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Stephanie McDonald returns to industry as Canadian BDM for Celestyal Cruises

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stephanie macdonaldThe past year of life unfolds like chapters taken from where is waldo

Former Strategic Account Manager royal caribbean left Canadaand tourism, just one year ago – in March 2022 – in order to fulfill her lifelong dream of Asia.

McDonald’s opens up some of the world’s most glamorous destinations, from Thailand From Singapore to the Philippines to Vietnam to Laos to Cambodia to Indonesia, share one country at a time on Facebook.

her last stop, at bali island, which should have lasted several months. That is, until the opportunity to rejoin tourism and move back to Canada came along.

back to Greater Toronto Area Just this past Saturday (March 18), McDonald’s is now Greece-based on Celestial cruise shipoverseeing sales, partnerships and growth in the Canadian market, number of people Learned.

“I’m excited to be back home and back to an industry I love,” said MacDonald, who worked at Royal Caribbean for 15 years before resigning from her role.

exclusive speech number of people On Monday, the travel professional said she “needed a break” as she focused on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic for two years in a row.

McDonald explained that after a year out of the industry, she had rekindled her love of travel and said she had “evolved” with a higher appreciation for destinations and what they had to offer.

She says it fits perfectly with Celestyal Cruises, a Greek-owned and operated cruise line that offers immersive voyages not only through Greece but into Turkey, Egypt and Israel.


“They’re a destination-focused cruise line,” explained MacDonald. “Nobody does it like the Greeks – it’s literally their own backyard.”

She went on to say that the brand is more about “where we go” than the ship’s amenities.

Stephanie visits the Greek island of Santorini.  (supply)

“Some lines put you back on the ship at four in the afternoon, and we were in port longer,” she said. “Their on-board staff is Greek and they are able to help guests with things that they have been growing up with throughout their lives.”

McDonald officially joined the company on March 9, and then embarked on a journey to attend the Celestyal Global Summit on MS Celestial Olympiadrive out Lavrio in southeastern Greece.

“It was packed,” McDonald said recalling the summit. “We saw five ports of call in four days.”

Celestyal returns to Canada

Celestyal’s hiring of a dedicated BDM in Canada is an important update from Trip Advisor.

The Cyprus-based brand has been represented in Canada for several years, the last time being Christine Chiangnow Cruise Product Manager air canada vacationsSecond. In recent years, Celestyal’s Canadian operations have been managed by representatives based in Canada U.S.

Joining Celestyal is also a kind of homecoming for McDonald.

Stephanie takes a close look at the Acropolis.  (supply)

Her career began in the celebrity cruiseFounded in 1988 by a Greek company, Chandris Group, before it merged royal caribbean 1997.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for Greece,” McDonald said number of people“When I first started, there were a lot of Greeks on board (celebrity’s). Being at Celestyal feels like going back to the day I started my career.”

MacDonald has visited Greece “many times” over the years.

“It’s a place where you can sit in a cafe, on the waterfront, enjoy great food and watch the world go by,” she said. “In that part of the world, the world slows down. This one is beautiful.”

The 1,260-guest Celestyal Journey will launch this fall.  (celestial body)

McDonald joins the two-ship company as it prepares its newly acquired vessel at a critical time for Celestyal, Wonderland Journeywhich is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, will launch this fall.

One of the advantages of Celestyal in Canada—— Quebecin particular – its cruise ships offer different languages ​​(eg French) on board.

“Guests are placed on tours that match their language,” MacDonald said.

once in a lifetime adventure

Okay, but what about her wonderful year-long trip across Asia?

Macdonald could write a book. For the first six months, she taught English to four and five-year-olds at an international school in the UK. I’m Phangan in southeastern Thailand.

Stephanie explores the jungles of Thailand.  (supply) Stephanie from Palawan, Philippines.  (supply)

“It’s completely different from anything I’ve done before, but I love it,” she said. “Those kids are so close and dear to me. I miss them a lot, but it’s also tiring dealing with four and five year olds!”

Then, with her backpack on, she headed to the “most expensive” destination first – Singapore, where she walked 32,000 steps on the first day.

It then traveled to the Philippines, where she swam with whale sharks. (“I couldn’t believe how such a large creature could be so gentle,” she says).

Stephanie swims with whale sharks in the Philippines.  (supply)

Next up is her favorite stop, Vietnam. There, she spent 30 days traveling from south to north on a sleeper bus. A particular highlight, she said, was “the“Ha Giang Ring” – A three-day motorcycle tour of the North.

Laos followed, before heading to Cambodia, which MacDonald described as an “eye-opening experience” as she learned more about the impact of the Vietnam War.

Her trip ended in Indonesia, in the beautiful island of Bali, where she was set to hang out for a while, until the opportunity to work with Celestyal caught her eye, suggesting it was time to head home.

Stephanie explores Saigon.  (supply)

She is happy to be back.

“I’m really excited to see people I’ve worked with before and meet new partners to sell this bucket list destination,” MacDonald said. “If you’re going to Greece, you want to enjoy yourself, and at Celestyal you have the opportunity to really see what this beautiful country has to offer. It’s incredible.”

Stephanie McDonald can be reached now at s.mcdonald@celestyal.com.


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