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Cruise Maryland-Royal Caribbean live event revs up agents for cruise restart

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St. Martin/St. Maarten offerings for cruise visitors range from the world's steepest zipline on the Dutch side to a create your own perfume experience on the French side
More than 200 travel agents flocked to a Cruise Maryland event featuring Royal Caribbean International and Caribbean destinations that can be reached on cruises from Baltimore.

The agents arrived from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Destinations represented were St. Martin/St. Maarten, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Getting the word out about cruising's return

'The event was a big success,' said Cindy Burman, general manager, Cruise Maryland. 'Travel agents are very important. So are the destinations we go to out of Baltimore, as well as the cruise lines themselves. I strategize with our partners Carnival and Royal Caribbean about what we can do to get the word out about cruising's return.'

Tuesday's event — with festive decorations, collateral and give-aways — took place in the lobby of the Cruise Maryland terminal. It was the port's first such in-person event since the pandemic.

The crystal ball is cloudy on exactly when cruising will resume from Baltimore but Burman's confident it will be during 2021. 'I would love to see it tomorrow,' she said.

Travel agents 'thirsting for information'

Kelley Winner, strategic account manager, Royal Caribbean International, was on hand to 'increase awareness of cruising and that crusing is coming back and to educate travel agents. We're very excited,' she said. 'Travel agents are really thirsting for information.'

Winner also put in a plug for agents, stating that in the time of COVID-19, their knowledge and guidance are more important than ever.

Destination experiences

'People are very eager for travel information,' added Cyndi Miller, US representative for the St. Martin/St. Maarten Tourist Office, who was there to tell agents about the island's wide array of offerings, ranging from the world's steepest zipline on the Dutch St. Maarten side to a create your own perfume experience on the French St. Martin side.

'We're here to support Royal Caribbean,' said Susan Coulton, business development manager at Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Authority, who touted Antigua's 366 beaches and noted St. John's will sport the first Royal Beach Club, a new Royal Caribbean destination experience.

And Kirk Whyte, senior business development officer at the Jamaica Tourist Board, was at the event to share information about Jamaica's multiple cruise ports, shore excursions, villas and all-inclusive resorts.

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