Some of the biggest names in cruising gathered at PortMiami on Tuesday for a Return to Sail Summit with the goal of getting ready to cruise once again. The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is a non-profit trade organization made up of 22 member cruise lines operating nearly 200 cruise ships in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. The summit was the association’s first live event in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Porthole Cruise and Travel Founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff was on hand talking to attendees.
FCCA-PortMiami Return to Sail Summit
The FCCA-PortMiami Return to Sail Summit featured a number of workshops and networking opportunities, from an opening event complete with a meet and greet, to a joint lunch and other chances for attendees to talk privately with the participating cruise executives while observing safety protocols including a mask mandate and physical distancing. More than 200 people were in attendance for the summit, including some of the top names in the cruise industry.
Owners and executives featured on the ‘View from the Top’ panel included; Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation and FCCA Chairman; Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International; Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line; Tom McAlpin, President & CEO, Virgin Voyages; Jason Montague, President & CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Frank Del Rio, President & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.; Ruben Rodriguez, President, MSC Cruises USA; Harry Sommer, President & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line; and Jan Swartz, Group President, Holland America Group.
Cruise Executives Weigh In
“After 15 months, it was beyond exciting to again gather with our partners during this pivotal time to prepare how to make it out of this crisis, hopefully even better than ever,” said Michele Paige, President, FCCA. “We are grateful for PortMiami hosting the event and showcasing some of the protocols that will drive cruising’s return from North America.”
Perhaps the most important man in the cruise industry, Micky Arison voiced his frustration that cruise lines were subject to so much scrutiny when the rest of the country is wide open for business thanks to the United State’s robust vaccine rollout.
“I can confidently say on behalf of all people and destinations the FCCA represents that we are ready to again get back to business,” he said. “It has been a long, arduous time, but we now see the light at the end of the tunnel and know the importance of working together to make it to the other side even stronger.”