Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara to run as separate businesses in UK


Royal Caribbean has decided to split up its three cruise line operations in the United Kingdom and create individual businesses for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.  The decision comes after concluding the three companies have grown to a size that warrants “increased focus and investment”.

Effective January 1, 2014, current associate vice president & general manager Jo Rzmowska will become the managing director for Celebrity Cruises. Top positions for managing directors of Royal Caribbean and Azamara is underway both internally and externally.

Each individual managing director will also get his or her own commercial, marketing and sales teams, as well as separate agent trainers and trade marketing budgets.

Dominic Paul, who remains as vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the proposed restructure was an important milestone in the history of the global RCL Cruises Ltd business:

“The only other market that we have this kind of focus is North America. This is the first time we have given any other market such attention. We have seen that when a market gets to a certain size of importance, this is the structure that works best to grow.

“The UK is the second-largest market globally and this move is a recognition of the growth achieved so far and to best position each cruise line for future development and growth.”

Royal Caribbean names new Senior VP of Marine Operations


Royal Caribbean announced today that Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired, will serve as the Senior Vice President of Marine Operations.  RADM Baumgartner will be responsible for the global cruise brand’s fleet and their nautical, technical and maintenance operations.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president of Operations, commented on the new hire, "We take our work so seriously here, and there is such commitment throughout our entire organization to give our guests the safest, happiest and smoothest vacation experiences we can.  It’s a good feeling to know we are adding someone with Bill’s background to make our team even stronger.”

Recently retired from a distinguished 33-year career, RADM Baumgartner served as Commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District and Director of Homeland Security Task Force Southeast, with responsibility over 40 ships, more than 11,000 people and all Coast Guard operations in the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean basin – an area encompassing more than 1.8 million square miles.  RADM Baumgartner coordinated Coast Guard operations with 34 foreign countries and territories in addition to overseeing several thousand search and rescue missions, the confiscation of nearly $2 billion in illegal narcotics, and the safety and security of commercial shipping in a region that included the three largest cruise ship ports, six of the nation’s largest container ports, and three strategic military outload ports.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Royal Caribbean team,” said RADM Baumgartner. “Royal Caribbean has an outstanding reputation not only for delivering the Wow Factor, but also for being an industry leader and doing things right.  With my skills and experience, I believe I can be a driving force for growth and can help Royal Caribbean become even better.”

Just prior to the above role, RADM Baumgartner served as General Counsel (Judge Advocate General) for the Coast Guard, a $10 billion organization with more than 50,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time employees.  He managed more than 250 attorneys in more than 15 offices worldwide and was the Federal Government’s lead maritime attorney.  RADM Baumgartner began his career at sea and served as the commanding officer of two Coast Guard ships.  

RADM Baumgartner holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in Marine Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, an MBA from the University of New Orleans, and a Law Degree from Harvard Law School.

Royal Caribbean kicks off fleet-wide celebration of 50 millionth guest


Royal Caribbean welcomed its 50 millionth guest onboard its cruise ships, which in turn will kick off a year-long celebration honoring the cruise line's guests, business partners, employees and crew.

To celebrate, Royal Caribbean will offer a New Year’s Eve-style party, on each of Royal Caribbean’s ships guests will find shipboard festivities. The onboard events will mark the start of a year-long campaign where consumers are encouraged to share their favorite WOW moments with Royal Caribbean over the years by posting photos, videos and memorable stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #RoyalWOW.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the milestone, "For more than 45 years, Royal Caribbean’s guiding principle has been to deliver the WOW to our guests, providing them with experiences, services and amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean.  The men and women on our ships who deliver these WOW moments are what inspire our loyal guests to return to sail with us again and again."

Royal Caribbean promotes new associate vp of global corporate communications


Royal Caribbean has promoted Tracy Quan from director of brand communications to associate vp, global corporate communications.  She will report to Rob Zeiger, vp, global chief communications officer for Royal Caribbean.

Quan, who will be with Royal Caribbean for eight years in December, was recently involved in the launch of the Oasis-class cruise ships.

She was also selected as one of the 'Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing' in 2010 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.  She also accepted a Platinum HSMAI award for the collaborative work with public relations agency Weber Shandwick in 2009 for Oasis of the Seas' introduction.

Quan also worked on the Freedom class ship launch but the Oasis-class ship launch was a real game changer for the cruise industry, "'Allure's publicity launch was more successful than Oasis in spite of the fact it was the second ship."

Royal Caribbean's corporate communications department now aims to build a stronger global public relations team using resources from North America. In the past, each country or regional manager drove the PR functions.

Royal Caribbean names new Senior Vice President of Marketing


Royal Caribbean announced the new Senior Vice President of Marketing, Carol Schuster.  Schuster will be responsible for brand strategy and positioning; consumer and trade advertising; digital and social media; and one-to-one and loyalty marketing.

Lisa Bauer, Royal Caribbean Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, commented on Schuster's hiring, "We are thrilled to welcome Carol Schuster to Royal Caribbean’s leadership team and look forward to her building on the success that the brand has already achieved.  Carol’s extensive global marketing experience will play an integral role in our continued growth into established and emerging cruise vacation markets around the world.”

Prior to joining Royal Caribbean Ms. Schuster ran a global marketing and brand consultancy and spearheaded the launch of U.S. women’s luxury apparel company, Lafayette 148 New York, in China. Prior to that, she held the position of worldwide managing director, Global Brand Management at the advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather. She also held senior executive level positions at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991, she was one of the first business and marketing leaders to enter Central and Eastern Europe to start-up the global network for the advertising agency.

Royal Caribbean largest shakeholder taking on Chairman


Royal Caribbean's largest shareholder is challenging Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain by supporting a plan that could lead to a major shakeup.

Oslo-based A. Wilhelmsen AS owns 19% of Royal Caribbean stock and Arne Alexander Wilhelmsen, is its chairman and a Royal Caribbean director.

Investors vote tomorrow on a non-binding shareholder proposal calling for the elimination of staggered directors’ terms at Miami-based Royal Caribbean. The company opposes the plan, which would have each board member come up for an annual vote.

A similar vote came up back in 2009 but did not have Wilhelmsen's support despite getting 29% of the vote.  Both Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. have recommended in favor of the activist proposal.

if the vote passes, it could lead to changes at Royal Caribbean such as separation of the chairman and CEO roles as well as turnover on the board of directors.

Royal Caribbean CFO to retire and names replacement


Royal Caribbean announced today that chief financial officer Brian Rice will retire soon and the company will begin transitioning his duties to Jason Liberty.  Rice will officially retire in the spring of 2014 and in the meanwhile, Liberty will begin taking over to make the transition process seamless.  

Rice will continue to serve as Vice Chairman until his retirement, overseeing Royal Caribbean’s finance, supply chain, strategy and information technology functions. Rice has been with Royal Caribbean for more than 20 years, serving as CFO since 2006 and Vice Chairman since 2012.

Royal Caribbean named Jason Liberty its new CFO, effective immediately, and he will continue to report to Rice.

Liberty joined Royal Caribbean in 2005 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Finance, overseeing the company’s Corporate and Strategic Planning, Treasury, Investor Relations and Internal Audit functions. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Liberty was a senior manager at the accounting firm KPMG.

“Over the past 24 years, I’ve had the very good fortune to work for an outstanding company in a truly exciting industry,” said Rice. “I am proud to have played a part in its success, and I feel comfortable that I will be leaving the company in excellent shape.”

“Brian has been a key figure in the development of Royal Caribbean, and an important leader who has made significant contributions to the entire cruise industry,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises. 

Royal Caribbean will add a float to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Royal Caribbean announced that it will add a brand new float to the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Royal Caribbean's participation in the parade will be part of its celebration of the upcoming fall 2014 debut of Quantum of the Seas.

"Royal Caribbean cruise vacations are known as the ultimate in family entertainment at sea, so it's fitting that they will join us this Thanksgiving as we kick off the holidays for millions of families nationwide," said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "Designed by the artists of Macy's Parade Studio, the new Royal Caribbean float promises to astonish audiences as it makes its maiden voyage down the streets of Manhattan this November."

Royal Caribbean executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, Lisa Bauer, also commented on the news, "As the leading global cruise line offering families incredible vacations only found with Royal Caribbean, we are thrilled to be partnering with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and to participate in an iconic event that brings friends and family together.We hope that our float will WOW Parade spectators and those watching at home just like our ships WOW guests all over the world."

The 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC, on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 from 9 a.m. - Noon in all time zones.

Royal Caribbean names Rob Zeiger new Vice President, Global Chief Communications Officer


Royal Caribbean has named Rob Zeiger as its new vice president, global chief communications officer.  Zeiger will be responsible for Royal Caribbean's overall communications, corporate social responsibility, and public relations and corporate positioning strategies.

Zeiger is a communications expert with more than 25 years' experience in media relations, corporate reputation and issues and crisis management. Most recently, Zeiger was the senior vice president of communications for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he served as their chief communications strategist and advisor, as well their chief media spokesperson. 

Zeiger was fired from the Eagles shortly after the team came under fire for the handling of fans in the stands. Zeiger called into a radio show to defend the increased speaker volume in the stadium, a move that many fans felt was done so the "Fire Andy" chants could not be heard. It is unknown if any of this has to do with the firing of Zeiger.

Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain, who Zeiger will report to, commented on the hiring, "We are delighted to have Rob join our team. Rob's experience as a trusted communications leader and advisor will serve us well as we continue to tell the Royal Caribbean story to the world."

Zeiger holds a Bachelor's of Arts in History from Columbia University.