Today is Cruise3Sixty’s theoretical “opening day.” Today the convention opened with the first of three general sessions, which feature a daily opening by CLIA CEO Christine Duffy and a rotating panel of cruise and travel executives.
Today’s panel included Christine Duffy, CLIA CEO; Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International; Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line; Joni Rein, Carnival Cruises; Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises; Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity Cruises; Michelle Fee, Cruise Planners; Nicole Mazza, TravelSavers, and Karin Viera, Vacation.com. The well known and well versed panel discussed the newest innovations and changes in the industry, including the recent launches of Norwegian Breakaway and the Royal Princess. Cruise industry news aside, the main focus of today’s panel was to discuss the importance of travel agents in the cruise industry.
Joni Rein of Carnival explained the cruise line’s relationship with the travel agents the best. Joni thanked all of the CLIA travel agents for their continuing efforts to create a connection between guests and the cruise lines, especially Carnival in light of the recent Carnival Triumph incident. Joni continued to explain how the Carnival Triumph sailed at 100% capacity on her recent first cruise since the incident. Joni explained that this capacity was achieved thanks in part to the hardworking CLIA agents. Along with Joni, the other panel members continued to explain the importance of CLIA travel agents throughout the remainder of the panel.
Coming Up: My schedule for the remainder of the day includes press conferences from Windstar and Royal Caribbean. Still ahead is tonight’s Hall of Fame dinner and a special interview with Britt Rabinovici, Public Relations Manager for American Cruise Lines, and Susan Shultz, American Cruise Line’s Director of Sales.
Today’s quote: “Bless the hearts of those asking for an inside stateroom, we love you too.” – Tony Gonchar from American Express.
Photos: Mike Faust