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Apr 15, 2005

Cruise ship awards tour operators

Story PictureWe see cruise ships in our waters almost every day, but how many of us have ever been on one ourselves? Today News Five was fortunate to be invited aboard the Coral Princess for a special ceremony and tour. We thought you might like to go along and see it for yourself.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Since September, the Coral Princess has been one of the most prestigious cruise ships docking in Belize. Today, she not only brought two thousand tourists to visit the country, but honoured Belizeans who have made their passengers trip onshore a very good one.

Chris Pousse, Manager, Shore Excursions
?The Princess Awards are basically created to recognize the excellent service that we get from independent tour operators in each of our ports of call. And obviously here in Belize we are very proud and happy because also, we have encountered the first season for the Coral Princess in Belize.?

Shore Excursion Manager Chris Pousse recognized tour operator Cruise Solutions Belize Limited and tour guide Pedro Cruz.

David Gegg, Manager, Cruise Solutions Belize Ltd.
?Jackie, you have got to understand that it?s not just me or Cruise Solutions. Cruise Solutions is a team of many people, management, guides, people behind the scenes who help to make things happen. And really, these awards go to all of them, not just to ourselves in the top end of management, and that?s what?s important.?

Pedro Cruz, Tour Guide, Cruise Solutions Belize Ltd.
?A very good tour guide is somebody who has to continually be a good ambassador to Belize first of all. You?ve got to represent the country and sell to the cruise line what our country is all about and give them a vision of hope of what will be the future for cruise tourism in Belize; that makes a good tour guide.?

The Lamanai Tours by Cruise Solutions was also recognized as one of the best packages offered to the ship?s passengers.

Mario Gonzalez, Tour Guide, Lamanai Tours
?Tour guides on a whole have been selling Lamanai and thanks to Cruise Solutions, who has put all the efforts, the equipment and with the help of the guides, we have made a success.?

It was the first time that Belizeans received the Princess Cruises Award.

Chris Pousse
?It is a big organisation between the ship and the tour operators, Cruise Solutions, and at the end of the day what we look to is if the passenger is happy and pleased, and if they would come back. And with such tours and guides who are very confident that we will come back, Coral Princess and Princess Cruises in general, to Belize.?

The Coral Princess, built in 2002, has sixteen decks. The ship?s Junior Assistant Purser, Maria Freitas, gave us a personal tour and explained that because passengers usually spend up to ten days at sea, the cruise line does its best to make things onboard as comfortable as possible.

Maria Freitas, Jr. Asst. Purser, Coral Princess
?It?s the crew attitude, it?s the excellent service we give to our passengers to make them feel that every cruise, every moment of it is all it is, a moment, a very special moment in their lives.?

There are a total of nine hundred crew members who work hard to ensure that their passengers have a safe and wonderful time onboard.

Maria Freitas
?Crew members have special drills, special training and exercise. In case of emergency we react quickly in order to rescue our passengers. Princess has a strong policy and our main concern in our company is the security of our passengers.?

Freitas, who has been working on Coral Princess for the past six months, explains why their passengers rate Belize as a popular cruise destination.

Maria Freitas
?It?s the culture. Belize is popular for the ruins and also for the snorkelling and all the rainforests around the country. The passengers who come to Belize take lots of tours around the ruins; water sports too, rent catamarans, snorkelling and some adventures as well.?

The Coral Princess departed from our shores at four this evening.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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