Vicky Garcia, COO of Cruise Planners (Photo by Cruise Planners)
A sad day in the travel industry.
Vicky Garcia, the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Partner of Cruise Planners, has passed away following a long illness, the company said in a statement on Sunday.
Garcia was one of the most well-known and influential figures in all of travel, much less the cruise sector. She was admired for her persistence and her forward-thinking, built largely from having moved up the ranks and learning just about every job there was. Her leadership was always evident.
“As I reflect on our 18-year partnership, I feel blessed to have had such a sincere, warm and fun BFF by my side,” Michelle Fee, Founder and CEO of Cruise Planners, said in a statement. “She knew early on that the secret to CP success was in the human touch, our agents, and Home Office Team, many of whom were part of her extended family. She truly felt that way.”
From her start as a cruise line reservations agent to leadership positions at Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Cruise Planners, her career in travel spanned more than 30 years.
Cruise Planners said Garcia will be “remembered as an exuberant supporter of the travel industry, with deep connections to the people within it.”
Her leadership as well as her role as an advocate and volunteer for many causes including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have secured her the recognition of being one of South Florida’s Top 25 Influential Business Women, The Boys & Girls Clubs 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County, and the godmother of Viking Cruises’ Viking Magni.
Garcia proudly served on the board for Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, American Express Travel, Special Needs Group, DEPARTURES Magazine Advisory Board, Regent Seven Seas Council, and The Travel Corporation.
She is survived by her wife, Carol; brother, John; and her beloved niece Chelsea and nephew Jake.