Celebrity Cruises’ Lisa Lutoff-Perlo to receive Seafarers' House Golden Compass Award

(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, has been selected as the recipient of Seafarers’ House International Golden Compass Award for 2020.

The award is given each year to those who have achieved distinction in the maritime world, those whose vocation or avocation has been the sea, or those who have ministered to or otherwise assisted seafarers.

Lutoff-Perlo leads the multibillion-dollar Celebrity Cruises brand with 14 ships sailing to more than 300 global ports, and more than 20,000 team members representing more than 60 countries. She also leads the Global Marine Organization for parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL), ensuring that the corporation’s entire fleet of more than 50 ships run safely, smoothly and efficiently.

She began her industry career nearly 35 years ago as a district sales manager with Royal Caribbean. Following several career progressions in sales and marketing, Lisa transitioned to leadership roles in operations at Celebrity Cruises in 2005, ultimately being named the first female senior vice president of hotel operations. In 2012, she was named executive vice president of operations for Royal Caribbean, the first female in the industry to oversee both hotel and marine operations. She assumed her current role as president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in 2014, another first for a woman. It was the transition to operations in 2005 and the closer working relationship with the onboard crew that charted a course for Lisa toward more purposeful, groundbreaking leadership strides, celebrating the global diversity of the teams she leads.

Today, Lutoff-Perlo is a tireless advocate for the industry’s global crew and port community. In 2018, she launched the brand’s new T25 terminal at Port Everglades with a purpose-built crew lounge offering complimentary Wi-Fi, TVs, optimized storage, quiet relaxation spaces and more. The new terminal also debuted “Frictionless Arrival” technology, enhancing the boarding experience for all passengers and crew. Later that same year, the brand’s highly lauded Celebrity Edge debuted with re-inspired crew spaces including a new dining area for all crew with beautiful interior design and a wide variety of menu options.

Lutoff-Perlo also has been a cultural catalyst in the maritime industry, passionate about increasing the number of females employed. While the reality is that only 2 percent of the world’s mariners are female, Celebrity’s bridge teams are now 22 percent female and growing. Lutoff-Perlo hired the first American female captain, the first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship, and the first female to navigate the rich archipelago of the Galapagos as captain. Next month, the brand will celebrate another historic milestone: the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team on March 8, International Women’s Day.

In addition, Lutoff-Perlo has lent her leadership to a number of philanthropic, business and women’s organizations throughout the industry, the South Florida region and globally.

“Lisa has worked diligently to support all crew and to help recruit more women into leadership roles within the maritime industry,” said Seafarers’ House Executive Director Lesley Warrick. “She demonstrates a real affinity for all team members and is dedicated to providing women with a voice in an otherwise male-dominated industry, and these qualities are among the many reasons she is so deserving of this award.”

Seafarers’ House is amid a $4.5 million capital campaign to build a new Place of Welcome for the more than 150,000 mariners who visit Port Everglades each year.

“I am so grateful to Seafarers’ House for serving, not only the men and women who work aboard all of our ships, but also the entire port community,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Our crew inspire me to give my all every day, because I know that’s what they are doing for our guests all around the world every single day. These mariners are the heart and soul of the industry and it is my honor to celebrate them through this wonderful event.”

Past Golden Compass award recipients include Paul Doell, national president of the American Maritime Officers (AMO); Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International; Jan Swartz, group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia; artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur Guy Harvey; Joseph Farrell, president and CEO of Resolve Marine Group; and international seafaring hero Capt. Richard Phillips.

This year’s annual Golden Compass Gala is being held May 9 at the newly renovated Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, to be followed by a dinner, award presentation and entertainment.

For additional information about the gala, tickets, sponsorships and underwriting options, email events@seafarershouse.org or call (954) 734-1580.

By Professional Mariner Staff