Royal Caribbean International is unique in the cruise industry and possibly in the whole world, according to Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, who explained: “We have a unique combination of quality and energy, and we are able to bring that combination to all parts of the globe and produce ‘wows.’
“We do it through our ship design, our service, the 275 destinations we go to every year, and who we are,” he continued. “It plays well around the world. We are regarded as a prestigious operator everywhere we go.”
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Cruise Industry News, Goldstein noted that the cruise line was halfway to taking delivery of the first of the new Sunshine ships in 2014 since launching the Allure of the Seas in 2010.
Responding to rumors about a series of Sunshine ships, Goldstein said: “We have committed ourselves to two ships, that is all I can say.
“We are also in negotiations for another Oasis-class ship, and if we can reach an agreement, I expect we will have another (Oasis-class) ship (for mid-2016 introduction).”
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean is using the time between newbuildings for its revitalization program – investing extensively in its existing fleet.
By September, nine out of 10 Radiance- and Vision-class ships will have been revitalized. After that comes the Voyager class.
Goldstein would not break out the Royal Caribbean brand ships from the group’s overall 2013 deployment outlined in the third quarter conference call, citing company policy, except to say that the brand “in broad strokes reflects the overall fleet since it represents two thirds of its capacity.”
“We sail and source passengers wherever there are people who want to cruise. Two-thirds of our passengers in Europe are from Europe. As European demand softened this past summer, we expected more Americans (to fill the gap), given the size of the North American market. That would be the most logical solution, but instead we sourced passengers from Latin America and from Asia.”
As for Caribbean destinations lobbying for more summer traffic, Royal Caribbean is one of the largest year-round operators in the region, and has recently reintroduced a year-round ship from San Juan.
Commented Goldstein: “Our job responsibility with 22 ships is at all times to have them in the 22 most profitable places. We have had this conversation with the Caribbean forever. In the Northern (hemisphere) summer, there are a lot of opportunities; it is hard to make it into one of the 22 slots. It is a big difference between the 22nd and the 23rd slot.”
Looking back on 2012, Goldstein said: “It was a challenging year. We were not able to realize all our aspirations regarding revenue generation.”
There were also internal changes, with a new executive team settling in. Since last, year three senior executives are reporting to Goldstein instead of six as before, he noted, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo covering operations (hotel, marine and shore), Lisa Bauer being responsible for global sales, and Vicki Freed for North American sales.
“We are very focused and hope that this year (2013) can be the year when we can realize the revenue side of our business,” Goldstein continued.
“There are still enormous growth opportunities (for the cruise industry) in the world,” he added. “We have just scratched the surface. I would like to have a normal year or two.
“I think our brand, Royal Caribbean International, creates fantastic memories; we have many fanatic passengers who cruise with us again and again, and others who cruise with us here and there.
“I would like to have our brand being understood as being at the front rank of all vacation choices.”