Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

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.

16 responses to:
“Giving Credit Where Credit is Due”

  1. Mandy

    Thanks for the introductions! The team certainly represents a wide range of personalities and experiences.

    I can’t fault Vicki…I was a CCL cruiser for years before I gave RCL a try! (I’ve never looked back.)

  2. Lisa

    The staff on board are FANTASTIC. I honestly cannot rave about them more or appreciate them more. They are always pleasant and incredibly helpful. I often wonder if they get sick of answering the same questions week after week that are so classic of cruisers (i.e. where do you sleep, do you have time off, how many hours a week do you work, do you miss your families) but they answer them like it’s the first time they’ve been asked and god bless them for their spirit because I think I’d wanna deck someone after the 10th time being asked!!!! They are so truly amazing and I hope RCCL recognizes each and every one of them because they work really hard to make our experience so enjoyable.

  3. Tracey

    We have cruised other lines in the past but since our first cruise with Royal, we have been loyal. The staff are a big part of that reason. A company is only as good as it’s employees and you guys do one hell of a job!

    This past winter we took the same cruise twice, from Cape Canaveral to the Bahamas within a month of each other because we had so much fun on the first. Oddly enough they were both very different and incredible trips. Aside from the boat the only other part that was not different was the fantastic staff. They really know how to make you feel welcome. We are looking to book our next cruise now and would not think of looking anywhere other than Royal!

  4. Garry Bormann

    Hi, my family of 5 have 2 cabbins booked on Brilliance of the seas, 12 night out of Barcelona cruise , could someone please email me with what is not included in the price . eg Does it cost extra to do rock climbing or attend the fitness centre ?- I have 2 daughters age 11 and 14 who like to keep fit ! Many thanks Garry

  5. Richard Schaab

    I certainly agree with your opinion of Marta Barrios. She and Sophia ahave been more than helpful since my son and daughter-in-law missed the Legend due to the RCI travel department. Marta has always been there for us ever since. She is not only great but wonderful. I only wish we had the opportunity to meet her personally.

    Dick Schaab

  6. Cassie

    Speaking of awesome staff, I emailed RCCL awhile ago to let them know I received outstanding customer service from Sunny (Sunita) Levy in Reservations. WONDERFUL! She went above and beyond to answer my many, many emails and phone calls.

    I hadn’t ever heard back if my email had been acknowledged. I work in customer service as well and I always appreciate the positive feedback especially since it’s the negative we usually hear about.

  7. Eileen

    I couldn’t agree more. The staff are one of the main reasons we go back time after time, often on the same ships. As Diamond Plus members, we obviously cruise frequently ( as many as 5 times a year) yet we are constantly amazed when we are recognized out of the thousands of passengers the staff and crew see week in and week out. We feel like we are going home to visit with family members we don’t see nearly often enough. I would especially like to recognize some of our favorite bartenders: Susie and Brendan on the Brilliance; James on the Radiance; “Ace” and Gusti on the Serenade and Darwin, Terrance and Kevin on the Liberty. The RCCL family is truly amazing!

  8. Jason


    Adam & Co-Workers

    I was wondering if their could be something on your website,Showing the current locations of all your ships at sea so they can be watched from home as they travel.Or a webcam on board all your ships so we can see them through your website?
    Just thought that would be interesting!

  9. Cynthia Wynne

    My husband and I were blessed enough to take a cruise to Alaska last May. We had never cruised before and because of Royal Caribbean we will be doing it again. We have never had such a wonderful time in our lives. We chose a cruisetour and were treated like royalty… we were taken care of like family.
    We thought of taking a cruise to the mediterranean…with R.C.
    ofcourse… but couldn’t until after we take our three children and their spouses to the most beautiful place on earth..Alaska…We are dreaming and saving for our special places on The Radiance. I can’t believe we can all be together …such a beautiful place…such a wonderful ship ….Why Not….

  10. Harry Steele

    Thank you for your comments about your team, and introducing a few of your stars. We think that the Officers, Staff and crew on your RCCL ships are the best of the best! Each time we sail we marvel at how wonderful each person on board makes us feel. They consistently deliver the “WOW”… and make us feel they are so happy to be on board and to meet each and every passenger. We also want to say how professional, competent and generous the team in Wichita is to help with every call we make. You really have some stars on your RCCL team, congratulations… and keep up the great job you and your team are doing.

  11. Michelle

    I have been on three cruises, all with Royal Caribbean. Each and every time I’ve traveled, the staff is always courteous and goes out of their way to make sure that everyone is enjoying their trip. October 2010 can’t get here quick enough as I look forward to sailing on the Oasis. May God continue to bless each and everyone of you.

  12. Bob

    My wife and I sailed on RCCL for our 10th anniversary. We were lucky to sail the Empress before she left the fleet. We still rave about that cruise and are considering a Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel next February.

  13. Lisa

    Garry B- Your email address is not visible for others to email you. You can always call the customer service to get your questions answered but in the meantime…You do not pay extra for rock wall, flo-rida, ice-skating, shows, activities etc. You pay extra for the speciality restaurants and alcohol. A good site to get every question imaginable answered is you will find can even find people will be on the same ship as you and get great tips on what to bring, best airport transportation, beaches to go to at each stop, etc. If you’d like to email me you can at

  14. JACQUELINE Glassner

    Would it be possible for Mr. Goldstein to rotate his live chat (Q&A) sessions to West as well as East Coast time zones? Thank you.

  15. Dawna Seawell

    Our last cruise on the Mariner March 2009 our room steward wrote us a very personal note wishing our family all the best. Our waiter Nemo also went ABOVE & BEYOND what was expected. We were sad to see the Monarch go from LA but can’t wait to sail the Mariner again, just wish it was a 3 or 4 nighter giving us a fun easy weekend from the Colorado cold. Honestly we are not happy with the changes to those of us that our “Loyal to Royal” but I can’t imagine sailing with anyone else. The amazing staff has certainly grabbed our hearts, that is for sure.

  16. Lorelle Briggs

    I would like to make a suggestion re: customer comment cards. I really wish they could be handed out one day earlier. I like to fill them out and give credit where it is due. I find it very hectic trying do do all the last moment things and fill out the comment card. I hope this is the right place to post this. Thank you Lorelle Briggs

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