Catching Up With Crystal Cruises’ Edie Bornstein

Crystal Cruises’ new president Edie Bornstein is greeted by Crystal Symphony’s senior  dining-room executives.

Crystal Cruises’ new president Edie Bornstein is greeted by Crystal Symphony’s senior dining-room executives.


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When the Crystal Symphony visited New York on its way up north for a Fall Foliage cruise in mid-October, we had the occasion to meet with Edie Bornstein, the new president and COO of Crystal Cruises.

There was a flurry of excitement in the cruise ship’s main dining room when Bornstein entered the room. The ship’s dining staff, known worldwide for its top service, was lined up, full of smiles and ready to greet their new president, who was embarking on her first week in that capacity.

Bornstein said she had been receiving an overwhelming number of congratulatory e-mails from travel advisors. “Many of them have my personal e-mail and cell phone number and have been sending me e-mails via Facebook, and texts. The response has personally been overwhelmingly positive.”

Bornstein has a long tenure—30 years in fact—as a travel agent advocate. Most recently, she was senior vice president of marketing and sales at Azamara Club Cruises, and previously she was vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for Carnival Cruise Lines, as well as a senior officer at Cunard and Seabourn Cruise Line, where she developed strategic plans and led partnerships with several respected luxury brands. Earlier, Bornstein was vice president of cruise and specialty sales, marketing and customer support for Amadeus Global Distribution System.

Bornstein alluded to the fact that she may seek to align Crystal with more luxury consumer brands, but cautioned that at this point it is early and she doesn’t want to reveal too much of what she has in mind for the luxury cruise line. She also emphasized that she is keenly aware that Crystal is a widely respected, award-winning cruise line and does not have dramatic plans for changes. Her personal mantra, she said, comes from a quote from Bill Bradley, the NBA basketball star and former U.S. senator: “Getting to number one is easy; staying there is the hard part.”

She is also delighted to be working with the Crystal Cruises team, she said, noting that they are also widely respected within the industry and that many have been with the company for a long time. “This is an exciting time; I am so happy to be here and I’m really quite honored,” Bornstein told us.

Bornstein takes over from former Crystal president, Gregg Michel, who stepped down on October 15.