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Questions about cruises ahead of Royal Caribbean Group's earnings call this week

26 Jul 2022
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Group has scheduled an earnings call with investors later this week, which means we might get answers to a few hot button topics.

Wonder of the Seas aerial rear night

Royal Caribbean Group will release its second quarter 2022 earnings on Thursday, July 28, 2022. They'll subsequently hold a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the results in greater detail.

On Thursday, there will be a lot of data shared, including information helpful to not just investors.

It's common for policy shifts, direction, and even new projects to get further detail during these calls. With so much change right now in the cruise industry, these calls are some of the best opportunities to get answers.

Perfect Day at CocoCay beach

It's impossible to know in advance which questions will get answers, but here is a wish list of questions cruise fans are eager to hear about during this week's earnings call.

Did Royal Caribbean become profitable again this quarter?

Whether you own stock or not, Royal Caribbean making money instead of losing money is important for the financial well-being of the company.

Since 2020, Royal Caribbean has been losing billions of dollars, but this might be the quarter where they turn the corner.

In the first quarter of this year, Royal Caribbean still lost a billion dollars, but operating cash flow turned positive in April 2022. Moreover, they said at that time they expected to return a net profit for the second half of 2022.

Side of Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Of course, there are going to be any number of negative factors that could offset profitability, including inflation, oil prices, supply chain issues, and weaker demand for cruises.

A profitable quarter is an important step towards shedding all the debt they accrued over the last two years.

What does the end of the CDC cruise ship program mean for testing and vaccine requirements?

If we took a poll of possible questions to be answered, I think Covid-19 protocols would win in a landslide.

Ever since the U.S. government announced it would end its Covid-19 program for cruise ships, many cruise fans have wanted to know what this means for the current rules and requirements.

Specifically, what, if anything, will change as it pertains to pre-cruise Covid-19 testing and/or vaccination requirements.

Woman with Covid-19 vaccine card

Currently, Royal Caribbean requires all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to get a Covid test done up to 2 days before sailing. Not only does this add stress of trying to find a testing site and living in limbo until the test results come back, but getting a negative test to travel is not required of any other form of leisure travel.

Likewise, the requirement all passengers must be fully vaccinated if over the age of 12 is another big question. 

Virgin Voyages in Miami

Some cruise lines have dropped testing requirements, such as Virgin Voyages and Margaritaville at Sea, but Royal Caribbean hasn't announced any changes.

In June, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley said he expected pre-cruise testing, "is going to be around for another couple of months."

Read moreRoyal Caribbean CEO talks when pre-cruise Covid testing and vaccine mandate will last

Any Icon of the Seas hints?

Icon of the Seas plaque

We're half way through 2022 and still have no idea what Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship will even look like.

Not only is the design of Icon of the Seas still under wraps, but there's no sense of when sailings might go on sale or other key details.

Royal Caribbean might be tempted to tip their hat at some details if it helps assuage analysts that a new ship will bring in lots of new business. Earnings calls are partially historical and forward looking.

While the past quarter's numbers are inflexible, Royal Caribbean Group executives can play up the future as rosy as possible in order to paint as positive a light as they can for better days ahead.

What has inflation's impact been on Royal Caribbean?

Symphony of the Seas in PortMiami aerial

Something every company is dealing with is the rate of inflation on business.

From fuel to food to salaries, there's an impact to be felt on anyone's bottom line.

Windjammer food on a plate

In the first quarter, Royal Caribbean said fuel and food costs were the primary inflationary problems they were dealing with.

In the short term, Royal Caribbean has 50% of its fuel hedged for this year and a smaller percentage for next year.

How to listen to the call

There will be full coverage of anything intriguing that comes out of Royal Caribbean Group's second quarter 2022 earnings call right here on RoyalCaribbeanBlog, but if you would like to listen on your own, here's how.

The call will be available on-line at the company's investor relations website,  The call begins at 10am Eastern Time on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

You will be able to listen via the link provided close to the start of the call.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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