year ago this week, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo became President & CEO of Celebrity
Cruises. During that short time she has implemented numerous changes that
provide a clear indicator tothe
line’s future direction.
In terms of consumer media coverage, the biggest story involving Celebrity this
the hiring of the 1st American female captain for a major ship
sailing in North American
waters. When named captain of theSummitin August, 37 yr. old Kate McCuecaught the attention of the consumer
On national TV news, she came across well: “Everyone has a stereotypical idea
captain, and I’m missing some pounds,” she told CBS News.
McCue seemed destined for the role. At age 12, she told her dad shewanted to be a cruise director. Her father,
an engineer, responded, “You can do anything youwant in the world, including drive
As the 1st
female chiefexecutive for
Celebrity Cruises, Lutoff-Perlo hopes McCue’s - and her own - example will
inspire girls andwomen to pursue
a similar path.
“I get to be the 1st woman President & CEO of Celebrity and I
lovethis brand, and then we have
Kate, our 1st woman American captain. I was so proud andhonoured to be able to do that.”
One of Lutoff-Perlo’s
main priorities is to do something fundamentally different about bringing more
people to cruising. “I believe over the last 7 or 8 years we have not built upenough demand, we do not have enough
She believes the cruise industry, and Celebrity in particular, has a unique
opportunity inthe category of
affluent vacation travel. “In the case of Celebrity, we are very clear that we
aren’t luxury, we are modern luxury,we
are different. I will continue building on the platform of modern luxury as we
talk about thethings we are
going to do as we anticipate our spectacular Edge class coming in 2018.
“We have to carve out our unique place in this industry for our brand moving
forward.That is critical for
long-term financial performance and growing 1st-timer and 1st-to-brandguests.”
Lutoff-Perlo says clarifying and simplifying Celebrity’s messaging is a key
priority. “One thing I learned coming back to Celebrity is how much support we
have from thetrade,” she says.
“Well, we need to make things easier for them. We need to make agentsstop having to explain Celebrity as
much as some of you have to do.”
The line challenged its creative agency to come up with messaging that would
“drive more consumers into travel agenciesactually
asking for Celebrity.” Key to that is clearly defining Celebrity’s ‘Modern
chief executive Matthew Eichhorst says the line is succeeding: “They’re finally
giving some realmeaning to
modern luxury and what it stands for.”
change is the new ‘Go Big Go Better Go Best’ pricing strategy implemented this
year, coming off the success of Celebrity’s innovative ‘1,2,3 Go!’ promotion.
“1,2,3 Go! was quite
amazing in that Celebrity led the industry with overtly adding value into the
cruise fare,” observes Eichhorst. “Ultimately, I’m a fan of ‘Big, Better,
Best.’ Although I would say the challenge is it’s a littlebit more complicated, I think it’s a
better strategy in the long run because it gives consumersthe choice to pick what they want.
He also sees progress in Celebrity’s marketing to consumers. “I’ve been
able tosee a little bit of what
they’re doing as far as telling their story a little better. Solstice put
themon the map and we’re really
quite excited about the new directions they’re taking and with theEdge class of ships coming up in