Carnival Cruise Lines has named Kirk Neal, a 21-year cruise industry veteran, its vice president of sales for the eastern region. Neal will oversee a team of 16 business development managers in eight eastern U.S. states who provide sales and marketing assistance and training opportunities to thousands of travel agents within the region.
“Kirk is the ideal candidate for this position, possessing wide-ranging experience in all facets of the cruise industry, including the past 13 years working with our valued travel agent partners in developing new business opportunities,” said Joni Rein, Carnival’s vice president of field sales. “His enthusiasm and professionalism, as well as his commitment to travel agent training, are wonderful assets to our company.”
Neal started with Carnival as a shipboard employee, working as a junior purser in 1987. He was soon promoted to chief purser and in 1992 was named hotel director— at the time the youngest person to hold the position in the cruise industry.
He moved shoreside in 1995, serving as business development manager for Sacramento, CA, and was named business development director for Northern California and Northern Nevada six years later. In 2007, he repositioned to Tampa where he was responsible for sales and marketing efforts in that territory as a business development director.
Neal is a member of Carnival’s CareTeam, which responds to guest and crew emergencies, primarily medical-related situations, at various locations throughout the company’s cruising regions.