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Luxury Guru: Edie Rodriguez

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CEO, Crystal Cruises

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Rodriguez is the force behind Crystal Cruises’ evolution from a cruise line to a luxury lifestyle brand portfolio, which will include new all-suite ocean vessels, the company’s first river ship, a yacht, and even a Boeing 787 airplane. While the native New Yorker has visited more than 100 countries, Manhattan will always be home.

Let’s play spin the globe—name the one place you’ve always wanted to go.
The Seychelles, and now I get to go there on the beautiful new Crystal Esprit

What’s your spirit city? (Where do you want to return to over and over?)
My spirit city is New York City. Always #1 in my heart. And I want to return to over and over to my home in Tuscany at Castelfalfi.

Do you have a travel ritual?
I have many, but most importantly I try to learn as much as possible about the place I am in and make new friends who I can then visit when I go back again and again.

Do you maintain any routines from home while traveling or does it all go out the window?
It all goes out the window. I create a new routine based on the ambiance of the locale that I am in. 

Rodriguez's Tuscan countryside

Sorry, you only get to eat one regional cuisine for the rest of your life. What is it?
All things Italian!

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What one piece of advice would you give to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
Read as much as you can about the place before you go, book the trip with a seasoned travel professional, pack light, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your return date, and have lots of open pages for stamps. 

Describe your travel personality in three words.
Passionate! Insatiable! Wanderlust!

Are your trips very planned, or very spontaneous?
The date and location is planned. Everything else is spontaneous. 

What's the one travel souvenir you'd save in a fire?
My piece of marble with the Ten Commandments on it from my very first trip to Israel. 

What book/movie most inspired you to travel?
An Affair to Remember.

Who’s your ideal travel partner?
My husband Tom. 

Which travel experience do you prefer: plugged in or unplugged?
Plugged in.

What’s a custom from another culture that you’d love to implement in your life back home?
Like most of Europe, wine with lunch AND dinner.

What’s the first thing you seek out in a new place?
Fashion. Just kidding: that is the second thing. The history of a place is the first thing I want to see and learn about, and then the shopping. 

What’s the one thing you indulge in on a trip that you don’t at home?
Sleeping a little longer on holiday. 

What’s your first travel memory?
Going on an airplane for the first time. All dressed up. Very exciting.

>>NEXT: AFAR Insider Robin Hutson