Special Guests



Special performance by worldwide music sensation Gente D’Zona

Live auction performed by Bill Panoff

There’s no sleight of hand involved in Bill Panoff’s transformation from shipboard magician to CEO of a multimillion-dollar publishing and promotional company. Rather, Panoff credits his success to a combination of hard work, his intimate knowledge of the cruise business, and a desire to make significant contributions to the travel industry.

Fresh out of college, the Philadelphian joined Carnival Cruise Lines in 1980 as a magician, entertainer, and then cruise director. In 1988, he jumped ship to build a new life ashore. Capitalizing on his relationships with merchants on the island, Panoff developed a coupon book, the Cruise Director’s Guide to St Thomas, which was distributed by travel agents free to their clients. Next, he produced a 48-page magazine for Crown Cruise Line and, in 1991, Panoff hired his first employee.

Today, the South Florida-based PPI Group publishes dozens of in-cabin and commemorative publications for major cruise lines; produces custom television programming and promotional videos; and operates port shopping programs aboard many of the world’s cruise ships.

Music by DJ Africa