Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Adam Shares Some Humorous “Outtake” Stories during his Time at Royal Caribbean

There must be a subliminal current of nostalgia running under our buildings, because we’re quite focused on our history right now.  There is a history videography project going on at the moment and there is also a first ever company sponsored reunion event for employees from the early years coming up soon in South Florida.  This prompted me to think about some of the past moments I remember or came to know about that wouldn’t show up in press releases or webisodes.  There are more where these came from, and feel free to volunteer your own Royal Caribbean “outtake” moments.

1. 1988, underneath Heathrow Airport.  During the three plus months of insanity while our company was experiencing a merger and a potential acquisition by Carnival, we had a lot of tasks to complete in Europe. At one point, our CFO, Treasurer and I needed to catch the next flight to Oslo fast.  I went to the airport in a different car from the other two and we encountered each other in one of the tunnels under Heathrow, all running as fast as we could with our suitcases – in opposite directions!  Fortunately we made the flight.

2. Late 1980’s, Miami.  We decided to take our dedicated culinary operation known as Poseidon into our main hotel operation.  Even though Poseidon belonged to us already, the management was incredibly resistant to the transition.  At one point I said to our then-Controller “this might be the first ever hostile takeover of a wholly-owned subsidiary,” thereby unintentionally proving that it is possible to make a Controller laugh.

3. December 3rd, 1990.  After a year of work on the concept of Royal Caribbean sending a ship to Asia, it was time for the key presentation. After about 30 minutes my audience of senior executives dwindled one by one.  I was thinking, “I’m really losing my touch.”  Unfortunately, the truth was more serious.  We had received word from the shipyard in France that the not yet completed Monarch of the Seas was on fire in the shipyard.

Monarch of the Seas

4. October 19th, 1991.  As VP, International Sales & Marketing, I had pushed really hard for a first ever travel agent inaugural event in the UK.  We took Monarch to Southampton and encountered stunningly bad weather that caused the ship to remain at the dock.  More significantly, in our zeal to make the most of our opportunity, we overbooked the ship and lost control of who was staying where.  Chaos ensued over the rooms. Meanwhile the travel agents consumed the entire midnight buffet and all of the cigarettes.  We had to take cigarettes out of the duty free store to avoid a riot in one of the bars.

5. October 28th or so, 1991.  By now Monarch was leaving her Boston festivities for New York.  We sailed through hurricane conditions on the western edge of what we all now know as the “Perfect Storm.”  It was really rough on the sales force and the hotel operations wanted to make a nice gesture.  So they invited all of us to have dinner in the Windjammer which had never been done before.  These days, thousands of our guests around the fleet every night enjoy casual dinner in the Windjammer.  This was the first one.

6. Faux pas #1, early 1990’s.  On a sales trip to South America, I was amazed to learn just how late booking the customers were there.  Immediately following that trip, I went to Spain.  A tour operator there was telling me about his clients being late bookers.  I mentioned that the South Americans were apparently even later bookers.  He became visibly agitated, slammed his hand down on his desk and screamed at me “NO! In Spain we are the latest booking country in the world!” Oops.

7. Early 1990’s.  During the years I reported to EVP Rod McLeod, if he could not make an Executive Committee meeting, his direct reports would take turns attending in his place and writing up minutes of the meeting for Rod and his other direct reports.  Richard Fain, our Chairman & CEO, is not a fan of casual dress even today when we have it, but back then he was steadfast in his opposition to even casual Fridays.  After one such discussion, my notation in the minutes was “discussion of possible casual Fridays, motion defeated one to six.”  Brian Rice, then my colleague in Market Planning & Development, today our CFO, still refers to that vote once or twice each year.

8. Early 1990’s.  I was on a cruise on Majesty of the Seas with friends but was also looking out for the welfare of a very distinguished elderly gentleman who was a high ranking person at AeroMexico.  One night after dinner, I escorted this gentleman to the front row of the theater to make sure he had a good seat for the show by the ex-Supreme Mary Wilson.  For some reason I decided to sit there for a while and wouldn’t you know it, Mary Wilson hauled me up on the stage as part of her act, not knowing I had anything to do with the company.  My wife, my friends, the Hotel Director and the Cruise Director found it hilarious.  I think Mary Wilson was puzzled why I seemed comfortable to be on the stage.

Majesty of the Seas

9. 1990’s. Flight from Auckland to Honolulu.  This would not normally have been a flight to get excited about, especially since there would have been many more hours of travel to Miami ahead of us.  However, in this particular case, because of the international dateline and the timing of the flight, we were scheduled to land in Honolulu the day before we departed from Auckland.  Our small traveling party agreed in advance that no matter what the flight attendant offered us for breakfast, we would say “I’m sorry I already had that tomorrow.”

10.  Faux pas #2, early 2000’s.  During the course of speaking to the crew in the main theater on 117 occasions over 8 years, I always tried to be careful about how I addressed our fabulous men and women.  Unfortunately, life is not perfect and question and answer sessions are inherently spontaneous.  So after one of the dancers gave a long monologue “question” about why the charge for crew use of the internet was too high, with lots of calculations thrown in, I said “wow, that’s pretty good math for an entertainer.” Shall we say, this comment was not well received.  Oops again.

Let me know if you want more.

20 responses to:
“Adam Shares Some Humorous “Outtake” Stories during his Time at Royal Caribbean”

  1. Patricia Dempsey

    I have a photo of Monarch taken in Southampton during her stay. She was the first RCI ship I’d seen so am thrilled we now have one permanently. :)

    • Adam

      We’d love for you to share your photo on our Facebook page, Patricia, and we hope to see you onboard soon.

  2. Mark Fuller

    Hi Adam,

    I loved your blog today! Nice review of some of the “not popular moments” in your career. I spent my entire working life in Corporate America, so I really liked the defeat of “casual Fridays” by a vote of 1-6…. I have also been a part of such votes.

    Thanks again and my bride and I look forward to our Transatlantic cruise on the Navigator April, 2012 then B2B throughout the Mediterranean. 22 days on one of your ships! We can not wait!

    Mark Fuller

    • Adam

      We’re glad you enjoyed today’s post, Mark, and we look forward to having you both onboard this upcoming April.

  3. Hese

    Hello Adam. Your 2 biggest ships Oasis and Allure has been on service while now, hope everything has been going more than good :) i can happily say im living in the city where they have been built and delivering those ships from a small country like Finland is really nice :) i hope future will bring us more orders from RCI

    All the best for the whole RCI crew on board and on land :)
    Best wishesh from Finland

    • Adam

      Thank you, Hese. We were happy to have had such a great country as Finland turn out two outstanding vessels in Allure and Oasis.

  4. Brian kupisz

    Good afternoon Adam,
    First and for most justbwanted to say how much I love RCL! My 2 questions for you would be, first, when will we see the first images of what the “project sunshine” ships will look like? Second, after being on 7 RCL cruises and some on another line, I can fully appreciate what Royal does for it’s guests and I wouldnlove to be part of the team, what is the easiest way to speak to someone about shipboard employment? Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you…..

    Brian Kupisz

    • Adam

      Thanks for commenting, Brian. We don’t plan to share photos or ideas about “Project Sunshine” in the near future, but I assure you that it will be quite an amazing ship. In regards to possible employment opportunities, please visit http://www.royalcareersatsea.com/

  5. Karen BurnhaM

    Adam,
    How can you not mention our beloved Viking Serenade when you write about nostalgia?
    She was a great ship in her day and the favorite of everyone on the Left Coast!

  6. Susan Phelan

    Hi Adam,

    Great blog today. My ‘outtake’ also involves Monarch on a Southern Caribbean sailing from San Juan. With an early arriving flight it seems like we waited forever to embark on the ship. AND there was only 1 (ONE) representative checking paperwork before we went downstairs to the check-in area. I have never met a more patient individual and he was a wonderful agent representing your line! He was also perfectly named for the role he played that day – ANGEL! I did not make up the name!

  7. Rick Strunck

    Hello Adam,
    Loved the nostalgia article! Having been part of the “early days” at RCL, I have to agree, time does put a different perspective on incidents that, at the time, seemed insurmountable and totally lacking in comedic content. It’s now nice to see that, as a team, the employees of Royal Caribbean could always rise to the occasion – it’s a tribute to the leadership we had. Thank you!

    Rick Strunck

  8. Marvin

    We understand the desire that this blog remains friendly and comfortable for readers. At he same time to eliminate all but favorable comments, especially when they are of a constructive nature, is artificial and arbitrary. This has been the only forum to present suggestions for passanger service improvements . Often these communications and your positive resposes resulted in a better product and a happier relationship with your clientele. We have greatly enjoyed the vast majority of RCI cruises and were eager to convey our satisfaction. However when there are issues that should reach your attention this was the only effective way of communicating.

  9. Bob Mcdonald

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for sharing your very amusing memories and for posting those wonderful pictures of the graceful “Monarch of the Seas”, with her lovely “Nomandie”-styled stern.

    But most of all, thanks so much to every Royal executive, board member, shareholder, etc. who decided not to merge with Carnival Cruises. RCI is the best best mass-market cruise line out there. I hope you stay independent for a long time.

  10. Ken Klingenberg

    Adam,
    I would LOVE to hear more stories of the “good old days” and some of the faux pas that have happened.

    My family and I love Royal Caribbean and especially the ships out of Bayonne (Explorer) and Baltimore (Enchantment).

    Keep up the great work and the best of Gold Crown Service.

    • Adam

      We’re happy to hear you enjoyed reading about these stories, Ken. Thank you for your support.

  11. Mike B

    I have to say LOL to the comment you made in item 10. I would have loved to have been there to see that one. Gosh, Adam you seem funny, almost human for a senior manager (oppps can I say that!). Great storys.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Mike. We’re happy you enjoyed the stories.

  12. Caribbean Cruises

    I really enjoy reading about you experience with RC. I am a big fan of RC dating back to my honeymoon, 21 years ago. I look forward to taking my family on a cruise and letting them experience an amazing time and see wonderful places.

    • Adam

      Thank you for sharing. We look forward to having you and your family back onboard.

  13. john & jacki smith

    Keep ‘em coming Adam!
    It’s great to see the EVERYONE experiences some of the same craziness that only continues to prove the old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction, because you simply can’t make this stuff up!”
    Have a great day!

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