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Carnival Corporation names Marie McKenzie to new global destinations services and sourcing role

Carnival Corporation and plc, the world's largest travel and leisure company, today announced that Marie McKenzie has been named vice president of global destinations services and sourcing, a new role and function for the company.

Carnival Corporation and plc, the world's largest travel and leisure company, today announced that Marie McKenzie has been named vice president of global destinations services and sourcing, a new role and function for the company. As part of this new function, McKenzie will lead a team of brand experts who will assume responsibility for geographical regions on behalf of all nine brands, while also maintaining their reporting lines into the leadership structure of their respective brand. Together, they will coordinate and manage processes and relationships with tour operators and port services officials around the globe.

As part of this new function, McKenzie will lead a team of brand experts who will assume responsibility for geographical regions on behalf of all nine brands, while also maintaining their reporting lines into the leadership structure of their respective brand. Together, they will coordinate and manage processes and relationships with tour operators and port services officials around the globe to deliver the best possible tour excursion and port experiences for the nearly 11 million guests who sail every year on the company's 100 ships visiting hundreds of ports across the globe.

"We are excited to have Marie take on this new role, and with her proven track record in her past 19 years at Carnival, we know she will lead this team to great success," said Alan Buckelew, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. "Having had global responsibilities in her previous role and partnering with the global strategy team, we know she will bring to this new role extensive knowledge of our operating companies and a deep understanding of our overall vision to work together across our nine brands to consistently exceed guest expectations."

In addition, a primary focus for McKenzie will be to leverage Carnival Corporation's collective scale and expertise to continue creating unique and exciting shore excursions and port experiences as part of the company's goal to consistently exceed guest expectations.

Buckelew added: "We strive to ensure our guests enjoy shore excursions and ports as part of our overall goal to create a great vacation experience. Our business has become increasingly global, with over 20,000 shore excursions a year offered at 725 ports around the world. With this move, we are taking steps to ensure we continue to have deep local expertise working with tour operator partners large and small who offer a wide range of options for our guests."

McKenzie will report to Josh Leibowitz, chief strategy officer for Carnival Corporation.

"Our brands already work with local tour operators and port facility officials to make sure we provide a positive experience and great portfolio of popular shore excursions that consistently earn high satisfaction marks from our guests," said Leibowitz. "With our new process our tour operators and port facility partners will now have an opportunity to participate in offering services for all nine of our brands. Most importantly, by leveraging the collective expertise of our brands, tour operators and port facility partners, we can continue to offer our guests popular and unique shore excursions and port experiences. And in some cases, we will use our collective creativity to develop exciting new excursions, or new twists to already popular excursions."

McKenzie previously served as vice president of global financial planning and analysis, where she played an integral part in interpreting and engaging all nine brands to prepare the company's executive team for the quarterly earnings guidance and position the overall strategy and financial direction of the company. She also led the process of capturing, consolidating and analyzing data from the nine brands as well as the corporation's annual planning process that was key to the execution of the company's overall long-term strategy.

McKenzie, who started her career with Carnival Corporation in 1996, has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility. This included her time with the Carnival Cruise Line brand where she served in various leadership roles, including vice president of fleet accounting where she led a team of nearly 200 people working closely with the shipboard operations team in supporting execution of the overall onboard guest experience.  

McKenzie started her career with Arthur Andersen LLP in Washington, D.C., in 1992. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she is a graduate of Howard University where she earned her bachelor's degree in accounting. She also attended Florida International University where she earned a master's degree in international business.

McKenzie serves on the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Honey Shine Inc.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines slashes loss in 2014, EBITDA jumps 125%

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the UK based destinational cruise operator, has slashed its losses in 2014 and operating profit more than doubled

The company cut net loss to NOK120 million in 2014 from NOK637 million in the previous year, when impairment charges had hit the bottom line. Revenues increased to NOK1.65 billion from NOK1.47 billion in 2013.

Operating profit (EBITDA) rose to NOK146 million from NOK65 million in the previous year, Bonheur ASA, a listed holding company of the Olsen family that togerher with Ganger Rolf ASA owns Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

"The UK cruise market is still weak, however there have been some improvements during second half 2014. Bunker prices have also decreased in the quarter. The number of passenger days totaled 275 737 (292 542) for the quarter," Bonheur said. It did not give guidance for 2015.

Royal Caribbean announces 2016-17 Caribbean itineraries, Harmony to be based in Port Everglades, Oasis to move Port Canaveral

Royal Caribbean International today announced the upcoming Caribbean openings for the cruise line’s new 2016-17 Adventure Collection. Vacationers can book an unforgettable Caribbean cruise aboard 15 of the world’s most innovative and award-winning cruise ships, sailing from nine convenient U.S. homeports to 39 spectacular ports of call in 18 Caribbean countries, and Bermuda and Canada. The new Caribbean adventures will mark the Quantum class’ maiden call and season in Bermuda with Anthem of the Seas, and offers a choice of three industry-acclaimed Oasis-class ships, including the new record-setting Harmony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s new 2016-17 Caribbean Adventures Collection will open for booking starting March 2015.

Royal Caribbean’s new Adventure Collection encompasses the cruise line’s 2016-17 cruise vacations aboard unrivaled ships, which will sail exciting itineraries across six continents. Vacationers can choose between the industry’s newest, biggest, and best ships, which sail in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and beyond. On most Caribbean cruises, guests will enjoy more than 400 total acres of pristine beaches, exhilarating thrill rides and activities, and plenty of opportunities to relax under the Caribbean sun during a call at Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay or its exclusive beach destination Labadee.

Caribbean, Bermuda, and Canada & New England Adventures from Northeast U.S.

– Quantum-class Anthem of the Seas will continue year-round sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., and make its maiden season at Bermuda. Vacationers have a choice of five-night Bermuda or nine-night Bermuda and Caribbean itineraries throughout the summer, and eight- to 12-night Bahamas, Eastern, Western or Southern Caribbean cruises during the winter.

– Throughout September and October, Anthem of the Seas will sail nine-night Canada and New England cruises from Cape Liberty, and Serenade of the Seas will offer seven-night Canada and New England cruises from Boston, Mass.

– Grandeur of the Seas will sail five-night Bermuda, nine-night Bermuda and Bahamas, and nine-night Canada and New England cruises throughout the summer. In the winter, the ship will sail nine-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises.

Everywhere in the Caribbean, conveniently from South Florida

– From Miami, Enchantment of the Seas will sail three- and four-night short Bahamas getaways year-round, while Navigator of the Seas will alternate five-night Bahamas and Mexico with nine-night Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Labadee cruises in the winter.

– Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will sail a Western Caribbean and two new Eastern Caribbean itineraries in summer 2016, all seven nights in length and departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Allure of the Seas will then be joined by the next groundbreaking, Oasis-class cruise ship Harmony of the Seas to offer a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary for winter 2016-17. Oasis of the Seas, meanwhile, will reposition to its new winter home of Port Canaveral along Florida’s Coast.

– In the winter, Independence of the Seas will follow a sequence of four- and five-night short Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades, while sister-ship Freedom of the Seas will alternate a six-night Western Caribbean with an eight-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. For a longer vacation, Serenade of the Seas alternates a 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itinerary.

‘Out-of-this-world’ Caribbean Vacations from Florida’s Space Coast

– Freedom of the Seas will continue alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries during the summer 2016, and then reposition to Port Everglades for its new winter season.

– For the winter 2016-17, Oasis of the Seas will inaugurate Oasis-class adventures from Port Canaveral, alternating a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary. Rhapsody of the Seas will take over three- and four-night Bahamas cruises from Enchantment of the Seas.

– Vacationers also can choose quick four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout winter aboard Brilliance of the Seas from Tampa, Fla.

Mexico and Southern Caribbean from Galveston and Puerto Rico

– Liberty of the Seas will continue its year-round deployment sailing from Galveston, Texas, offering vacationers a wide selection of seven-night Mexico and Western Caribbean cruises.

– Vacationers also can choose seven-night, Southern Caribbean itineraries, sailing year-round from San Juan, Puerto Rico, aboard Adventure of the Seas. In the winter, Jewel of the Seas also will homeport at San Juan and sail to the Southern Caribbean.

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and David Chua Ming Huat resign from NCLH board

Two members that represent Genting Hong Kong in the board of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) have resigned, Genting Hong Kong said in a statement.

"The board of directors of Genting Hong Kong Limited announces that its nominees serving as directors of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., namely Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Acting- President and an executive director of the Company) and Mr. David Chua Ming Huat, resigned from the board of NCLH with effect from 3 March 2015, respectively," Genting said in a statement.

"Two replacement directors have been nominated by the Company to the board of NCLH and are expected to be appointed in due course," the company continued.

The resignations came a day after Genting Hong Kong had acquired Crystal Cruises, the Los Angeles based luxury cruise brand from Tokyo based Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) group. Crystal could be viewed as c competitor of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which NCLH acquired last year, together with Oceania Cruises, in a $3.025 billion deal.

Commenting on Genting Hong Kong's position as shareholder of NCLH, Robin Farley, cruise industry analyst at UBS in New York said: "We had written last week about overhang of NCLH largest (25-26%) shareholder Genting HK having filed last year for HK shareholder approval to sell its stake in NCLH. That approval will expire in May, but we noted last week that Genting may renew the approval for another year."

"NCLH has authorized $500 million in repo last year but we believe balance sheet constraints make it unlikely before 2H this year, so perhaps a selling shareholder would want to wait till 2H if NCLH could then buy a block. We view this as a positive for the stock that any block share sale may be pushed further out," she said in a research note.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. appoints Andy Stuart President and COO for Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced that company veteran Andy Stuart has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line effective today,  following the resignation of Drew Madsen.  Stuart has been with Norwegian Cruise Line since 1988 and has held a number of leadership positions, most recently as Executive Vice President of Sales.

“Given the recent restructuring of the role and job responsibilities, Drew has decided to step down. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “As we continue to build the newly merged organization, we are tapping into the tremendous company and industry knowledge that Andy has, along with the strong relationships he has built with our travel partners.”

“Andy and Norwegian are virtually synonymous. He is very well known and respected by our guests, travel partners, officers, crew, and team members. I am extremely confident that he is the perfect leader for the next phase of Norwegian’s growth,” added Del Rio. In this role, Stuart will report to Del Rio.

Stuart has been instrumental in building the Norwegian brand, particularly in the roll out and marketing of the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising. He also greatly strengthened relationships with travel partners with the introduction of Partners First, the company’s corporate philosophy of always putting its travel partners first.  During his 27-year tenure with the company, he has held responsibility for a number of key areas including: Global Sales, Passenger Services, Revenue Management, Marketing and Public Relations. He also served as Chief Product Officer, responsible for delivery of the Freestyle Cruising product across the Norwegian fleet, ensuring that it provided exceptional value and quality for guests and was consistent with the marketing and brand positioning of the company.

“Having seen Norwegian Cruise Line grow significantly during the course of my career, I am thrilled and proud to lead this incredible company as we continue to enhance and build the brand,” said Stuart. “The future is extremely bright and I am looking forward to continuing to work with our travel partners through our expanded sales team, delivering an exceptional product to our guests in conjunction with our hard-working officers and crew and ensuring that our team members are motivated and engaged, all the while building value for our shareholders.”