The ‘father of cruising’, Maurice Zarmati, joined travel agents Sherrie and Charlie Funk and innovators Brad and Van Anderson in being inducted into the CLIA 2012 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame earlier this month in Fort Lauderdale.
A centerpiece of the Cruise3Sixty conference, the Hall of Fame dinner attracted delegates and media from America, Canada and 13 other countries including Australia, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
MSC president and CEO Richard Sasso introduced his friend of 40 years, Mr Zarmati, after a touching speech by his son and daughter who expressed their pride in sharing their father with the cruise industry for so many years.
Mr Zarmati reminisced about his first cruise (892 plus cruise ago) from Egypt when his family immigrated and regaled guests with tales of the $39.95 cruises to the Bahamas that offered drinks for 25 cents before thanking travel agents for their support of his brands over the years.
Recipients of the 2012 Cruise Sales Innovator Award, Brad and Van Anderson, co-presidents of multi-generational Avoya Travel/American Express, thanked partners and preferred suppliers for supporting their business.
“We would like to thank all of you for allowing travel agents to be a part of your business,” Van Anderson said to the full house.
Guests were entertained by Royal Caribbean International’s “Invitation to Dance” and participated in the famed Norwegian Cruise Line “White Hot Party”, which rounded off the event and transported the Broward Country Convention Centre guests to the deck of a cruise ship.
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