Peter Giorgi, CMO of Celebrity Cruises, didn’t take his first flight until he was 24 years old, yet this serial travel executive is an avid adventurer who loves to embrace risk. On his first airplane ride since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S, a time stamp moment he calls “one giant Whopper world freak out” (if the world suddenly ran out of Whoppers), he traveled to Lake Placid to celebrate his birthday with a 13-mile hike and giant stack of pancakes.
So what did the cruise CMO and former Airbnb creative exec think of his trip? You’ll have to tune in to find that out as well as why the cruise industry is much better positioned for a comeback than the airlines right now. Peter is excited for the time when the ships will sail again, and he says they will be better than normal.
"This has forced us to reevaluate the way that every cruise line operates..."
"This has forced us to reevaluate the way that every cruise line operates, the way that travel happens in general," Peter said. "I was saying to my team the other day that there was a time when we all accepted cars without seat belts and they didn't get worse because we added seatbelts, they got better. And they got better when we added airbags. Those things are all opportunities to actually increase the safety of our guests and just people in general. So I'm embracing this as a chance for us to relook at everything and bring it back in a way that isn't just back to normal, but actually better than normal."
On the experience redesign team sits virologists, epidemiologists, former heads of the CDC all focused on bringing back cruising in a way that continues to provide a wonderful experience for guests. As Peter counts the days to the big comeback moment, he and his team have taken the time to reflect on what the brand means to its fans, what the category means to travelers, and reset.
He describes how he's looking at this time as the offseason. "If you think about the NBA coming back, a lot of those athletes have taken the time to get into better shape, change their diet, change their routines. You see guys like LeBron looking incredibly lean and ready to go. I don't read a lot of business books so my inspiration comes from people like that, where I think, ‘okay, this is the offseason, great. Here's what we're going to do so that we come back stronger than ever and just ready for what the future is going to look like while having absolutely no idea what that's going to be.”
Join us in this lively discussion about the current state of the travel industry, how to position a team for a comeback, how he grew in his career, where he finds inspiration and how he is always pushing the boundaries. And don’t miss the hysterical story on how he missed his flight to meet with his now CEO, who he didn’t think he’d ever work for.