Cruise Planners on Sunday announced the passing of its chief operating office Vicky Garcia, one of the organization’s longtime voices, and one of the most beloved people in the travel trade.
“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.
“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.”
Garcia joined Cruise Planners in 2004 and, along with Fee, helped grow the host agency into an industry powerhouse. She originally got her start in the industry as a reservations agent before moving on to sales management positions with Royal Caribbean and then Norwegian Cruise Line. She started as EVP of sales and Marketing at Cruise Planners after leaving Norwegian.
In total, her travel industry career spanned 30 years, three decades when she also served as an advocate and volunteer for a number of causes including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In her storied career, she was recognized as 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. She also served on the board of 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.
In a statement to TMR, Royal Caribbean's Vicki Freed called Garcia "a really amazing person."
"I knew Vicky for decades and when I think about her I think about her kindness. It was never about her. I think that was what made her so successful and why she had so many friends both in and outside of the industry," Freed said. "She was just a green emerald, a priceless green emerald. There was something really special about her."