2 posts tagged cruises
My name is Marc Miller, and I am the Manager of Itinerary Planning for Celebrity Cruises and for our sister brand, Royal Caribbean. I have been with the company for almost 10 years, 7 of which have been spent on the itinerary planning team. I love what I do and it is a dream job for me because I love learning about destinations and interacting with people from many ports from around the world. I believe that itinerary planning is one of the most important roles within the company, as the decisions we make have a direct impact on our guests’ satisfaction and the company’s performance.
It’s an exciting area because things are constantly changing and determining where to send our ships is a continual effort. We start planning our itineraries many years in advance, but typically finalize those decisions 18 to 24 months in advance of the sailings. Several factors impact our decisions; most importantly, guest preferences as to where they want to sail, as well as the ever-changing operational costs.
Another fascinating part of my job is learning about the many amazing destinations where we deploy our ships. One of the new destinations we will offer this year is the Black Sea. Starting in September, Celebrity Constellation will offer a series of 12-night itineraries, round-trip from Istanbul, Turkey. One of the highlights of this itinerary is the overnight call in Odessa, Ukraine, which allows guests to explore the city by day, and at night, guests can view a performance at the restored National Opera and Ballet Theatre. In addition, in less than one year, all eyes will be on this region as the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held in Sochi, Russia, along the coast of the Black Sea. In the coming weeks, we will announce our new European itineraries, which will include Sochi as a port of call for 2014.
At the end of the day, we have to make difficult tradeoffs, because there are typically more destinations and regions that we would like to offer than we have ships to send. As we finish this round of deployment, we start all over again for next year.