Cruise360 Recap: Day Four

Today we left the classrooms behind and visited the first of two ships this weekend.

The last three days have been lots of seminars and interaction with the various suppliers and cruise lines. Today, the conference shifted from learning to experiencing.

We did have one last “meeting” this morning – breakfast with our friends from Discover Puerto Rico. They fed us a delicious breakfast and told us that despite what you may have heard, they’re open for business and encourage you to visit soon. They spoke about how invaluable the cruise industry is to the island and gave us some great tips for visitors. Mark Murphy, a travel expert you may have seen on CNN, Fox News, etc. spoke next with a very inspiring message for travel advisors about how valuable we are to travelers and how the internet and web-based booking systems can’t deliver the same level of service and expertise. We’ve heard him speak before and he’s always outstanding.

After breakfast, it was time to get in line to board the buses for the ship inspections. One of the reasons that Cruise360 is held in Fort Lauderdale is the availability of cruise ships both here at Port Everglades and also just down the road in Miami. Over the course of the conference, there will be around 15 ships to visit, with each agent allowed to visit up to three each year. Today, we chose to visit Carnival Horizon in Miami.

Carnival Horizon is the second Vista-class ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and there are a few changes from Vista, which currently sails from Galveston year-round. Here are some of the updates:

  • New elevator control – No buttons. You select WHERE you want to go and the system automatically assigns you an elevator car. Once inside, there are no buttons, just an indicator letting you know which floors have been selected. There are monitors at each major elevator bank that show you which cars are going to what floors. We’ve seen this system before at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in NYC and it does very well once people learn how to use it.
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse & Brewery – On Vista, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse is a separate lunch restaurant and the Red Frog Pub has the brewery. Here, Red Frog has been replaced by the Smokehouse AND Brewery, where you can still get great beer and Guy’s for lunch, but at dinner it’s a special elevated menu with beer pairings. This dinner option is an extra charge but looks amazing.
  • Dr. Seuss WaterWorks – Vista’s water playground is generic, but on Horizon it’s themed with the Cat & the Hat and other Dr. Seuss fun, consistent with Carnival’s use of Dr. Seuss themed areas throughout their kids clubs.
  • Bonsai Teppanyaki – Both Vista and Horizon have Bonsai Sushi, but on Horizon you can also enjoy a meal cooked on the table at Bonsai Teppanyaki. This is also an additional charge but looks like a lot of un

Since many of the ship features are the same, we invite you to visit our Vista Tour photo album for a full ship tour and our Horizon Tour photo album for a look at the areas listed above.

Tomorrow, one last tour of a ship and then a flight home to Houston.