Dave, you're quite right in your explanation about becoming a Master Cruise Counsellor. I became a MCC in 1995.
CLIA has instituted two levels of accreditation above MCC now, insuring continuing education and sales proficiency. After MCC now comes ECC (Elite Cruise Counsellor) and the ECCS (Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar), which means you've taken all the courses offered by CLIA. You also need to show evidence of cruise sales, and of taking and passing tests on new courses CLIA develops. Continuing cruise experience on lines not previously sailed is required as well.
I qualify as an ECC but haven't put everything together and filled out the forms yet.
Edited a typo