Zarmati Mardi GrasHOLLYWOOD, FLA. — Maurice Zarmati, who began his cruise career as a regional sales manager at Carnival Cruise Lines in 1973 and worked his way up to be CEO of Costa Cruises North America, will retire on Nov. 30.

He will continue a relationship with Costa as a consultant for worldwide sales, marketing and passenger-traffic initiatives.

Ruben Perez, senior vice president of guest services, has been named general manager to oversee day-to-day operations at the company’s office in Hollywood, Fla.

Zarmati was among three employees of Arison Shipping chosen to join a team of 24 who were assembled to launch Carnival Cruise Lines. He spent most of his career with the line, rising to director of sales and then vice president of sales before being appointed to his current position in March 2008.

Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said Zarmati was “one of a trusted core of individuals who built (Carnival Cruise Lines) into the largest, most popular cruise line in the world.” Maurice Zarmati

He praised Zarmati’s “exemplary performance, loyalty, leadership and sense of humor.”

Zarmati’s current boss, Costa Crociere President Gianni Onorato, expressed pleasure to continue a working relationship after the retirement.

“In these challenging times, we’re excited to have him extending his valuable expertise,” Onorato said.

Zarmati, who was born in Egypt, grew up primarily in Genoa, Italy. He speaks five languages, and received a degree in comparative linguistics, but his first and subsequent jobs were all working for the Arison family in shipping and cruising.

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