Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. The run up to this Thanksgiving has been tougher than most because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the wide ranging effects of the storm. This storm was freakish in its scope. While it was over the water it affected the itineraries of 8 of our 22 ships and then it affected about a quarter of the U.S. once it went over land. It hasn’t been easy for anyone and many have been challenged significantly more than our operation. Having said that, I am very appreciative of the extraordinary effort by our people and our suppliers that enabled us to complete a turnaround of Brilliance of the Seas at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ on the Friday just after the storm passed through. That was a remarkable performance by Juan Trescastro, Anthony Caputo and the Guest Port Services team.
As we strive to deliver memorable and enjoyable vacations to over three million customers per year, every year is full of unexpected twists and turns. 2012 has been no exception. Equally, there is always much to be thankful for as each year unfolds. As we approach the holiday season, I am personally grateful among other things that:
- the men and women of Royal Caribbean International continue to deliver the Wow to our guests day in and day out onboard our 22 ships
- the travel agency community around the world really supported the cruise industry throughout a difficult year, delivering the message over and over about the cruise industry’s safety record and unparalleled value
- I have other things going on in my life besides watching the Eagles try to play football
- we have the resources to create new ships like Project Sunshine (stay tuned) and to revitalize the ships we already have
- we have guests who feel so strongly about Royal Caribbean that they write and email me to let me know personally that they are about to enjoy their next cruise with us
- my wonderful wife who has shared the Royal Caribbean experience with me since 1989 gets to enjoy a notable birthday (without being specific) over this Thanksgiving holiday