Sydney’s Luna Park was the ideal setting for a Carnival Cruise Lines media lunch yesterday, at which revealed some .

While guests supped on delicacies from Spirit’s Aussie menu, including blue swimmer crab cakes, grilled barramundi or lamb rack and a melting chocolate pudding, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, said bookings were underway within hours of sales opening on Monday.

It was a perfect occasion to introduce Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Cruise Lines’ new commercial director for Australia, who recently relocated from her Miami-based role as director of advertising for the cruise line.

Credited with breathing new energy and life in to Carnival Cruise Lines in America, Vandekreeke is full of “high-octane energy”, according to Sherry, and she plans to combine her intricate knowledge of the brand with her recent observations of Aussie travellers to “Aussify” Carnival Spirit.

It was revealed that Vandekreeke has done her research – speaking to more than 1,500 Australians – and she found quality dining, quality coffee and the options of doing anything or nothing at all are we look for in a holiday – something she’s focussing on to make the ship right at home in Oz.

Vandekreeke confided that the 85,900-ton Carnival Spirit is “one of our nicer ships,” however, she’ll still go in to drydock in January 2012 to get her ready for her full-time Australian deployment from October next year.

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