It’s been a very interesting week. I just returned from an Anchored in Excellence (AIE) visit to Monarch of the Seas. We joined the ship in Nassau and sailed back to Port Canaveral. I have to say that I was truly impressed with the teamwork and spirit onboard. I was also very happy to see the strong focus on crew satisfaction. The Monarch Executive Committee has been putting a lot of focus on revitalizing the crew areas, including an updated gym, new food stations and the crew outdoor deck areas.
I had forgotten that we had used Monarch to test the Izumi concept for Oasis. We had a dinner with the executive committee at Izumi and all cooked our own dinners with the hot rocks. It was a good reminder of how we always test concepts in the fleet before rolling them out to a new build or to the rest of the fleet. The Jade area on Monarch was also great and in addition to the hot rocks, guests can also get Sushi, or Chop’s Grille salads, shrimp cocktail and steak.
I have to say that it really shows the power of the guest service and value of the crew when I look at how Monarch is performing on our balanced scorecard. She is the number two ship in the fleet and her ratings are consistently improving and above target. I told the crew that if all you had to do was be the newest ship to be on top of the scorecard it was one thing, but to have a 19-year-old ship in the second position, and closing in on the number one spot, was clearly a sign of the focus on guests and “Delivering the Wow” at every opportunity. (In case you were wondering, Legend of the Seas is currently number one in the fleet)
One of our guests certainly had the Wow delivered to her on Oasis this week. She was playing the slots and put in three coins for the max bet and won $125,000! This happened on the first night of the cruise. The ship was all a buzz about her big jackpot. (I went to Gulfstream to try my luck after reading about her luck, but only won $32.00 playing Fireball, my new favorite slot machine)
There are a lot of discussions about Allure this week, as Ken Rush, our start up Cruise Director, is already in town working on the compasses and activities line up for Allure. There is so much additional programming and activities related to the DreamWorks events that we will probably have at least 26 versions of the compass before we finalize the ultimate week that showcases two ice shows, Chicago, Blue Planet, two aqua theatre shows, 3D movies, parades, as well as all the other special activities and events! There is so much we have planned that I think our guests will need to sail for two weeks in order to experience it all.