Azamara President: In Cruise, You Have to Be Responsive

“In sales, there are certain things that just become innate,” President of Azamara Carol Cabezas said at a cruise event in Miami. “Part of it is the customer centricity: you have to be responsive to those customers, the travel partners, the guests – whoever it may be – and you have to do it immediately.”

Cabezas only assumed the position in March 2021. Before her presidency, she served as the cruise line’s chief operating officer for nearly five years and, before that, did investor relations and sales for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises respectively.

She explained that it’s just like onboard a cruise ship – “when the guest is right in front of you, you have no choice but to make a quick decision and solve the problem.”

“Of course, my team would probably say we’d like to see things faster even than what we try to do. But there’s a large aspect to that, as well as empathy,” she noted.

Cabezas also mentioned how she learned from a former colleague to “always lead with your heart, and the rest will come.”

“Those are things that (are crucial) – especially in times like these, in this past year,” she said.

Delegating and empowering people to do “the right things” is important, she said, “but we also have to focus on giving them the kind of environment to allow them to feel motivated and happy about doing the job they’re doing.”

“I always love to see that (the employees are) going to be passionate about what they can do,” Cabezas noted. “Because it’s going to be hard. And if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re going to get unhappy really fast. Passion for the role, for the brand, for the product, for your teammates is critical.”

She added that from the financial side, striking a balance is also important: “Without financial stewardship, we could end up in some deep water.”

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