through increased airlifts, additional business for local services like hotels, fuel, fresh water, provisioning and the potential for pre- and postcruise vacations.
EASTERN OPPORTUNITIES Australians and international visitors are driving demand for opportunities to connect with real and enriching experiences, whilst making a positive difference to the local people and places they visit. Expedition itineraries, linking from Broome or departing from Darwin, visit multiple serene remote islands, picturesque peninsulas abundant with fearless wildlife and various culturally rich Australian Aboriginal communities. Remote locations that typically take many hours of driving, and are regularly inaccessible by road in the tropical wet season, have become safe and easy to access by vessel. The friendly communities are welcoming opportunities to express themselves, display their crafts and share language and culture. During shore visits, guests are encouraged to explore townships, meet the residents and buy local, original artworks direct from the artists. The people of the Tiwi Islands, Yirrkala and Elcho Island received their first international expedition guests in 2016. The local communities worked for many months to arrange traditional welcome ceremonies, dance performances, painting and weaving workshops, spear throwing demon-
On Land strations and competitions and storytelling to showcase their ancient living cultures. Next year will see at least seven cruise ships visit the northeastern coastline. While not many in number, these smaller-scale visits have an immense positive impact on remote communities. TIWI ISLANDS: THE ISLAND OF SMILES The ‘Tiwis’ consist of two islands, Melville Island and Goulburn Island. Itinerary opportunities may include cultural performances, culture and history tours by local Tiwi guides, weaving and painting demonstrations. Learn about the Pukumani totem poles, unique to Tiwi people and visit the Patakijiyali Museum. Zodiac cruise through intricate unspoiled creek systems.
COBOURG PENINSULA A rugged, remote area with pristine white beaches and lush rainforests, perfect for walking, bird watching, and photography – it’s no wonder the British tried to establish an outpost here in the 1800s. Explore the ruins of the failed Victoria Settlement on a guided tour, learning the fascinating history of this early colony. Watch for amazing marine life, such as crocodiles, dugongs, turtles, whales and dolphins, as well as countless birds during explorations by Zodiac or on foot. ARNHEM LAND 90,000km2 of Aboriginal-owned land across the vast north east Territory coastline. Ports of call may include Warruwi
(South Goulburn Island), Maningrida, Milingimbi, Galiwinku (Elcho Island) and Yirrkala. Be ensconced among friendly, welcoming locals offering unique and immersive cultural opportunities, promoting participation and sharing. Smoking or Welcome to Country song and dance ceremonies, traditional weaving demonstrations, indigenous-owned art centers,
and Darwin Waterfront Precinct, providing much needed shade and shelter and installation of several free Wi-Fi hotspots. • $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus boost delivering smart marketing, acceleration of tourism experiences through infrastructure and experience development and industry development.
• The Landbridge Group committed to a $25 million investment and development plan for the port, including upgrades and improvements to the Cruise Ship Terminal. • A development approval for a $200 million waterfront hotel has been granted, expected to open in 2021. • Over $100 million to develop a new Arts Trail across the Territory, providing a boost to local economies in regional areas. A new Art Gallery and Culture Centre in Alice Springs are focal points, with funding available under grants to organizations and associations.
museums, spear-throwing, sampling bush foods and storytelling of ancient stories are among the experiences available. Spectacular scenery across the Territory’s remote coast and vast inland wetland systems; habitat to hundreds of bird species. THE FUTURE The Northern Territory Government recognizes the importance of the cruise sector across the Territory and is growing infrastructure and experiences to stay ahead of passenger expectations. Recent and upcoming investments include: • $1.2 million spent on covering the seawall walkway between the Cruise Ship Terminal
Darwin is truly evolving into Australia’s northern gateway, with:
• Maritime sailing to/from the Pacific and onward connections, or across Australia/ New Zealand, • Access to overland routes via vehicle or in combination with one of Australia’s great rail journeys, The Ghan through Central Australia to Adelaide, and • Direct flights from Darwin to/from China, Indonesia, East Timor and Singapore.
Whether it be on a cruise or expedition, the Territory looks forward to sharing the secrets of the land and sea with many more visitors in the future. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 75
Members & Travel Agents
PORT ST. MAARTEN CHOSEN AS #1 BEST CARIBBEAN PORT 2018 Port St. Maarten, the gateway to the destination, was chosen by a community of seasoned cruisers in the 2018 Cruiseline. com Member’s Choice Best Destinations as the #1 Best Caribbean Port 2018 in September - following Port St. Maarten receiving an accolade as one of the top ports of call in Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice 2018 awards in June. For more information: www.facebook.com/portstmaarten or www.portstmaarten.com
ISLAND HOPPERS AHOY! CRUISE GUESTS CAN NOW ACCESS EVEN MORE OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Cruise visitors to the BVI’s Tortola Pier Park (TPP) can now access more islands throughout the destination, with excursions now available directly from TPP to White Bay and Jost Van Dyke. Additionally, land tours can now access Long Bay Beach on Beef Island, and excursions to Anegada are planned for the upcoming season. U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS TRENDING FOR NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS The U.S. Virgin Islands is among the trendiest locations in which to usher in 2019. According to travel website KAYAK’s Holiday Travel Hacker, the popular Caribbean destination is the No. 6 Trending New Year’s Eve Destination for travelers this season, with a 25 percent increase in web searches about the U.S. Virgin Islands. The latest international thumbs-up comes fast on the heels of recent news that St. Thomas has been ranked the No. 1 Caribbean destination on Airbnb - with a 600 percent increase in bookings over last year. 76 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
PUERTO RICO WELCOMES OVER $150 MILLION IN CRUISE TOURISM ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2017-18 CRUISE YEAR, TARGETS $70 MILLION BOOST The new BREA study found that cruise tourism directly generated more than $150 million to Puerto Rico’s economy during the 2017-18 cruise year, and San Juan served as the leading Caribbean homeport, despite the historic hurricane season – and with the destination full steam head, projecting a record 1.7 million cruise passengers in 2019, through the destination’s initiatives like hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, along with the largest cruise executive delegation in the event’s history, a potential $70 million boost is in store.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES WELCOMES 2018-19 CRUISE SEASON St. Vincent and the Grenadines welcomed its first cruise call of the 2018-19 cruise season in port Kingstown on Nov. 1. The Kingstown Cruise Terminal was filled with excitement as visitors were greeted by an entertainment package which includes cultural presentations, dancers dressed in carnival costumes with a live band playing a variety of music.
SAINT LUCIA CROWNED CARIBBEAN’S LEADING HONEYMOON DESTINATION Saint Lucia has won the award for ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ at the 25th annual World Travel Awards—the island’s fifth consecutive and ninth overall of the same title. Saint Lucia is also the nine-time winner of the ‘World Leading Honeymoon Destination.’ ECCB GIVES ST. KITTS AND NEVIS EXCELLENT ECONOMIC REPORT, FINDS TOURISM INCREASES The findings of a recent report by the Basseterre-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) have reinforced that the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis is heading in the same direction as the destination’s tourism: up! In addition to finding a larger fiscal surplus than last year, the report estimated that stay-over and cruise visitor arrivals are estimated to have increased by 10.7 percent to $247 million in the first six months of 2018. DOMINICA’S LEADING PORT AGENTS AND TOUR PROVIDERS ARE CRUISE READY H.H.V. Whitchurch, Dominica’s leading port agents and shore excursion providers are fully operational and ecstatic about the 2018-19 cruise season. With a renewed and energetic outlook, no stone was left unturned to ensure that visitors will have an unforgettable experience in a safe and friendly environment.
COSTA MAYA EARNS CSR DISTINCTION AND RECOGNITION FOR ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST WATERPARKS This year Costa Maya was awarded for its efforts to constantly exceed guest expectations, earning the CSR distinction soon after its waterpark Mayá, Lost Mayan Kingdom, was recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the best waterparks worldwide. This all comes on the heels of opening its fourth berth position and offers even more reasons to celebrate.
ST. MAARTEN’S WORLD’S STEEPEST ZIPLINE RECEIVES 2018 SEATRADE CRUISE AWARD The Flying Dutchman of Rainforest Adventures has been recognized at the Seatrade Cruise Med Conference and
awarded the “Innovative Shorex of the Year” award. The ride has been described as thrilling, with guests dropping 1,050 feet in elevation from the top of Sentry Hill over a 2,800foot span, guaranteeing the ride of a lifetime. “HANGING WITH THE LOCALS” A HIT IN ST. CROIX FCCA President Michele Paige and other cruise executives from the FCCA Operations Committee joined members of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism in experiencing the wonders of St. Croix in October. Among the highlights of the group’s visit was “Hanging with the Locals,” a tour that showcases some of the island’s most authentic and memorable Crucian art, crafts, food and delicacies, and other experiences. Throughout the Territory, tour operators, vendors and industry stakeholders are investing in enhancing the USVI experience for cruise ship passengers.
CHUKKA CARIBBEAN ADDS NEW ADVENTURES FOR MONTEGO BAY New and exciting adventures now available to Montego Bay cruise passengers! Chukka Caribbean Adventures, the leading tour operator in the Caribbean, just added two new tours: Catamaran Sail & Snorkel and Power Snorkel Adventure. By continuously expanding, Chukka promises their guests a reason to return. FORE! DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SINKS FOURTH TITLE AS GOLF DESTINATION OF THE YEAR FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Dominican Republic has been voted the “2019 Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean” by tour operator members of the Global Golf Tourism Organization IAGTO. This is the fourth time the country has been recognized as the go-to destination for golf travel by IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators). “Golf is an integral part of our tourism, and we are elated that our golf offerings continue to be recognized in interna-
tional markets,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.
DELIVERING SERVICE EXCELLENCE THROUGHOUT THE CARIBBEAN Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence has been in the Caribbean extensively over the last few months delivering the FCCA Customer Service Training to frontlines in Barbados, Belize, Blue Lagoon (Nassau), Grenada, Guadeloupe, and three ports in Jamaica, where Aquila also presented a customized training program to vendors of the craft markets in three ports. To learn more, reach out to Claudine@ CruiseExcellence.com. A NEW IMPETUS OF EXCELLENCE FOR GUADELOUPE’S CRUISE TOURISM Following the results of a survey carried out among passengers and crew members last year, Guadeloupe commissioned the FCCA Customer Service and Frontline Training, with Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence President Beth Kelly Hatt conducting the training on Oct. 26. The hands-on, on-site program focused on improving guests’ first impressions by equipping the ‘frontline’ of cruise tourism, including taxi drivers, VTC, Tour guides and bus drivers, with the tools to deliver warm welcomes and unforgettable memories and stories.
EXCELLENCE IN BARBADOS, TRAINING FOR 120 FRONTLINE PERSONNEL TO HELP INCREASE GUEST SATISFACTION Excellence is now synonymous with 120 new “destination ambassadors” in Barbados thanks to Aquila’s FCCA Customer Service and Front Line Training. Taking place in
Barbados in September, the training session educated many interacting with guests— from greeters to transportation providers— how to streamline the experience and deliver the service excellence expected by cruise passengers, which not only helps make the best possible impression for guests, but also encourages more spending and better ratings, reviews and likelihood of return visits for destinations. AVIOMAR TOUR GUIDES COMPLETE TRAINING Aviomar Adventours is pleased to announce that 27 of its tour guides have completed the Aquila´s Tour Guide Excellence Training program. This is an important milestone that represents not only that those individuals met the challenge of accreditation, but also that Aviomar remains intended to consistently uphold the principles of quality improvement and customer satisfaction. AMERIMED CONTINUES TO RAISE BAR FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS IN THE CARIBBEAN Amerimed Hospitals continues to raise bar for healthcare providers in the Caribbean. The newest addition to our hospital in Playa del Carmen is a new Scenaria 128slice ST scanner by Hitachi. As always, our patients and partners in the industry can rely on Amerimed for consistent outcomes and outstanding care. MICHELLE FREIDMAN NAMED NEW MINISTER OF TOURISM FOR THE STATE OF YUCATAN As of Oct. 1, Michelle Freidman is the new Minister of Tourism for the State of Yucatan. Miss Freidman is committed to the continual growth of cruise tourism in the State of Yucatan, as well as the development of the Port of Progreso as a cruise destination. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 77
Members & Travel Agents NICARAGUA READY FOR 2018-19 CRUISE SEASON Nicaragua’s 2018-19 cruise season began with the arrival of Island Princess and its 3,000 passengers, mostly British and American, visiting the destinations of León and Chinandega. For this season, it is expected that Nicaragua will welcome more than 70 cruise calls. THE PORT OF GOLFITO, COSTA RICA DELIGHTED TO WELCOME MS MAASDAM Costa Rica’s Port of Golfito welcomed Holland America Line’s MS Maasdam for the first time in September, and there was cause for enthusiasm as the first time Golfito received a ship with her capacity of 1,258 passengers. To celebrate, Travelia Services and local port authorities organized cultural acts, food demonstrations and special activities to greet the passengers and crew. During the visit, they enjoyed Golfito’s diverse wildlife, National Parks and Stone Spheres of the Diquis awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. COSTA RICA’S POAS VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK REOPENS After 16 months, Costa Rica’s Poás Volcano National Park reopened to the public in October, complete with a new online booking system and new safety measures. The 16,000-acre park aims to reclaim its position as one of the country’s most visited natural marvels. Located in the province of Alajuela, just 30 miles north of the capital city of San José, the main feature is its 8,900-ft main volcano, Poás. One of the country’s six active volcanoes, Poás boasts a crater lake near the summit and a variety of walking trails. BELIZE REGISTERS IMPRESSIVE TOURISM ARRIVALS, AMONG LONELY PLANET’S TOP 10 “BEST IN TRAVEL FOR 2019” Statistics show that tourism arrivals to Belize continue to record impressive growth. There was a 16.6% and 19.9% growth in overnight and cruise ship arrivals, respectively, after completion of Q3 2018. This means that Belize continues to be a popular vacation destination in Central America among those seeking exceptional adventure and relaxation. This follows Lonely Planet’s announcement of Belize being included in its list for ‘Best in Travel for 2019.’ 78 FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
TOURISM TALENT APLENTY IN #SAINTAWESOME A tireless champion for cruise in the Canada/New England region, Betty MacMillan, cruise development manager at Port Saint John, was honored with Seatrade’s Port Personality of the Year award. The team from Discover Saint John took home the Marketing Initiative of the Year for their tide-defying mural project with artist Sean Yoro (HULA).
ship—the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship has homeported in Galveston—was celebrated with an event on board where Galveston officials, port staff and military families joined in commemorating her arrival.
PORT OF NEW ORLEANS ADDS DISNEY WONDER TO MARI GRAS 2020 FESTIVITIES, WELCOMES FIRST MODERN RIVERBOAT IN THE US Disney Cruise Line announced six homeport calls during Mardi Gras 2020 with Disney Wonder at the Port of New Orleans, the sixth-largest cruise port in the U.S. Port NOLA made river cruise history when American Song, the first modern riverboat in the US, sailed on the Mississippi River in Oct. 2018.
PORT OF LOS ANGELES WELCOMES NORWEGIAN BLISS, LARGEST-EVER HOMEPORTED SHIP Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,200-plus passenger Norwegian Bliss became the largest-ever homeported cruise ship to visit the Port of Los Angeles. Featuring an onboard Go-Kart race course, water park, chilled “snow room” and more, Norwegian Bliss made weekly calls in Los Angeles through November, and will return in 2019.
PORT OF GALVESTON ENJOYS THE VIEW OF CARNIVAL VISTA On Sept. 23, the Port of Galveston welcomed one of its largest residents ever: Carnival Vista. The arrival of the 133,500-ton
NEW WHISKY MASTER CLASS BY DEWAR’S BLENDED WITH CARNIVAL’S ONBOARD OFFERINGS Carnival Cruise Line has blended its partnership with Dewar’s— the world’s most awarded blended scotch and powerhouse behind a range of superlative aged, single malts—to add a new new whisky master class perfect for novices and connoisseurs alike to discover the added smoothness in Dewar’s double-ageing. Sign up fast and sip your whisky slow.
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