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Episode Directory

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

Gary Bembridge

Cruise Expert and Blogger. Gary Bembridge has been an avid cruise fan and self-confessed ship geek for over a decade. He stumbled into cruising over a decade ago, when he reluctantly went on a business conference taking part on a ship, and discovered he loved being at sea. Since then, he has cruised extensively around the world. In addition to being a global marketing consultant, he also runs Tips for Travellers (http://www.tipsfortravellers.com) which he launched in 2005 and from where he podcasts, blogs and produces videos about travel and his first love: cruising. His latest project is a book entitled “The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook”, which is due to be published at the end of this month. View Guest page

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Dino Borri

Born and raised in Piemonte, Italy, Dino Borri started his career in the food realm in 2000, when Slow Food hired him to organize and coordinate all their gastronomic events. In 2008, Dino started collaborating with the Eataly food emporium in Turin, where he soon became the person in charge of opening new Eatalian stores all around the world. He lived in Japan for two years, where he curated the opening of all the Eataly Japanese stores, and moved to New York in 2010, to launch the first US location, Eataly New York. Living and breathing high quality food and Mediterranean lifestyle, Dino is now concentrating on developing key partnerships and relationships with like-minded Italian brands abroad, and is Eataly’s brand ambassador. View Guest page

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Carolyn Spencer Brown

Carolyn Spencer Brown is editor in chief of Cruise Critic, overseeing its international editorial operations. A former staff writer with the Washington Post, Spencer Brown has followed the cruise industry for the past 16 years and has taken more than 200 cruises, sailing with all of the world’s top cruise lines and many lesser-known lines, as well. Regularly quoted by media -- including CNN, the New York Times and the Associated Press -- as an expert on all aspects of cruising, Spencer Brown has been named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Travel by ForbesLife Magazine. View Guest page

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Sylma Brown

Sylma Brown oversees the operation of CTO-USA, Inc, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Caribbean Tourism Organization in New York City. Among other activities, the office creates and manages special events and conferences which provide members with opportunities for tourism growth and development; develops and coordinates trade and consumer travel shows to maximize the exposure for large and small members; raises funds enabling the CTO Foundation to offer additional scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals; provides additional membership services including educational programs for travel agent members in its OneCaribbean Chapter system. View Guest page

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Jim D’Amico

Owner Punch Entertainment As owner of Punch Entertainment, Jim coordinates entertainment for cruise ships, conventions, theaters and casinos, including managing installations of audio, video and lighting systems. Since 1979, he has worked in the entertainment, cutting his teeth in the industry as a musician and band leader on board major cruise lines. From entertainer, Jim progressed to managing performers and operations of onboard entertainment activities and staff, supervising shore excursions programs and eventually becoming Vice President of Entertainment and Land Tours for a major cruise line. He has more than 30 years’ experience working in the industry. Today, he is responsible for bringing a slew of successful performers to the high seas. View Guest page

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Christine Duffy

Christine Duffy is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cruise Lines International Association, the trade association representing the $36 billion global cruise industry. CLIA represents the interests of 60 cruise lines, more than 13,000 global travel agencies who reach nearly 50,000 individual travel agents, and over 200 industry partners. CLIA’s mission is to promote the unique benefits of cruising and to participate proactively in the regulatory and policy development process. Christine has been recognized for her industry and community leadership. In 2007, she was inducted into the Convention Industry Council Hall of Leaders. Corporate Meetings and Incentives chose her as one of the “Top 10 Women Leaders in the Meeting Industry,” and Meetings News magazine named her one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” four times. She received the New York Councils’ Boy Scouts of America Ninth Annual Distinguished Women of the Year award in 2001. View Guest page

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Bob Ecker

Bob Ecker is a Napa, California based freelance writer/photographer producing compelling destination wine content, travel, restaurant/foodie stories, cruise article, sports and feature content. His magazine articles have appeared in publications such as: Decanter, Enroute, Wine Enthusiast, Modern Luxury Publications, Morning Calm, Colliers, Discover, San Diego Magazine, The Walrus and Islands Magazine as well as many newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Toronto Globe & Mail, Jerusalem Post, Sydney Morning Herald, South China Morning Post - and the Napa Valley Register. Ecker particularly enjoys the nexus between travel, wine and dining and has competed as an actual Racing Sausage. View Guest page

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Sherri Eisenberg

Sherri Eisenberg is the Editor in Chief of Bon Voyage, a travel magazine for cruisers that’s published by Cruiseline.com. She has written about travel for Condé Nast Traveler, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, and The Boston Globe — and has served as cruise editor for Travel + Leisure and, before that, for Travel Holiday. As Senior Travel Editor of Condé Nast’s Brides, she won the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for best travel coverage in a non-travel magazine. Sherri lives in New York City and keeps a bag packed at all times so she can hop on a plane — or a ship — at a moment’s notice. http://cruiseline.com/bonvoyage View Guest page

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Mike Faust

Cruise Currents was originally founded by Mike Faust as Mikey’s Cruise Blog on August 14, 2011. Originally, Mike, wrote editorial pieces on news in the industry and reviews of his cruises. Soon, the website began to report on cruise industry news. As the website grew in size and audience, the need for a rebranding became evident. On December 23, 2012, Mikey’s Cruise Blog officially became Cruise Currents. With a new name and logo, Cruise Currents has become a leading cruise website. With a primary focus on reporting cruise industry news, Cruise Currents now features editorials, detailed cruise reviews, and cruise resources. To this day, Cruise Currents continues to grow and expand in the industry. View Guest page

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Michelle Fee

After several successful years of running her own full-service travel agency, Michelle joined forces with the best in the industry and co-founded Cruise Planners in 1994. Nearly 20 years ago with just 5 franchisees in the first training class, Fee knew this was the new way of entrepreneurship. Now Cruise Planners is one of the nation's largest home-based travel franchise organizations named No. 1 Cruise Tour/Travel Agent by Entrepreneur magazine year after year among other notable awards. What's her secret? Fee has vision, passion and no tolerance for sameness. In fact, Fee challenges each of her Home Office teams to always look for something new and innovative to bring to the franchise owners. Fee's drive and commitment are undeniable. Under her leadership, she has created a business that positions franchise owners for success, providing them with unique marketing programs, hands-on training and incredible technology and tools that allows them to conduct business anywhere, anytime. View Guest page

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Carrie Finley-Bajak

Carrie Finley-Bajak, Cruise Buzz website In her former life Carrie was a travel agency owner where she earned her CLIA ACC certification before heading into the digital realm. Now Carrie's focus is on content marketing and social media within the cruise sector. Carrie is an early adopter of social media, her digital footprint includes Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Google+, LinkedIn and her website (www.CruiseBuzz.net). Carrie is a columnist at Travel Weekly where she writes about social media best practices for the trade. Carrie also helps co-produce a monthly Twitter chat with Travel Weekly about trending topics in travel. Carrie is a creative professional who has experience developing content for social and new media campaigns that result in increased customer engagement and acquisition. View Guest page

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Juliet Gazsi

Juliet Gazsi started in the Cruise Industry in 1993. Within the last 2 decades, she has worked for 2 cruise lines. Over the course of her career, her roles have ranged from Group Service, organizing and overseeing Shipboard Events for Groups, including Wedding Groups, wedding coordinator for a 4 Diamond Hotel as well as establishing a Destination Wedding Department for a successful cruise agency. Today, her current role permits her to put all these experiences to excellent use by providing amazing Cruise Wedding experiences for her clients at CruiseShip-Wedding. View Guest page

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Fran Golden

Well-known for her cruise writing, Fran Golden is the expert blogger for USA Today's Experience Cruise and chief blogger/contributing editor of Porthole Magazine. She is co-author of Frommer's Alaska Cruises and Ports of Call and a regular contributor to other magazines and newspapers including the Miami Herald and Virtuoso Life. She's experienced more than 100 cruises, but when she's not at sea she makes her home inland in Oberlin, Ohio. View Guest page

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Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, is a Caribbean travel expert, award-winning travel journalist, and TV personality. Former executive editor of Caribbean Travel +Life magazine, she ventures to the beach and beyond, sharing the diverse culture, relaxed lifestyle and colorful people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destination. She is also jetsetter-in-chief at JetSetSarah.com, where travel and shopping meet. Follow her adventures on twitter at @JetSetSarah, and at Facebook.com/JetSetSarah. View Guest page

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Julie Irovando

With more than 72 cruises under her belt on 12 different cruise lines, Julie Irovando is a travel expert with more than 15 years’ experience in the travel industry, specializing in group, family and leisure travel. In 2003, she became a franchise owner of Cruise Planners/American Express, an award-winning agency ranked #1 cruise only agency by Entrepreneur Magazine for 11 years in a row. A wife and mother of two, Julie has been taking cruises with her kids for more than 12 years. View Guest page

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Brent Jensen

Blend Craft Wines Brent Jensen has been working in the wine business since 1999, when he became a Cellar Master for a California winery. Over the years, he has owned his own wine bar, marketed wineries, worked in import and export of wines and even started his own wine brand called “Port City”. Today, as Director of Winemaking Operations for Blend Craft Wines, Brent handles all on board wine programs for cruise ships, including staff training, wine procurement, onsite logistics and is responsible for creative new and innovative ideas for their onboard winemaking programs. View Guest page

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Peter Knego

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Peter’s interest in passenger ships started in 1973 when he was assigned to research the LUSITANIA for an American History course. In early 1974, he began visiting and photographing nearly every liner and cruise ship that came to Los Angeles, beginning with P&O’s SS ARCADIA, and continues to do so to this day. While he was studying Theater Arts at UCLA, Peter took his first “serious” cruises, beginning in 1980 with American Hawaii’s newly-rechristened SS OCEANIC INDEPENDENCE. Every year thereafter, he made it a point to sail in an elderly passenger ship until the early 1990s, when he furthered his mission to seek out and document every “forgotten” liner left in the world. Knego travels the world on a regular basis and has contributed countless photographs and articles to U.S. based TRAVEL AGE WEST, OCEAN AND CRUISE NEWS, CRUISE TRAVEL and PORTHOLE magazines as well as U.K.-based SHIPS MONTHLY and SEA LINES. He is frequently a guest “expert” on television and radio and has been quoted in many publications, ranging from THE NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY to a wide variety of maritime industry trades such as SEA TRADE INSIDER, TRADEWINDS and more. View Guest page

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Roberto Ladisi

Since he was a child, Roberto Ladisi had a growing sense of the aesthetic and was blessed with what some describe as 'explosive creativity’. In 1988, he graduated from the Fashion Univ. of Florence. Ten years into a growing fashion career, he took an intensive massage, meditation and aesthetics course. Upon finishing, he left the fashion industry and put his new experience to use. In 1998, Roberto found a job as a therapist on a cruise ship and was soon promoted to spa mgr. He then joined the 5-star Tombolo Thalassotherapy Hotel. Two years later, he was given the same opportunity at the renowned Hotel Cipriani in Venice. His next role would take him to MSC Cruises, where he was responsible for developing the spa on MSC Musica. Eventually, he would became MSC Aurea Spa supervisor for the entire MSC fleet. Roberto currently trains the therapists on MSC’s exclusive signature treatments. He prides himself in helping to create a personal path to health, wellness and beauty for MSC guests View Guest page

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Paul Lasley

Paul Lasley is the TravelSmart columnist for Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California, and for the six other AAA magazines. His columns reach over 8 million readers. Paul is also producer and cohost of “Traveling,” a 25-minute talk show about travel that airs daily to an audience of 2.5 million in some 180 countries on American Forces Radio. He and his wife, Elizabeth Harryman, won the 2008 Gold Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Travel Broadcast – Audio. Their website, OnTravel.com is a 24/7 source of podcasting about the world of travel. Elizabeth and Paul are former travel contributors for NBC’s TODAY show and for the KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, and for 15 years, they hosted travel talk radio shows in L.A.—on KABC and Public Radio station KPCC. Paul has been on more than 100 cruises. Paul and his wife have authored a book titled “Honeymoons: A Romantic Travel Guide” with another book on romantic getaways currently under development. View Guest page

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Vanessa Lee

One of Canada’s leading proponents and influencers within the cruise industry and a well known writer and speaker on cruising and travel, Vanessa Lee recently celebrated her 36th year in the travel business. Vanessa was born in England, has lived in Australia and has enjoyed a lengthy career in the Canadian travel and cruise industry. She was a founding partner of Encore Cruises, which went on to achieve enormous success as Canada’s pre-eminent cruise specialist tour operator. Today, Vanessa is the owner and publisher of the upscale Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine, also custom publishing three other travel magazines in North America and is President of Cruise Strategies Ltd, a company promoting small, luxury and niche cruise lines. Additionally Vanessa is a regular columnist for the travel trade website Travel Industry Today, was voted one of Canada’s Top 20 “Industry Rock Stars” in a poll of her peers and is a frequent motivational speaker on the joys of cruising. View Guest page

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Theresa Norton Masek

A veteran travel trade journalist, Theresa Norton Masek has covered the cruise industry for more than 18 years, currently for the industry news site www.TravelPulse.com. She also is editor-in-chief of Vacation Agent, a monthly trade magazine focused on leisure products sold by travel agents. Follow her on Twitter at @cruiseapalooza. View Guest page

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Nina Meyer

Nina started in the travel industry in 1976 as an Independent Contractor for an agency called CIA Travel. Within two years, she opened her own agency, Vision Travel, where she developed a tour operation for Laker, Arrow and Eastern Airlines plus three branch locations. In 2001, she merged Vision Travel with Traveleaders. In 2005, Nina became the National Director of Leisure for this $220 million travel company. Her duties included developing preferred vendor relationships, generating and using marketing dollars and developing larger group programs. When TAG (Travel Acquisitions Group) acquired Traveleaders, Nina became Nat'l Director of Leisure for Traveleaders. In April 2009, she joined Express Travel as Director of Leisure Sales & Development. Nina has served for four years as President of South Florida ASTA, and as President of the International SKAL Club-Miami. Nina served as Treasurer of National ASTA until September 2011, then as President and Chairman of National ASTA. View Guest page

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Susan Mirabito

Susan Mirabito is currently Vice President of Operations for the global headquarters of Travel Network/Vacation Central located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Susan has over 25 years of experience working in various areas of the travel industry in both corporate and leisure travel. Susan began her career at United Airlines and held positions with the Colgate Palmolive Co (in corporate travel and with the corporate jet base), with Bauer Publishing in corporate travel among other companies. She also owns her own leisure travel company. View Guest page

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Kathryn O'Shea-Evans

Kathryn O'Shea-Evans, Associate Editor, Travel + Leisure, Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure, where she edits and writes for the front-of-book, feature well, and website. She has appeared as a guest on variety of broadcast networks including Travel Channel, MSNBC, Fox Business, and the Weather Channel. Kathryn has also contributed to Lonny, Ladies' Home Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Budget Travel, GOOD, and Spirit. Her magazine writing has been republished in numerous anthologies including the BUST DIY Guide to Life and Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest Trips. View Guest page

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Eileen Ogintz

Eileen Ogintz is a leading national travel expert and syndicated columnist of the award-winning weekly column Taking the Kids and the creator of Takingthekids.com, which started with her son, a cat and a goldfish pond. In 1987, Ogintz was a national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, when she took a trip with her family to a Wisconsin cottage. Her then 3-year-old son, Matt, pushed a hapless kitty into a pond thinking the kitty wanted to eat goldfish. The furious owner insisted they pack up and leave immediately. The embarrassed parents drove home three hours to Chicago in a downpour. The travel editor, hearing her tale of woe about the cat and the goldfish pond, encouraged her to write a story about the trials of traveling with young children. The rest is history. Since then, Taking the Kids has become a major and growing presence online, appearing on online news outlets such as www.msnbc.com, Smartertravel.com, and Frommers.com and in newspapers around the country through national syndication by Tribune Media Services. View Guest page

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Doug Parker

Doug Parker, Cruise Radio Doug Parker is a radio personality in Jacksonville, Florida who hosts Cruise Radio and the Weekend Travel Show. Born into the maritime industry, Doug takes his knowledge and passion to the airwaves every week to answer listener questions, provide travel tips, cruise ship reviews and interviews travel experts. He has broadcast from over 25 ships from all over the world. View Guest page

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Wendy Perrin

Wendy is Condé Nast Traveler's Director of Consumer News and Digital Community. She has written the magazine's practical advice column The Perrin Report since 1996 and is considered an authority on consumer travel issues. Her feature "The Fabulous 50" was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, the magazine industry's most prestigious editorial honor. She has received the Travel Journalist of the Year award conferred by the American Society of Travel Agents. And her exposé about medical care on cruise ships won an investigative journalism award in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. View Guest page

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Richard E. Sasso

Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc., has been a well-respected figure in the cruise industry for more than 40 years. After holding key positions at Costa Cruises and Chandris Cruises, Sasso joined the senior management team that launched Celebrity Cruises in 1990. He served as president of that line from 1995 to 2001 and was instrumental in establishing it as a leading premium cruise line. Sasso was named president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA in April 2004. Since then, he has effectively positioned MSC Cruises for growth in the North American market as a cruise experience that uniquely reflects the heart and soul of the Mediterranean. In November 2013, MSC will debut one of its most dazzling vessels, MSC Divina, to Port Miami. She will be the first MSC ship to sail year round from North America. In 2001 he received the coveted “Hall of Fame” recognition from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for his many efforts and accomplishments that have led to significant contributions in the growth of cruise vacations. View Guest page

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Andre Schlemmer

Andre Schlemmer, Cruise Director of MSC Divina, has served the cruise industry for many years. Hailing from Cape Town in South Africa, Schlemmer has worked as a Cruise Director for more than 7 years, during which he’s worked on several exciting projects, including the launch of several mega ships. He has a tremendous passion for travel and cultures, having literally explored the world twice over. Prior to working in the cruise industry, Schlemmer worked as a non-artistic company manager with a leading contemporary dance company, where he was responsible for overseeing all administrative and financial duties. Before this, he toured for several years as a dancer with the same company. Schlemmer attributes his dichotomous experience of handling office administration and performing on stage as the perfect combination for his role today as Cruise Director. Schlemmer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Entertainment Management. View Guest page

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Carol Sottili

Carol Sottili is a current regular contributor for The Washington Post’s travel section. She writes the section’s weekly What’s the Deal? column and is one of a panel of experts who fields travel queries during the Post’s weekly live Internet chat. She has also written for Cruise Critic and Budget Travel. Carol’s specific areas of travel expertise include cruising, all-inclusive resorts, airlines and travel bargains. She came to the Post from San Diego in 1999, and initially worked as a sports editor and news editor before finding her niche in the travel section. A native of Long Island, she previously worked at Newsday, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the San Diego Union, where she covered cops, city hall, the courts and politics. A mother of two adult children, she lives in Northern Virginia and spends summers in Ocean City, Md., along with her husband Bud, and a rescue dog named Taylor. When she’s not working, you’ll find her bird watching or beachcombing or both. View Guest page

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Tom Stieghorst

Tom Stieghorst first began covering the cruise industry in 1986. He's been a reporter and editor at the Sun-Sentinel one of South Florida’s leading daily newspapers and for the past year has been the senior cruise editor at trade publication Travel Weekly. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Tom has also written about tourism, airlines and other hospitality businesses. He covered Florida's citrus industry for the Lakeland Ledger and was an editor at Dow Jones News Service in New York. He is a native of Wisconsin. View Guest page

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Lynn Swanger

Lynn Swanger has been working in the fitness field since 2002. She is a Master Trainer for Hydrorider, a leader in the aquafitness industry and manufacturer of the Aquabike and Aquatreadmill. Lynn is a Dr. Cooper Personal Trainer graduate, an AEAwater certified Instructor, ACEGroup Exer. Instructor, a kickboxing Instructor, and a coach for Team Beachbody. Her skills include training as a longevity wellness specialist, nutrition, and working with special needs patients. She has a passion for training clients in the water using waterbikes and treadmills.Join Lynn for some fun in the water, her enthusiasm is contagious. View Guest page

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Barbara Whitehill

Together from the ground up, Managing Director, Barbara Whitehill, an industry veteran with several years’ experience working for a major cruise line, and Executive Director, Skip Alligood, have built a strong and respected company within the wedding and cruise line industries. For more than 15 years, Barbara has created memorable weddings and honeymoons for thousands of couples on all types of cruises in more than 100 beautiful ports of call around the world. View Guest page

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Cruise Views

November 15, 2013
Hosted by Ken Muskat, Cruise Industry Executive

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Cruise Views

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Cruise Views is a show targeting travel enthusiasts who want to take an inside look at the cruise industry as well as its guests, employees and shipboard crew who make up some of the world’s largest and newest cruise ships traveling the high seas. Hot topics will include everything from meeting the people who make up the crew and how to travel on a budget to the latest in family travel, health and wellness while cruising and what it takes to build the state of the art cruise ships of today. You will get to meet real people and hear about real experiences that make-up the everyday of the cruise industry. We will provide you with the “human interest” perspective as well as speak to industry experts to discuss anything and everything you ever wanted to know.

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Ken Muskat, Cruise Industry Executive

Ken Muskat is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MSC Cruises, one of the largest cruise lines in the world. He oversees the North American Sales, Marketing, Public Relations and Customer Service aspects of the organization. Since graduating from the University of Hartford with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and Advertising, Ken has dedicated his entire professional career to the Cruise Industry. For 18 years, Ken served in a variety of senior executive roles at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. in Marketing, Sales, Consumer Outreach and Onboard Revenue. During this time, he hosted the cruise industry’s first weekly online radio show, reaching over 24,000 listeners a week in 22 short weeks.

Early in his career, Ken was twice named one of Travel Agent Magazine’s Top 100 Rising Stars of the Travel Industry and more recently he was a recipient of The University of Hartford Anchor Award, the most prestigious award presented by the University’s Alumni Association. The award was established to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of professional accomplishments and who possess absolute standards of integrity and character to positively reflect the prestige of the university.

Ken also serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Cancer Caring Center and in 2013 he was named Vice President of the organization. Ken enjoys extensive travels and an active lifestyle full of friends and family.

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