I hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday season.
The microscope may not recede from Oasis of the Seas for a long time. But that reality doesn’t obscure that we have reached the holiday season for the whole fleet and our full global portfolio of “winter” programs. The word winter of course reflects a northern bias. We have Splendour of the Seas and Vision of the Seas in Brazil and Rhapsody of the Seas in Australia because it is very much summer in those regions. Plus Legend of the Seas is in sunny Singapore and Brilliance of the Seas is a few weeks away from its first voyage from Dubai. Still in the Caribbean, but very much part of our global expansion strategy, Enchantment of the Seas has begun our Panama/Colombia program.
The preparation for these programs is a year-round phenomenon. We are either delivering these programs or we are processing the lessons learned and developing the next season’s program. As we have grown our international offices’ capabilities, we look increasingly to our distant colleagues for feedback on product content, distribution and pricing. We’re very happy to have Americans and all nationalities cruise on these products, but I will note that the ships in Brazil have mostly Brazilians onboard, the ship in Australia has mostly Australians onboard and so forth. That’s no different than if you take a land vacation to such countries, but some of our guests are surprised to find this to be the case. In the 1990’s our worldwide cruises were primarily to take Americans on exotic itineraries. Now our worldwide cruises are for all nationalities with the usual case being that the nationalities nearest to the homeport are the largest % of the guest mix.
Switching subjects, I am coming up to my last race in the 45 – 49 age category shortly to be followed by my first race in the 50 – 54 age category. I am running well and hungry for best times and medals. There will still be faster runners in Miami in my age group, but only a handful. I will have multiple chances during the first quarter to run a 5k under 19 minutes. That’s the primary target. Meanwhile, my team at work collectively bought me a new table tennis table which is really nice of them. Thanks! They may really want to facilitate my table tennis abilities or they may want me to play more table tennis and leave them alone.