The rebooted Crystal Cruises has hired a trio of former sales team members, as it plans a campaign to reengage travel advisors in the coming weeks.
The line has hired Monique Ross to be director of strategic and national accounts. She will manage relationships with consortia partners in her new position.
Ross, who is from the Tampa Bay area, worked for Crystal Cruises for five years, most recently as director of host accounts. She held that position until Crystal folded last February. Seabourn hired her in June.
Paul Girouard, a 27-year Crystal veteran, will join the line as regional sales director for the eastern half of the U.S. He left Crystal in April of 2020 and was most recently North America’s senior director of sales at Atlas Ocean Voyages.
Melissa Nightingale, who spent 10 years with Crystal, will operate as regional sales director for the western half of the country out of the San Francisco Bay area.
The line has also hired Jeff Herzfeld as director of reservations, sales support and guest relations to oversee the call center at Crystal Cruises’ headquarters in South Florida. Herzfeld will also be responsible for overseeing the guest relations team. Herzfeld previously oversaw guest services at Virgin Voyages and MSC Cruises, including reservations, groups and customer service.
The announcement of an effort to connect with travel advisors comes three months after Abercrombie & Kent acquired the line’s two oceangoing ships, brand name and past guest information in June following Crystal Cruises’ bankruptcy under Genting Hong Kong.
The reborn line expects to launch in summer of 2023.
“Our goal is to build a sales team made up of trusted professionals who understand Crystal’s brand ethos,” said Jack Anderson, president of Crystal Cruises and a veteran of the brand.
As the brand recruits staff, Silversea Cruises and Royal Caribbean Group have sued one of its former employees who joined the new Crystal Cruises. The plaintiffs allege that Matias Anders Lira violated nondisclosure and noncompete agreements. The defendants are Lira, Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent. Silversea and Royal seek $750,000 in damages.
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