Moments We Live For: ACV's 1st Seminar At Sea In The Med Kicks Off

Image: Coming off a red-eye flight from Montreal to Barcelona, ACV General Manager Erminia Gallina still manages to look fresh and enthusiastic. (Bruce Parkinson)
Image: Coming off a red-eye flight from Montreal to Barcelona, ACV General Manager Erminia Gallina still manages to look fresh and enthusiastic. (Bruce Parkinson)
Bruce Parkinson
by Bruce Parkinson
Last updated: 6:41 AM ET, Mon April 24, 2023

A group of 70 Canadian travel agents and supplier partners are aboard Royal Caribbean International's massive and magnificent Symphony of the Seas for Air Canada Vacations' first-ever Seminar at Sea to be held in the Mediterranean.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
ACV General Manager Erminia Gallina with her right hand, Account Manager Marketing and Ancilliary Partnership Barbara Mengue Mbo. (Bruce Parkinson)

Our hosts are Erminia Gallina and Barbara Mengue Mbo from ACV, and Lisa Connell, who heads up Canadian sales for RCI, along with Maria Gibson, Strategic Account Manager. Supplier partners include Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, represented by EVP Sales North America Michelle Palma, Silversea Cruises, with Director, Business Development & Agency Sales - The Americas Marcus Kenny, and Manulife, with National Business Development Manager Karen Salviato in the house. Air Canada is represented by Ibrahim Bouaabdalli, Manager Regional Sales.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises EVP Sales North America Michelle Palma with Manulife National Business Development Manager Karen Salviato. (Bruce Parkinson)

The educational program kicked off before we set sail from Barcelona. As the exclusive Canadian travel trade media representative onboard, TravelPulse Canada's Bruce Parkinson had the honour of speaking to agents about the power of storytelling, while ACV and RCI brought agents up to speed on RCI and ACV's latest developments.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
Trooper: Despite a very sore back, Royal Caribbean's Director of Sales Canada Lisa Connell made it aboard Symphony. (Bruce Parkinson)

Then it was on to a private VIP cocktail event - with hidden ducks - and a fine meal with Royal Caribbean's traditionally terrific service in the main dining room.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
ACV Seminar at Sea participants enjoy a tour of Barcelona before boarding Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas. (Bruce Parkinson)

Today we're in Palma for tours, followed by more essential learning this afternoon, including presentations by Air Canada, Manulife, Uniworld and Silversea.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
ACV Seminar at Sea participants search for hidden ducks -- and potential prizes -- at the opening VIP cocktail event on Symphony of the Seas. (Bruce Parkinson)

The cruise continues with stops at Marseille, Florence, Rome, Naples and a day at sea before returning to Barcelona. Participating agents have plenty of time to enjoy shore excursions and the many attractions on Symphony, which appears to be at full capacity this week.

ACV RCI Seminar at Sea
Royal Caribbean Strategic Account Manager Maria Gibson delivered boundless enthusiasm in her presentation to ACV Seminar at Sea participants. (Bruce Parkinson)

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