NEW YORK -- Along with the cruise industry's growth during the last
decade has come a host of environmental, operational and safety
issues that are coming to the attention of cruise vacationers.
To help agents deal with clients' questions about increasingly
complex issues affecting the industry, the Cruise Line Coalition, a
joint initiative of the Cruise Lines International Association
(CLIA) and the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL),
published "Inside Cruising: A Guide for Travel Professionals."
The 16-page booklet is designed to help cruise-selling agents
answer questions that range from ship safety and security to
environmental practices, regulatory oversight and other issues.
"There was a need to educate travel agents on more 'hard' issues
because they are getting more questions on these matters from their
clients," said Angela Plott, ICCL vice president.
"The more educated agents are [and] the more they know, the
better they can serve their clients."
The booklet features a profile of contemporary cruise passengers
and a synopsis of the industry's growth.
Also included are sections on the economic impact of the cruise
industry on the U.S. economy; cruise ship safety; security and
environmental procedures, and medical care available aboard
The booklet also explains several terms and phrases that have
appeared in news accounts which could come up in conversations with
cruise clients, particularly sophisticated cruisers, according to
The booklet explains, for example, the acronyms IMO
(International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency
established in 1948 to set international maritime policy), ISM Code
(International Safety Management Code, mandatory safety and
anti-pollution standards adopted by the IMO which mandate a safety
management system aboard all cruise ships) and Solas (International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, which establishes
international regulations addressing key elements of maritime
safety, including fire protection and ship stability).
Also included is a list of organizations and agencies that work
closely with the cruise industry internationally and in North
"Most of the attention the cruise industry receives, whether
it's in the travel industry, the business world or in the media, is
highly positive and supportive," said Jim Godsman, CLIA
"However, occasionally an incident or situation will prompt
negative commentary," he added. "When this happens, agents may be
in the position of having to answer questions about
behind-the-scenes policies and procedures. This booklet is designed
to be a handy reference in such situations."
"Inside Cruising" is being distributed to all CLIA-affiliated
agencies and will be available at upcoming trade shows and
conferences at which CLIA participates.
The booklet also is being posted on CLIA's Web site, at www.cruising.org, in
the CLIA-affiliate section as a file that can be downloaded and
It also is posted on the ICCL Web site, at www.iccl.org.