Friday, October 12, 2012

Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2011-12 Caribbean & Panama Canal Shore Excursion Awards

It’s possible to enjoy a Caribbean cruise without ever leaving the ship in port, but few passengers do that. To make your time ashore the best possible experience, it’s good to know which tours have been the most satisfying to others. With that in mind, as well as recognizing that the Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise season is about to kick off, Princess Cruises is celebrating last season’s favorite local tour operators with special shipboard ceremonies. The winners of the line’s 13th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been announced, honoring the best of the best shore excursion experiences and guides in ports on Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback.

The awards recognize the most popular tours and individual guides in the destinations where Princess ships call. Chosen from the extensive line-up of Caribbean and Panama Canal shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, the awards highlight the important role local tour operators play in each destination as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined largely by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys. A number of tours have topped the list for several years, and five of them have been passenger favorites for five or more years in a row. One excursion—Americas Cup 12-Metre Yacht Regatta tour in St. Maarten—has now been voted ‘Shore Excursion of the Season’ for the 13th year in a row. Cruise Diva can highly recommend it—pictured above is the poster we brought home after participating in (and winning!) the race twenty years ago.

The C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing In Service Excellence) program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Caribbean and Panama Canal awards began in 1999 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that local Caribbean and Panama Canal tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a ship tour and lunch on board with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch on board for company officials.

The 2011-2012 winners are:
-- Rainforest Zipline Adventure, Rendezvous Co
-- Champagne and Lobster Lunch, Scenic Cruise and Swim, Tropical Adventures
-- Mi Dushi Sail, Snorkel, Antilla Shipwreck and Lunch, Windfeather Charters
-- Countryside Horseback Ride, DePalm Tours
-- Harrison's Cave and Scenic Drive, Goddards Shipping and Tours
-- Five Star Sail, Turtle Encounter and Lunch, Attractions of Barbados
-- Jungle Zipline Adventure, Cave Tubing and Lunch, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
-- Klein Bonaire, Bonaire Marine Park and Snorkel, Bonaire Tours
-- Mangrove Eco-Cruise by Kayak and Lac Bay, Bonaire Tours
-- "Old City" and Folkloric Show, Compania Internacional de Excursiones Terrestres Seico Ltda
-- “America’s Cup 12-Metre” Yacht Race, Sand Dollar Sports
-- Dolphin and Manatee Swim and Sea Lion Show, Caribbean Interactive Adventures
-- Cooking Demonstration/Participation and Dinner, Funbini B.V.
-- Wacky Rollers 4WD Safari, Gardens and Titou Gorge, WRAVE Ltd.
-- Gorge Swim, Hot Springs and Scenic Drive, WRAVE Ltd.
-- Monkey and Wildlife Nature Cruise on Gatun Lake, Aventuras 2000
-- Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
-- Dolphin Swim and Stingray Encounter, Dolphin Cove Cayman
-- Sea Trek Coral Canyon Helmet Dive, Sea Trek Cayman
-- Horseshoe Reef and Round Cay Snorkel Adventure, Oasis Divers
-- Horseback Beach Ride, Swim and Scenic Drive, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
-- Harbor Cruise, Grand Anse and Morne Rouge Beaches, Best of Grenada Ltd.
-- Original Canopy Zipline Tour at Veragua Rainforest, OCT Enterprises
-- Hacienda Tour, Fruit Cultivation, Lunch and Shopping, Swiss Travel Service
-- River Tubing Eco-Adventure, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
-- Dolphin Encounter and Dunn's River Falls, Dolphin Cove
-- Panama Canal Experience by Boat, Aventuras 2000
-- Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
-- Aerial Tram, Tarcoles River and Lunch, Elite Shore Excursions
-- River-Raft Float, Scenic Drive and Lunch, Rios Tropicales
-- Eco-Hike and Pirates Bay Tourist Village, Fun and Sun Tours
-- Dolphin Encounter and Museum, Anthony's Key Resort
-- Hacienda Experience, Lake Nicaragua and Lunch, Gray Line
-- Scenic Railway Ride and Circle Island Drive, St. Kitts Scenic Railway, Ltd.
-- Cruise to Nevis, Pinney's Beach, Snorkel and Lunch, Kantours
-- Springs, the Pitons, Scenic Cruise and Lunch, Cox and Company Ltd.
-- Aerial Tram and Canopy Zipline Adventure, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
-- "America’s Cup 12-Metre" Yacht Race, St. Maarten 12 Metre Enterprises N.V.
-- Segway Waterfront Boardwalk Adventure, Caribbean Segway Tours
-- Turtle Cove Catamaran Sail and Snorkel, Fun Water Tours, Inc.
-- Coral World, Sea Lion Swim and Scenic Drive, Coral World
Tour Guides of the Season Winners:
ARUBA – Maria Geerman and Angelique Lacle of Atlantis Submarines
CARTAGENA – Willy Gutierrez of CTG Margarita, C.A
LIMON – Erick Aguilar and Jose Romero of Swiss Travel Service
PANAMA CANAL – Arthur Wagner of Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available on the company's website at

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