Mar/Apr OBWY Newsletter 2017

a letter from Adolfo

Dear Travel Partner,

Travel Agents Rock! You’ve heard me say it countless times, but now you’ll really never forget how I feel. Yep, I tattooed it on my arm this past month at our New Orleans “Agentpalooza” event.

Tattoos are a permanent thing – but so is my personal commitment to the work we’re doing with travel agents like you. So in this important moment of my life, I decided to imprint it on myself forever.

Special thanks to all of you who took the time to come out and join us on the “Agentpalooza” stops. What an amazing time – we always wanted to hop on a bus and visit thousands of agents in this way and we finally did it! You can read more about these events in this month’s issue.

On another note, I’m very proud to share that I’m currently working on raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraiser. My goal is to raise $400,000 by June 24. If you’d like to help contribute, I’m currently offering Carnival Travel Agents Rock t-shirts as a gift for donations of $20 or more, with all proceeds going to LLS. Please visit to learn how you can donate.

With summer just a few weeks away, I know many of you are busy handling and booking your clients’ summer vacations. If they haven’t settled on anything yet, why not serve them up some Carnival Cruise close-to-home getaway ideas? Mike Julius has some great tips in this month’s issue on how you can get the ball rolling!

Here’s to sunny travel days ahead!


Adolfo M. Pérez, CTC
Vice President, Sales & Trade Marketing
Carnival Cruise Line

Agentpalooza Bus Tour – Six Cities, Countless Fun!

What a rock star-style month it has been on our first ever “Agentpalooza” festival inspired bus tour! Adolfo even ended up with a “Travel Agents Rock” tattoo from one stop! During the bus tour, our sales leadership team met up with thousands of agents in six cities. A special THANK YOU to all of you who came out to meet us in Houston, New Orleans, Charleston, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Orlando!

Each event was the perfect mixture of business and fun with four zones set up to guide agents through different areas. The “Carnival Fun Zone” featured a live DJ, photo booth, lawn games, and a candy area (we had to send more candy in towards the end of the tour it was so popular!) – making this up so let me know if you guys don’t want to say that An “At Your Service” area gave us a chance to have one-on-one meetings with agents while a “Community Impact” space was dedicated towards giving back to local food banks and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which Adolfo is currently supporting as part of its annual fundraising drive. In New Orleans, we gave agents a special ‘Rockstar Welcome’ sand Adolfo got his permanent (yes, permanent!) tattoo! Video segments of all the fun and rockin’ good times are featured on Adolfo’s Facebook page. At each stop we also gave away a complimentary eight-day Carnival cruise among other raffle prizes. Again, thanks to all the agents who came out and participated in these events, all of which were filled to capacity! Click here to see an album of the pictures taken during Agentpalooza! We’re looking into doing this again in another region and will keep you posted on our plans!

Executive Q&A

Many of you know Vicky from her many years leading the Guest Services Contact Center, numerous Carnival Conversations events and other ship visit activities throughout the years. She has now moved to our Operations team and is working on projects that help improve your guests’ experience onboard and as they board.

First things first – who started first with Carnival – you or Adolfo? And tell us a bit about you amazing career here!

I joined the Carnival family first in 1981 and Adolfo followed not too far down the line. We have been good friends and work colleagues for about 35 years and I could not ask for anyone better to have shared this journey with!

I started as a part time embarkation agent at the Port of Miami during exciting times - the Love Boat was a huge TV hit and we had just received the newly built ms Tropicale. Shortly after, I took a full time job as a reservations agent while still working at the pier on the weekends.

I spent a number of years in the reservations department holding a variety of roles, which included customer service, recruiting, hiring, training, revenue management and inventory control and international reservations, while also managing the embarkation department.

From 2009-2015, I led the Guest Services contact center and administrative teams. I then moved into the Hotel Operations division to oversee the onboard Guest Services and Guest Logistics functions.

This year, I moved into my current role as VP of Guest Care and Port Services.

You and Adolfo aren’t the only ones who have been with Carnival for so many years. What do you think it is that makes so many people stay with the company for so long?

Carnival has always had a very unique corporate culture. There is something very special about working here. In the early days, we were a small team, fueled by a tremendous amount of passion, pride and entrepreneurial spirit and 36 years later, that is still very much the same.

What do you love best about the onboard product – and do you have a favorite ship?

I prefer relaxing sea days where I can enjoy going to the gym, being pampered in our spa and hanging out in our peaceful Serenity area while reading a book and sipping on a cocktail. I also enjoy the great variety of dining venues that my family and I can enjoy. One night we will go to Cucina, another night to JiJi’s Asian Kitchen or the Steakhouse, and if we don’t want to go out, we can order great room service and stay in to watch a movie. It’s probably no surprise that Carnival Vista is my favorite ship and the Havana Bar is my favorite spot. Who can resist a great Mojito and good Cuban music to dance the night away?

Tell us about what you and team do. Is there anything in particular agents may be interested in knowing more about?

I have several areas of responsibility and all of them focus on the customer. When wearing my Guest Port Services hat, my team and I help to ensure that we are providing friendly service and a seamless debark and embark process in our 16 turnaround ports. The Guest Communications team handles all communications with our guests. We work closely with a variety of teams in the office and on board the ship to craft messaging for our guests and ensure they receive any important information that needs to be communicated before or during their cruise. I also oversee the post cruise contact center, which handles all inquiries from guests once they return home.

There are two areas which I’d like to spend a little more time on. I have the privilege of leading Carnival’s award winning CareTeam. This team, which encompasses almost 500 shore side employees and thousands of crew members, provide compassionate and logistical support to guests, crew, employees and their families, who find themselves encountering some kind of emergency when either cruising or working for us. No one ever plans for an emergency to happen when they are on vacation or working at sea, but our dedicated team of specially trained volunteers go wherever they are needed to provide assistance, often acting as “family” away from home while we help these individuals return home. In many ways, they represent the heart behind the Carnival logo and I could not be more proud of them.

As Carnival’s ADA Responsibility Officer, I also want to talk about Carnival’s commitment to guests with disabilities. Carnival is dedicated to providing fun and memorable vacations to all our guests, and this includes guests with disabilities. As our partners, travel agents play an important role in helping us to meet the needs of our guests by making sure we have all the information necessary to accommodate any special requirements. A wealth of information is on our web site. But if additional assistance is needed, I encourage our partners to contact our Guest Access team to find out how we can best serve your customers, including helping to identify which of our special staterooms best accommodates mobility limitations.

Shipboard, Carnival has ADA Shipboard Officers, who oversee the Guest Services department and have responsibility for responding to any ADA issue. Additionally, all our contact center teams and every single crew member on board our ships are required to complete ADA sensitivity training. Lastly, we continue to work on making enhancements to our onboard facilities and are working with external partners on developing plans to bring all our ships to be ADA compliant.

What is your greatest memory at Carnival?

There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I have to say that traveling to Cuba last year on the Adonia, the first cruise ship from North America to dock in Havana, was a moment I will never forget. As a Cuban immigrant who has been away from my birth place for almost 50 years, it was incredibly moving to be part of that moment in history and I was especially proud of Carnival Corporation for making that happen. It was a homecoming like no other!

Featured Port of Call: Charleston, South Carolina

For those who love great American “Lowcountry” culture and cuisine, Charleston is the place to visit! Genuine Southern hospitality is abound with warmth and grace from residents while gorgeous 18th and 19th-century houses and sprawling plantations show an America of yesteryear. Dozens of delicious restaurants feature amazing cuisine, making this a destination for foodies everywhere. Charleston’s beautiful waterfront is home to Carnival Ecstasy which departs on four through ten day cruises throughout the year. Carnival Sunshine also calls Charleston home for some sailings. Charleston is truly the perfect pre- or post cruise destination for your clients as they enjoy a Carnival Cruise getaway to the islands!

Travel partner of the Month: Allen Jenkins

For years, Allen Jenkins would book flights to Scotland for the Toronto Police Pipe Band. His son, Steven, was part of the group and each year they would cross the Atlantic to take part in the World Championship Pipe Competition. “Finally, one day I decided to find a way of getting compensated for the work I did, so I looked into the travel business,” Allen shares. In 2007, he founded TravelOnly, a home-based company in Ontario, Canada. “It was just what I was looking for – I booked trips to Scotland and Europe and in the winter months I sold cruises,” Allen explains. He found it to be the perfect fit. “I love to travel and to share my knowledge of it with others - being in the business opened the door to many opportunities.”

Most recently, it opened the door for him to host an affinity cruise based on a pig! Internet sensation “Esther the Wonder Pig” is owned by Allen’s son Steven and his partner Derek. The two originally thought they had purchased a micro-piglet – until Esther grew to 600 pounds! From there a new journey began in their lives, which led to a charitable organization and farm sanctuary, Happily Ever Esther. Many rescued animals live on the farm and Esther acts as the “spokesanimal” for the sanctuary. She has a worldwide following on numerous social media outlets, including more than one million followers on Facebook. “I saw an opportunity for the charity to make some money bringing people together on a philanthropic cruise as well as letting some of the followers of Esther meet Steven and Derek personally,” shares Allen. “It was a great opportunity for the followers of the sanctuary to get together and learn more about Esther, the sanctuary and the funds that need to keep the farm going.”

It was also an incredible opportunity for Allen to bring in first-time cruisers. “Almost all of the passengers who sailed with us on the Carnival Sunshine were new to cruising, although some of them had sailed before and several passengers had sailed with Carnival before,” said Allen. One of the biggest hurdles was cuisine, given that eighty percent of the guests were vegan or vegetarian. “Everyone was more than pleased with all the meals that were served as well as the service from the staff on board the ship. They were so impressed they asked us if we would plan another cruise as they had such a great experience sailing with Carnival,” shares Allen. Even his son Steven was impressed with the meal selections and onboard support – it was his first cruise as well! “I worked very closely with my BDM Marlisa DeSimone who made the whole process work so well – we couldn’t have pulled it off without her,” shares Allen. Another “Esther” cruise is planned for February 2018, with projections for triple the amount of passengers. With Esther’s continuing popularity, these numbers could grow even more! To learn more about Esther and the sanctuary, please visit

Adolfo’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraising Efforts

As you may know by now, Adolfo has been nominated to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2017 fundraising campaign known as Man of the Year. This cause hits pretty close to home for Adolfo as his dear friend at Princess Cruise Line - John Chernesky’s mother, Pat Chernesky, is currently fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Adolfo promised John that as a friend and fellow Carnival Corporation family member, he would do all he could to help find a cure.

Adolfo and the entire sales team would love for any help you can give. His goal is to raise $400,000 by June 24th and any amount will go a long way. In addition, Adolfo is offering Carnival-branded Travel Agents Rock t-shirts with donations of $20 or more, as part of his fundraising efforts, with all proceeds going to LLS. To donate and receive one of these shirts, please visit

With a cure for blood cancers just around the corner, your support is greatly appreciated. You may learn more about LLS at Thank you for your consideration in contributing!.

Mike’s Mic Podcast: Cruising with Kids

What better way to learn just how amazing Carnival is for family cruising than from a kiddo? This month, Mike Julius chatted with six-year-old Ethan McGovern, son of Gifted Travel Network’s Vanessa McGovern, to learn more about what he loved on his recent Carnival Vista cruise. From Camp Ocean to endless Fruit Loops and waterslide adventures, Ethan breaks down just how great it is to sail with Carnival – all from the darling perspective of a child! It’s no wonder we carry more kids than any other cruise line – more than 700,000 annually! Click here to listen in!

Mike’s Selling Tip

This month, I’m sharing my three “quick and easy, get the job done” tips that prove to be successful for travel agents again and again. I’m continually amazed at how much business these strategies generate for agents – here’s to making them work for you too!

  1. Keep track of when your clients generally tend to book their travel. From there, bookmark a time period leading up to then when you start sending communications, call them up, etc. Present them with well-tailored ideas!
  2. When booking a cruise for one client, always ask who else may be interested in traveling with them. You’ll often find that others are booking the same trip though other channels – let them know you are there to provide them with top-notch service!
  3. Take a look at who YOU do business with on regular basis. We’re talking bankers, hairstylists, workout instructors and local restaurant owners. Work on planning their travel but also at building groups based on the affinities (financial planning, health and wellness, cuisine) that are part of their lives.

Carnival Salesperson of the Month

Growing up on a hog and grain farm in Iowa, Jenny Halligan was naturally instilled with a hard work ethic. “There’s an amazing amount of work that goes into maintaining a farm as a family, and I had to help out as soon as I was able to – I’m thankful for my parents who showed me the importance of giving it your all.”

Upon graduating from high school (she was one of just 24 kids in her entire class!), Jenny set off to study music at a private college in the region. “Money was tight for this type of education, so I changed gears and enrolled in a small business program at Spencer College, which offered a 14 month travel agent program.” Jenny quickly excelled and graduated in eight months. From there, she began working at a small agency in Hull, Iowa where she learned the ropes by selling travel and even handwriting airline tickets!

A few years later, an opportunity came up for her to manage a small golf course, so she stepped aside from selling travel for a bit in order gain some management experience. After a year, she took a job with Bank of America Travel, working her way up to Operations Manager for the leisure branches of Travel and Transport. “In 2003, Mike Julius, who was my Carnival rep for years, asked if I was ready for a change,” Jenny shared. “I hadn’t given it much thought, but I felt that if Mike was so happy at Carnival, it was worth looking into a bit more.” He told her about the Business Development Manager position for Iowa, Illinois and the Dakotas on a Tuesday and on Friday she was in Miami interviewing. The following Monday she was offered the job!

Soon thereafter, she was promoted to Business Development Director and oversaw even a larger territory, which eventually led to a move to Minneapolis. In 2010, Jenny was promoted to Director of Sales for Incentive and Charter Sales and in 2013 to Senior Director of that department. “Now I work primarily with partners who charter entire ships for corporate, incentive and entertainment cruises. I’ve been selling for Carnival for many years. Now I just do it in groups of 2,000-4,000 instead of ten or more,” she laughs.

Love of family is something that is very important to Jenny – her son Chance is her pride and joy and is now 18 and ready to begin college next fall! She also has two “bonus children” she adores thanks to her relationship with her partner Bryce. They live in Big Lake, Minnesota where they enjoy summertime lake activities and wintertime ones as well such as snowmobiling and ice fishing.

Jenny considers her colleagues at Carnival much like family as well. “The people who work here are some of the most dedicated, talented individuals I’ve ever met. We’ve been through so much together – marriages, divorces, families beginning, children graduating and even the birth of grandchildren – there is a strong bond and I am so thankful to be part of this group of amazing people.”

Out & About

With Carnival

Our team covered quite a bit of ground this spring not only with the “Agentpalooza” bus tour, but also at CLIA’s Cruise360, the 2017 Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum and Adolfo attended the Leukemia and Lymphoma Man & Woman of the Year Launch. Check out the pictures from these great events!

Funship video of the month

What to Expect from Carnival

Did you know the average preschooler laughs 400 times a day and that the average adult only laughs around 15 times a day? Since Carnival’s beginnings, we set out to bring fun, memorable vacations to everyone. 60 million guests later (and countless laughs as well) we’ve done just that. This feel-good video takes you and your clients through just what makes Carnival so special and why sailing with us is the best remedy for any potential lack of laughter in one’s life! Click here to view it and be sure to share it with your clients’ to get them excited about booking a Carnival cruise with you!