The recent passing of Warren Titus and Mauro Terrevazzi, two key players in the development of today’s luxury cruise industry, marks an appropriate time to reflect on their legacy.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises President Mark Conroy worked for both men and credits them as architects of the modern luxury cruise business: “If you walk on any luxury ship today, you will see design elements and services that have evolved from what they helped create.”
Titus founded Royal Viking Line in 1972, and it became the model for high-end lines that followed. Conroy rattles off a host of shipboard features and elements of Royal Viking Line which Titus pioneered or refined: “Single seating, high crew to guest ratio, high space
ratio, alternative dining, European staff and Scandinavian stewardesses, balconies on the
upper suites, etc.”
Conroy says RVL was also a leader in cruise marketing. “Royal was doing direct mail before anyone else in the travel industry. Today, every luxury cruise company has past guest programs, but no one has ever done them better then Titus did at RVL. Guests proudly displayed their pins, gifts, and logo wherever they went, becoming true ambassadors for the brand.”
Conroy worked closely with Terrevazzi as they developed the RSSC fleet from late 1996 until the sale of the company in 2008. “Mauro challenged the shipyards and the management, first at Sitmar, and then fine-tuned his vision at both Silversea and Regent to help develop ships that were different,” recalls Conroy.
“He pushed the yards to build ships we wanted instead of the ships they wanted to build.” Conroy says Terrevazzi’s innovation included single corridors, which led to ships with balconies, large suite sizes, well appointed suites with large bathrooms and marble baths, multiple dining venues, and all inclusive features like open bars and prepaid gratuities.
But in this bottom line era, Conroy says one of Terrevazzi’s biggest legacies stemmed from his negotiation skills. “He negotiated attractive terms and pricing for the ships and helped develop creative ways to finance them to make sure capital costs were in line so they did not overwhelm the business.’