Carolina Espinosa and Willie Traeger, two Future Leaders in the Cruise Ship Interiors industry, recently engaged in an enlightening Q&A session with CSI+. Their expertise shed light on the dynamic nature of their roles and the intricate work involved in creating remarkable spaces on board. They delved into significant topics such as sustainability and ADA compliance, adding depth to the conversation.

Carolina Espinosa, an Interior Designer for Tomas Tillberg, plays a crucial role in design meetings, conducting concept reviews, sourcing materials, and coordinating with suppliers. Collaborating with architects, contractors, and engineers, she ensures the successful execution of each project. Carolina’s work spans across various cruise lines, and she also finds joy in embracing the summer season and embarking on travel adventures.

Willie Traeger, a member of a smaller design team within Holland America Line, specializes in cruise renovations and refits. As an Interior Asset Manager, Willie excels in effective communication with different departments, contractors, and vendors, ensuring seamless project management and conducting research on innovative products. With a background in fashion, Willie currently resides in the picturesque landscapes of Montana, cherishing time with her children.

Both Carolina and Willie emphasize the importance of events like the CSI Design Expo within the Cruise Ship Interiors industry as these events provide dedicated time to discover new products and vendors, allowing them to find the perfect puzzle pieces that fit together harmoniously. Their dedication, creativity, and ability to navigate the challenges of their roles make Carolina and Willie exemplary future leaders in cruise ship interior design. Through their insights, we glimpse the exciting and fulfilling world of designing spaces that enhance the guest experience on board.

Key Takeaways


  • Designers must prioritize specifying greener products and ensuring designs have a sustainable story. Sustainability in products is usually a decision maker on whether to specify them or not.
  • Bridging the gap between designers and shipyards is crucial to understand diverse regulations, especially regarding waste offloading and management during dry docks.
  • Effective communication with contractors, outfitters, and vendors is essential to strike a balance between sustainability and project requirements.
  • Taking a holistic approach to sustainability and implementing product refurbishment plans throughout the project lifecycle is important.
  • “Greenwashing” is a concern where some products are falsely marketed as recycled or sustainable. This is why transparency and a thorough eco-journey provided by suppliers are key in measuring sustainability.

Discovering New Products

  • Events like CSI Design Expo are invaluable for designers to discover new products and manufacturers.
  • Transparency and honesty in discussions about product suitability and specifications are crucial.
  • Cruise line approval processes and waiting periods can lead to delays in procurement timelines.
  • Designers emphasize aligning cruise ship design with the brand identity and values of the cruise line.

ADA Compliance

  • Designing inclusive and accessible spaces for all users is imperative.
  • Accessibility shouldn’t be compromised by budget constraints.
  • Finding visually pleasing and ADA-compliant products is challenging but essential.
  • ADA compliance should enhance comfort for everyone, without compromising aesthetics.