Cruise Conversations Live is the conference program at Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Americas (CSI) and Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo (CSH), and is brought to you by our official Conference Partner Passenger Ship Interior & Refurbishment Review and our Conference Sponsor NEWH.

The conference is the place to hear top industry experts discussing the major topics of the day – as well as being a great place to rest your feet after a busy day on the show floor. Cruise Conversations Live covers a wide range of important industry topics – take your pick from the day 1 sessions below and start to plan your day at CSI! Find out more about day 2 sessions here.

Keynote – Design Leadership: We Are One Cruise Industry

Day 1, 10.15-11.15am

Hear from the cruise design industry’s leaders on how they see the future of cruise interiors and guest experience. Where is their gaze right now? Where do they see their priorities? Which opportunities are opening up in the new paradigm? What’s important for the guest experience and how can design play its role as passengers return to deck?

  • ‘Community over Competition’: We are one cruise industry
  • ‘Making Lemonade out of Lemons’: We don’t need a pandemic to share things – creating an industry which collaborates
  • Role of design in attracting passengers to cruise and making guests feel safe on their vacation
  • Catching the eye of a future cruiser who has only ever holidayed on land
  • Designing in wellbeing and wellness for cruise guests
  • Designing for crew welfare and wellbeing spaces (crew cabins and back of house)
  • Environmental Concerns: How are we adapting and what’s the role of design?


  • Greg Walton, CEO & Founding Partner | Studio DADO


  • Dee Cooper, Senior Vice President of Design & Customer Experience | Virgin Voyages
  • My Nguyen, Design Director, Interior Asset Management | Holland America Group serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia
  • Petu Kummala, Senior Director of Interior Design & Architecture | Carnival Cruise Line

The conference at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe 2019

Innovating the Digital Customer Experience

Day 1, 12.15-1.15pm

From wearable tech giving passengers both touchless access to their cabins, and direct access to guest services – to stateroom automation using customer smartphones, this session examines what’s at the forefront of digital design. Our panel of digital experts consider what’s next?

  • Where is the innovation happening?
  • When should tech be very visible and when should it be in the background?
  • Utilising digital solutions for self-management and simplicity
  • Touchless elevators, bathrooms and cabins
  • Digital wayfinding


  • Yohandel Ruiz, Founding Partner | Studio DADO


  • Alexander Zeitz, Director of Customer and Employee Experience | Virgin Voyages
  • David Kopczynski, Energy & Automation Consultant | Siemens

What Does the Future of Hospitality and Service Design Look Like?

Day 1, 2.15-3.15pm

How are guest preferences and expectations evolving as the industry returns to service? Have these changed on a deeper level? What are the most important factors for frictionless service design which is delivered in line with brand values?

  • Looking back, looking forwards – lessons from return to cruise
  • Horizons: where does the new normal stop? And where are we on this journey?
  • Emerging guest behaviours, habits and expectations
  • How do we take the lessons and prepare even better protocols?
  • Designing for first-time cruisers
  • Delivering hospitality and service design in line with cruise line mission statements


  • Cynthia Guthrie, International Past President | NEWH Inc. & Founder and President of Guthrie & Associates Inc.


  • Frank Weber, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations | Virgin Voyages
  • George Scammell, ASID, IIDA, Director, Interior Asset Management | Fleet Operations – Holland America Group, serving Princess Cruises | Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia
Trevor Young speaking at Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Europe 2019

Interpreting Guest Behaviours to Design Better Interiors

Day 1, 3.30-4.30pm

How do we interpret emerging guest behaviours to design better interiors? Featuring perspectives from the airline industry, alternative travel, theme parks and cruise – our expert panel examines the challenges of designing spaces which create ambience, a sense of safety, and a connection which provokes the enjoyment factor that passengers expect from their vacation.

  • Making guest comfort and guest experience paramount
  • Enabling guests to connect with their environment, and to make human connection
  • Designing for privacy in public spaces, e.g. smaller “bubble” style engagement areas
  • Providing flexibility and choice – how to appeal to polar opposites (those who want to party vs those who prefer more serenity from their vacation)
  • Designing spaces which both interpret behaviours and provoke/ enhance behaviours
  • Customising and creating ownership of the guest experience


  • Lionel Ohayon, Founder and CEO | ICRAVE Design


  • Cara King, Director of Airline Design | Teague
  • Paris Swann, AVP, Architectural Design | Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean
  • Reinhart Viane, Business Development Director | KCC Entertainment Design

Check out the full Cruise Conversations Live program and find out more about the show here!