Top officials of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) joined Vicki Freed’s Coffee Talk for travel agents to urge them to lobby their congresspeople via CLIA’s easy-to-use Action Center.
CLIA’s Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, and Charles Sylvia, vice president-industry & trade relations, urge travel advisors to share their personal stories on how the cruise shutdown impacted their livelihood.
Freed, senior vice president of sales and trade support and sales for Royal Caribbean International, regularly draws thousands of travel agents to her online Coffee Talk.
CLIA launched the “Ready, Set, Sail Campaign” about two weeks ago and so far, more than 41,000 messages have gone to 432 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives and all 100 U.S. senators, Sylvia said.
The point is to build “a compelling case for the responsible resumption of U.S. cruise operations by this summer.” So far, the second phase of the Conditional Sail Order (CSO) does not outline a clear timeline for cruising to resume in the U.S.
“Our key message is pretty straightforward,” Craighead said. “The CSO was issued after seven months (after the CDC shut down cruising in the U.S.). The CSO was supposed to be a phase, and for five months we didn’t hear a thing. It’s clear it’s out-of-date information.”
On April 6, however, the CDC released a statement that said it could see some restricted cruising returning in mid-summer.
CLIA notes that more than 400,000 people have sailed successfully in places like Europe and Singapore with fewer than 50 cases, “all of which were mitigated and handled effectively,” Sylvia said. “Now is the time to restart cruising here in the United States.”
CLIA’s Action Center is located here. Sylvia said it takes two minutes at the most. You can enter a personalized message or use the one there. After entering your name and address, the Action Center automatically determines who your elected representatives and senators are. And then sends your message off to them.