Independence of the Seas will stop in Galicia, Spain next month


Officials of the Port Authority Ferrol-San Cibrao have confirmed that, as initially announced, Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas will return to the city of Galicia  on September 26 after docking for the first time on April 25.

The arrival of Independence of the Seas will, as happened in the time before a flood of tourists in just a few hours. This giant cruise ship usually bring more than 4,000 passengers on board, in addition to the compliment of crew members that can also descend upon the city

The September 26th is a Monday, so travelers will find all the retail and hospitality of the city open, which will make their shopping more comfortably than the previous occasion, which fell on a holiday.  This will also be an opportunity to give the tourists a good idea of what the city is really like. 

More than 18,000 cruise passengers will pass through Malaga during August City Fair


During the month of August, the city of Malaga, Spain will celebrate August Fair City, which begins on August 13 and ends the 20th, and the annual celebration will see more than  18,000 cruise passengers pass through.

Specifically, expected to arrive at the port of Malaga is Royal Caribbean's  Adventure of the Seas, which has a maximum capacity of 3838 passengers and 1,185 crew, and it will be based out of Malaga. So will both Saturday August 13th and 20th at 06.00am from Ajaccio ( France ) to Malaga and depart the premises, both days at 17.00 bound for Valencia.

The second ship with more capacity - 2446 passengers - will arrive these days at the port of Malaga is the Grandeur of the Seas, on August 18 at 07.00 hours. Its earlier stop Ibiza and Malaga depart at 20.00 hours that same day towards Gibraltar.

Interview with Royal Caribbean's CEO in France


Royal Caribbean has returned to France with a new office, 9 years after it withdrew from France following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Royal Caribbean took over the French company Latitudes South, which was represented in France since February 2002 and conducted a wave of recruitment to achieve a team of thirty people.

Building on the development of the cruise in France, Royal Caribbean will offer for the first time in 2012, cruises departing from French ports. Mer et Marine had the opportunity to meet Frédéric Martinez, the new CEO of Royal Caribbean in France, to learn more about the return and the group's strategy in the market hexagonal.

Why the return of Royal in the French market?

The main point is, of course, the growth of the cruise market in France, with an increase of about 10% over 5 years. Europe, in general, is growing much, the market development of the cruise, while the U.S. market, which is most important, no longer growing. And, within Europe, France is the emerging market, that is to say a small market but very promising, with more and more people interested in this offer holiday, which really starts to exist in the imagination of consumers. Hence the decision to Royal Caribbean to come on the market, which last year reached 12% growth.

The potential is so important?

Look at the penetration rate, that is to say the number of people who made at least once in their life on a cruise. In France, 0.6%, while the United States is 3.5% and in major European markets is much more than in France: 2.5% in Britain, 1.5% in Germany, more 1% in Italy. Even Spain, which is a less populated, has a cruise market bigger. We believe the fact that there will be in France, a natural catch-up compared to other Western European countries.

What are your goals in France?

In addition to all the cruises we offer in the world, the additional supply we will set up in France has three ships of Royal Caribbean International from Toulon and Marseilles, for cruises in the Mediterranean, and from the Havre to see Norway, Scandinavia and Russia. We will also, on the Caribbean cruises departing from Pointe-à-Pitre in the winter of 2012. Our growth target is important, since it increases the offer, but it is also very reasonable. We are targeting next year for just under 10% of the market, from 40 to 45,000 passengers on a French market, which will end in 2011 to more than 400,000 passengers and should be in 2012, around 450,000 passengers. Our goal is important but it is not huge in terms of volumes.

Royal Caribbean is the second global group of cruise industry. What position do you target market hexagonal?

We aspire to become the fourth largest cruise in France, so we do not undertake a sudden burst in the market.

The French market is certainly growing but is still enormous. There are already a number of actors and a strong competition between two leading companies, Costa and MSC. In this context, what is your strategy to promote your product?

Our offer is really a qualitative dimension. What we want is to add a layer of quality, one side "premium" to what is already happening. For, even if it is not always clear on the French market, where the differences between the companies may not be as well known as other markets, the quality of our vessels and their degree of innovation, quality service and food we put on the top of the basket.

You do not have the intension of you engage in a price war?

Absolutely not. We have more than one strategy as a strategy of volume. We are not there to cut prices. It would be absurd because, finally, in relation to the size of the market, there is not many players than that. Costa is really dominant, MSC has a good 20% of the market and then there are actors who are less than 10%. There is room for everyone, especially with the growth that we know in France. Therefore we do not want to put us in an aggressive approach from our competitors and colleagues.

Cruise has long been the malaimée tourism in France. Changing the perception of tourists in recent years, however, thanks to the important work of communication and action made ​​by commercial stakeholders. Do you think this trend will continue and even intensify?

The cruise market continues and will continue to attract people who want to renew their vacation experiences. We want to help attract more people to cruising in general, our products if possible of course. We should not see this as trench warfare between a few players who compete for passengers. It's a job to continue to get French consumers to say: "Look, the cruise, why not? "And make them aware of all the potential benefits this type of holiday, particularly for Royal Caribbean, where supply is very large. It also lead those who know our products in other parts of the world to benefit from France, and finally bring those who know the cruise but not our product to try this new offering.

Talk about offering additional to what already exists. What are the characteristics of different brands of Royal Caribbean Cruises?

The group's strategy is multi. Royal Caribbean International is the brand of mid-range family, accessible, international, not really meant to be premium but are characterized by a very good quality. It is a global brand, found on all continents and whose level of service is far superior to conventional wisdom on the cruise.
We also Celebrity Cruises, which is a range of "luxury" or "super-premium". Azamara Cruises Club and then, more confidential, with fewer ships, and positioned on the luxury.
Finally, we have a layer of more companies customized for different countries. In France, we CDF - Cruises of France, and there is also this concept in Germany and Spain.

You mention France Cruises, a subsidiary of Spanish Pullmantur, whose parent is like RCI, Celebrity and Azamara, the group RCCL. As you now, CDF has offices and teams in Paris. Will you build synergies?

We are part of the same group, so logically we develop synergies on the "back office". Today we have a number of synergies that affect such purchases or pooling of resources. Now the marks are well separated on a marketing plan and communication to the public and distribution networks. In our structure, owned by France Cruises Pullmantur, which forms a self-only group, that is to say that we must rise high enough that the branches are found.
Then there is a policy distinct brands with different positionings. There is such a very international fiber with highly innovative large ships is Royal Caribbean. France cruise ships offers smaller, more intimate atmosphere and especially developed specifically for French passengers. So there really is room for both brands, which do not compete and instead articulated well as the requests are different.

Can you imagine a future merger between CDF and the French office of Royal, or for example a combination of sales forces and the establishment of a common call center?

A reconciliation is not in the plans now, but obviously in a group, it may still be in the future developments in the organization. In any case, synergies exist and the teams know each other well. For a call center, for now, we have no project in this area. Sales teams are really separate. It should also know, if we take the U.S. market for example, that there is even a separation between the sales teams of Celebrity and Azamara. Obviously, in missions abroad, all that is meeting under the same call center. But today we do not plan to cruise in France although, again, the structures of the groups are not eternal and everything can change.

Lights to attract the market, you will have franciser the product. What will be your actions in this area?

In terms of product, beyond a certain threshold of passengers from the same country, we trigger our automatic "machine customizing", including the development of personal-speaking, whose number depends on the proportion passengers, such as French, on board. So there are efforts already made, but it will be even more with our development on the French market. We know in particular that the inclusion of the Francophonie is a very high expectation of customers. Especially since, as appropriate, from the ports with the French ships of Royal Caribbean, we expect that half the passengers or the French. So there will be on board, French personnel, announcements in French, as translated menus in restaurants and logs in the cabins. Ground handling, excursions are also available in French.

The product will nevertheless remain international in its entirety. And there is, often wrongly, a certain distrust of the French against American ships ... Do you have any concerns about that?

What is important is to be sufficiently adapted to the French customers but still offer an international flavor. There's a bit of America with Broadway shows, the range of food is extremely large with kitchens around the world, the crew and passengers from different countries ... Is sometimes presented as the French chauvinists. It's true they love their culture and defend their language, but they are also people who love to travel and go abroad. So we have a space to hold around a truly international offering, with a notion of quality and the addition of a French flavor with these shipments in Toulon, Marseille and Le Havre.

You propose in particular, next year, shipments of the summer in La Seyne-sur-Mer, near Toulon, on the Liberty of the Seas. It is a gigantic ship, with 1,800 booths. However, the port of La Seyne was not used previously for loading and unloading. How will you handle this situation and how do you approach routings of passengers?

We are currently working on embarkation, so as to have a direct transfer between the station and the port of Toulon La Seyne, where Liberty will arrive, which is indeed a ship of exceptional category. We believe that many customers come on board this ship, and for referrals, we believe that the train will be dominant compared to the aircraft, air supply is limited in Toulon. From Paris, TGV, it is less than 4 hours away, what remains, for a cruise, quite reasonable. And even more closely and therefore convenient for customers living in areas such as Rhône-Alpes and PACA.  

Bari, Italy offers train service to Royal Caribbean passengers


The tourist port of Bari, Italy is taking a big leap forward this year with Royal Caribbean's mega cruise ships calling on Bari for a total of 22 times, which will bring 80,000 more tourists this year.

To help accommodate the passengers, the province is offering a shore train, the pilot project of the Department of mobility. The idea is to take through the intermodal bus and train cruise passengers visiting the port of Bari to visit the centers of major artistic and historical interest of the Province.  Partners of the project include the Port Authority of the Levant , the City of Conversano and Royal Caribbean.

The City of Conversano has provided a welcome service in the language, guided tours, tastings and wine, cooking classes and shops open.

The Councillor of Apulia Region Guglielmo Minervini explains the shore train project makes sense, "By enhancing the hospitality offered by the area more attractive we make the first step of Bari The trial will cover the city of conversation, but other centers will be able to join as early as next year."

Royal Caribbean among group of cruise companies visiting Alicante, Spain


Representatives of seven U.S. cruise companies will visit Alicante, Spain from September 22-24 to explore the possibilities of the port and the city for inclusion in the scales of their cruises.

At the Port of Alicante, employers will provide a detailed tour of the municipality, which includes a visit to the port facilities and various destinations in the city and the province suitable for cruisers trips.

The group is made up of directors of Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Windstar Cruises, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises, The World and NCL. They all pose a significant potential to attract cruise ship tourists, so the visit will be crucial for the interests of the Port and the city.

Result of relations with one of them, Royal Caribbean, owner of  Independence of the Seas, visited yesterday the Port of Alicante, with a passage more than 4,000 travelers who had the opportunity to many excursions in Alicante and its province. The ship, which came from Palma de Mallorca, afternoon sail to Lisbon, from where they sail back north to their summer base in Southampton.

Launched in 2008, the Independence of the Seas will return to dock in Alicante on 29 August.

Independence of the Seas returns to Alicante


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, the largest cruise ship sailing the Mediterranean, has made ​​its third stop in the port of Alicante, Spain. More than 4,000 passengers have had an opportunity to make numerous trips to Alicante and its province, as reported in a statement by the Port of Alicante.

Thus, the ship, which comes from Palma de Mallorca, sails on Monday for Lisbon, Portugal before sailing north back to their summer base in Southampton, UK.

Independence of the Seas has a capacity for 4,500 passengers and 1,500 crew members and is 339 feet long and 38 wide, making it one of the largest cruise ships in the world, the highest among those who ply the waters of the Mediterranean, and will dock in Alicante on August 29. 

On September 22, representatives from seven North American carriers will also come to Alicante, where they remain until the 24th for a tour that includes visits to the port facilities and various destinations in the city and the province "suitable" for travelers cruise. 

Royal Caribbean names Gianni Rotondo new General Manager of Italy


Royal Caribbean has selected Gianni Rotondo to lead Royal Caribbean's Italy office and be in charge of the development of the Italian market. Lina Mazzucco held the position with Royal Caribbean Italy since 2005, and will pass the baton to Gianni Rotondo, who has joined Royal Caribbean three months ago.

"After 6 years of activity in this great company I decided it was time to leave to pursue other routes. I carry with me all the experiences and challenges, the people with whom I have worked in recent years and the rewards, including one of all: to have ten times the number of Italian guests on our ship," says Lina Mazzucco "hope Gianni professional satisfaction and the same passion. "

With over 30 years of experience in the travel and a degree in Law, Round arrives from Atahotels Royal Spa, an independent Italian chain of hotels, where occupying the role of commercial director. Before that, he was general manager of the Northern European markets in London and Alitalia CEO of Italy, and CEO of Easy Market Spa.

"The Italian market has experienced strong growth in demand from consumers Italians, for all the brands of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Royal Caribbean International in particular." Said Michael Bayley, executive vice president, international, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We have great confidence in the new general manager. Gianni has all the personal qualities and professional and managerial skills that we need to pursue our growth strategy in Italy."

"It 'an important time for growth of the Italian market," says Gianni Rotondo, " and European company, which will expand its activities in 2012 with 23 new ports in seven countries. This result is undoubtedly the result of passion and commitment with which Lina Mazzucco has guided the company in recent years. Following the precious example of Lina, who preceded me in this challenge, I will do my best to give further impetus to the company and increase brand value. "

The Genoa office of Royal Caribbean has about 30 employees, including sales, marketing and business operations, management of the 3 brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises Club.

Mariner of the Seas in March has arrived for the first time in the Mediterranean to Civitavecchia, where he remained until the end of October, offering 7-night cruises calling at Cannes, Ajaccio, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.

Enthusiasm in Genoa for Mariner of the Seas


A large group of senior policymakers from Liguria and Genoa, with the Mayor Marta Vincenzi, Claudio Burlando, President of the Region and President of the Port Louis Merlo, welcomed with great enthusiasm the first stop in Genoa of Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.  Mariner of the Seas will make seven stops during this summer, while 14 are expected in 2012, for a total of 60,000 passengers.

In addition, as announced by Lina Mazzucco, general manager Royal Caribbean in Italy, "the company could become a shareholder of the passenger terminal of the Maritime Station, saw the new commitment of the port of Genoa."

At the first port of Genoa, Mariner of the Seas was also the scene of an opportunity to present the Royal Caribbean's partnership with the Telethon Foundation, a group that conducts research on genetic diseases.  Along with the testimonial of the initiative in Genoa - Olympic gold medalists Valentina Vezzali, Juri Chechi, Antonio Rossi. Royal Caribbean's Director of cruises in Italy, Lina  Mazzucco has provided details of the collaboration, which will be held with regular donations by Royal Caribbean, charity dinner on board ships arriving in Italy, and hospitality on board for the regular meetings of researchers from the Foundation.

Royal Caribbean's Jo Rzymowska to speak at TTA Worldchoice conference


A list of speakers for the TTA Worldchoice conference has been announced, which will take place at PortAventura from September 23-25.

Among the list of speakers, Royal Caribbean's associate vice-president and general manager UK & Ireland, Jo Rzymowska, will be part of the conference as a speaker.

Simon Hargreaves, managing director of TTA Worldchoice said: "We have a robust agenda with a number of excellent speakers both from within the trade and outside.

"The agenda has been designed to ensure that those attending get as much practical and tangible output as possible, and I am confident that they will leave PortAventura feeling inspired to use new marketing techniques to reach new customers, whilst building even stronger relationships with existing ones."

More Romanians cruising thanks to Royal Caribbean


About 9,000 Romanians will travel this year on cruise ships worldwide, up significantly from a year earlier, when they were about 8,000 tourists. This translates to an estimated spending spree on cruises of over 8 million euros, versus 6.5 million last year, "said Nicholas Demetriade, World Travel travel agency owner.

According to Nicholas Demetriade, World Travel travel agency owner, the increase is due to large cruise ships that Royal Caribeann introduced to destinations in Europe, and the launch of he world's largest ship, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, with a capacity of 5400 passengers and 3,000 crew members.

On two vessels, launched two years ago, last year during ​​more than 100 Romanian holidays, Romains spent an average of 1000-1200 euros. Those in charge of cruise tourism say this has always been on an upward trend, not only in Romania but throughout the world. The proof is the large number of ships launched every year, becoming larger and with more features. John Base, company owner, said the most expensive holiday sold last year was a combination of three cruises to the torque, which lasted two months and cost 60,000 euros