My Version of Summer Break

by 605

More than 20 years has now passed since I was last a student, but I still feel as if the year has just come to a close with the advent of summer. Never mind that I’m not taking a summer vacation this year as we ramp up for the introduction of Oasis of the Seas in the fall. It isn’t just that my children’s academic year has ended. It’s that my “athletic year” has ended in terms of competitive running events. I’ve been competing the last three years after missing 25 years because my back wasn’t cooperative. Sometimes people ask me “how do you balance work and family life with working out so hard?” I ask myself “how did I balance anything for all those years without being able to work out?”

My main competitive focus is running 5k races. When I started racing again two years ago I was at 24 minutes. Now I’m at 19.33. If I can get my time under 19 minutes by the time I turn 50 (in the next “athletic year”!), I will be pretty competitive for my age group. I don’t think I’ve seen a race result in South Florida where more than two people in the 50 – 54 age group ran sub-19 in the same race. Sub-19 is my new goal. But I’m also looking forward to racing shorter distances on the track. Three weekends ago I competed near Orlando in my first race on a track in 32 years. In the 1,500 meter race there were only three people in the 45 – 49 age group in the race. I beat one so they gave me a silver medal. I’m not telling you my time. When I run under 5 minutes I’ll tell you my time. I was at the meet over 11 hours to run for just over five minutes, but that’s another story.

Meanwhile my table tennis ability (and more importantly, understanding of table tennis) continues to grow slowly but surely with the benefit of a lesson almost every week. Maybe I will try a tournament when I can play 50 and over. I’m not sure. But I am pretty sure this is a fantastic anti-aging activity. I read earlier this year that table tennis helps you in two ways both of which have to do with the speed of the game. Maintaining hand/eye coordination is one benefit. Executing strategy and tactics at high speed is another. Not to mention that, according to my instructor, table tennis tested out as one of the top ten aerobically demanding sports of all events at the Olympics. Why do I say table tennis and not Ping Pong? Table tennis is the official name of the sport whereas Ping Pong is a brand name within the sport. Sort of like facial tissue to Kleenex I suppose. Anyway, so I’m told.

If I had any sense I would stop this blog entry now. But, no! I have a confession to make along the lines of the saying “a good game of pool is the mark of a fine gentleman, a great game of pool is the mark of a misspent youth.” Many of you fellow Blackberry users are aware that the Brickbreaker game comes with the device. You can ignore the game and your high score will be zero. You can occasionally fiddle with it until you come up against level 16 and your high score will be nearly 10,000. Or you can master it and have a high score for example of 1,334,845. Your reward for this extraordinary achievement will be endless scorn and derision from your family. Good luck!

  • Brent

    Hey adam!
    im a sophmore in high school who also runs and ironically also trying to get past the 19s and move to the 18s!
    im at 19:11 right. Your times are very impressive!
    I hope you reach your goal and keep the blog going i enjoy reading it bid RCI fan :D

  • Jim Cunningham

    Many people have commented that they do not hear from comments or letters sent to Miami HQ. My personal experience with RCCL-Miami is similar to a “black hole” –nothing ever comes out.

    • Adam

      Jim, I am sorry to hear that you have not received any response back from our office. We have a dedicated team that responds to all customer service inquiries as quickly as they can. If someone has not responded to you it may be that we never received your inquiry. Please resend your correspondence to our customer service department by visiting and clicking the contact us link.

  • Michael O’Connell

    Mr. Goldstein,
    As an avid long term executive (older) runner, I’m very impressed with you times. A sub 19 is a formidable goal to reach. Going from 24 to 19:33 is huge. What’s your training regiment consist of? Maybe I’ll be competing with you and the other 3 people in the over 50 races.

  • Becci Boo

    Adam: you absolutely break me up…I suspect you should have been a standup comedian along the lines of Seinfeld! Ha Ha! But….I am now motivated to begin my running career…starting with my Nordic trac, at over 60 excess lbs and at 59, I think I should be cautious, don’t you? Keep the comedy coming!

  • don

    Dear MR Goldstein,

    My wife and I recently took our first cruise on RC’S Adventure of the Seas for our honeymoon June 7-14,2009. As you know this particulas cruise had a significant itinerary change as a result of a crew member displaying symptoms of NIHI flu virus. The result being the ship denied at two scheduled ports of call and then an additional day at sea. I can’t tell you how dissappointed this itinary change has made us as we had several “experience of a lifetime” excursions planned for two missed ports of call (helicopter tour of a volcano and zip lining in the rainforst). As you know everything onboard cost money, pretty much everthing. RC no doubt made a fair bit of extra money with all passangers now having to spend additonal time onboard rather than experiencing a port of call. Now it is not lost on us that RC may change the itinerary as stated in the contract for any reason however it does seem unreasonable that this would be done without any sign of good faith by RC to compensate passangers for a significant itinary change. I assume the original cost of our cruise included the calculation of the needed port fees etc based on the itinerary set. Capt Holmes had a town hall meeting onboard to discuss the issue and it was clear that many other pasaangers felt the same way. Many told stories of getting a few hundred dollars in crdit for trip interuptions time and time again. This situation seems no different. The Capt assured us he would impress upon your Corporate execs our concerns and that RC would get back to everyone before the end of the cruise with a decision. This did not happen. I spoke to the front desk staff several times onboard and they simply suggested we contact Corporate in Miami afterwards, no more information was offered. We walked away feeling somewhat abandoned in our concerns with RC. With no satifaction onboard I contacted customer relations and again was told that RC was in now way interested in compensating passangers for this issue. I was told this would not change and that there was no other recourse. They simply staed my concern was noted on my file. As you can understand many mnay friends and family are continuously asking us how our cruise went. What do you think we tell them. We’d rather sign your praises on how you took this negative incident and spun it and made it into an oppurtunity to make RC shine. Even a few hundred dollars as a ship board credit would be a sign of good faith to build loyalty with its customer base. I have to really reconsider whether RC is the cruise line anyone would want to cruise with again. We don’t feel any relationship with RC at all and certainly not one that would make us want to come back again t RC. As you know there are many many cruising options other than RC out there, why would we want to cruise with RC again? I’d be willing to reconsider this viewpoint and be happy to sing the praises of RC if we could get some sign that RC values it passangers loyalty and choices.

    Come on Mr Goldstien! Take this oppurtunity to make RC shine!

  • Tevfik pamukcu

    Dear Sir,

    I been following all your messages and really trying to get a job from your company. Dispute all the application forms I filled up online and the resumes I sent for past 3 years never recieved a respond! Would you help me please?

    Tevfik Pamukcu

  • Daphne Marquez

    Dear Mr. President,
    The saddest part these things I told you a while ago happened again, imagine Sir 14 days cruise and getting only almost 300 prepaid included, how can those crew of yours can pay their bills, tuition fees of their kids and food for everyday… I really wish you can do something about this Sir. Those crew are important right? These things doesn’t happen in only one ship but in every ship you have. Thank you again and I hope really hope that you can do something about this.

  • bill

    I would like to see RCL go back to days when you could go to ship store and pay a fee to take a bottle of liquor to your room and enjoy a drink on your balcony. I have asked this question many times and never received an answer, could anyone tell be why.

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment. Our alcohol policy was put in place to secure the safety and security of our guests.

      In January of 2006, we launched the ServSafe program fleetwide. The program teaches our employees how to ensure we serve alcohol responsibly. The program comes from the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association. We train all management and staff who supervise the service of, or execute, the service of alcohol. When guests bring alcohol onboard and drink in their room, our employees are not able to judge how much a guest has consumed. The same would be true if we would return to selling liquor for an extra fee in the retail shops for take-away to the staterooms as you correctly note we used to do. When these guests then visit one of our bars, lounges or restaurants, this could lead to someone being over served – even with one or two drinks – which could lead to problems. Some people have tried to position this issue as being about revenue for our company. That simply is not true. Safety and security are our highest priority.

  • paul capps

    Mr Goldstein, Virtually all of the diamond level members of the C&A are still smarting over the resent reductions in earned benefits. My point is this, what happens if I strive to reach the goal of 24 cruise to become a diamond plus, only to learn that my new benefits are now reduced until I reach 30 cruises to become a super diamond plus or what ever. I do love RCCL and that’s why I have been cruising exclusively with RC. It now seems that the loyalty of the passenger is not shared equal by RCCL. I do have a RC cruise scheduled in September, only because I had scheduled it prior to the benefit reduction. We are one of a group of 21 couples going, four of them angry diamond members and some platinum nearing the diamond level, also pissed off. In reading some of the posts, I believe many other diamond and others nearing that level, are feeling the same as us. I’m very anxious to see what kind of interaction and the topic of conversation, occurs at our social nightly VIP bar or lounge. Normally, this would be a great social event, discussing RC ships and cruises, so we’ll see if the atmosphere and topic of conversation is the same. I really do think RCCL shot themselves in the foot on this one!

  • Mary Mctevia


    Wow, running is a feat at any age. I’m working my way up to it but haven’t gotten there yet. Kudo’s!

    I have to say that I’m amazed at the negative comments I see here. Cruising is such an awesome experience for me that anything negative is quickly put to rest when I gaze out our balcony at the ocean, or have someone wait hand & foot on me, or chuckle at the great cruise directors. Cruising is UTOPIA for me. Nothing else is quite like it!
    PS: Liberty of the Seas here we come!!! 8/29/08 52 days and counting!

  • Tom young

    Dear Mr Goldstein,
    I blog for my company and am always begging to get answers or hits on my Blog. After reading some of the responses it seems no matter what you write on, the responses generated always seem to be the same. You could write about changing Pepperoni Companies on the Pizza and someone will tell you about wanting to be compensated for something. I have blogged to you trying to give you my perspective on the ever changing Cruise Product. Reading some of the responses to your Blog on fitness and Table Tennis are incredible.
    As I have said once I am on the ship you could take me to timbucktoo and it wouldn’t matter. Keep me safe, keep me fed, keep me happy. You do that well but please look for ways to improve without eliminating.
    With that said I am glad to see with your busy schedule you keep an avid workout pace. I have worked out since I have been 17 and have never stopped. In part, because of this, all of my kids are into physical fitness of some kind and two are Marines. Keep working out but try to include the kids in the routine if possible.

    Tom Young

  • dr. seymour licht

    Mr Adam Goldstein. I and my familyhave booked o two seven day cruises on othe OOS, for 12/19/09 and 12/26/09.Approximately 7 months ago I was on a chat on the internet which you participated in and statd that you will be celebrating your birthday on either the 12/19/09 or 12/26/09. Another individual asked you if you will be riding the the sky ride on the ship.I you stated that there i no way to prevent you from riding on it. please inform me if you intend to sail on the OOS.THANK YOU: DR. LICHT C&A#128694472

  • dr. seymour licht

    Mr Adam Goldstein. I and my familyhave booked o two seven day cruises on othe OOS, for 12/19/09 and 12/26/09.Approximately 7 months ago I was on a chat on the internet which you participated in and statd that you will be celebrating your birthday on either the 12/19/09 or 12/26/09. Another individual asked you if you will be riding the the sky ride on the ship.I you stated that there i no way to prevent you from riding on it. please inform me if you intend to sail on the OOS.THANK YOU: DR. LICHT C&A#128694472

  • http://RCCL Dr. Seymour licht

    Mr. Adam Goldstein:

    Will you be a paasenger on the Oasis of the Seas during the Xmas and New Years 2009 sailing?

  • Tevfik Pamukcu

    Dear Sir,
    What is the purpose of your blog as you do not respond to the important commends and the questions? Regards,