Princess Cruises Announces Best Caribbean Excursions Award Winners

With the Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise season about to kick off, Princess Cruises is celebrating last season’s favorite local tour operators with special shipboard ceremonies.

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

 The winners of the line’s 13th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been announced, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in ports on Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season.

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.

“We feel it’s important to recognize these local tour operators who do a great job of continuing Princess’ commitment to high service levels when our passengers are in port,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “These local guides and companies are ambassadors both for us and their respective destinations throughout the Caribbean and Panama Canal.”

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 onboard 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 onboard for company officials.

The 2011-2012 winners are:

Rainforest Zipline Adventure, Rendezvous Co
Champagne and Lobster Lunch, Scenic Cruise & Swim, Tropical Adventures

Mi Dushi Sail, Snorkel, Antilla Shipwreck & Lunch, Windfeather Charters
Countryside Horseback Ride, DePalm Tours

Harrison’s Cave & Scenic Drive, Goddards Shipping & Tours
Five Star Sail, Turtle Encounter & Lunch, Attractions of Barbados

Jungle Zipline Adventure, Cave Tubing & Lunch, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Klein Bonaire, Bonaire Marine Park & Snorkel, Bonaire Tours
Mangrove Eco-Cruise by Kayak & Lac Bay, Bonaire Tours

“Old City” & Folkloric Show, Compania Internacional de Excursiones Terrestres Seico Ltda

“America’s Cup 12-Metre” Yacht Race, Sand Dollar Sports
Dolphin & Manatee Swim & Sea Lion Show, Caribbean Interactive Adventures

Cooking Demonstration/Participation & Dinner, Funbini B.V.

Wacky Rollers 4WD Safari, Gardens & Titou Gorge, WRAVE Ltd.
Titou Gorge Swim, Hot Springs & Scenic Drive, WRAVE Ltd.

Monkey & Wildlife Nature Cruise on Gatun Lake, Aventuras 2000
Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation

Dolphin Swim & Stingray Encounter, Dolphin Cove Cayman
Sea Trek Coral Canyon Helmet Dive, Sea Trek Cayman

Horseshoe Reef & Round Cay Snorkel Adventure, Oasis Divers
Horseback Beach Ride, Swim & Scenic Drive, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Harbor Cruise, Grand Anse & Morne Rouge Beaches, Best of Grenada Ltd.

Original Canopy Zipline Tour at Veragua Rainforest, OCT Enterprises
Hacienda Tour, Fruit Cultivation, Lunch & Shopping, Swiss Travel Service

River Tubing Eco-Adventure, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
Dolphin Encounter & Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove

Panama Canal Experience by Boat, Aventuras 2000
Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation

Rainforest Aerial Tram, Tarcoles River & Lunch, Elite Shore Excursions
Corobici River-Raft Float, Scenic Drive & Lunch, Rios Tropicales

Eco-Hike & Pirates Bay Tourist Village, Fun & Sun Tours
Dolphin Encounter & Museum, Anthony’s Key Resort

Amayo Hacienda Experience, Lake Nicaragua & Lunch, Gray Line

Scenic Railway Ride & Circle Island Drive, St. Kitts Scenic Railway, Ltd.
Cruise to Nevis, Pinney’s Beach, Snorkel & Lunch, Kantours

Sulphur Springs, the Pitons, Scenic Cruise & Lunch, Cox & Company Ltd.
Rainforest Aerial Tram & 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 & Snorkel, Fun Water Tours, Inc.
Coral World, Sea Lion Swim & 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

Congratulations to all!