General Sessions

Featuring renowned wildlife and travel personalities such as Jeff Corwin and Fabien Cousteau, as well as industry-leaders such as Arnold Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc., this year’s general sessions will leave you inspired to create memories for your clients and preserve and protect the ocean for future generations of cruisers.

In addition, panel presentations feature the top names in the cruise industry providing unique insights into the current state of the cruise landscape.


GENERAL SESSION I with Lunch sponsored by Cruise Copenhagen

Wednesday, April 18           12:30-2:00 PM

Jeff Corwin, Wildlife biologist, Emmy winning tv host for ABC's TV series: Ocean Treks

The Presidents Panel: A Panoramic View
Four of the top executives in the cruise industry give an inside look into the current and future state of the cruise landscape and the role the travel agent community plays in the growth of the industry.

Moderated by Kimberly Wilson Wetty, Co-Owner & Co-President of Valerie Wilson Travel.


  • Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International
  • Rick Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises USA
  • Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line
  • Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises
  • Josh Liebowitz, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President, Cunard North America


GENERAL SESSION II with Brunch sponsored by Marriott International

Thursday, April 19             10:30-11:45 AM

Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, business strategist, documentary filmmaker, and grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Sales and Marketing Leaders Take the "Hot Seat"
Cruise line sales and marketing leaders take a turn in the "hot seat," answering questions in an engaging and fun format. Gain valuable insight from these experts in cruising and learn how to grow your sales in the fastest-growing segment of the leisure travel industry.

Moderated by James R. Ferrara, President of InteleTravel.


  • Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President, Sales and Trade Support & Service, Celebrity Cruises
  • Vicki L. Freed, Senior Vice President, Sales and Trade Support & Service, Royal Caribbean International
  • Joseph Jiffo, Senior Vice President, Sales, MSC Cruises
  • Eva Jenner, Vice President, Sales, Holland America Line/Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Adolfo Perez, Senior Vice President, Trade Sales and Marketing, Carnival Cruise Line
  • John Chernesky, Vice President, North America Sales, Princess Cruises & Cunard Lines
  • Nikki Upshaw, Senior Vice President, Sales, Oceania Cruises
  • Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President, North America Sales, Norwegian Cruise Line



Friday, April 20            9:00-10:15 AM

Arnold Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc.


Small Ship Cruise Lines Play “What’s My Line”
How well do you know your small ship cruise lines? Let’s play “What’s My Line” and find out. We’ll share an obscure fact and see if the audience can guess which fact matches which cruise line. This fun and engaging panel will help you learn more about selling small ship cruises and the income opportunity they represent.  

Moderated by Matthew Eichhorst, Global Cruise Leader, Expedia Group.


  • Edie Rodriguez, Americas Brand Chairman, PONANT Yacht Cruises and Expeditions
  • Kristin Karst, Co-Owner & Executive Vice President, AmaWaterways
  • Bob Lepisto, President, SeaDream Yacht Club
  • John Delaney, President, Windstar Cruises
  • Pamela Hoffee, Managing Director, Avalon Waterways
  • Katharine Bonner, SVP River & Small Ship Cruising, Tauck River Cruises
  • Rob Huffman, Vice President – Trade Sales, USA, Scenic Luxury Cruises, Emerald Waterways, Scenic Eclipse