Cruise Shipping Miami blends business with a number of night-time events, and if you work for a cruise line or are a blogger, you may have trouble picking which parties to attend over a week in South Beach. Cruise Industry News’ editorial team takes a shot at planning the social side of the week with a 1700s-era whaling harpoon:
Day: Set up day at the trade show. If not paying for union labor to build your two-story elaborate stand, or working at a cruise line, you may find yourself carrying things in an Exhibit Hall. Air conditioning is not turned on so bring water and a smile. Your deliveries are lost. Want to borrow a box cutter to open something? Good luck.
Night: The buzz starts picking up. Press can eat for free with Royal Caribbean Cruises. The Interesting dinner of Monday night award goes to V. Ships, which hosts a small gathering on South Beach.
Tuesday Night: More than a few events to choose from. The German Ports host a “cool” cocktail reception, Carnival Corporation takes its turn to take the press to dinner (at Joe’s Stone Crabs). After that, if still functional, stop by (“crash”) the PPI party for five minutes. Seasoned journalists will force the Carnival Corporation “hotel” bus to stop at said party.
The place to see and be seen on Tuesday? The Italian Trade Commission reception. Don’t try to out-dress the Italians.
Tuesday After Hours: All local bars host “trivia” night, featuring a newbuilding challenge. First to recite the current orderbook gets a free round. Bonus points for historical data.
Wednesday Morning: Not to be left out, Norwegian Cruise Line does an early morning press conference with coffee and more. If you can't get breakfast on Norwegian, go to McDonald’s on James Avenue and 15th, trade show goers dressed in European business suits fit right in and can easily hit their per diems.
Wednesday Night: Events on events. The FCCA dinner takes over most social calendars, with a cocktail reception, dinner and party (dance with a cruise line exec). Aruba hosts a quick cocktail reception where Southern Caribbean tourism ministers talk fuel hedging. Formerly, the Italian Trade party has been on Wednesday night, and now takes place on Tuesday as the FCCA takes top billing.
Tips and Tricks
Often expensive and avoided, restaurants at (the better) South Beach hotels are probably the best place to run into the executive crowd (at least the ones that don’t live in Miami), who are all generally looking for a quiet place to have dinner without being bothered.
Spring Break 2014:
The highlight in South Beach during March is the spring break crowd. They will be on the street, on the beach, at the bar, and in your hotel. Turn up the volume.