Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Adam Endures 49 Hours in the Air as His Travels Continue

My travels have continued with visits to San Juan for the annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference and to Asia/Pacific for company business.

The FCCA conference is always an intense affair because of the economic significance of the cruise industry to many of the island nations of the Caribbean basin.  The focus of the meeting has evolved over time and this year the impact of the globalization of the industry was more evident than in the past.  Although new ships still make their presence felt in the region (not the least of which being Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas), the growth of other cruise markets and the predominance of “homeport” cruises (i.e., cruises originating on the U.S. Coast that do not require air travel for many of the guests) have caused the number of cruise visitors to certain ports to decline quite dramatically.  Many of these ports are to the south and southeast of San Juan.  So it was important that the conference took place in San Juan.  The government of Puerto Rico took advantage of the opportunity to restate its commitment to the cruise industry. They really put on an impressive showing from Governor Fortuno on down. 

Shanghai, China

Just three days later I was off on the most demanding logistical trip I have taken in many years.  I cannot blame anyone for this because I planned it! Arriving in Beijing on Sunday night, I was able to do business in Tianjin on Monday, Shanghai on Tuesday, Singapore on Wednesday and Sydney on Thursday.  All it takes is 49 hours in the air and four overnight flights in seven nights.   

The most noteworthy event was our press conference in Shanghai where Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation teamed up to announce that Voyager of the Seas would offer the DreamWorks experience when she arrives in Asia next year.  Kung Fu Panda was an enormously successful movie in China and in general the Chinese are enamored of the DreamWorks characters.

DreamWorks Characters with Children

One of the striking aspects of my trip was the amount of time my colleagues and I devoted to the status of cruise infrastructure in the cities I visited.  In Tianjin I visited the impressive new terminal.  In Shanghai I visited Baoshan terminal which I blogged about last year when it was a construction site.  Baoshan will be the homeport for Voyager of the Seas whereas the Shanghai International Cruise Center along the Bund will be the homeport for Legend of the Seas.  In Singapore I toured the construction site that will become a signature homeport for today’s largest cruise ships.  In Sydney we met with several officials of the New South Wales government to exchange ideas about how the limited cruise infrastructure there can evolve to accommodate the exciting growth of the Australian cruise market.

Adam touring the construction at the Singapore terminal

The trips to the other side of the world are very demanding to be sure. But they are also imperative. As in all regions of the world, the key players – government officials, port officials, media, travel agents – expect to see our most senior company officers from time to time.  I am fortunate that Michael Bayley, our Executive VP, International, and our two Managing Directors, Dr. Zinan Liu for China/Asia and Gavin Smith for Australia, as well as our Country Director for Singapore, Jennifer Yap, do a great job representing the company. But I still need to do my 49 hours in the air to support their efforts, say hello to their teams and reinforce our messaging to the markets.

A view of Singapore

Not surprisingly I didn’t have time on this crazy trip to see any of my friends or my brother and his family in Japan.  I try to fit in friends and family wherever possible.  But there is always more going on than just the business part of the trip and my workouts.  I was determined to do all of my back-reading of the Economist, a task so prodigious that flight attendants commented that I’m working too hard.  The most spontaneous thing was when I walked into the New South Wales legislature’s building just as the head of the Legislative Council (upper house) was walking out.  When I was introduced to him, he turned around and led me through a door right on to the floor of the Legislative Council while it was in session.  We were sitting on a bench talking while his colleague was speaking from the podium about 20 feet away.  Do any readers have any travel stories like that?

5 responses to:
“Adam Endures 49 Hours in the Air as His Travels Continue”

  1. Kevin Griffin

    Well Adam, you choose great airplane reading. You’re the only person I think I know of in the cruise industry who reads The Economist. Whereas many I know in the shipping business do. Sign of an intelligent man I think. Good luck in China!

  2. Sheila

    While the trip sounds exhausting, I doubt “enduring” 49 hours while in First Class is the same as traveling by “cattle car” coach class the rest of us travel!

  3. Susan fried

    Adam, one of the things you speak of is the idea of “home porting “and how wonderful it is that people can get to the port without flying. That may be true in other areas of the country, but sadly not the west coast. You have basically deserted us!! My husband and I are “Diamond Plus” and our first choice has always been RCI. We have a wonderful cruise planned for next year on Jewel of the Seas and are looking forward to it very much.However, we have had a lot of stress recently and just want to get in our car, drive to San Diego or L.A. , and get on a ship. We want to sit on a veranda and watch the ocean go
    by. If we end up doing this, we will have to go on another cruise line. Would it be so bad to port a Radiance Class ship in L.A. Or S.D and have it cruise back and forth to Hawaii?
    I am sure ther are others who feel the same way. Thank you.

  4. Alan brill

    Hi, Adam.
    My work in information security requires a lot of travel, typically 100,000 miles per year. I, like you, have had some amazing travel experiences.

    My most unusual was on a trip to South Africa to provide computer forensic training to government agencies. I was picked up at the airport by a colleague who had worked with the government since the fall of apartheid. He said he had to make a stop on the way to the site where we would be doing the training. We drove to a park-like area, and suddenly came to a checkpoint with what seemed to me like a lot of guards and firepower. But they knew my colleague and greeted him warmly. We drove in, and parked behind a nice house. He told me to come with him, and walked into the back door. You can imagine my shock when we found Nelson Mandela sitting in the kitchen having breakfast. He had recently retired from the presidency. It turned out that they were old friends. We were invited to join him for tea. Totally unexpected, and one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

    I could tell you other stories — like meeting an old friend who was based in Washington on a rainy sunday at Stanley Market on Hong Kong Island when neither of us knew the other was on an international trip, but I’ll save those for when we end up as seatmates on a flight (probably a long one.) It’s probably just a matter of time. So Adam, do you want the window seat, or the aisle?

    • Adam

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us, Alan. And for the record, aisle person all the way.

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