Cruising's Future: This Week from Seatrade

March 13, 2006
Seatrade, the cruise industry's annual convention, takes place in Miami this week and is typically a good time of year to hear from cruise lines about what's going to be new and different in the future. Cruise Critic is there, reporting from the veritable "front" (also known as the Miami Convention Center) and both editor Carolyn Spencer Brown and associate editor Melissa Baldwin will be dispatching reports.

While at this point it is impossible to distinguish between mere hype and genuine news, cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Cruise West and Holland America plan press conferences. We'll let you know if anything interesting comes out of 'em.

A particular highlight each year is the conference-opening "state of the industry" panel, which typically (and hopefully) degenerates into spatting and spitting between participants, the most influential leaders in cruise-dom. This year's participants include Carnival's Bob Dickinson, Royal Caribbean's Adam Goldstein, Celebrity's Dan Hanrahan, Holland America's Stein Kruse, MSC's Rick Sasso and NCL's Colin Veitch.

We're also looking forward to the first-ever State of the Industry session on "Beyond the Big Four," which hopefully will offer some illuminating insights on the world of luxury and small ship cruising. Participants there include Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Mark Conroy, Oceania's Frank del Rio, Clipper Cruise Line's David Drier, Crystal's Gregg Michel, SeaDream's Larry Pimentel and American Cruise Line's Charles Robertson.

Stay tuned for daily (and even more than daily) news nuggets from cruise lines, destinations and more through Thursday.

Photo appears courtesy of St. Maarten Harbour Holding.