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Friday, October 9, 2015

The 2015 FCCA Conference

The FCCA Conference and Trade Show is a yearly event that brings together cruise line executives, tour operators, and innovators to analyze industry trends and create relationships. The FCCA is a non-profit trade organization that provides a forum for industry wide discussion about development, direction, and safety in the Floridian, Caribbean, and Latin American waters.

Shown above are Sub Sea Systems President and CEO Jim Mayfield, Director of Marketing Hannah de Bie, Chief Financial Officer Melissa Mayfield, Regional Coordinator Javier Fortunado, General Manager of Clear Lounge Cozumel Julie Ferrera and Regional Technical Specialist Calin Rosado. This year’s event was held in Cozumel, Mexico, from October 5th to October 9th. The objective of attending FCCA is two-fold — not only does Sub Sea Systems introduce its latest innovations and products to cruise line executives, we also meet with our existing operators and offer guidance in continuing development, enhancement, and marketing, as well as presenting them the most up-to-date products that SSS has to offer.

The FCCA convention was very exciting for Sub Sea Systems. Our first Clear Lounge location opened earlier this year at Carnival's Puerta Maya port, located in Cozumel, Mexico. Because the 2015 FCCA event was in Cozumel, we were provided with the opportunity to invite many shoreline excursion executives and supporting staff to actually participate in a Clear Lounge experience. Last year we presented the concept, and this year people had an opportunity to experience what makes Clear Lounge so unique and entertainingEvery reaction was extremely positive.  Mico Cascais — VP of Tour Operations for Carnival Cruise Lines — expressed his appreciation for the system design and efficiency. Within a very small footprint Clear Lounge offers a briefing area, locker storage, showers, a top deck lounge/staging area, the entire experience, and a smoothie bar. Because Clear Lounge is customizable, future Clear Lounge operations will have the ability to utilize the spaces in ways that are organic to their specific locations.

Clear Lounge will be promoted as a "last minute" shore excursion on Carnival Cruise ships visiting Puerta Maya, beginning next week. The experience will also be offered at sales locations on the pier and may be charged to cruiser's on-board accounts. It is expected that Holland America and Princess Cruises will be next in line to offer the Clear Lounge experience.

SSS had excellent meetings with a number of Caribbean Sea TREK operators. Sub Sea Systems is working directly with Sea TREK in Cozumel to reintroduce a newly updated program for the upcoming high season. The new tour is being reimagined and renovated with expanded guest capacity and an extended Sea TREK pathway. Guests will be able to shoot bubble guns at underwater targets and experience underwater dancing. A Mayan pyramid is being installed along with a table and chairs for unique photo opportunities.

Sub Sea Systems is also pleased to announce that our newest Sea TREK location in Curacao is working toward offering its experience to Carnival Cruise Line guests, and other cruise lines in the future. SSS had the pleasure of meeting with a number of potential new locations in the Caribbean that may offer Sea TREK and/or FunCat.

The Cruise industry is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market. With the European Cruise Lines TUI, AIDA and MSC increasing their visits to Caribbean ports of call, expectations are that it will continue to grow even more. The focus of the FCCA convention was to push innovation. Cruisers and Cruise Ships have choices. Each destination has to compete to stay relevant. The message was clear: enhance, innovate and maintain standards in safety and cleanliness.

Clear Lounge has come at the right time. New business opportunities appear at cruise destinations worldwide as the industry continues to grow. Sub Sea Systems’ innovative technology, standards of excellence, and marketing support are the perfect combination for businesses wishing to increase revenue and lead the way in tourism.

The FCCA Convention and Trade Show was a success. From new tours like The Mayan Cacao Company near Playa Mia to the grand opening of a 3rd pier at Puerta Maya, the event was busy, interesting, informative, and rewarding. We look forward to next year’s event in Puerto Rico.

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