Freed Leaves Carnival, Becomes Royal Caribbean's Senior VP Sales

Longtime Carnival Cruise Lines' senior vice president of sales of marketing, Vicki Freed, has been named Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of sales. The announcement was made on Friday and sent shockwaves through the travel agent community.

Freed joins Royal Caribbean after 29 years with Carnival, 15 of those spent as its senior vice president of sales and marketing. She will be based in Royal Caribbean's Miami office and report to Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean International's president and CEO.

Freed's new role will be to take charge of the company's 345-person sales force and manage Royal Caribbean's trade support and services division, which includes reservations, group sales, customer service and loyalty programs.

"Vicki's passionate support of travel agents has been well chronicled and recognized," said Goldstein. "She will be a great asset to our brand as we continue to grow."

Though it is too early to speculate why Freed decided to leave Carnival for its biggest competitor, the recent reorganization of Carnival Cruise Lines, which took away Freed's marketing duties and tapped Gerry Cahill to replace Bob Dickinson as president and CEO, may have had some role.

Regardless, the news blew some travel agents away. One was Sherry Kennedy, owner of Vacation Shoppe in Satellite Beach, FL. "It sounds like they [Royal Caribbean] are going to be a powerhouse," she said. "What an awesome lineup of talent." This includes Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of hotel operations, who previously was Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of sales up until December.

Carnival on Friday issued a brief statement regarding Freed, part of which read: "Freed notified the company today [Friday] of her resignation, effective immediately. We thank Vicki for the many contributions she has made to the Carnival organization over years and the very valuable role she has played within the company." (DE)

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