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On January 16, 2003, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council met with senior purchasing, shore excursions and marketing executives from the FCCA’s Member Lines at this year’s fifth annual Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC) Cruise. Cruise Executives of the FCCA Member Lines and FCCA staff played host to 55 Platinum Members along with their families for a splendid four day cruise to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, Imagination.
The day began with Members and Cruise Executives being greeted at the Port of Miami by the FCCA staff. Later that evening a private FCCA “Welcome” cocktail reception hosted by Carnival Cruise Lines, was held to allow members to socialize with Cruise Executives on an individual basis. Platinum Members had the opportunity to dine with Cruise Executives, who played host to a table each evening.

First stop on the itinerary was Key West, Florida. Members and their families spent the day enjoying the many water sports available, lounging by the beach, riding bikes and shopping on Duval street. Platinum Members and Cruise Executives gathered for the first of two scheduled Advisory Council meetings later that evening. The Advisory Council is comprised of port authorities, tour operators, tourism agencies and suppliers in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America and the United States.

Matthew Sams, Vice President, Caribbean Relations, Holland America Line
chaired the meeting which addressed numerous topics pertaining to the member’s respective destinations. The agenda included an update on the group insurance policy for tour operators in the Caribbean, an update on the Cruise Conversion Program currently being promoted in St. Thomas, USVI and port security issues. Many of the US port authorities in attendance volunteered their time to assist Caribbean ports with any security issues that may arise. Throughout the cruise Platinum Members had the opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to their destinations on a one-on-one basis with Cruise Executives.

Octavio Molina, Vice President of Operations, Aviomar S.A. de C.V. hosted an FCCA exclusive excursion at Playa Sol Adventure Park, which offers horseback riding, jet ski rentals, scuba diving and training, equipment rental, a restaurant and pool. Lunch was served buffet style and offered some of Mexico’s staple dishes including hand-made tortilla, fajitas, grilled shrimp and chicken, fried calamari and many fabulous desserts. Preceding lunch guests were treated to a folkloric dance show. Platinum Members, Cruise Executives and their families once again participated in the third annual FCCA volleyball tournament, while everyone cheered on.

As the Platinum cruise came to an end. Members eagerly expressed their anticipation for next year’s cruise and shared their thoughts regarding both the membership program and the cruise.

“I thought it was wonderful, I like the idea of being able to spend time with our partners and vendors in a different atmosphere other than making an appointment in the office. I think there was a lot of interesting commentary going on. I truly enjoyed it and I think the Platinum functions are great.” Joanne Salzedo, Manager, Product Development, Norwegian Cruise Line.

“This was an absolutely fantastic cruise. I give it an A+. The meetings were informative, and I was able to meet with many executives to discuss pertinent issues on a one-on-one basis. I also had the opportunity to meet with other colleagues who I will be working with on a new project to create a cruise development plan for Dominica. Overall the Platinum cruise has proved to be a tremendous benefit to me.” Benoit Bardouille, General Manager, Dominica Port Authority.

“The relationships that develop on the Platinum Cruise, between Platinum Members and Cruise Executives go far beyond the business that is conducted on board. We get to know each other on an informal basis, that makes future dealings more comfortable and productive.” Roger Blum, Vice President, Cruise Programming, Carnival Cruise Lines.
“Platinum Membership provides a relaxed environment in which to communicate effectively with Cruise Line Executives and to dialogue with colleagues from all parts of the Caribbean about issues of mutual interest.” David Gegg, Managing Director, Cruise Solutions Belize.

“The FCCA Platinum Membership gave us the opportunity to interface with the Cruise Executives from the various Member Lines and outlined the detail requirements we needed to become successful tour operators. During this cruise we were able to offer another line our tour product and clear up some miscommunications with another. It was well worth the trip.” David Starling, President, Panama Canal Railway.

“I am happy to be a Platinum Member. I was pleased with the discussions on security measures at the meeting today. With all the security issues that’s affecting the world these days, it is good to know that the FCCA and the Cruise Executives are attuned to this and those of us in the destinations don’t have to be prepared to handle this alone. I personally feel that my Platinum Membership has benefited me in keeping me abreast of all issues set forth by the top level of the FCCA’s policy makers.” Edward Thomas, President & CEO, The West Indian Company.

“To use the word excellent would be an understatement. I believe this is one of the greatest ways to keep Platinum Members together and provide information to them. As far as the Platinum Cruise is concerned, Carnival did an fantastic job catering to us.” Lee Bailey, Executive Chairman, Caribbean Cruise Shipping & Tours.

“ I cannot believe this is work. I have to admit the Platinum Members and the Cruise Executives are a fun group of people and this is a fun industry.” Rovel Morris, Managing Director, Bridgetown Cruise Terminals, Inc.

FCCA Platinum Members share their experiences during the PAMAC cruise.
Thomas Kenna, Marketing Director ~ Panama Canal Railway Company.
Having recently returned from the FCCA Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Cruise aboard the exquisite Carnival Cruise Lines’ MS Imagination which took place January 16-20, 2003, I thought I'd jot down some of my thoughts about the cruise, there was great food and fantastic entertainment all around. I take my hat off to Carnival for a job well done. Most impressive for many of us was the always-smiling, attentive and just all-around wonderful people that Carnival has working on that ship. All of us that form part of the FCCA Platinum Membership know that people are the key to our business and it is obvious that Carnival knows it too. Kudos.

The highlight of this cruise was of course the opportunity to meet with friends and partners. Business is strengthened and relationships form that allow the development of ideas. Ideas that flourish into new business opportunities or ways into making existing business more rewarding for those involved. This particular cruise provided me with one-on-one "informal" meetings with cruise executives that resulted in our company securing more business. Although these meetings took place in a friendly atmosphere while enjoying exotic cocktails illuminated by fluorescent ice, the additional business is very real and very serious indeed. I'm talking about in-your-pocket, here-it-is business. No fluff, no "mañana.” This fertile environment for business that promotes partnership-building is what our investment in the FCCA Platinum Membership is all about. Yes, "investment.” An investment that we readily make due to the unique opportunities provided by the FCCA's hard-working team, the cruise executives that so generously dedicate their time and efforts to the FCCA and by all of our colleagues and friends that make this a family devoted to making a better future by bringing tourism to our homes.

Norman Pennycooke, Managing Director ~ Fun Sun Inc.
The FCCA’S Platinum Membership…My “Family”

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 13 member cruise lines operating vessels in Florida, Caribbean and Mexico. Created in 1972 the FCCA provides a forum for discussion on cruise industry issues. This forum provides a place to share information, idea and most importantly to develop and improve relationship between cruise related entities and the cruise industry.
One of these cruise related forums is the FCCA Associates Membership Program, which brings together most of the wider Caribbean Cruise Service Providers. This Association is very important as we meet as a united body to discuss issues affecting our industry. Owing to the success and growing membership of the FCCA Associates Membership Program the FCCA decided to launch a smaller more effective and exclusive program - the Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC). The idea was to provide a smaller membership of approximately 60-70 members to response more quickly and effectively to ever changing events in the cruise industry.

PAMAC was established in 1998 with 6 members and has currently grown to 70 members. The benefits of this program:
• Exclusive Associate Member meetings and luncheons
• Listing/Profile in Membership Directory
• Access to up-to-date statistical Studies
• Savings on Registration Fees
• Discount on insurance program for Tour Operators
• Use of FCCA logo
• Serving on FCCA PAMAC
• Biannual full day meetings with FCCA operation executives
• Invitations to Special Events and the yearly PAMAC cruise
• Company profile and updates in FCCA’s Caribbean Cruising Magazine
• Private Luncheons & meetings

But these benefits listed above cannot be fully appreciated until you become a member of the PMAC. By becoming a member you join a “Family” that is willing to share and assist each family member in whatever projects or industry related issues that may occur. The fellowship and communion that develops between each member of the PMAC, their families and the cruise industry executives is invaluable and immeasurable. If I had to choose why I became a member of the PMAC I would select the special event benefits. That is, the cruises, the basketball game and the private dinners. These events provide each Platinum Associate member with an excellent opportunity to meet, relax, exchange ideas and fraternize with Cruise Industry officials and our colleagues from the wider Caribbean.

I urge all my Caribbean counterparts to become a member of the PAMAC as soon as possible in order to enjoy the benefits of the Cruise Industry.

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