6 -7 June 2024

Miami Beach Convention Center

2021 Conference Program

Home » 2021 Conference Program

Cruise Conversations Live America is brought to you by our official Conference Partner Passenger Ship Interior & Refurbishment Review and our Conference Sponsor NEWH.

Day 1


Show Opens

10:15am – 11:15am

Keynote – Design Leadership: We Are One Cruise Industry

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 headshot
Greg Walton
CEO & Founding Partner | Studio DADO


Petu Kummala headshot
Petu Kummala
Senior Director of Interior Design & Architecture | Carnival Cruise Line
My Nguyen headshot
My Nguyen
Director Interior Design | Holland America Group
Dee Cooper headshot
Dee Cooper
Senior Vice President of Design & Customer Experience | Virgin Voyages
11:15am -12:15pm

Exhibition Visit

12:15pm – 1:15pm

Innovating the Digital Customer Experience

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


David Kopczynski
Energy & Automation Consultant | Siemens
Alexander Zeitz
Director of Customer and Employee Experience | Virgin Voyages
1:15pm – 2:15pm

Lunch & Exhibition Visit

2:15pm – 3:15pm

What Does The Future Of Hospitality And Service Design Look Like?

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 headshot
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 headshot
George Scammell, ASID, IIDA
Director, Interior Design | Princess Cruises

Interpreting Guest Behaviors To Design Better Interiors

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
Reinhart Viane
Business Development Director | KCC Entertainment Design
Paris Swann
AVP, Architectural Design | Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean

Exhibition Closes


Happy Hour Drinks Reception

Happy Hour Drinks Reception – Sponsored by: 

eumar design logo


Show Closes

Day 2


Show Opens


Keynote – The Business Case For Sustainability

Innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. This session debates how the cruise design ecosystem can as a whole start to mandate sustainable practices and processes across suppliers, shipyards, cruise lines, outfitters and contractors. And it asks – how do you prioritize when there are so many aspects to consider within sustainability: health and wellness, environmental impacts, circularity, waste reduction and social equity?

  • Where are the design challenges for an environmentally-friendly product?
  • Products and materials: where is the innovation happening, and what will it take for more innovation in the supply chain?
  • Suppliers: what are the critical questions which specifiers need to put to the suppliers they are looking to work with?
  • What impacts can each party in the design ecosystem make?
  • What could the circular economy in cruise interiors look in five years’ time
  • How to make the business case for sustainability?

Session sponsor:

eumar design logo


René Dupont
Director | Hammer/Ege


Bergen Hubert
Manager, Built Environment Americas | Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Nedgé Louis-Jacques
Managing Partner | Tomas Tillberg Design
My Nguyen headshot
My Nguyen
Director Interior Design | Holland America Group

Exhibition Visit


We Are One Cruise Industry: Standardizing Health & Hygiene

Creating a safe and healthy environment on board is critical for confidence and for the guest experience. This session looks at the possibility of creating uniformity in health and hygiene across the cruise brands and across different geographical areas. Our expert panel will address these front and centre questions:

  • Where is the bar set for health and hygiene in cruise?
  • How do the regulations and standards differ across the regions – North America/ Asia / Europe / UK?
  • Where are new innovations supporting best practice?
  • Return to service: how are guests reacting?
  • Cruise line case studies: what do onboard health & hygiene protocols look like today?
  • What’s next for maintaining a healthy cruise environment, and how can hygiene policies and training support cruise lines into the future?


Marcel Kind
Managing Director | Simwave


James Mitchell
Vice President, Marine HSEM (Health – Safety – Environment – Medical) | Norwegian Holding Group
Paul Morgan
Vice President of Compliance and Quality Assurance | VIKAND Solutions
Captain Patrik Dahlgren
Senior Vice President, Global Marine Operations | Royal Caribbean Group

Lunch & Exhibition Visit


Delivering Lighting Projects Through Adaptation & Collaboration

Project teams have needed to adapt their traditional working practices as travel restrictions limited in-person site visits. This pressing necessity to adapt becomes exciting as we look now at possible next iterations for lighting projects. This session considers what changes have been instigated across the start-to-finish design process? From design to installation to commissioning, what have been the most pressing challenges from owner, designer and manufacturer perspectives?

  • How and where have expectations changed? Where next?
  • How do expectations around quality fit with the guest experience?
  • What have been the key learnings from remote inspections?
  • Which (new) tools would our panel not be without?
  • What have been the processes for approvals, signoff and commissioning of custom fixtures (mockups) as well as spaces onboard?
  • Owner’s perspective: what have been the owner’s experiences of virtual delivery?
  • Since lighting represents the final “polish” which brings the space together, what are the considerations where the outcomes have been somehow compromised? How might this impact the working parties?


Peter Joehnk headshot
Peter Joehnk
Founder and Partner | JOI Design


Jiri Vasicek
Northeast Area Manager | Lasvit
Michael Riotto
CEO | MRD – Lighting Design
Dee Cooper headshot
Dee Cooper
Senior Vice President of Design & Customer Experience | Virgin Voyages

Expo Closes