MIAMI – Three of the world’s leading cruise companies – Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines – have expressed interest to help develop the Philippines as a cruise ship destination.
This was disclosed by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. after meeting with senior officials of the three cruise industry leaders during a recent economic diplomacy mission to Florida.
In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario, Ambassador Cuisia said officials of the three companies provided feedback on how the Philippines could become a cruise destination that would provide their guests with a unique and memorable experience.
“The cruise giants were open to working with the Philippines in destination development while they discussed infrastructure requirements, “ Ambassador Cuisia said.
During the meeting, Ambassador Cuisia took the opportunity to highlight with the cruise line executives notable destination possibilities in the Philippines particularly Vigan, which is now vying to be one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
A favorite tourist destination in the northern Philippines, Vigan has been described as “the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia” and is the only Philippine city on the list of heritage sites declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
At the same time, the three industry leaders, which already employ a combined total of 61,700 Filipino crewmembers, disclosed their plans to hire more seafarers from the Philippines as they acquire more cruise ships to support their expansion plans.
“They have nothing but high praises for their Filipino crew. They told us that service is in the Filipino genes,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “Carnival officials even commented that their company will not be what it is if not for their wonderful Filipino crew.”
Labor Attaché Luzviminda Padilla, who was among the Embassy officials who accompanied Ambassador Cuisia in the meeting, said Carnival Corporation employs the largest number of Filipinos with 37,700 crewmen followed by Royal Caribbean with 16,000 and Norwegian Cruise Lines with 8,000.
The Carnival officials who met with Ambassador Cuisia, Padilla, Commercial Counselor Maria Roseni Alvero and Agriculture Attaché Josyline Javelosa were Giora Israel, Senior Vice President for Global Port and Destination Development; Frizzell, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; David Candib, Vice President for Development and Operations; Dolores Calicchio, Vice President for Shipboard Human Resources; Carlos Orta, Vice President for Corporate Affairs; and Jerry Montgomery, Chief Human Resources Officer.
The Royal Caribbean officials who met with the Embassy team were Guillermo Villa, Vice President for Human Resources; Maria del Busto, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Sonia Diaz-Del Oro, Associate Vice President for Global Learning and Organizational Development.
Norwegian Cruise Line officials who met with Ambassador Cuisia were Crane Gladding, Senior Vice President for Revenue Management and Passenger Services; Nico Corbijn, Vice President for Fleet Personnel; Alvin Dennis, Vice President for Purchasing and Logistics; and Nelson Fraga, Manager for Corporate Communications.