Super Bowl cruises help visionary leader take travel agency big-time
Mayfield’s most successful cruises to date have been the Super Bowl cruises, six of which steamed in 2018
Mayfield Travel Elite CEO Lorraine Mayfield has selected Carnival Cruise Lines for her ocean cruises but plans to charter a ship for Mayfield Elite Travel’s own exclusive cruise in 2020. Photo courtesy Mayfield Travel Elite
Mayfield Travel Elite CEO Lorraine Mayfield selects Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Ensenada destinations for 2019 Super Bowl cruises
Lorraine Mayfield has parlayed what began as an occasional sideline booking sea-going party cruises for a close-knit group of fun-loving friends, into a lucrative full-time business.
Mayfield has infused fun-in-play with revenue-earning to create the optimum business enterprise at Mayfield Elite Travel in 2014, for which she is president and CEO. The agency has expanded well beyond limited exclusive packaging of travel and cruise excursions merely for friends, to thousands of adventure seekers on the high seas each year aboard the finest cruise liners in the world, such as Carnival, her go-to cruise ship.
Mayfield, 34, said her original goal was to book a yearly travel adventure for a female social club she operated, and, to make extra income on the side to help defray the cost of college. A 2002 graduate of Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., where she earned a 3.83 GPA and was active in multiple extra-curricular activities.
Mayfield went on to receive a bachelor of arts in communication from San Diego State University in 2006, and later acquired a master of arts in business management from the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. in 2016.
While attending the university, Mayfield not only successfully met the rigors of academia, but she found time to serve as a beacon of leadership there and in the greater Redlands community evidenced by her induction into the Whitehead Leadership Society, an organization established in 1988 to encourage leadership and academic excellence. The diligent Mayfield fulfilled the WLS’s lofty goals through networking with alumni at Regional Alumni Chapter events and volunteerism.
Mayfield’s classmates recognized these qualities in her and she was nominated for and received formal WLS recognition.
This was no ordinary businessperson in the making. Mayfield possesses force of character, determination, and vision, the strength of which obviously rooted to her father, whom she said, “was highly intelligent, taught me a lot, and believed in me.”
Lorraine Mayfield’s father died tragically at the hands of another when she was just 10 years old. She said she named her business after her father to honor his memory.
The other half of Lorraine’s brilliance, resourcefulness, drive, and determination came from her hardworking mother who provided for the needs of Lorraine and two older siblings.
“My mother was the breadwinner who did everything to make sure we were taken care of,” Mayfield said.
Lorraine Mayfield’s mother remarried, but her step-father, the victim of a heart attack, died when she was 16. Mayfield’s character was being molded at the time and she may not have known it then, but the strength for her journey was being infused into her. There is no denying that tribulation and hardship have played a measured role in her development as a person, while a vision for the future was gradually forming clarity on what would eventually become destinations across the seas.
Prior to her successful tour de force, Mayfield earned her keep as an enrollment counselor for incoming students at the University of Redlands for two years from 2014-2016. Prior to that, she worked in the same capacity for several years at the Arts Institute in San Bernardino, and one other institution until her private enterprise at Mayfield Elite Travel commanded her full attention and devotion.
Mayfield’s most successful cruises to date have been the Super Bowl cruises, six of which steamed in 2018. Prior to that, her cruises were limited to Ensenada, Mexico from Long Beach, Calif., in 2016 with 30 guests, and the Bahamas from Miami, Fla., in 2017, totaling 300 guests.
For Super Bowl Weekend 2018, Mayfield Elite Travel booked cruises for 600 guests from Long Beach to Ensenada, Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, La.; and Jacksonville, Fla., to the Bahamas; and two trips from Miami, Fla. to the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.
“The sailings that really rocked in 2018 were Long Beach to Ensenada, Miami to the Bahamas, and Miami to the Dominican Republic,” Mayfield said. “These were my most popular sailings and [again] are being offered for 2019.”
“Up to now I have not [chartered] my own ship,’ she said. “[Carnival] and other agencies sold to other people on board that were not part of my group.”
But if matters go according to carefully crafted planning, that picture will change. To date, Lorraine Mayfield has selected Carnival Cruise Lines for her ocean cruises but plans to charter a ship for Mayfield Elite Travel’s own exclusive cruise in 2020.
“The ship in 2020 will be a full ship charter,” she said.