Highlighting Roberto Castro……..the Blog Master

Ladies and Gents……..usually I have a long introduction for guest interviews but on this one I just need to say……….. Here is Roberto.

1. Everyone knows you as Roberto who administers the blog but who is the real Roberto Castro? What can you tell us about your self i.e., home, family, education etc.
What can I say about me? Well, I’m from Hialeah, Fla., (lived on the same block my whole life). I’m very fortunate to have a very tight-knit family; we’ve been through a lot but they are truly the best I can ask for. I’m also very fortunate to have some of the greatest friends in the world. I’m currently a candidate for an MBA at the University of Miami, where I also obtained my undergraduate degree (Go Canes!). In my spare time, I’m involved with the Greater Miami Alumni Club (the local chapter of the UM Alumni Association) where I serve as president and I have the honor of serving as Chief of Iron Arrow Honor Society, which is the University of Miami’s highest honor.

2. How did you get to work for Carnival Cruise Lines and have you ever taken a cruise.
I started working for Carnival Cruise Lines last October; I saw an opening and applied and here I am! Contrary to popular belief, I do not work on a ship; I work at headquarters in Miami. I actually took my first cruise in 2004 (to Alaska) and have sailed on a total of four cruises; I’ve only ever sailed with Carnival!

3. So, to your job. Before we talk about the blog, what other duties does you current position require you to do on a frequent basis.
Believe it or not, the blog is not my primary job responsibility. I’m an Email Content Producer for the Interactive Marketing Team. I work with Andrew, Renee, Henry and Alex from the Interactive Marketing Team to put together some of the email campaigns that go out; I primarily work with our past guest offers that go out weekly. In addition to that, I help out my fellow team members with any projects and of course I help maintain John’s blog.

4. The blog has become a major part of your job though. Let’s talk about what happens. I send in the blog and photos …….you take it from there please.
After you write the blog, you send over the copy, which is passed on to Vance in the PR department for spell checking, etc. I then code and format the blog. In addition to coding it, I have to resize the images, color correct them if necessary, and then post them. I also have to make sure that the code loads correctly and it publishes correctly. You have to realize however, that I am in Miami and you are in Europe; sometimes the time delay is 6-7 hours. There are very unique windows of opportunities to communicate with you. If it weren’t for email and BlackBerrys, this would be extra difficult. Luckily, we’ve developed a great working relationship. Funny enough, when we don’t hear from each other in a while (and by a while, we mean 4 hours), we’ll email each other to make sure we’re ok…lol

5. The comments from bloggers are increasing every day. How many do you read everyday and how many do you post on average.
Depending on the day and depending on the post, it could vary. Sometimes we get 20-30 a day, sometimes even 100. And yes, I read each and every one of them. In addition to the comments, I have to check the spam filter to make sure that no comments got stuck in this filter. This is an ongoing process, that occurs even on the weekends.

6. Have there been comments that you have decided to let me see to protect my feelings
If a comment is personal in nature, I do not post it for obvious reasons; but rest assured, it reaches John.

7. Where do you see the blog going in the next 12 months and why do you think it has proven to be so popular.
I see the blog expanding over the next 12 months. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get more cruise directors to guest blog so that we can offer more perspectives from the ship. I think that it has become so popular because you’ve provided a face to the brand and made Carnival personable. Your writing style is frank and sincere and when you sit down to read the blog, it is like you’re sitting with an old friend catching up on the day’s events. The best thing the blog has created is a community; we’ve all become friends over the past few months and more friends are joining daily. And with the possibility of more cruise directors guest blogging, it will definitely add more and more fans.

8. Do you have a favorite blog and if so why
The one titled “Day One Aboard the Freedom”; this was the first one and it set the tone for the blog. We’ve come along way 213 posts later!

9. Where would you like your career to go over the next few years? Do you have a dream job?
I would love to be a manager or director in a marketing department (hopefully at Carnival or one of our sister companiesJ) and continue to work my way up.

10. Let’s find out more about Roberto………with our Dream list. Choose your ultimate object.
MAKE OF COMPUTER – Apple
CAR – Lamborghini
DATE WITH ANY ACTRESS – Alyssa Milano
FRONT ROW SEATS AT WHAT CONCERT PERFORMANCE – U2 concert
SUPERHERO – Professor Xavier from the X-Men
DINNER WITH FOUR VIP GUESTS – WHO WOULD YOU INVITE AND WHAT’S FOR DINNER
This one is tough:
Bowman Foster Ashe – first president of the University of Miami
Celia Cruz – Cuban singer
Alyssa Milano – actress/humanitarian
John Heald

I wouldn’t picture this meal without some of my parents’ cooking; there’s nothing like it in the world. More than likely, it would consist of roast pork, with congri (which is a dish prepared of rice and black beans), yuca with mojo (it’s like a potato) and of course flan for dessert.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.