I love when magazines ask the same five to 10 questions of actors and musicians. It’s interesting to see how people in the same industry can have different – or similar – answers when asked the same question. So when I found myself with a group of five cruise line executives, I thought it would be fun to put the same five questions to all of them.
The executives, who had just sat on a panel at the national conference of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., cruise sellers were: Vicki Freed, senior vice president, sales and trade support and service, Royal Caribbean International; Charlie Dunwoody, senior director, national accounts, Holland America Line and Seabourn; Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales, Celebrity Cruises; Joni Rein, vice president of worldwide sales, Carnival Cruise Lines; and Andy Stuart, executive vice president, global sales and passenger services, Norwegian Cruise Line.
How would you answer these questions?
When you’re on a cruise ship, what is your favorite aspect of the cruise experience?
Dunwoody: The great service and how we’re treated by the crew.
Ritzenthaler: I love food and I love wine, so the food and wine experience.
Rein: We’re a multigenerational family and there’s something for all ages. We can all do what we want, and then come together at dinner.
Stuart: No washing up to do, no beds to make, no cooking; everyone’s so much more relaxed.
What is your least favorite aspect of the cruise experience?
Freed: I don’t have one.
Dunwoody: Air and having to get there.
Ritzenthaler: When you have to get off at the end of seven days.
Rein: Rough seas, but they’re rare.
Stuart: Because I work in cruising, I’m not really escaping the office.
Is there anything from the Love Boat Era of cruising that you’d like to see revived?
Freed: No, keep cruising evolving. If it doesn’t exist anymore, it wasn’t worth keeping.
Dunwoody: No. I think the industry has evolved, and we’ve made every aspect of it better.
Ritzenthaler: No, the evolution that cruising has taken, all the dining options, all the flexibility, I wouldn’t want to go backwards.
Rein: No, I think that the evolution of cruising has far outweighed anything from the past.
Stuart: None of it. The changes have all been positive.
What cruise ship name from another cruise line do you wish your cruise line had thought of first?
Dunwoody: We’re Dam ships so it really doesn’t apply.
Titanic II – yea or nay?
Dunwoody: It doesn’t matter to me.
Rein: Not even worth a nay.
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