Carnival Cruise Lines has created a new department focusing solely on developing innovative new on-board product opportunities and enhancing existing aspects of the “Fun Ship” vacation experience.

            Overseeing the new guest experience and business development effort will be Christine Arnholt, a 17-year Carnival veteran who has served as the company’s vice president of marketing services for the past eight years. 

            In her new role, Arnholt will assume the title of vice president of guest experience and business development. She will report to Carnival’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience Ruben Rodriguez.

            “The ‘Fun Ship’ experience continues to evolve and this new department will be responsible for developing new and exciting on-board features and programming while building upon our proven strategies that will enable us to continue to deliver fun, memorable vacations for our guests,” said Rodriguez.  “We are grateful that someone as talented and knowledgeable as Chris will be heading up this new team.  Chris’ years of experience, keen insight into consumer trends and in-depth knowledge of our brand will be of tremendous value as we move forward with this important initiative,” he added.

            Arnholt will oversee a team of talented product development professionals, including Mike Hunssinger, a five-year veteran of Carnival’s revenue management team, who will serve as director of guest experience and business development. 

            Another key member of the department is Senior Director Sara Rosenberg, whose extensive experience includes leading branding and product development opportunities at Burger King and The Miami Herald.  For the past five years, Rosenberg was also the owner and president of Skirt Smart, a branding and innovation consulting group which focused on branding, product development and consumer research for companies within the restaurant and hospitality industries.

            Additionally, Renata Ribeiro will be joining Carnival on Oct. 15, also as a senior director.  Ribeiro has spent the past three years spearheading the strategic planning and commercial innovation efforts for Natura, Brazil’s largest cosmetic company, and five years in the consumer goods and retail practice at The Boston Consulting Group.   She has extensive experience in product development and consumer experience, for both consumer goods companies and retailers.

             Until Carnival’s current search for a new marketing chief is completed, Arnholt will continue in her current marketing responsibilities.

            Carnival is the world’s largest and most popular cruise line, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages of three to 18 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe and South America.  The line currently has two 130,000-ton ships on order – Carnival Dream, set to debut Sept. 21, 2009, and Carnival Magic, scheduled to enter service in June 2011.