I definitely feel the temptation to stick to the “news” be it good, bad or ugly. The truth is there has to be a balance in order for readers to get a comprehensive view of life at Royal Caribbean International. At least that’s my opinion. So I would like to introduce some key people to you.
For starters there are now more than 30,000 men and women working at Royal Caribbean International. About 90 percent of these work on the water. I could not be more proud of these employees. They are truly amazing. They often have families far from the ships. In many cases they are able to support their families at a much higher standard of living than they would have been able to do by working nearer to home. Their loyalty to us and our guests is something special.
Of course I am not able to interact with them every day, week, month or even year. I count on my senior leaders to cascade our principles, objectives, strategies and tasks throughout the ranks. Most of my interaction is with the following 10 people who report to me directly. They are a terrific team and I am honored to work with them.
Marta Barrios, my executive assistant for more than 15 years. She is the best.
These five are fully dedicated to Royal Caribbean International:
Betsy O’Rourke, our new arrival as Senior VP, Marketing. She just joined us from Wyndham Worldwide last month, however I worked with her for many years when she was at Travel Industry Association (now U.S. Travel Association).
Vicki Freed, our Senior VP, Sales and Trade Support & Services. A Hall of Famer in the cruise industry. Normally very quick on the uptake however did work 29 years at Carnival before joining us.
Lisa Bauer, our Senior VP, Hotel Operations. The one with the Oasis of the Seas countdown clock over her office door (maybe at home too). Did a great job as Senior VP, Sales before switching roles. Definitely the best shopper ever to hold the SVP Hotel role at our brand.
Captain Bill Wright, our Senior VP, Marine Operations. Possibly the only American captain of major cruise ships, he will bring Oasis of the Seas into service this fall after having done the same for Freedom of the Seas in 2006. Seems to enjoy being a new grandfather even more than being on the water or speaking Norwegian, which is really saying something.
Barbara Shrut, our VP, Brand Operations Finance & Administration. Keeps us all in line and knows what we’re all doing after spending time in Marketing, Sales and Accounting over her years with the company.
These four support Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises:
Michael Bayley, our Senior VP, International. Spearheads the company’s strategic thrust into priority countries. A traveling machine who brings unique experience to this role – he worked his way up from Assistant Purser on Nordic Prince in 1982 to Senior VP, Hotel before taking on International. Also ran Island Cruises in the UK.
Craig Milan, our SVP, Land Operations. Started as “only” President of our Royal Celebrity Tours operation in Alaska. Has taken RCT global plus added Shore Excursions, Guest Port Services, Private Destinations, Commercial Development and more. Fearsome swimmer and cyclist but afraid to run with me.
John Fox, VP, U.S. and Europe Government Relations. Speaks fluent English and Political. Teaching me Political as a Second Language.
Eleni Kalisch, VP, Federal Government Relations. Joined us from the FBI. Actually enjoys the Washington scene! Passionate Georgia Bulldog, apparently we forgot to tell Eleni during the hiring process that we are headquartered in a state with many Gators.
These are the leaders who make it happen in my group. In the future you will be hearing from at least some of them on occasion here on this blog.