CruiseWorld is hosting a mix of established and developing agents representing a range of sales volumes and specialties. // © 2013 Ed McDonald
Nearly 30 leaders from the cruise, vacation package, travel agency consortia and host agency leadership community will be taking the stage at this year’s CruiseWorld, a Travel Weekly event, held from Nov. 5-7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In addition to general sessions, the three-day event will include ship reviews and a new certification program on opening day. Industry certification programs including Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) classes and the Special Needs Group Accessible Travel certification will be offered.
As of publication, two-thirds of the available spots in CruiseWorld’s Hosted Agent Program (HAP) are filled. Interested agents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible (the deadline is Sept. 17). Hosted agents will receive two nights’ hotel accommodations, complimentary event registration and a schedule of one-on-one meetings with suppliers. Applications are reviewed as submissions are received.
Travel Agent Training
As part of the certification day, Travel Weekly is also debuting sessions highlighting the finalists in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards for best travel agent training program. The finalists, chosen from the votes of Travel Weekly readers, will offer updates on their certification programs and opportunities for attendees to expand their industry certifications. Companies include MLT Vacations, Norwegian Cruise Line, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Princess Cruises.
Travel Weekly Editor-In-Chief Arnie Weissmann will be joined each day by a leading cruise industry CEO to discuss the current hot topics and share the latest news and perspectives with attendees. Arnold Donald of Carnival Corporation, Adam Goldstein of Royal Caribbean and Kevin Sheehan of Norwegian Cruise Line – the CEOs of three companies that represent 80 percent of global cruise inventory – open CruiseWorld's three general sessions with a keynote speech, followed by an onstage conversation with Weissmann.
Wednesday’s opening general session will include an up-close exploration of the host and franchise models available for today’s travel professionals. The session, entitled “My Best Business Decision” will be an interactive presentation, in which leaders of the host agency and franchise community introduce attendees to their various business models. They will also welcome to the stage a superstar success story from a peer travel professional who has embraced their program and built a prosperous business. This session will provide a fun, realistic way to understand what host might be the best fit for you if you are looking to join for the first time or perhaps make a move to a new organization.
Thursday’s general session will include a “Meet the Masterminds” presentation with industry sales and marketing leadership. This group discussion has become a CruiseWorld tradition, and each year, these marketing and sales experts take a new spin on the business and never fail to make a lasting impact on attendees and on the future of the business. Additionally, Thursday’s “Exhibitor Showcase” will include a four-hour trade show and reception on the show floor for exhibitors and attendees to mingle and network.
Friday’s general session will include “President's Panel.” Weissmann and a slate of cruise line presidents and CEOs will tackle the topics of most concern in today’s cruise industry.
Attendees to the three-day event are given access to sign up for exclusive ship inspection opportunities. Limited space is available on a full roster of ships on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9. Available ships are Carnival Breeze and Freedom; Celebrity Reflection; Holland America’s Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Westerdam; MSC Divina, Norwegian Getaway; Ruby Princess; and Royal Caribbean’s Allure and Oasis of the Seas.