Carnival taps theme parks high-flier as chief of guest experiences

Anthony Esparza brings experience from SeaWorld, Herschend Family Entertainment, Paramount Parks and Landmark Entertainment Anthony Esparza brings experience from SeaWorld, Herschend Family Entertainment, Paramount Parks and Landmark Entertainment

Theme parks veteran Anthony Esparza is joining Carnival Cruise Line as chief of guest experiences, vice president, a new role.

Esparza is an expert at building value into the guest experience, developing memorable experiences and building unforgettable brands.

He has served as chief creative officer at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; SVP guest experiences, design & development for Herschend Family Entertainment, which has entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties at 26 locations; and SVP design & entertainment for Paramount Parks I Viacom. Earlier he was VP creative development for Landmark Entertainment.

SeaWorld turn-around

At SeaWorld, Esparza was brought in as part of a turn-around team and established a new creatively-driven culture across the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Sesame Place parks.

During his time at Hershend, the company acquired the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters and completed Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa in its $300m master plan expansion partnership with Dolly Parton.

(Carnival recently established a partnership with the Harlem Globetrotters and will act as the basketball team's official cruise line sponsor worldwide.)

Brand integration

At Paramount Esparza's focus was integrating the company’s media and motion picture brands from Paramount Pictures, CBS Television, Nickelodeon, MTV and Simon and Schuster into its parks and location-based entertainment venues throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. In addition, he expanded the company’s global entertainment group into cruise line entertainment.

Esparza's hiring at Carnival was presaged last month by President Christine Duffy, who said the company had recruited a new executive in guest experience innovation reporting to Ben Clement, SVP newbuilds,

Esparza told inparkmagazine he's 'thrilled to join a world-class group supercharged to create fun for families and friends around the world.'

Posted 14 June 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review