Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Chairman talks of work to get crew home and restart cruises


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Chairman and CEO Richard Fain provided an update on Monday of what the cruise line is doing to repatriate its crew members, as well as prepare itself to resume sailings.

In a new video, Mr. Fain spoke to travel advisors on his view of what the world looks like as it attempts to slowly overcome the current global health scenario.

"Our role is to do everything that passion and ingenuity can offer to keep our ships safe and healthy. Our guests are off our ship and we still have crew on ships who want to go home and we're working feverishly to overcome all the travel barriers to do that.  We believe we found ways to finish that imperative and expect to complete the process shortly."

"Looking forward to restarting, health and safety are absolutely paramount as I've said before, what was fine just a few weeks ago is no longer adequate. Good enough just good enough. We need to raise the bar to new heights, and we have teams of doctors, of scientists, of epidemiologists, and teams of people who know our business, all looking hard and charting the safest and surest path forward that we can."

In addition, Mr. Fain spent a great deal of time looking at the current state of flux in statistics, methods and policy changes.

"There is no silver bullet which will magically destroy this horrible infestation. On the other hand, there's a cornucopia of smaller actions, which taken together can bring it under control."

"We're not there yet, but every day seems to bring us just a little bit closer, and as we get closer, we can switch from focusing on only isolation to focusing on the other components of that cornucopia of actions."

At the conclusion of the video, Mr. Fain reiterated Royal Caribbean's support of the travel agent community and the cruise line's unwavering dedication to them.

You can view the other videos that Mr. Fain has produced over the last few weeks:

Royal Caribbean Chairman speaks about the steps necessary to reopen Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Chairman and CEO Richard Fain released a new video update that speaks to what to expect as we start to reach a peak in the current global situation.


As one in a series of videos produced for travel agents, Mr. Fain speaks of the changing nature of our world, and what we can do to prepare for reopening.

"And even as we reenter the reopening process, it will need to be gradual. We can't just squander all the containment we've achieved by suddenly opening everything up without careful thought."

"Opening too soon, or without proper controls, will allow the resurgence of the disease. Alternatively, opening too late or with too many restrictions, will cause more economic pain and suffering. Either extreme causes a totally unacceptable level of human suffering."

"At Royal Caribbean, we're using this time of the suspension to learn as much as we can about this disease, and how to contain it. We're using this time to consult with experts in the field. We're trying to understand the science. We're using this develop new ways of doing things to protect the health of our guests, and our crew. Our objective is to make our ships not just good enough, but the best they can be."

Mr. Fain suggested three perspectives on the things Royal Caribbean and its partners need to do to lead to reopening.

  1. Do what our governments tell us we need to do.
  2. Understand that our world has changed.
  3. A critical role for travel agents to provide expertise to clients.

"What was reasonable a month ago, is no longer adequate."

Mr. Fain reiterated that there is a new normal now, and Royal Caribbean is committed to rising to that challenge. He also mentioned the cruise line will provide more details "in the near future."

In addition, the cruise line is putting together "an information pack on testing" to collect the best information out there in an easy to understand manner, based on consultations with medical experts. 

The hope is this information pack is one step in a series by Royal Caribbean to support the travel agent community in gearing up for the resumption of cruises.

You can view the other videos that Mr. Fain has produced over the last few weeks:

Royal Caribbean named to President's economic revival group


The White House announced on Thursday a collection of executives from a variety of industry groups that are tasked with advising President Trump on how to best restart the economy, including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

Along with Fain, the cruise lines executives include Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board. Carnival Corporation, and Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

Almost 200 people make up the this new economic council, that include executives from sectors including technology, agriculture, banking, financial services, defense, energy, transportation, sports and health care.

The task of these executives, scholars and industry leaders is to work work together to help guide the United States to economic recovery.

There is no indication yet how this industry group will work, or how the suggestions or ideas formulated by members will be used to reopen business, schools, stadiums or offices.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman quotes Winston Churchill in latest update on state of cruising during coronavirus crisis


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain shared a new update on Monday, providing a look at the current state of cruising during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as providing an outlook.

The new video was taken at his home (and filmed by his wife). Mr. Fain drew a parallel to World War 2 when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill seized an opportunity of a British victory on land to provide hope to his people. 

"This was the first ray of hope in a long time, and Winston Churchill said the following to the British people in a radio address. He said, 'Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'"

"I think our situation today is similar. Think back a few weeks, and remember it's only been a few weeks, to when this all began. Who understood the true significance of what we were facing? Who realized that it would impact each of us so dramatically? Who fathomed the level of pain, and frustration it would cause."

"But today, we're past that first crazy scramble. Guests have returned home, crews are being cared for, the pause in sailings is underway, and the rush of cancellation has eased up, at least a little, aided with our Cruise with Confidence program."

Mr. Fain spoke to the frustrations and financial turmoil both Royal Caribbean and travel advisors are facing during this downturn.  

"Our economic picture is tough. No revenue is coming in, zero. And our expenses continue, and I know each of you, like us, are having to make decisions that bring tears to your eyes."

"Realistically, we in the travel and tourism business, will probably be at the tail end of the recovery."

In addition, Royal Caribbean is now focused on making very certain that when cruises do resume, they are ready not only to welcome guests back onboard, but to ensure they are healthy.

"Our people are using this time to adjust our protocols, to prepare for a public that's much more focus on health and safety than ever before. We're working with the CDC and others to make sure that we're taking advantage of all the new knowledge, the new technology, and the new procedures to ensure that our cleanliness and our health efforts are at the very highest level."

"We will take the steps that we need to take to allow you to sail confidently."

Like in his other videos, Mr. Fain was frank and direct with his view of how things are progressing, and where they will go.

"Now, we need to think about the future. Travel and tourism are, and will be, one of the most important areas globally. It's true not only in economic terms, but also for the benefit of society as a whole. The world needs to break down the barriers that isolate us; the world needs to understand each other; and people need to share experiences. This is what we all do, and we do it damn well."

In conclusion, Mr. Fain offered a positive outlook for all concerned about when cruising might resume.

"Just over a month ago, I said that this would be over sooner than we think. I didn't put a date on it, and I still can't, but I stand by my statement."

"The cruise industry has only been shut for about a month. It may seem like forever, but it really has been only a month. The slow return will also seem like forever, but it too is coming. And when it does, we need to be prepared for it.

Mr. Fain has been producing videos on a near-weekly basis, and you can check out each of his powerful and insightful takes on the situation:

Royal Caribbean executives take pay cut as coronavirus impact on cruise industry deepens


According to paperwork filed with the SEC, Royal Caribbean's top executives are taking a pay cut while the cruise industry deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain has volunteered to not take a salary through the end of September, while Royal Caribeban International CEO Michael Bayley took a 25% pay cut.

Other executives taking a 25% pay cut include CFO Jason Liberty, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises.

Effective as of April 1, 2020, Richard Fain, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, agreed to forego payment of his base salary and Jason Liberty, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, each elected to reduce their respective base salaries by 25%, in each case, through September 30, 2020. These reductions were made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the negative financial and operational impacts resulting therefrom.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the negative financial and operational impacts resulting therefrom, the Board of Directors approved to forego all cash retainers and fees payable for Board and committee service, effective from April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

COVID-19 has completely disrupted the cruise industry, with Royal Caribbean in the midst of cancelling all sailings through at least mid-May.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman offers outlook on the cruise industry during the current Coronavirus crisis


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain shared a brand new video on how he sees the current COVID-19 climate, and what his outlook on the situation.

Mr. Fain begins his video paralleling the current crisis with the timeline of a typical hurricane, and how things look bad before they get better.

"There's a reason for the old sailor's expression that it's always darkest before the dawn; It is darkest before the dawn, but we're not yet in the darkest part of the night. But, we're beginning to approach that period and we will have to prepare ourselves for two things."

"Firstly, we need to prepare ourselves for getting ready for that dark period, and secondly, we need to prepare ourselves for emerging into the dawn that follows."

Mr. Fain also talked about Royal Caribbean's dedication to the travel agent community, and the launch of RCL Cares. The support program helps small businesses navigate the government's CARES Act in a time when businesses are hurting all over.

"We hope these benefits can help your business not only recover, but prepared to charge ahead when we return to service."

"In these times, you can never have too much support and together we will get through this and back on the track to success."

Mr. Fain has been producing videos on a near-weekly basis, and you can check out each of his powerful and insightful takes on the situation:

"As Americans, we have a history of grit and resilience, and both will be needed as we deal with the rising devastation this diseases is bringing."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman offers update on the state of cruise business


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain has shared another video speaking to travel professionals on the current state of the cruise industry while in the midst of a prolonged shutdown.

Speaking from his backyard, Mr. Fain filmed his message with his phone on an iPad, dressed more casually, and offering words of encouragement. 

His message comes less than a day after Royal Caribbean announced it would extend its global suspension of cruises for an additional 30 days.

"We all came to work in January ready for a truly gangbuster year, and look where we are today. But even against that very serious backdrop, the work goes on here in Royal Caribbean."

"Our immediate focus is on keeping our guests and our employees safe and healthy, even while the last few ships are returning to port. But you should also know that we're putting just as much effort and just as much focus into making sure that from the day we begin sailing again - and it won't be that long before we do - we're able to offer our guests safe, healthy, and enjoyable cruises from day one."

Mr. Fain explained he believes lots of people will want a vacation escape once the current crisis improves, and Royal Caribbean has "teams studying to make sure that health and sanitation procedures are best in class and make use of the hard lessons we've learned over these last few months."

This is one of many videos Mr. Fain has recorded in the last few weeks that offer comfort, inspiration and a dash of humor.

Mr. Fain also touted the fact Odyssey of the Seas is coming, which is Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship and set to debut in November.

"Better days may seem far away right now, but they're coming sooner than you think."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman offers message of support to travel industry in midst of Coronavirus pandemic


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain reached out to travel agents to offer words of encouragement during a time when Coronavirus is dominating the news, and many people's travel plans.

"I just want to say one thing: breathe. Step back, shake a little stress out of your shoulders, and breathe. All of us in the cruise industry are working as hard as we can to help get us through this difficult time."

In a recorded video, Mr. Fain spoke to the current situation, and offered words of encouragement to continue on, and that this will all eventually pass.

"It's a long road ahead on the home front, and it's important to keep your focus on helping each other get through this challenging time."

This is the second video Mr. Fain has produced that is aimed at the travel partners that Royal Caribbean relies on, although his message is more universal than just travel professionals. Earlier this month, Mr. Fain shared a video message to reassure everyone that the Coronavirus threat will eventually pass.

Royal Caribbean Chairman shares reassuring message in midst of Coronavirus outbreak


The travel industry has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus outbreak, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain appealed directly to the travel agent community to remain vigilant.

Mr. Fain sent a video to travel agents who sell cruises on Royal Caribbean, as well as her sister brands, and urged despite the tumultuous situation at hand with the Coronavirus, better times are still to come.

"This is a tough time - a really tough time - and all of us know it, because all of us are going through it together."

"After reading enough of the endless media reports about Coronavirus, it's really easy to think that the world is coming to an end. Well, I have a spoiler alert: it's not. We're all spending time worrying, and that's natural, because we're in a storm, and when you're in the middle of a storm, it certainly feels like it'll never end. But as with most storms, it gets worse before it gets better, but it's hard to remember that this too shall pass. And while the virus is something to be taken seriously, it's not a cause for panic - not in a personal sense, and not in a business sense either."

"As far as the business impact on our business, it ain't pretty. In fact, to use a technical term I learned in business school, it sucks."

"We've absolutely sailed through rough waters like this before, and we've weathered every storm side-by-side with you. We all vividly remember dealing with all the impacts of 9/11 had on revenue, and on our operations. And remember the last pandemic, the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009? Or the Ebola scare? In each case, it felt to me at least, like the rough seas were never going to end. But in each case, they did."

"We are a strong and growing company in a strong and growing industry, and that's the walk we're walking. Because when this is finally behind us, and it will be behind us, we are going to be in a position to take advantage and to move forward at a fast pace."

"The bad news is that we're in a tough patch. The good news is that we're in it together, and together, we'll get to the better part sooner than you think."

While the video is directed to travel agents, I believe it is a good reminder to us all that, as Mr. Fain said, this too shall pass. 

Royal Caribbean chairman defends cruise line screening processes


Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain spoke to CNBC about the recent bout of sickness that spread to over 600 passengers onboard Explorer of the Seas that is believed to be Norovirus.  He defended the way Royal Caribbean looks for passengers who may be sick prior to cruising to prevent them from infecting others.

"We screen our passengers as best we can," Richard Fain told CNBC in an interview.

“It’s a very unfortunate inciden. Our people responded quickly and aggressively.”

Fain also noted the recent cold temperatures in the northeast may have played a part, with the cruise originating from Bayonne, New Jersey.

Future bookings wouldn't be affected, said Fain. "Most people understand just how common a thing this is," he said.

Fain stood on the company's record in response to incidents like these. “We do an amazing job of helping guests when they do get sick and then cleaning after," he said.