With our decades of experience, we know the cruise industry inside and out, both shipside and shoreside. Working on a cruise ship is our passion, and we want to share it with you! Our goal is to educate and cultivate the next generation of cruise industry professionals — people just like you.
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We are proud to feature a group of distinguished travel writers — Kelly Liszt (www.copybykelly.com), Andrea Rotondo (www.projecteditor.com) and Kristine Hansen (www.kristineahansen.com).
Recent Florida State University graduate Andrea Villalba, who is currently the Digital Marketing Strategist for VisitFlorida.com, is also one of our talented contributors.
Attention journalists! We support up-and-coming writers who share a passion for reporting on the cruise industry! If you are interested in contributing content please contact us with your request.
President, Cruise Career Partners, Inc., Founder, MyCruiseCareer.com
Noelle has held a variety of executive positions in the cruise industry over the past 22 years. After earning her BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and enjoying a career as a stage performer and singer, Noelle joined Royal Caribbean International. Working her way up the ranks, she eventually became one of the first female cruise directors in the company.
After eight years of working on a cruise ship, entertaining worldwide itineraries, Noelle became manager of cruise activities and programming at Royal Caribbean’s corporate headquarters in Miami.
She devoted the past 10 years of her career supporting revenue and operations in the port shopping concessionaire arena, the majority of which were spent as vice president of operations for Onboard Media, a member of the world-renowned luxury retailer LVMH Group (Moët Hennessy–Louis Vuitton). As president of Cruise Career Partners, Inc., and founder of MyCruiseCareer.com, Noelle is excited to share her passion for this dynamic industry, and she is dedicated to educating and equipping individuals with the knowledge they need to work on a cruise ship.
Entertainment – Technical
Jan has worked in theater and entertainment since high school as a teacher, director, producer, company manager, stage manager, recruiter and events manager. After earning a Master’s in Theatre Education from Rhode Island College and a Stage Management Degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, she set off to see the world on several national and international tours.
Jan then went out to sea, spending 15 years working as a production stage manager and producer for Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, before finally landing a permanent position in South Florida. Currently, Jan works as the Engagement Manager at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, where she aides all departments, from logistics to artist services, to make each event a success.
Entertainment – Activities, Sports & Recreation
Karen has more than 20 years of cruise ship experience. Originally from the North of England, she began her career in tourism at age 21. In 1993, she joined the onboard staff of Royal Caribbean International, climbing the ladder to become cruise director, a job she enjoyed for 15 years. Her cruise career has taken her all over the world, and today she has her own company (Karen Maybury Creative Connections), working closely with major cruise lines both as a hiring partner and talent agent.
While entertainment management and hospitality are her specialties, Karen is also a writer and producer and was the driving force behind Norwegian Cruise Line’s Splash Academy youth program.
Today, Karen makes her home in Florida and often does site inspections and ship visits to mentor and train the staff in cruise programs. Karen also operates the first-ever agency for cruise directors, where she helps mentor people for this vital role.
Entertainment – Performance & Production
Paul hails from London, England. He moved to Miami in 1993 when he started his 19-year career with Royal Caribbean International, working onboard many of its ships as a stage and production manager. Paul then moved shore-side, joining the cruise line’s in-house entertainment department, where he helped create, plan and produce the best entertainment at sea, winning numerous cruise industry awards along the way. He was also a driving force in the development of Royal Caribbean International’s highly successful Broadway at Sea program.
Paul’s recent career highlights include launching the two largest ships in the world for Royal Caribbean and also producing the first-ever live broadcast from a cruise ship of the TONY Awards. In 2012, Paul started Paul Hardy Associates and has since worked on entertainment projects for Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises and currently has a number of new opportunities in the works.
Retail, Sales & Marketing
Steven has more than 40 years of experience in the destination-branded entertainment sector, having worked for such high-profile organizations as Universal Parks & Resorts and Royal Caribbean International as well as the Starwood and Hilton hotel chains. In addition, he served as president of Smithsonian Business Ventures, based in Washington, DC.
As senior vice president of global retail and revenue at Universal Parks & Resorts, his responsibility included the resorts in Orlando, Japan, Hollywood and Spain, where he generated merchandise revenues of more than $1 billion USD annually. Concurrently, he was the president of Spencer Gifts, a wholly owned division of Vivendi Universal.
Steven was the executive managing director at Adventure World Warsaw, an $800 million USD mega project – the first of its kind in Central Eastern Europe. In this role, he oversaw all aspects of project management, including marketing, revenue management, food service, hotel management, park operations and staff recruitment.
He continues to consult within the branded and themed environment, having worked for such notable clients as Disney, Universal, Aramark and Hudson News. He is currently involved with Evermore, an emerging immersive destination offering in the Salt Lake City area.
Steven enjoys traveling, exercising and has a passion for automobiles of all makes and models. He has been married to his wife Debra for more than 30 years. Their daughter, Stephanie, lives in the greater Los Angeles area. Steve is an active volunteer and board member for a number of charitable organizations, such as Shepherd’s Hope and Give Kids the World. He resides in Marina Del Rey, California, and St. George, Utah.
Bjørn Erik is a native Norwegian. He has built his career on a foundation of studies at his nation’s Hotel Academy and at the prestigious Cornell University School of Hotel Management. He has achieved a remarkable breadth of experience from land-based venues to sailing worldwide itineraries as a hotel director onboard cruise ships.
After managing The North Cape, Europe’s northernmost tourist resort, Bjørn Erik was drawn to the sea. He began his shipboard career with Norwegian Cruise Line, where he spent 10 years, and eventually served as hotel director on the SS Norway. He later joined Royal Caribbean International, where he spent 11 years managing hotel operations across their vast fleet of ships. In between, Bjørn Erik was operations manager of the Athletes Village at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
He eventually returned to his native country and is currently the owner/operations manager of Sea Troll Marine Services, a partner of Oslo-based TR Shipping Norway. He currently oversees responsibility for catering to their fleet of ships, which includes port agent services, in Stavanger, Norway.
Food & Beverage
A decorated graduate of the Lycée Hotelier De Nice, France, with a major in hotel management, Corinne has been involved in the food and beverage industry for the greater part of her life. She holds several certificates from Cornell University and is a Certified Executive Chef and Administrator in the American Culinary Federation. After running a wide variety of restaurants and hotels around the world, she made her debut in the cruise industry some 18 years ago.
While working her way up the corporate ladder, Corinne held the coveted title of “Menu Queen” for several years before embracing the catering department at Royal Caribbean International. She has pioneered several “firsts”— including the first kosher for Passover cruise and the first Indian wedding at sea — and has been closely involved in most every charter and large group Royal Caribbean has hosted over the past 10 years.
Corinne has published five cookbooks under the Royal Caribbean banner, three of which were awarded the coveted “Cookbook of the Year” by Cordon D’or, and has been an integral part of myriad ship launches and revitalizations.
After leaving Royal Caribbean, Corrine has maintained her ties to the cruise industry, acting as a food and beverage consultant for all types of catering and special events.
Patrick attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated with a double Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics. He started his career at sea in 1992, working onboard Celebrity ships as an assistant shore excursion manager in the Caribbean and Bermuda. He became a manager during his second contract and continued as a manager onboard through 2001, during which time he was involved with the inaugural cruises of many new ships and new itineraries in Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and South America.
Patrick was brought into Royal Caribbean International’s headquarters as an account manager immediately following his tenure on ships, managing tour operators for numerous regions, including Canada/New England, Europe, Bermuda, the Caribbean and exotic destinations. In 2007, he became the director of the worldwide shore excursion program for the Azamara, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean brands.
Patrick left Royal Caribbean in 2012, completing 20 years with the company. He moved to Chile to work with a tour operator, covering tours throughout South America for both cruise ships and independent guests. He came back to the United States in 2013 and started up several companies. Patrick is currently the vice president of MLSBC Cruises, who provide port agency and turnaround services in North America for cruise lines and who also work with the U.S., British and Canadian navies.
Nick has held a variety of leadership roles in the cruise industry since the early 1990s. He was attending the University of Buffalo in their Media Studies Program when he answered his call to the sea. After spending many years working onboard ships as head video technician, video programmer and interactive TV manager, Nick moved shore-side into information technology (IT). In IT, Nick has held roles ranging from shipboard IT operations manager, program manager, and director of IT.
Nick has a knack for pointing out opportunities to utilize technology more effectively in sales, customer service and other key areas. He is also a thought leader who easily breaks down complex ideas into terms people from clerical to senior management can understand and support.
Nick is a coach and a mentor, currently volunteering as the director of mentoring for the South Florida chapter of the Project Management Institute. Nick also returned to school to obtain his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from California Coast University and has participated in a variety of executive education and leadership programs at places like University of California, Berkeley, and the Disney Leadership Institute.
Nick enjoys networking and has established ties across the globe in finance, technology and nonprofits. Nick is thrilled to be able to share his experience, knowledge and lessons learned from working both on the ships and in their shore-side head offices. Nick spent 20 years at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., before joining Computer Aid, Inc., as director of service delivery for their Travel and Hospitality division.