PEMBROKE PINES, FL – The 15th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show proved to be a huge success. Trinidad and Tobago hosted the FCCA delegates and cruise line executives the week of October 27-31, 2008 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel, Trinidad. The Hyatt Regency is a full-conference facility and hosted all business functions, meetings, and the Trade Show. It provided a true feeling of home for the delegation of government leaders, port officials, tour operators, tourism agencies, and suppliers from 42 destinations, along with close to 100 cruise executives from the FCCA member lines.
Mr. Richard Sasso, president & CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc., opened the Trade Show on Tuesday, October 28 with Mr. Micky Arison, chairman & CEO of Carnival Corporation and FCCA chairman, along with Hon. Joseph Ross officially opening the conference on Tuesday evening.
Micky Arison, chairman & CEO, Carnival Corporation and FCCA chairman stated, “This is the time my colleagues and I set aside time to spend working with our partners in the Caribbean and Latin America to get to know each other and to better the industry. Following our most successful conference yet in Trinidad, we are looking forward to next year’s conference in Guatemala.”
A number of impressive topics and featured speakers held the delegates’ attention during the workshop sessions with record-number attendance. The workshops touched on care awareness, tourism economic forecasts, guest perceptions and expectations (along with how to fulfill them), handling a challenging economy, and much more. Speakers included Amilcar Cascais, vice president, tour operations, Carnival Cruise Lines; Bill Fay, insurance specialist, Royal Caribbean Cruises; Hon. Charles Clifford, minister of tourism, Cayman Islands government; and Magaly Toribio, vice minister, ministry of tourism, Dominican Republic.
Delegates had the opportunity to meet with cruise executives in private, pre-arranged, one-on-one, meeting sessions. Cruise executives from many member lines specializing in shore excursions, purchasing, marketing, deployment, and operations participated in the one-on-one meetings.
The SeaMiles-FCCA Golf Tournament was a huge success, with 16 teams, including cruise executives, as foursome hosts. All the funds raised benefit the FCCA Foundation.
Trinidad and Tobago outdid themselves with elaborate, evening functions. Tuesday’s Opening Party was held at Hyatt Regency’s elegant outdoor terrace. Attendees shared in the celebration of the Hindu holiday known as Dawali, the Festival of Lights. The terrace on the water was beautifully decorated with tea lights while Trinidadian women wore their traditional dress known as the Saree. The Trinidad Extravaganza on Wednesday evening took place at Pier One, and the venue was transformed into a true Trinidadian Carnival. Elaborate costumes and festive music set the tone for a party to remember. Thursday evening’s closing party took place in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency with a night of dancing and delicious food.
The 16th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show will take place in Guatemala, October 26-30, 2009.