Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Sep 02, 2019

WLCL gala honours top travel partners


It was all about partnerships Aug. 19-21 as five Carnival Corporation & plc brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn – gathered in Miami to recognize the contributions of their top travel partners at the second annual World’s Leading Cruise Line (WLCL) Excellence Awards.

In all, 35 awards in seven categories were bestowed during the three-day celebration.

First presented in 2018, the original World’s Leading Cruise Lines Excellence Awards recognized partners of Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. The 2019 awards were expanded to include all five North American cruise brands of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure-travel company.

“Travel professionals have been an extraordinarily important partner in our business from when we began cruising in 1972, and nearly 50 years later, they continue to be a great partner and every bit as important; and this awards program is one more way for us to acknowledge the key role they play in explaining what we do and guiding veteran cruisers and people who have never cruised before to the cruise vacation that’s right for them,” said Arnold Donald (pictured in main photo, back row, centre), CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We are thrilled to honour our winning travel partners, while also using the occasion to recognize that all of our travel partners are winners in our eyes. We deeply appreciate their loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm for our world-leading cruise line brands and, together, we look forward to continuing to share our collective business success.”

Donald added that 2019 has been a good year for Carnival Corporation.

“With your help, we continue to introduce more and more people to the magic of cruising,” he said. “The cruise industry brings people together… you do so much more than just send people on vacation, you change people’s lives. Thank you for helping us make this world a better place.”

Carnival’s Justin French and friend

On hand from Canada was Justin French, regional vice-president, Canada and the Northern US – Carnival Cruise Line, who commented, “Travel advisers have been an integral part of our continued success for almost 50 years. The World’s Leading Cruise Lines Excellence Awards gives us the opportunity to recognize some outstanding partners for their continued loyalty and commitment to our brand.”

Executives from the winning travel partners were hosted at the W South Beach and had opportunities to meet and network with other agency community leaders and executives and sales teams from all five World’s Leading Cruise Lines brands. The gala awards ceremony was held at the Temple House on South Beach with Charles Sylvia, vice-president of membership and trade relations for Cruise Lines International Association, serving as master of ceremonies.

The most prestigious of the 35 awards included Carnival Cruise Line’s Ted Arison Founder’s Award, which went to Expedia Group; Cunard’s Samuel Cunard Founder’s Award, bestowed on Vacations To Go; Holland America Line’s Chairman’s Award, presented to Expedia CruiseShipCenters; Princess Cruises’ Stanley McDonald Founder’s Award, given to AAA Travel and CAA Travel; and Seabourn’s Warren Titus Award, conferred on Valerie Wilson Travel Inc.

Each of the five lines also presented Excellence Awards in these categories:

  • President’s Award: Dream Vacations, CruiseOne, Cruises Inc. (CCL); Avoya Travel (CUN); Vacations To Go (HAL); Ensemble Travel Group (PCL); Vacations To Go (SBN).
  • Consortia Partner Excellence Award: TRAVEL-SAVERS NEST (CCL); Ensemble Travel Group (CUN); Travel Leaders Network (HAL); Travel Leaders Network (PCL); Virtuoso (SBN).
  • Franchise Agency Network Excellence Award: Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative (CCL); Expedia CruiseShipCenters (CUN); Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative (HAL); Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative (PCL); Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative (SBN).
  • Online Travel Partner Excellence Award: International Voyager (CCL); WMPH (CUN); Cruises-N-More (HAL); Vacations To Go (PCL); World Travel Holdings (SBN).
  • Retail Travel Partner Excellence Award: Travel Planners; Expedia Centrode-Cruceros, Puerto Rico (CCL); FROSCH International Travel (CUN); Auto Club Enterprise (HAL); Expedia CruiseShipCenters (PCL); FROSCH International Travel (SBN).
  • Host Agency Network Excellence Award: Travel Planners International (CCL); Cruises & Tours Unlimited (CUN); Cruises & Tours Unlimited (HAL); KHM Travel Group (PCL); Travel Experts Inc. (SBN).