TopVet: Alan B. Buckelew, Carnival Cruises

Alan Buckelew

It is possible for a soldier to run ships and to run them well. Alan Buckelew, an Army Veteran who served in Vietnam, is the chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation and has held the position since December 2013, after being lured to the company from Princess Cruises.

A 25+-year veteran of the cruise industry, Buckelew brings great industry experience and expertise to the position. He is a proven leader, and can point to his U.S. Army years for getting him to where he is today.

"With his successful track record in both running a brand and as a functional lead, Alan is ideally suited to take on the tasks of this new role," said President and CEO Arnold Donald after naming Buckelew to the position.

In this capacity, Buckelew is responsible for oversight of all maritime and port operations around the world and group collaborative functions, including information technology; group strategy and global operations; ship retrofits; new builds; research and development; risk advisory; and quality assurance. Additionally, he has oversight of Carnival Asia, with responsibility for coordinating all brands and related activities in that part of the world.

Long before his decision to hit the high seas, Buckelew served in the Army in Vietnam, 1969-70. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Air Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and two Bronze Stars.

While at Princess, Buckelew has been instrumental in crafting special offers to honor our military, and cruises to honor service, such as “Cruising for a Cause,” a memorable cruise experience where veterans have an opportunity to meet Buckelew, and military brass such as Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and General George Casey (Ret.), former Army Chief of Staff. The cruise raised $600,000 for veterans causes.

Buckelew previously served as chief executive officer of Princess Cruises from 2007 to November 2013, and as the line’s president from 2004 to November 2013. During his watch at Princess, he was instrumental in the company becoming a commemorative partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.

“Like many Vietnam veterans, I don’t talk about my experience much, so I understand the importance of recognizing those who served as we mark the war’s 50th anniversary,” Buckelew said in an announcement at the time.

Veterans Advantage is also a commemorative partner of this special Vietnam initiative.

Additional Industry Experience
Prior to his leadership role at Princess, he was executive vice president of corporate services from 2000 to 2007. Buckelew also served as chief operating officer of Cunard from 2004 to 2007. He was responsible for strategic planning, marketing and yield management and served as chief information officer and chief financial officer.

Buckelew began his career as manager of management information for Sitmar Cruises in 1977. Rising through the ranks of the company with increasing responsibility for a wide array of areas, Buckelew was appointed senior vice president of corporate planning in 1984. When Sitmar was acquired by Princess Cruises, he was placed in charge of the company’s reservations and data processing departments and held a number of senior positions in the years that followed.

Buckelew received his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

Photo Credit: http://www.scmp.com/business/article/1725287/carnival-partners-china-soe-tap-growing-mainland-cruise-market

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