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Presidents convene in New York for cruise industry event of 2011 - organized by Intercruises

New York City played host to the 13th Cruise Canada New England Symposium, organized by Intercruises and NYCruise. Celeste Gladstone, President Intercruises North America & Caribbean and Thomas Spina, Director NYCruise, worked with their teams to set a new benchmark in quality for cruise symposiums.
The Symposium bought together cruise industry leaders from Canada, New England and locations worldwide, promoting the region as an international cruise destination and enabling attendees to further develop business relationships with representatives from all sectors of the industry. Over 225 delegates attended, including representatives from the port of Quebec, St John, Portland Maine, Connecticut, St Lawrence, Boston, Newport and many more. They were joined by cruise lines executives from Disney, Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, American Cruise Lines, NCL, Crystal and MSC.

‘Cruising Today & Into Tomorrow’
The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the ‘Cruising Today & Into Tomorrow’ panel, moderated by Anne Kalosh from Seatrade Cruise review. Already described by some as a ‘miracle’ panel, the speakers included:

Dan Hanrahan, President & CEO Celebrity Cruises
Gregg Michel, President & CEO Crystal Cruises
Charles Robertson, President, American Cruise Lines
Richard Sasso, President & CEO MSC Cruises
Peter Shanks, President and CEO Cunard Cruise Line
Kevin Sheehan, CEO Norwegian Cruise Line
The main discussion points of this panel included:
International Competition – Why regions worldwide are competing with each other, especially in the summer where the Mediterranean is king
Global issues affecting deployment – North African uprising, natural disasters (Hurricanes, Tsunamis), political unrest (Greece).  
Destination Marketing – How destinations can market themselves more efficiently and therefore attract cruise lines to their ports
Emission Controlled Areas (ECAs) – how the extra cost of this legislation will affect cruise ship deployment in the region
‘Canada New England Megatrends’
Mark Robinson, Intercruises Managing Director, moderated the second panel, entitled ‘Canada New England Megatrends’. The subject area was very broad, identifying the current trends of the region, initiatives that could increase the appeal of a destination and infrastructural aspects of port operations. This diversity was reflected in the speakers, with cruise industry executives, an economist, an architect and the Director of Cruise Baltic. 

David Candib, Business Development & Strategic Planning Manager, Carnival Corporation
Bo Larsen, Director, Cruise Baltic& Cruise Copenhagen Network
Craig Milan, President, Royal Celebrity Tours
Andrew Moody, President, Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA)
Luis Ajamil, President, Bermello Ajamil & Partners
Key points discussed during this panel included:
The need for ports and destinations to maintain healthy competition, yet work together to make the region more attractive to cruise lines
Statistics on cruising in the region, including the growth of New York as a homeport and the potential for future growth in the region
The strengths and weaknesses of the region from a cruise line perspective
The final panel discussion, moderated by Johanna Jainchill, Editor at Large, Travel Weekly, tackled the broad subject of technology, with particular insights on port operation innovations and social media. A cruise terminal architect and expert gangway developer identified the benefits of technology in port operations, while industry press and cruise line marketing executives discussed the impact of social media on the cruise industry.

Jordan Corredera, Director & General Manager, Carnival Online
Ralph Grizzle, Editor, Avid Cruiser
Anne-Marie Mathews, Vice President of Public Relations, Norwegian Cruise Line
Monty Mathisen, Reporter/Web Editor, Cruise Industry News
Jim Rowe, AIA Partner, Bermello Ajamil & Partner Architects
Martin Westphal, Group Marketing & Divisional Sales Director at TEAM
Key points discussed during this panel included:
How to use social media as a B2C (business to consumer) tool, but a warning on the resources required to maintain a social media plan
How innovative gangways are assisting in passenger throughput during embark and disembark
How cruise lines and cruise industry journalists use Facebook, Twitter and blogs to develop relationships with passengers
Also providing some words of wisdom:
Thomas Spina, NYCruise Director, acted as host throughout the event
Mark Robinson, Intercruises Managing Director, gave opening remarks aboard the Zephyr as ‘The Symposium Set Sail’ from Manhattan Cruise Terminal, to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
Seth Pinsky, President NYEDC, delivered a talk on the growth of New York as a cruise destination prior to the Presidents Panel
George Fertitta, CEO NYC & Co., spoke about the increased appeal of New York City as a holiday destination
Marty Markowitz, President Brooklyn Borough, praised the development of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and explained why cruise lines should visit Brooklyn
Peter Shanks, President & CEO Cunard Cruise Line, also on the Presidents Panel, said a few words while at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, praising the work of the different New York offices in making the city a leading cruise destination
Tom Dow, Vice President Government Affairs, Carnival Corporation, ended the symposium with greater analysis of the ECAs and what Carnival is doing to reduce the negative impact the legislation will have on the industry.
Getting Social
Organizing an event can be just as much about the social moments as the panel content. On Tuesday, cruise line and media VIPs enjoyed a cocktail atop boutique hotel Ink 48, overlooking Manhattan cruise terminal, with a view of the New York Skyline, before being joined by all delegates at Battery Gardens, a waterside restaurant on the lower tip of Manhattan, for a Lobster dinner.
On the second day delegates were treated to a gourmet lunch aboard the Carnival Miracle, including dancing waiters, before a tour on the Intrepid Air & Space Museum and its Concorde.  Evening entertainment was at the Kimpton Eventi, hosted by the Port of Quebec – including a male pole gymnast. The final day, saw a brunch aboard the Intrepid, before all delegates departed for a free shore excursion or their hotels in New York.