Anchored in Excellence. Three of my favorite words. We created this phrase 12 years ago to describe our aspiration for our people and our relationship with our employees and guests. It is about our company, not just the Royal Caribbean International brand. In fact, we developed Anchored in Excellence after we brought Celebrity Cruises into the company alongside Royal Caribbean International. The Anchor in Anchored is from Royal Caribbean’s crown & anchor symbol. The X in Excellence is from Celebrity’s symbol.
The expression of Anchored in Excellence takes many forms, from a simple credo card, to the annual visits of every ship in the fleet by senior operations management. I intend no higher praise than when I tell a ship, department, team, or person, that they are Anchored in Excellence.
The qualities of being Anchored in Excellence are exhibited every day in countless ways. Most of them in the delivery of Gold Anchor Service to our guests onboard the ships, but also shoreside across the globe, and in innumerable ways. However, every once in a while there is a major tangible expression of what it means to be Anchored in Excellence. One such example occurred last week, and I can summarize it by repeating here the internal letter I broadcast by email to our people across the company:
Please join me in expressing my appreciation and gratitude to the crew onboard Legend of the Seas for their valiant efforts. .
Monday, as Legend of the Seas was sailing in the Taiwan Strait, it received a distress call from the Panama-registered freighter Xin Yi. Legend of the Seas noted the position and set a course towards the location. Legend of the Seas was the first ship to arrive at the distressed ship, which was sinking. Faced with very rough seas and heavy winds up to 75 miles per hour, crew members onboard Legend of the Seas immediately began search and rescue operations. Once the Taiwan Coast Guard arrived at the location, they began assisting with air and sea searches. Together with the Taiwan Coast Guard, Legend of the Seas was able rescue three of the crew and assist in the rescue of another nine of the cargo ship’s 22 crew members.
After taking part in the rescue operation for approximately 12 hours, the ship was advised by the Coast Guard that they would assume control of the search for the remaining missing crew members. Legend of the Seas resumed its journey to Hong Kong with three of the rescued sailors onboard. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the cargo ship’s 22 crew members and their families. .
To the Captain, Officers and crew of Legend of the Seas – we are extremely proud of your important contribution to this unfortunate event. Congratulations on a job well done!
This was an awful situation. Even the ship’s heroic efforts could not prevent loss of life as at least one crew member was confirmed dead, and at least three were still missing as of last report. But if Legend of the Seas had not responded in the manner it did, the outcome would have been much worse still. I cannot describe how I feel about Legend of the Seas’ team more powerfully, and succinctly, than to say they are truly Anchored in Excellence.
It is already a great accomplishment to make such an impact once in a year. But I am proud to say that this episode is only one of many such examples from 2010, which has also included our Haiti earthquake relief efforts, the opening of the new primary school on our property at Labadee, the repatriation by Celebrity Eclipse of UK citizens trapped on tour in Spain by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, and many local community service efforts around the world.