Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

The Phenomenon of Being Recognized

With the exception of the late Steve Jobs, being a corporate executive and being famous is not a desirable combination in the 21st century. So the limelight is not a place my colleagues or I seek to be. Having said that, there is a certain amount of notoriety that comes with being President & CEO of Royal Caribbean. I have to be prepared for that and so do several executives on my leadership team. The phenomenon of being recognized can produce some humorous moments. It often results in an outpouring of compliments regarding a recent cruise.  And, once in a while, it leads to a diatribe about a cruise gone wrong.

It has been seven years since my appearance on Oprah so I no longer encounter any “Didn’t I see you on…?” questions. A couple of years ago I did find out that the mother of one of my elementary school friends was patiently waiting to ask me what being on the show was like.

Obviously when I am onboard our ships there is little chance I can walk from bow to stern without one or more of our loyal Crown & Anchor Society members stopping me. One thing I’ve realized over the years is that I am much less reserved in the persona of Royal Caribbean President & CEO than I am as ordinary Adam Goldstein.

Airports and airplanes are a two edged sword.  If I’m traveling when cruisers are arriving for their cruises or departing from their cruises, it’s often like being onboard the ship. Once at Ft. Lauderdale airport I was in a pretty long security line to fly across the state at the same time as the Oasis of the Seas customers were in line to fly home. I wonder what the TSA people were thinking when multiple travelers in the security line started asking me to pose for pictures with them. On the other hand, after almost 25 years of observing cruisers in airports and on airplanes, I don’t need much of a clue to figure out who is coming from or going to which cruise. I’m sure they wonder sometimes “how did he know?”

One of my colleagues recently was on a plane sitting next to someone who said “You really look like so and so. I know you’re not her but you sure look like her.” My colleague patiently explained that in fact it was her, not a lookalike.

The part of recognition I like the best is when our crew recognize me when I’m traveling. It’s such a pleasure to spend a few minutes with them, finding out if they’re beginning or ending a contract, switching ships or staying with the same ship, hearing about their responsibilities onboard. Usually they ask for a picture as well, which I take as a positive sign of how they feel about the company.

I can’t say I trained for these encounters but I will say I have experienced even stranger recognitions in the past because of my resemblance to my late father. For example, once I was walking up the steps at a college football game that did not involve my school. Suddenly out of the crowd a hand extended and grabbed me hard by the arm.  The voice connected to this hand said “You’re Bill Goldstein’s son, aren’t you?”  Worse yet, when I was only 24 I was greeting friends and relatives arriving early to my grandmother’s surprise 80th birthday party. One of the friends exclaimed “Billy! You haven’t changed at all!” Compared to that, I can handle any recognition I receive these days.

17 responses to:
“The Phenomenon of Being Recognized”

  1. Natasha thomas

    Dear Adam
    I think I can speak for everyone living outside the US and CA when I say that we are getting more and more irritated when RCCL. Announce a competition on Facebook or Twitter, only to discover that we aren’t eligible .
    You have a huge following globally , and considering the percentage increase of non USA / CA residents ( ie UK etc ) , would it not be prudent opening the competitions to everybody?
    I would appreciate your comments .
    I love sailing with RCCL and wouldn’t switch , my kids love every second, so…… Make it fair , give the world a chance!

  2. Austin Mace

    I admit, If I ever ran into you on my next cruise or out and about it would be tempting not to just say hello! Your company has created so many memorable experiences for me that one simply can’t put a price on, I feel like letting you know that in person would be the least I could do.

    • Adam

      We’re happy to hear that, Austin. Hopefully our paths will cross someday soon. Thank you.

  3. Shaun Veerasawmy

    Excellent article and I do hope that Mr Goldstein will visit the Island of Trinidad and Tobago in the near future as this is where I Call home and would love to see the return of his ships to our waters as I am now retired and do miss ship life and my shipboard family.

    • Adam

      Thank you for the invitation, Shaun. Unfortunately, at this time we have no plans to return to Trinidad and Tobago.

  4. Patricia Crawford

    Hello Adam,

    My husband and I are booked on “Back to Back” cruises on Vision of the Seas. April 17, 2013 we are taking the 17- Night Transatlantic cruise. Then continuing on May 4, 2013 to the Norwegian Fjords. I tried to pre order & purchase the Platinum Wine Package online for the April 17th sailing. However, i received a response in Red letters from RCCL stating that unable to purchase orders at this time. I then phoned the Pre Order wine package phone number and tried to place my order by talking with a real live person. I was told all pre-orders for the wine package was no longer available because RCCL was sold out. My next call was to Crown and Anchor office to see if they could help. I spoke to a very nice lady by the name of Taylor. She too was confused as to why I could not place my wine order. She put me on hold and did some research/investigating. She also contacted the Pre-Planning Group in which they replied that I would have to wait until I boarded the ship to purchase the wine.

    My brother and sister in law (Michael and Mary Bell) are also cruising with us tried to pre order the wine package and had the same problems. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP WITH ISSUE PLEASE ????

    Thank you for your assistance in this matter!

    • Adam

      Thank you for alerting us of your situation, Patricia. Once you are onboard please discuss your concerns with guest services, they should be able to help you out.


    1-I HAVE CRUISED ON Celebrity 2x and wanted to know if those points get added to the Crown & Anchor points.
    2-Which Ship has the show Grease?
    3-Will the Quantum of the Seas have a repositioning cruise in 2014 from Europe?

  6. Stephen OBrien

    Steve Jobs and Adam Goldstein in the one sentence…i’m not going to go there but I love the level you have set the bar, its a very very very long, long waayyy down Adam, Respect to the late Mr Jobs…

    • Adam

      We appreciate your comment, Stephen. Thank you.

  7. Marybeth

    I am not to sure how to put this. It is very hard to speak with some one over the phone. My sister has been trying for 2 days to speak with ANY one about the cruise we are taking in July of 2013 but to no avail she is placed on hold for a very long time each time she calls. Today she was on hold for one HOUR. This to me is annoying. Some one should atleast come on the phone and say “we will be with you in a few minutes.” She even emailed but of course it is a automated response back. She even left a voice mail message with some one and yup you guessed right no one has called her back. Please Please improve customer service because right now it is lacking in service. Thank you

  8. Joe Rutherford

    I will always remember when we met. I was at the head of the line to disembark in St Thomas, on the inaugural sailing of The Oasis, when you made your way to the head of the line. We had to wait for them to build a platform so the stairs would line up with the pier. (If think I remember reading, you missed your flight)

    • Adam

      Thank you for that trip down memory lane, Joe. Until next time.

  9. jacky huber

    I would like to THANK EVERYONE for turning a bad situation into a wonderful vacation for two friends of mine. This was their frist trip ANYWERE Andi long over due HONEYMOON. The airlines lost their main luggage and you stepped up to help with clothes, shoes and personal hygiene products. Their luggage finally arrived on the sixth day of a seven day cruise, but if it had not been for everyone at ROYAL CARIBBEAN it would have been a DISASTER. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.

    • Adam

      We are very happy to hear that, Jacky. Thank you for expressing your gratitude to us, we will be sure to pass your message along.

  10. Dave & Donna Burrescia

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and I’d like to invite you and your family to join us for our Cruise on the Oasis of the Seas on June 1st, we have some good times planned, school should be out for your son, and I’ll bet he won’t get to enjoy cruising very much with Princeton calling soon. Maybe you can sneak aboard and join our family of nine gathering aboard the Oasis for the first time. I guarantee it will be a great time!

    -Dave & Donna Burrescia

    • Adam

      Thank you for the invite, Dave & Donna, have a fantastic cruise.

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