Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) President Michele Paige. File photo courtesy Espíritu Viajero Life.
MIRAMAR, Florida--With the destination in sight and an itinerary filling up, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference is moving full steam ahead. Taking place in less than two months in Panama City, Panama, from October 18 to 21, plans are quickly taking shape with forty cruise executives already confirmed, workshop topics announced, and a revamped format focused on networking opportunities – including one-on-one meetings – between delegates and cruise executives, as well as Panama pulling out all the stops to showcase its products and cruise tourism potential to the prestigious audience.
“We are beyond grateful to all those involved throughout Panama for stepping up to the plate to host our keynote event,” said Michele Paige, President, FCCA. “This year will not only have added significance for so many throughout our partner destinations, who rely on cruise tourism’s economic contribution, but also for anyone who has an interest in doing business with cruise lines – and 2019’s record attendance of Member Lines’ presidents and above, as well as the most meetings ever, again displayed the cruise industry’s commitment to the event and its platform for working directly with destinations and stakeholders, along with listening to their needs and understanding how to develop long-term mutual success.”
The interest of FCCA Member Line executives is again clear, with 40 already confirming – including six presidents and above – as of August 31, and the platform will benefit from a revamped format, putting the event’s long-standing one-on-one meetings on the main stage. Registered delegates will have the opportunity to pre-set 15-minute sessions with participating executives to present goods and services, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Additionally, there will be a host of other opportunities for delegates to meet with cruise executives during networking functions scheduled throughout the event, which will showcase some of the best to see, eat and hear in Panama while displaying what it can offer not only cruise guests, but also cruise ships in terms of provisioning and homeporting ability.
Delegates will also have access to workshops led by key cruise executives, concentrated on topics focused on everything from navigating the “new normal” to developing all-encompassing and far-reaching plans – and participants’ needs will take the spotlight, with most workshops encouraging audience input.
In “Top of the Lines Showcase”, presidents, chief executive officers (CEOs) and chairmen will give a current overview and the future view of operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. Currently, the planned panellists include Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International; Carol Cabezas, President, Azamara; Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line; Tom McAlpin, President & CEO, Virgin Voyages; Ruben Rodriguez, President, MSC Cruises USA; and Richard Sasso, Chairman, MSC Cruises USA.
“Destination Jubilation” will gather executives from the FCCA Operations Committee to highlight how cruises, guests and economic benefits are returning to cruise destinations, including the protocols and communications leading the way, and why a renewed focus is leading to new opportunities for destinations to reap the rewards of homeporting, longer stays, multi-port calls and increased sourcing and employment throughout the regions.
Plus, with “More on Tours”, members of the FCCA Shore Excursion Committee will come together to share recent developments, trends and updates in tour operations.
For more information and registration, please visit