edie Ro­driguez

Crys­tal Cruises

Signature Travel & Lifestyle - - Signature Profile - www.crys­tal­cruises.com

As the only fe­male global CEO in the lux­ury cruise in­dus­try, Edie Ro­driguez of­fers Debbi K. Kick­ham her in­sights about cruis­ing, lead­er­ship, women, and all things Crys­tal.

EdiE Ro­dRiguEz’s love of travel was in­spired by a gift she re­ceived from her aunt when she was only six years old: a beau­ti­ful porce­lain Geisha doll. Since then, she dreamed of vis­it­ing ev­ery coun­try in the world.

to­day, as a 35-year vet­eran in the in­ter­na­tional cruise, travel and tech­nol­ogy in­dus­tries, and as Pres­i­dent and Ceo of Crys­tal Cruises, Ro­driguez has vis­ited more than 100 coun­tries on all seven con­ti­nents. more im­por­tantly, Ro­driguez over­sees and leads not only Crys­tal Cruises, but the lux­ury cruise line’s im­pres­sive brand ex­ten­sions in­clud­ing Crys­tal Yacht Cruises, Crys­tal River Cruises and the Crys­tal exclusive Class of ocean ves­sels, along with Crys­tal lux­ury air, in­clud­ing an el­e­gant aCJ319 jet and a Bom­bardier Global ex­press XRS tak­ing to the skies from april 2016.

Ro­driguez, a na­tive new Yorker, started her ca­reer as a travel ad­vi­sor af­ter get­ting what she says was great ca­reer ad­vice: “Find your pas­sion, get a great ed­u­ca­tion and fol­low it.” Ro­driguez wasn’t sure how she would fund her wan­der­lust un­til she got a job in the travel in­dus­try.

Pas­sion first her ad­vice to young women start­ing out in their own ca­reers? “First and fore­most,” Ro­driguez says, “It be­gins with the power of pos­i­tive think­ing and be­liev­ing in your­self and be­liev­ing you can ac­com­plish what you set out to achieve. Find your pas­sion, be­cause work be­comes life and life be­comes work… When start­ing out, I was the first one to raise my hand and work a trade show over a week­end.” (In­deed, at school, she was also the first one to fin­ish tak­ing most tests, thus gen­er­at­ing her nick­name, ‘Speedy edie’.) “Set your own road map and game plan. Don’t be too proud to start at the bot­tom and work your way up. ev­ery op­por­tu­nity is an op­por­tu­nity to learn.”

Ro­driguez says that de­spite the fact that women have shat­tered the glass ceil­ing, “It is the first quar­ter of 2016 and this sub­ject of male ver­sus fe­male in the work­place still comes up. When I hire some­body, I do not care about their gen­der. I want the best per­son. I say ‘ku­dos’ to my former chair­man and the cur­rent own­ers of Crys­tal. they both hired me be­cause they be­lieved I was the best per­son for the job. I have the abil­ity to quickly lis­ten, as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and come up with a rec­om­men­da­tion.”

her ca­reer has also taught her what she doesn’t want to be: “I wouldn’t want to be my­opic and think I am the queen with all the an­swers. I like to not al­ways be the smartest per­son in the room.”

Ro­driguez says that it’s im­por­tant to take risks in your ca­reer. “It is bet­ter to dare to fail than fail to dare,” she says, adding, “I am liv­ing my dream job.”

Plea­sure seek­ers as a cruise in­dus­try in­sider, Ro­driguez also knows about the types of travel that aus­tralians pre­fer: “I love aus­tralia, and not be­cause Rus­sell Crowe is my favourite ac­tor,” she says. “aus­tralians are ac­cus­tomed to sit­ting on planes for many hours, and they get more va­ca­tion time. they want ex­clu­siv­ity, and all of our brand ex­ten­sions are per­fect for aus­tralian guests.”

on a six-week va­ca­tion, for ex­am­ple, Ro­driguez ex­plains, “aus­tralians can go on a one-week Crys­tal cruise from Barcelona to Venice, then hop onto the Crys­tal yacht ex­pe­ri­ence in Venice, then fly from Vi­enna to Dubrovnik for a Crys­tal river cruise.”

Clearly, Ro­driguez is pas­sion­ate about her work. “Cruis­ing is a fab­u­lous in­dus­try. We help peo­ple cre­ate mem­o­ries of a life­time and it’s beau­ti­ful. You can see so many coun­tries with­out hav­ing to pack and re-pack.”

When she’s not work­ing or cruis­ing, Ro­driguez en­joys sim­ple plea­sures such as go­ing out for a din­ner of pizza and wine. “I’m a cheap date,” she jokes. “But my big­gest gift to my­self is my house in tus­cany that I bought my­self last year. my hus­band says I treat my­self well when the neiman-marcus bills come in ev­ery month.”

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