Miami is well accustomed to an annual influx of migratory arrivals, mainly from less warmer climes than those experienced in Florida. However it isn’t just the Snowbirds that are attracted to this popular US holiday destination during winter.
This March another migratory grouping flocked into the resort, specifically to attend the Cruise Shipping Miami Conference and Exhibition. The city and port, which also delights in the title of Cruising Capital of the World, has for the last 29 years hosted what is recognised as the global cruise industry’s leading annual event.
CS Miami in 2013 attracted an estimated 900 exhibitors and 11,000 attendees. Cruise Line executives, ship builders, destinations, and a myriad of suppliers to the industry, rubbed shoulders in the Conference halls and International Pavilions all located within the Miami Beach Conference and Exhibition complex.
During the plain sailing years of recent times this annual gathering may well have been mistaken for a self-congratulatory backslap for those companies and individuals involved with this truly global industry. Handling testing hurricane seasons, tsunamis and escalating fuel costs and particularly the straightened financial situation has not phased the resilience of the cruise sector on their onwards and upwards progress.
It has been reflected in growing revenues, onboard passenger occupancies is high and a steady fl ow of bigger and better newbuilds from the shipyards. It was almost too good to be true…. and suddenly it was!
With less than desirable timing, during the centenary year of the sinking of the Titanic, one of the shipping world’s newest, state of the art mega-liners, under the gaze of today’s all seeing, pervasive electronic media, succeeded in a very public sinking off the Italian coast. The Costa Concordia, as readers will know, more than a year after it’s sinking, is still embarrassingly visible on the rocks where it came to grief.
A more recent series of incidents to Carnival Cruise liners, although not of the magnitude of the Costa Line tragedy, has also dented the reputation of the cruise industry. However, rather than wallowing in this sad sequence of events, the cruise industry is displaying the attributes of resilience that it has revealed during past trying times. Utilising the same media channels that highlighted the problems of the immediate past, the cruising public have been kept abreast of, on a regular basis, the corrective steps that are being taken to redress the problems of the immediate past.
Based on forward cruise bookings the confi dence of customers is returning, after possibly momentarily wavering. Back in the Miami Exhibition halls that certainly was the prevailing feeling and the ‘feel good factor’ that cruising generates was on display. The images that accompany this report “showcases” the colourful and exuberant manner that certain of the Destination exhibitors at the event were putting their best foot forward.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - June 2013 Issue
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