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News Release
FOR RELEASE - January 13, 2017
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

Maximizing Passenger Numbers & Experience Central To AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Seminar in San Diego

Retired Galveston port director, RCCL Ltd. president selected for AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Awards

Maximizing the number of cruise guests and ensuring they have a favorable cruise experience are among the key topics to be addressed at the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2017 Cruise Seminar in San Diego, Feb. 14-15.

Updates on the state of the cruise industry, environmental-related issues and port security, together with a 2.5-hour “Shorex Experience” to discover San Diego as a cruise guest does during a port-of-call, are also on tap for seminar participants.

“For the many professionals who work in the cruise industry at ports, there’s nothing like getting together with their industry colleagues to learn new and innovative ideas, and avoid ‘re-creating the wheel’ in addressing industry issues,” said Susan Monteverde, AAPA’s vice president of government relations and liaison to AAPA’s Cruise Committee. “While the networking opportunities are reason enough to attend this program, the caliber of speakers and business program content make it all the more worthwhile.”

In addition to port authority leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, prominent speakers from several major cruise lines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico’s Office of Tourism are featured speakers in this program.

In order to recognize individuals or organizations whose outstanding work or service has had a positive impact on the relationship between a cruise port and the Western Hemisphere cruise industry, AAPA has selected two honorees this year to receive its popular Cruise Awards. They are Adam Goldstein, president and COO for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL), Ltd., and retired Port of Galveston Port Director Michael Mierzwa.

Mr. Mierzwa, who will accept his 2017 Cruise Award at the cruise program in San Diego, is cited as having been an outstanding and successful leader of the Port of Galveston, and a valued member of AAPA’s Cruise Committee. “Mike has also been an accessible and willing mentor to mid-career individuals in the AAPA port community,” and this award “is a celebration of his diverse and highly impactful maritime career and a recognition of his legacy in the AAPA port community.” His nomination further cites his “exemplary record of public service,” and that his port and the entire Galveston community “are both significantly better off thanks to his leadership.”

In considering Mr. Goldstein for a 2017 Cruise Award, his nomination cites his being “one of the most recognized and influential professionals in the global cruise industry and a consummate professional who has been both an inclusive leader and a willing supporter of AAPA and its member ports.” It further notes he oversees the day-to-day operations of the world’s second largest cruise company and plays a key role in setting the strategic direction for RCCL Ltd.’s five global brands.

Although unable to participate in this year’s Cruise Seminar, Mr. Goldstein will accept his AAPA Cruise Award at the association’s annual Washington, D.C. “Spring Conference” in April.

For more information about AAPA’s Cruise Awards, click here. For more information about, and to download the agenda for AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Seminar, click here.

WHO: Produced and sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities, hosted and co-sponsored by the Port of San Diego, with additional sponsorships from AdelteBermello Ajamil & Partners Inc., Cruiseport Boston, Holland America Line, the Port of Montréal, and the Port of New Orleans.
WHAT: AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Seminar, which is offered biennially to assist those in the cruise, travel and tourism industry, as well as port managers and marketers, to stay abreast of current trends, opportunities and challenges. Also, there will be a presentation of AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Awards to retired Port of Galveston Port Director Michael Mierzwa, while 2017 awardee Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ltd., will accept his award at AAPA’s Washington, D.C. “Spring Conference” in April.
WHEN: Feb. 14-15, 2017 (Feb. 14 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Feb. 15, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.)

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, 333 W Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101


Credentialed journalists interested in covering AAPA’s Cruise Seminar business agenda for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media badge.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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