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Friday,  April 19, 2024 12:08 PM 

Celestyal expands North American trade team; Stephanie McDonald promoted

  • Cruises
  •   01-10-2024  1:50 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Celestyal expands North American trade team; Stephanie McDonald promoted
Stephanie McDonald, formerly Celestyal’s business development manager for Canada, is now manager, partner training & development. (Supplied/Celestyal)
Pax Global Media

Greece-based Celestyal Cruises has expanded its North American trade team with the addition of four new members, bringing its total team in the region to 11, with more recruitment underway.

The cruise line has also restructured the sales and marketing department in North America with new roles while promoting current team members into roles that “better serve its important travel advisor partners,” the company said in a news release.

The most recent additions to the team in include Elena Rodriquez, director of business development; Scott Moore, director of key accounts and partnerships; Taylor Hendwood, business development manager, Southeast and Lauren Barreras, trade marketing manager.

Rodriquez joins Celestyal from Princess Cruises where she served as director of national accounts since 2007 and oversaw a portfolio of 45 accounts.

READ MORE: Celestyal adds three countries, six new ports to 2024 & 2025 seasons

As Celestyal’s director of business development, she will be responsible for revenue generation from travel agencies as well as direct management of all aspects of Celestyal’s business development in North America.

She will lead a team of BDMs responsible for generating sales and providing support to travel advisors while collaborating with teams and departments within Celestyal to create programs which drive sales, provide support, and achieve overall commercial objectives.

Prior to joining Celestyal, Moore was with American Queen Voyages in the role of director of host accounts and Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Field Agencies.

Celestyal Journey. (Celestyal Cruises)

Hendwood joins Celestyal from American Queen Voyages where he served as a regional account manager.

These new team members will report to Brandon Townsley, vice president and managing director, North America.

“We look forward to putting their talents to work to better serve our network of travel advisor partners and continue to grow the Celestyal’s brand and business throughout the U.S. and Canada,” stated Townsley.

Barreras, meanwhile, joins Celestyal with eight years of global trade marketing and sales experience.

She most recently was with Oceania Cruises where she managed strategic and national account marketing and supported the launch of Crystal River Cruises.

New functional roles announced

Cyndi Berardi, previously a trade sales support executive, has been promoted to the new role of manager, trade support and operations, where she will be responsible for providing travel advisors with sales support and problem resolution services.

Sandra Jakovac, previously a trade sales support executive, has been promoted to the new role of manager, group sales and administration and will support and facilitate the group booking process for travel advisors in North America as well as the business development team.

Finally, Stephanie McDonald, formerly Celestyal’s business development manager for Canada, has been promoted to the new position of manager, partner training and development.

In this role, she will provide product and systems training for both Celestyal’s travel advisor partners as well as internal customers, including the North American trade sales team and contact center employees.

Celestyal Journey. (Celestyal)

She is responsible for raising brand awareness by designing, maintaining, and updating all materials created for the purpose of providing education and familiarization around Celestyal’s products and programs.

McDonald will also have pivotal role in redesigning Celestyal’s travel advisor portal and online training platform, the company says.

“These new functional positions and promotions are a direct result of our listening carefully to our trade partners and furthering our commitment to the important segment of our business.   With a refreshed fleet, new itineraries and programs and an expanded North American team, Celestyal is primed to make waves in this market, and we look forward to what is sure to be an exciting year ahead,” stated Townsley

Coming up in 2025-25

Celestyal will take customers to three new countries (Croatia, Montenegro and Italy), adding six new ports (Kefalonia, Katakolo and Corfu in Greece; Dubrovnik in Croatia; Kotor in Montenegro and Bari in Italy) for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

The Celestyal Journey will commence her season on March 2, 2024 with a brand-new cruise itinerary, a seven-night “Heavenly Adriatic” cruise, which features full days in Kefalonia, Kotor, Bari, and Corfu, as well as a late-night stay in Dubrovnik.

Celestyal Journey will also visit four new countries and six new ports of call in the Persian Gulf starting in November 2024.

The new, seven-night “Desert Days” itinerary will set sail on November 9, from Doha, Qatar, and call for the first time in Bahrain, Dubai, Khasab (Oman), Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. 

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