Experts lay out the multiple advantages of MICE cruises

TTG Asia Media's Karen Yue; Angie Stephen, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises Bernie Ye, VP Sales & Commercial, Greater China and Southeast Asia, Costa Cruises Michael Goh, President, Dream Cruises, and Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines

Cruise industry leaders featured on the first panel session, Fun and Frivolous, at the Asian MICE Cruise Conference last week, emphasised the advantages of convenience and cost savings cruises can offer corporate event planners.

Angie Stephen, managing director – Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises, pointed to cost savings of about 30 per cent when events are held onboard a cruise ship as compared to a traditional hotel and land programme with the same extent of entertainment, as well as the convenience of being able to conduct meetings and leisure activities under one roof.

From left: TTG Asia Media’s Karen Yue; Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Angie Stephen; Costa Cruises’ Bernie Ye; and Genting Cruise Lines Michael Goh addressing a question from the audience

Citing an example, Stephen said: “We offer innovations that hotel ballrooms can never do, such as having a DJ booth hovering over the audience from where the managing director or CEO can address delegates, or having teambuilding activities such as rock climbing and surfing within a single venue.”

She added that planners could snag greater savings should they confirm their event 12 to 18 months ahead, especially before the next season’s prices are published.

Michael Goh, president, Dream Cruises and head of international sales, Genting Cruise Lines, observed that most corporate clients prefer to work with a single point of contact throughout the planning and execution process, which is something cruise companies can offer.

Another advantage planners have when taking a corporate event onboard a cruise ship, according to Bernie Ye, vice president sales & commercial for Greater China and Southeast Asia with Costa Cruises, is a captured audience since there are little opportunities for distraction when the ship is out at sea.

The three speakers also pointed out that the seamless process for planners and event attendees begins on the curbside, with technology put in place to speed up immigration clearance and boarding procedures.

That convenience extends onboard, with apps that allow planners to provide meeting agenda and itinerary to their attendees, and for attendees to access products and services – such as ordering a beverage – from wherever they are on the ship. – Additional reporting by Karen Yue

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