Oasis of the Seas is on her maiden voyage after having returned from a very successful four night cruise featuring Oasis’ first port of call at Labadee on Thursday. With the new dock, new facilities and new attractions, Labadee is a state-of-the-art, world-class port of call for any size ship. You should pick a cruise that goes there in the near future. Congratulations to our Private Destinations leadership team that oversaw a brilliantly successful project in a challenging environment on time and on budget: Associate VP John Weis and Site Managers David Scott and David Southby and their people, under the direction of SVP Craig Milan.
Now that Oasis is in “normal” operation, we are sifting through mountains of data and feedback about how it is going. Operations, new initiatives, new technologies, onboard revenue centers, etc., are all under the microscope of read and react. Overall things are going very well and I am expecting solid ratings for the first cruise as compared to first cruises of previous first of class ships. Nevertheless, the first cruise was a one time, four night cruise and now we need to deliver a seven night cruise to our guests inclusive of our three regular ports of call.
Surprise! The rest of the business never stopped while we were introducing Oasis. We are immersed in details of the 2010 Plan, final preparations for our (northern) winter programs and beginning the countdown to the early 2010 “wave” booking season. With the influx of congratulatory of emails on the Oasis inaugurals, my email in-box has attained a new level of fertility.
Thursday night I was in Dallas with my wife Cheryl and my mother Judy and her husband Jim for my induction into the U.S. Travel Association Hall of Leaders. It was my mother’s birthday and it was a very nice occasion. I was happy to have a chance to express my appreciation for the people who have most enabled my success over the last 21 years at Royal Caribbean: my wife Cheryl, my assistant Marta, our Chairman & CEO Richard Fain, my outstanding leadership team and the wonderful men and women who deliver the Wow throughout our fleet. In addition, having spent a lot of time earlier in my career as a volunteer leader at then TIA (now U.S. Travel Association), I thanked then-CEO Bill Norman as well as current CEO Roger Dow for the opportunity to have served the organization and the support I have received from it.