An Unexpected Stop in Hong Kong

by 406

Greetings from Asia. I’m here on business once or twice per year. Sophisticated international traveler that I am, I forgot that my China visa had expired in early June. So instead of flying to Beijing as planned, I unexpectedly ended up in Hong Kong where I needed to get my China visa in order to proceed to Shanghai. Not a smart move on my part, but it goes to show that with a little flexibility and a lot of help from my colleagues there is always opportunity.

Despite no notice of my visit, Joseph Lam and Karen Lo, Royal Caribbean’s representatives in Hong Kong, created a highly productive day in one of the world’s great cities. Joseph and Karen work for Lotus Tours. By contract, Lotus is our International Representative (IR) in Hong Kong and has represented us for nearly 20 years. What does “represented us” mean? It means that Lotus Tours acts as Royal Caribbean in Hong Kong for Sales & Marketing purposes, training and supporting the travel agents, working with the government, media and airline partners, and taking the reservations of our cruises. Given that Legend of the Seas will have seven cruises based in Hong Kong next year, Joseph and Karen and their team are responsible for providing many of the guests for those cruises.

I was able to do a significant interview with a journalist from the South China Morning Post, meet with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and separately with the Tourism Commissioner of Hong Kong and her team and co-host with Joseph and Karen, a dinner with some of our top producing travel agents in Hong Kong. All of that followed lunch with Mr. H.P Kong, owner of Lotus Tours, age 84 going on 34, and one of the most remarkable people I have ever met in the travel business.

Hong Kong has taken a longer than desirable amount of time to commit to building a modern cruise terminal complex to support today’s ships. The plans are well underway now, however, and by 2013 even the very largest cruise ships will have a proper home in one of the world’s most spectacular harbors.

Thanks to Joseph and Karen for making lemonade out of the lemon of my expired visa. They are a great example of the loyalty, dedication and expertise of our worldwide network of IR’s, many of whom have been my friends and colleagues for 18 years.

  • Brian

    Hope you enjoyed Hong Kong and Shanghai…and this has nothing to do with your trip. Just wanted to say I loved the first postcard from the Nation of Why Not – especially having done the zipline at Labadee. Looking forward to our next RCCL vacation, a November trans-Atlantic crossing. Best wishes to the RCCL team worldwide!

  • Beckie

    This is the only place I can find to really leave a comment regarding any concern. In this age of prevalence of identity theft why is Royal Caribbean gathering birthdate info with the contest entries? You probably have a good reason, but I would appreciate understanding the purpose. This really makes me question the safety of entering your contest. Thanks for listening!

    • Adam

      Beckie, thank you for your email and for your question. As you can imagine we take the privacy of our guests very seriously so we appreciate your concern. For our recent contest, participants had to be 18 yrs or older in order to be eligible for the prize so we did ask date of birth as part of the entry process.

  • Debra jarvis

    Speaking of the zipline. What is the weight limit for this ride?

    • Adam

      @Debra jarvis: Debra, we are in the process of finalizing the operational specifics of the zip line. We will work with the manufacturer to ensure that the safety of our guests remains the top priority and look to them for their recommendations and guidelines.

  • adir Levine

    Hi Adam! I love your cruise line, and Im glad you’ve started this blog so that my wife and I could follow more of whats going on! To your continued success!

  • Mary McTevia

    When I think of cruising to China and Hong Kong it just seems so exotic. I’d love to do it someday. I love Caribbean cruising and have also river cruised in Europe, but Hong Kong sounds mysterious and glamorous!