Some 2,000+ people packed into a ballroom at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami convention in Florida.  Here are some highlights as they develop:

Christine Duffy kicked off the panel. She is CLIA’s President.

  • 21.3 million people cruised in 2013
  • 13 New ships and the Pax bill of rights highlighted 2013
  • CLIA has over 50,000 travel agents
  • 24 new ships planned for 2014 and 2015. Equaling 38,000+ (Berths)beds
  • In Australia and New Zealand there was a 130% growth year over year
  • Shared experiences are a big emphasis and it all starts with connectivity at sea (meaning SATcoms)
  • Singles and young passengers (under 30 I’d presume) are also a strong focus
  • Showed off the Ship Mate app on stage
  • The cruise industry contributed $100 billion in economic impact globally in 2013
  • $7 billion was in Florida alone
  • Cruise industry represents 3.5% of U.S. and 2.5% of U.K.’s annual travel

via Teijo Niemela

Christine Duffy exits the stage and the 4 executives take the stage

  • BBC’s Katty Kay moderating the discussion
  • Demand for cruising has not matched the growth in capacity – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • In bad times, cruising has shown how resilient the industry is – Richard Fain, RCCL
  • via John Shallo @CruiseAddicts

  • Cruising is a “ridiculously” strong value – Kevin Sheehan, NCL (onstage with out a tie. He is the CEO of Freestyle cruising after all)
  • Interesting note: Europe is sinking single digits, yet the cruise industry is growing at double digits
  • The cruise industry should do well in a recession – Arnold Donald, CCL (…explain 2009-2010)
  • Cruise Critic is stating that panel moderator Katty Kay has never cruised before
  • People take cruises on the recommendations of friends and family- Richard Fain, RCCL
  • And the reason people don’t take cruises is “simple ignorance.”- Richard Fain, RCCL
  • Every time Kevin Sheehan’s episode of Undercover Boss airs, NCL can witness an noticeable bump in bookings shortly thereafter – Kevin Sheehan, NCL

via Cruise Shipping ‏@CruiseShipping

Pierfrancesco Vago via MSC Cruises (USA) ‏@MSCCruisesUSA


  •  Kevin Sheehan emphasizes the importance of marketing; citing Undercover Boss
  • Richard Fain says word of mouth is also important
  • MSC has grown 800% since 2004-Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC  (yikes! that’s impressive)
  • Australians love to cruise – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • The vast majority of people don’t understand cruising – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • The success of the industry is “brand differentiation” – Richard Fain, RCCL
  • Innovation is key  – Kevin Sheehan, NCL
  • Its important to impress that first time cruiser – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • Also important to match them to the proper line – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • Now onto talking about pax safety
  • .007% of global cruisers get norovirus
  • Incidents are rare because the industry is so safe  – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • When one incident happens, it affects the entire industry
  • Now all 4 are bantering back and forth as to who’s line is better
  • Kevin Sheehan is back to the enormous value that cruising is
  • We’re getting better at educating the media during incidents  – Richard Fain, RCCL [this speaks volumes. Look at the difference between the Triumph and Grandeur fires. Though I’m sure Mobile vs Freeport had something to do with it as well.]
  • Bad incidents are very, VERY rare  – Arnold Donald, CCL
  • The “biggest lie” is that the industry isn’t regulated – Richard Fain, RCCL
  • A period of operational excellence and no media incidents are needed to make the industry stronger – Kevin Sheehan, NCL
  • Its never good to be on the defensive all the time – Kevin Sheehan, NCL
  • The cruise industry generates around 325,000 jobs  – Richard Fain, RCCL
  • First time cruisers, word of mouth and technology are key to growth in the industry -Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC

And that’s a wrap from here. Thanks for following.