Last month, I attended CLIA’s Cruise3Sixty event in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla. You can read about the conference on our home page
at TravelAgeWest.com, and in Cruise Editor Ana Figueroa’s cover
story “CLIA at the Helm” (page 16). Of course, CLIA is an important
group for agents, but at the show I was most impressed by the
organization’s bold and innovative approach to educating agents and
the public at large about the positive aspects of cruising. At this
time in particular, the cruise industry can use a strong advocate
countering some of the recent negative publicity.
As part of CLIA’s effort to expose agents to the latest trends
in the industry, the General Sessions at Cruise3Sixty featured
panels and one-on-one interviews with top cruise-line executives.
Overall, these sessions were very informative and effectively
covered a wide range of topics; however, there were occasions when
the executives got a little nasty with their comments and once or
twice it got really out of hand.
This was the case when one panelist made a sarcastic remark to
another executive regarding George Smith, the newlywed who
disappeared from a recent cruise.
After this comment, there was an audible gasp from the
Cruise3Sixty agents. Like a lot of people, I spent the rest of the
conference shaking my head in disbelief at such a negative and very
It’s one thing to poke fun at one of your competitors, but it’s
entirely another thing to sling hurtful and negative comments in a
public forum that could potentially affect an entire industry,
especially at this time of heightened media scrutiny.
So, men and women of the cruise industry, let’s do our best to
keep the comments supportive, because it’s the right thing to do,
and it’s also the best thing for business. K.S.