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FCCA Gala served up networking opportunities with Cruise Line Executives, Presidents & CEOs

Nearly 500 attendees-stakeholders from all facets of the cruise industry-gathered on Wednesday evening for an unforgettable night complete with dinner, cocktail reception, art auction and a unique networking opportunity with over 50 Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Member Line CEOs, presidents and cruise executives operations, shore excursions, itinerary planning, marketing and all other aspects of the industry.

After another long, productive day at Cruise Shipping Miami at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the 20th annual Gala Dinner Entertainment Extravaganza began with a cocktail reception, where attendees met and mingled with some of the most important decision makers in the cruise industry. Here, they could talk about new business propositions, ideas and developments, or even the collection of fine art contributed by Park West Galleries for the silent art auction that ran throughout the night.  

However, the evening's main event was the dinner. Tickets came with a selection of a table host, each an FCCA Member Line cruise executive. Besides admission, tickets offered a night of free-flowing dinner discussion with hosts that decide where ships go and what gets sold onboard. And cruise line presidents and/or CEOs hosted private tables, which offered a chance to showcase destinations or products as a team.  

Also featured during dinner were remarks by Michele Paige, FCCA president; Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line president and CEO and FCCA chairman; Bill Johnson, PortMiami director and Gala co-sponsor; Steve Cernak, Port Everglades chief executive port director and Gala co-sponsor; and Phillip Levine, Miami Beach mayor.  

They mostly spoke of the cruise industry's potential and how FCCA events like the Gala have been a tried and tested way for stakeholders to tap that potential. Of course, the good cause was also a talking point, as 100 percent of the over $150,000 of proceeds benefited the FCCA Foundation-the FCCA's non-profit, charitable organization. Created in 1993, the Foundation has funded over $10 million in humanitarian efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America, with numerous worthy causes receiving support and annual projects, such as the FCCA Holiday Gift Project, which recently brought presents, holiday festivities and smiles to the faces of nearly 7,000 underprivileged children throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.  

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 15 Member Cruise Lines operating more than 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA's mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, tour operations, safety, security and other cruise industry issues. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA seeks to build cooperative relationships with its partner destinations and to develop productive bilateral partnerships with every sector. The FCCA works with governments, ports and all private/public sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, cruise line and cruise line employee spending, as well as enhancing the destination experience and the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

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