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Celebrity Cruises' Lisa Lutoff-Perlo wins first-ever TPG Empowerment Award

Nov. 12, 2021
4 min read
Celebrity Cruises' Lisa Lutoff-Perlo wins first-ever TPG Empowerment Award
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For more than a year, the cruise industry has battled its way back from a pandemic, but it has spent far longer dealing with a less obvious but equally detrimental ailment: gender inequality. Passenger vessels have existed for more than 200 years, but despite the age of the industry, just 2% of bridge officers are female.

Enter Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, a 35-year Royal Caribbean Group veteran who became the first woman in the industry to oversee both hotel and maritime operations for major cruise lines and who now serves as president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. In 2015, just one year after taking over leadership of Celebrity, she appointed the first American female captain, Captain Kate McCue, who has become one of the most iconic women in maritime.

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Since McCue earned her spot as master, she has helped to advance other female seafarers, who now account for 27% of Celebrity's bridge officers; that number is steadily increasing under Lutoff-Perlo's watch. In early 2020, before the industry shut down, Lutoff-Perlo hosted the first-ever cruise staffed by an entirely female bridge crew in honor of International Women's Day -- a testament to just how many women are now in positions of leadership at Celebrity.

The Points Guy is pleased to present Lutoff-Perlo with the first-ever TPG Empowerment Award in recognition of her efforts to advance women in cruise.

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"People make waves of change with diversity and inclusion, but Lisa Lutoff-Perlo's waves go above and beyond," McCue told The Points Guy. "She creates a lasting ripple effect with her pay-it-forward culture, which impacts her team members, her brand and the entire maritime industry."

"Lisa has unapologetically demanded a seat at the table, but, rather than sit there comfortably, she has pulled up extra chairs next to her, giving opportunities to women at all levels to succeed just like she has," said Chief Officer Rachel Arnold, who has worked under McCue. "Her empathy sets [Lutoff-Perlo] aside as an outstanding leader who supports women as individuals. A cruise ship sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team was unimaginable five years ago, but rather than settle in that success, she continues to create opportunities for us to rise and flourish in the industry."

[pullquote source="Lisa Lutoff-Perlo"]"[Women] need to care less about fitting into the glass slipper and more about shattering the glass ceiling."[/pullquote]

In addition to putting women front and center, Lutoff-Perlo has led multi-billion-dollar Celebrity to record financial performance and unprecedented passenger satisfaction. She also oversaw the introduction of the line's Edge-class vessels, which are the newest and largest in the fleet, and established the Global Marine Organization to share best practices across Royal Caribbean Group's brands.

Further, she serves on the boards of several international and regional nonprofit organizations, including Best Buddies International and United Way of Broward County, and she has worked to foster community among Celebrity's diverse group of crew members, who hail from 70 different countries.

But, at the end of the day, Lutoff-Perlo returns to helping women rise to where they want to be.

"For so many years, women seeking jobs at sea would be told 'no,' but Lisa became the 'yes' ... and that one word has revolutionized the industry," said First Officer Elizabeth Marami, who recently joined Celebrity Cruises from another cruise line and was promoted from second officer under McCue.

And here at TPG, we can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor.

Featured image by (Photo by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases