Being cruise export-ready means managing the in-season relationship with the cruise lines. It includes various actions to address: (1) the pre-cruise ship visit, (2) those that will occur during a cruise ship visit, and (3) those follow-through actions that need to take place following a cruise ship visit to a community. Tourism providers need to consider the following points.
Pre-cruise ship visit
- Develop a tour timetable that provides a breakdown of the shore excursion experience by location, or activity stops.
- Determine what modification to existing tourism products may need to be made to address the seasonal needs of cruise line guests and when the ships visit.
- Prepare a cultural protocol to be followed by the tourism provider and cruise line, if the shore excursion tour involves any aspect of cultural tourism.
- Obtain any necessary permits to access private or public lands as part of your tour.
During a cruise ship visit
- Determine the appropriate staffing levels.
- Determine the ground transportation capacity required for the specific cruise line.
- Have equipment and guides on site at the cruise terminal at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled disembarkation.
- Manage the appropriate wait time for the guests when leaving the cruise ship and waiting for your tour to start.
- Collect vouchers from cruise passengers and confirm guest numbers with cruise line representative before tour departs.
- Deal with and resolve any issues from cruise passengers right away.
- Ensure tours are back at the pier at the instructed time.
After a cruise ship visit
- Send invoices for payment on time. Some cruise lines refuse to accept invoices if they are late.
- Be prepared to proactively address the overall cruise line evaluation of your tour at the end of the season.
- Be proactive in developing solutions to problems that arose on your tour in the past year and demonstrate how you have taken specific steps to correct any problems, so they won’t happen again in the coming year.