January 15, 2015 -
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to our new President and the lady at the helm of your next brilliant Carnival cruise vacation. Please say hello to Christine Duffy
I guess we should start off with a simple but important question………….how do you feel?
Excited, honored and so very proud to be given the opportunity to lead this iconic brand and the Carnival team who serve our guests!
Can you tell us where you are from and about your employment journey so far?
I started my career as the receptionist at Rosenbluth Travel in Philadelphia after being turned down to be a Pan Am flight attendant. I had gone through several interviews with Pan Am, and in the end, was told I didn’t meet the height requirement. I then spent 20 years at McGettigan Partners, another Philadelphia agency that specialized in corporate group meeting and incentive travel programs. After 20 years at McGettigan, we sold the business to St Louis-based Maritz Travel Company in 2001, and I was appointed President and CEO of Maritz Travel in 2004 and served in that role until 2011 when I joined Cruise Lines International Association.
Some of the readers here may not be aware of the superb work that CLIA does for the cruise industry. I think it is very important that we fanfare this and your role there so please could you explain what CLIA is all about and your role there?
I have been President and CEO of CLIA since 2011. CLIA is the trade association representing the global cruise industry. With 62 cruise line members, 275 Executive Partners representing industry suppliers including ports and destinations around the world, and more than 12,000 travel agency members with over 50,000 agents, CLIA is the largest cruise industry association operating under our “One Industry, One Voice” mission. CLIA works to promote cruising by providing training and certification to travel agents and promotional events, like CLIA Cruise Week and the annual Cruise3sixty conference. CLIA’s Global Technical and Regulatory team represents the industry at the International Maritime Organization in London. CLIA committees bring cruise line members together on a regular basis to share best practices and implement policies that go above and beyond international requirements in the safety, comfort and care of our guests along with a commitment to continuous improvement around environmental impact.
So here you are ready to take the helm of the world’s most popular cruise line. What are your goals for the first few months in the job?
Listen, listen, listen and learn as much as I can from our guests, from Carnival team members shoreside and team members on board our ships who serve our guests every day. I plan to visit our ships and meet team members and guests on board as much as possible.
I know you and your family just spent a week on the Carnival Breeze. Can you tell us about this experience, what you enjoyed and anything you saw that you feel we can do even better with?
We had our best family cruise ever on the Breeze. It is a FUN ship! I went down both slides in the water park, enjoyed the spa for relaxation, visited the indoor and outdoor fitness areas to work off the calories from the great food on board. From the specialty restaurants to the dining room to Guy’s burgers, Bonsai Sushi and the Cantina we loved it all! The crew was amazing and constantly go above and beyond for our guests. There is so much to do on board and, of course, we had the opportunity to experience great destinations. I can’t wait to do it again!
Do you have a message for the thousands of Carnival customers who are reading this?
Along with our talented team, I am very proud and honored to continue the legacy of Carnival Cruise Line creating lasting memories for our loyal customers and those who may be sailing with us or cruising for the first time.
And some getting to know you questions.
Sunrise or Sunset ?
A Wonderful Life
A port of call you have never sailed into but really want to?
Real books or a Kindle/ E Reader?
Who makes you laugh?
Our son Sean
Finally………..On accepting the role of President, the now retired Gerry Cahill had to sing a Karaoke song in front of all the shore side employees in the Carnival Cafeteria. He chose “Just A Gigolo.“
This is now a tradition for our Presidents to do this so………………what song can we look forward to hearing you sing?
We are Family!
Thank you Christine and we all look forward to sharing our Carnival journeys with you.