carnival-cruise-safety-panel (6:15 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Lines recently announced it has appointed four highly acclaimed experts to its new Safety and Reliability Review Board, just three months after deciding it will be investing $300 million in fleetwide operational upgrades. The board, which is part of the initial investment, is intended to monitor and continuously improve the line's current safety policies, practices and performance.

The four new board members include:

Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby: A 34-year surface warfare officer for the U.S. Navy, bringing fleet-level operational expertise

Rear Admiral Joseph F. Campbell: A 32-year engineering duty officer for the U.S. Navy, having served in various waterfront maintenance tours

Ray Valeika: An aviation operations expert with more than 40 years experience working as an independent consultant for global maintenance and engineering firms

Dr. John K. Lauber: Former senior vice president and chief product safety officer for Airbus SAS in Toulouse, France, currently serving as vice chairman of the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee

"In April, Carnival Cruise Lines announced a major initiative encompassing technical, safety and reliability enhancements," said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, in a prepared statement. "That initiative encompasses a $300 million investment to significantly enhance emergency power capabilities, introduce new fire safety technologies and improve the level of operating redundancies across our entire 24-ship fleet, as well as the formation of a Safety and Reliability Review Board. All of these measures serve to position us as an industry leader in operational best practices as we move towards the future."

Carnival Cruise Lines spokesperson Vance Gulliksen told Cruise Critic the new board members' participation recently has been finalized, and they will be meeting in the near future.

--by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor