Cruise360 Recap: Day Two

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Another great day of learning and networking is almost over but before we call it a night, here’s an update on all the happenings today at Cruise360.

IMG_7097We begin the morning with a seminar entitled “Business Writing for Today’s Travel Agent.” While a lot of it was common sense best-practices, there are always some little “nuggets” or gems we take away from each class and this was no exception.

After that, we spent the bulk of the day meeting with several cruise lines.

IMG_7098Carnival Cruise Line hosted a great seminar about cruise nights. We’ve hosted a few in the past and certainly plan to do more in the future. This class had some great ideas and tips for making the next party even better.
IMG_7102Next up was one of their sister brands, Seabourn. They’re a luxury cruise line with smaller ships and incredible itineraries.

IMG_7161Another Carnival Corp. brand, Holland America Line, was next. They spent a good deal of time show off their newest ship, ms Koningsdam. It has some amazing new features, including an “in the round’ main theatre, a Blend bar where you can make your own wine blends with Chateau Ste. Michelle, a BB King Blues club and much more. The ship is in Europe now and will sail the Caribbean later this year. We’re already making plans to get onboard.

IMG_7165Crystal Cruises was our last cruise line update for the day. They have a LOT going on. They’ve always been one of the highest-rated luxury cruise lines (for over 20 years running) and now they’re branching out with river cruise ships, luxury yachts and even something called Crystal AirCruises. Be sure to ask us about this amazing VIP travel option.

IMG_7106Here at Cruise360, we tour as many ships as possible but there are some cruise lines and vessels that either don’t sail to this port or simply don’t sail in the US at all (river cruises are a great example). So to cap off our day, we participated in a “virtual” ship tour with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. We got a preview of all of their amazing river vessels, each with its own stunning interior design. They’re part of the Red Carnation Hotel family and their ships have a similar feel.

IMG_7109During lunch we attended the first of three General Sessions.

IMG_7110The keynote was delivered by Adam Goldstein, President & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (that’s the parent company of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises). The panel discussion focused on the evolution of the cruise industry and featured Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line; Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.; Rick Sasso, President, MSC Cruises (USA); and Andy Stuart, President & COO, Norwegian Cruise Line. As leaders of some of the top ocean cruise lines in the world, each of them highlighted how the cruise industry has evolved for today‚Äôs traveler to offer a cruise for every travel style and budget as well as a truly panoramic view of the cruise community. They also re-enforced their belief that cruises should always be booked through a travel agent and that we are integral to the future success of the industry. That, as you might imagine, got a thunderous round of applause from the hundreds of agents in attendance.

IMG_7142We then enjoyed a presentation from guest speaker Dick Durrance. The only National Geographic photographer ever selected by his peers as the Magazine Photographer of the Year and the Advertising Photographer of the Year, Durrance explored with us fresh ideas on how we can expand our creative vision.

IMG_7157His presentation was accompanied by some of his amazing photographs. What a great way to wrap up General Session 1. We had a chance to chat with him after – what a special treat.

IMG_8975This evening was the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner & Gala and it might have been the best one in the six years we’ve been coming to this event.
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The evening started with the first of three entertainment features directly from the cruise lines.

IMG_7185Norwegian Cruise Line brought us a preview of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” one of several award-winning Broadway shows playing on various NCL ships. Featuring songs like “It’s Raining Men” and “I Will Survive,” this was a real crowd-pleaser.
IMG_7200After the presentation of the evening’s first award, Travel Agency Innovator, it was time for more entertainment, this time courtesy of Royal Caribbean International.IMG_7212When Cruise360 was last in Vancouver in 2013, we were treated to a performance by MO5AIC and we were more than happy to see them again. This group performs all types of music without any instruments. All sounds are done with the human voice, including guitars, drums, bass, vocals and much more. They are quite frankly amazing. The highlight of their set was their rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and you can find a live stream of that on our Facebook page.

IMG_7231After industry icons Bill Smith of Virtuoso and Rudy Schriener of AmaWaterways were given Lifetime Achievement Awards, it was time for the final entertainment act of the gala.

IMG_7239Wrapping up the evening was a new show from Celebrity Cruises called “Life.” This mixture of acrobatics, dance and great popular music was both energetic and emotional. Songs included “Learn to Love Again,” “I Lived,” and “Story of My Life.”

That’s a wrap on day two. Be sure to follow all our updates in one place: www.premiercustomtravel.com/cruise360. This link will have all our blog posts, plus photos, Twitter updates, Instagram and more. More updates coming tomorrow – goodnight from Canada Place!