AS 2016 COMES TO AN END, WE WELCOME THE NEW YEAR WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
As we continue to move forward into the new year, let’s
On December 9th, we had our office Holiday Party. This exceptional annual event is an opportunity to celebrate and thank every client, supplier, partner and our employees here at our corporate office. It was another fun and well attended event; a special thank you to everyone who helped with the organization, especially our editor, Charmaine Morris, whose direction was invaluable. Please look at some of the pictures from the event, as well as from our ships.
Generally, it has been a good year. Our strategic goal of establishing and stabilizing a new company went very well, considering all the challenges we inherited from our predecessors. For our first year, we pulled through. As with anything in life, there are peaks and valleys, and we must push through challenging times together, a natural ebb and flow in a company’s life cycle.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
We are pleased to share that our guest satisfaction ratings were all above our set targets with the start-up of Victory Cruises and the summer seasons of Ocean Diamond and Ocean Endeavour. Our hospitality and service ratings have been excellent through-out the fleet. As we know from the latest consumer research, service and experience ratings are critically important in evaluating the guest experience. They expect to be treated like Kings and Queens, which of course we love do to! Service is, and always will be a huge differentiator in our business. It is one of the pillars of strength for our company, translating into added value for our clients.
Delivering consistently excellent service will always be our highest priority. We have done a great job in this regard and I am very happy to say that all of our employees are carrying our “Hospitality Basics” and service philosophy to the next level, creating a fantastic “Service Culture.” This also provides us with a competitive edge for the future.
Teamwork is of paramount importance; there is always someone who serves someone in the service equation and chain. The high guest satisfaction scores are also a reflection of the dedication and hard work of our onboard leadership and crew. Congratulations and thank you. Keep up the fine work.
2017 is starting a bit slow, as we operate our two Antarctica vessels, however, March will begin the preparation for the summer season in the Arctic and Great Lakes, and we will be ramping up from two to six ships again. During the summer season and beyond we are planning to operate up to six ships and look forward to welcoming the M/V Ocean Atlantic for her first Antarctica season. Once we have those ships in operation, we will be able to stager all of our vacation schedules in a more fluid way, which will be good news for all of us.
As the pace picks up in 2017, we will need to focus again on our best practices and Key Performance Indicators to make it a very good year for all of us. Our goal is to operate eight ships by the end of the year, if everything goes per plan.
We are adding an exciting new itinerary, Cuba, with new client, Victory Cruise Lines. Cuba is a very hot new destination for the cruise industry and our US guests. We are all very enthusiastic to finally visit Cuba, our neighboring island to the south.
For the hotel department, we will focus on integrating the regional culture in our menus and beverage offerings, creating an excellent people to people exchange onboard the ship. Donald and Peter have begun working on the menus and have come up with some exciting new dishes.
We welcome a new section in this edition featuring Corporate Executive Chef Peter Hofler’s special dishes and recipes from our “off the beaten path” destinations. We begin with a focus on Argentina and a dish one can easily duplicate at home. In the editions that follow he will take you on a gastronomical adventure as he melds the culture and the destination to showcase their cuisine.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2017. The new year should have lots of wonderful things in store for us, and should be another breakthrough year.
Again, thank you for all your dedication and hard work. Let’s make our second year a year to be remembered.
Dietmar Wertanzl, President CMIL