MIAMI, October 12, 2023 – Starboard Cruise Services, an LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company and leading retail curator at sea, announces the appointment of jewelry industry veteran Caryl Capeci as SVP Fine Jewelry & Watches, and Benito Mendez as SVP of Merchandising and Planning.
The cruise industry has come back stronger than ever. Starboard continues to grow with new as well as current cruise line partners, multiple ship launches around the globe, and many first-at-sea innovations in partnership with its 750+ product brand partners. Starboard’s strategy to further strengthen its senior leadership team reinforces its investment in the positive outlook for cruise retail.
Ms. Capeci joined Starboard as a strategic advisor earlier this year. In her new role, Capeci will harness 30 years of experience leading the jewelry industry. Prior to joining Starboard, she was CEO of Chow Tai Fook North America (CTFNA), the parent company that operates diamond jewelry brands, Hearts On Fire and Mémoire. With Hearts On Fire Ms. Capeci held multiple leadership positions before becoming president in 2016. Prior to Hearts On Fire, Capeci’s career spanned both Jewelry and Cruise leading the Agency Marketing teams for DeBeers Diamonds at JWT and then Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises as an EVP at Havas/Arnold. With Caryl at the helm of this business segment, Starboard reinforces its commitment to being the best-in-class Retail at Sea business partner for the Fine Jewelry and Swiss Timepiece categories. With the strong rebound of the cruise industry, luxury retail at sea is perfectly positioned to capture a greater share of the Fine Jewelry and Watch market, providing jewelry and watch brands a highly unique and experiential approach to retail, where guests can learn and appreciate a brand throughout the voyage, and mark their vacation experience with a special purchase.
Mr. Mendez previously worked for Starboard for 16 years in increasingly senior roles, before becoming Vice President of Merchandising and Planning. He is a seasoned Senior Retail executive with a proven track record of driving revenue growth and operational excellence in the retail industry. With a career spanning over two decades, Benito started his professional journey with Macy’s executive management program where he held various merchandising roles. Benito also led the retail strategy, product development, e-commerce and licensing for Hard Rock International, a global entertainment organization. As a forward-thinking retail leader charged with leading Starboard’s Merchandising strategy, Benito will work closely with Starboard’s portfolio of product brand partners.
“Caryl and Benito’s robust experience in their respective fields are key additions to our leadership team to help drive our continued growth. Caryl’s unique leadership background in the jewelry industry, combined with the high demand for luxury retail offerings and experiences onboard, made her transition into the Starboard family very organic,” said Lisa Bauer, President and CEO of Starboard Cruise Services. “We are thrilled to welcome Benito back. His significant cruise retail experience, diverse skill set, leadership abilities, and passion for excellence are a perfect fit for our leadership team”.
Charting a new course in the duty-free industry since 1958, Starboard has been the world’s leading vacation retailer at sea with the purpose to curate a vibrant world for guests, cruise line partners, brand collaborators and employees. Starboard’s transformative retail elevates the experience on more than 90 ships across 11 world-class cruise line partners: Azamara, Blue Dream Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Resort World Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises, Silversea, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Virgin Voyages.
As part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Starboard is known as the preferred partner for luxury retail at sea and is recognized as one of the 75 Maisons worldwide. Expanding Starboard’s core expertise, the Luxury Division was launched in 2019 to be the center of excellence for upscale retail experiences and support ultra-luxury cruise line partners. Starboard is consistently recognized for quality and innovation by the travel industry, championing numerous awards, including DFNI-Frontier Americas Travel Retailer of the Year, Asia/Pacific Cruise Retailer of the Year, Global Cruise Retailer of the Year and Exceptional Achievement by a Cruise Retailer.
Going beyond sailing, Starboard’s sister company, Onboard Media, creates multimedia products for top companies in the travel and hospitality industry, driving brand awareness to generate sales and grow revenue. Both businesses are headquartered in Miami with additional Starboard offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Genoa, Italy.
Maureen Gonzalez | FINN Partners
(954) 368-9809 | Maureen.Gonzalez@finnpartners.com
Paula Amador | Starboard Cruise Services
(786) 845-7524 | Paula.Amador@starboardcruise.com