Dondra Ritzenthaler

Dondra is a veteran travel industry executive with a successful 40-year sales career. Success for Dondra begins with a personal commitment to values. Winning by doing the right thing when it’s easy and when it tough. Her leadership style is her lifestyle – Attitude Is Everything. Dondra’s heart is her brand. Her influence continues to compel individuals, benchmarking what attitude-based success looks like. Maya Angelou words come to life with Dondra, as she daily brings action to Ms. Angelou’s quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Spend just a few minutes with Dondra, and you will “want what she’s having.”

Dondra joined the award-winning new luxury cruise line Celebrity Cruises in September 2003, becoming the brand’s first Vice President of Sales. After three years of success and celebrated accomplishments, Ritzenthaler was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales (SVP) for the brand.

As SVP of Sales, Trade Support and Service, she led the sales organization for the Americas including US, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America. In all, she was responsible for more than 600 dedicated, successful employees. In the Americas, Ritzenthaler looked after all Marketing Sales Directors and Managers, Strategic Marketing Managers, Inside Sales Representatives, National and Corporate Account Managers in the field, and support staff at corporate headquarters in Miami. But wait there’s more, as also leading National Accounts, Trade Support and Service, including Reservations, Group Sales and Customer Service, as well as the line’s Consumer Outreach division, Onboard Cruise Sales and internal Sales Support.

Widely credited for raising awareness of the importance of travel advisors, Ritzenthaler fashioned multiple travel advisor facing programs designed to help build their business, including “The Celebrity Commitment.” With her respected guidance, Celebrity was awarded “Best Premium Cruise Line,” by leading industry trade publication, Travel Weekly, for 13 consecutive years.

Following her path to be innovative and focus on what Travel Advisors needed, she fronted the ESPRESSO project, a powerful, one-of-a-kind reservation system designed to aid Travel Advisors in the booking process. Ritzenthaler also launched the widely praised RCL CARES (Royal Caribbean Group Cares) – a program designed to offer a variety of services and programs aimed to help support travel professionals and their businesses. In addition, launching the Agent Support Action Program, an acclaimed no-rebating stance, a well-received group policy, and distinctive programs designed to better serve travel advisors. She also played a key role on the executive team that launched what is now Azamara Cruises.

Giving back is part of Dondra. It’s not just Dondra, her husband and two sons live by the manta that serving others is the cornerstone to personal character. Adopting families each year during the holidays, The Ritzenthalers’ continue to provide for others. Dondra serves families on the Board of Directors of the Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, Family Bonds Foundation in conjunction with CoNexion Travel and The Baptist Cancer Institute of Miami Gala Board. Dondra was an influencer and executive guidance for the Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) Diversity Council and led the RCG Employee Resources Group mentoring young professionals entering the workforce. Finding a place to care for others during her career included her leadership with The American Cancer Society Board Member and Gala Chair, RCG Give Day, United Way and His House.