Monday was a very special day for all of us at Royal Caribbean. Not just Royal Caribbean International but all of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. I would like to express my appreciation publicly for the incredible effort that thousands of our people devoted to making Oasis of the Seas the amazing ship it is and the inaugural period the smashing success it has been.
The buzz onboard throughout the naming day, ceremony and evening was probably beyond anything I have experienced in my 21+ years with the company. Everyone including our seven fabulous godmothers just seemed so pleased to be a part of the day. The view from the speaker’s podium that Richard and I shared during the ceremony, looking forward from the back of the Aquatheater pool area, was incredible. People were watching the festivities from every deck and every angle. When the fireworks went off after the bottle broke, we could not see them from our vantage point but the noise they made was overwhelming. And many people commented on the full or nearly full moon that presided over the event.
Overall the 18 nights were more successful than we had hoped, and we had had high hopes. As I mentioned previously, people constantly struggled for words to express what they wanted to say about the ship. That continued until Tuesday morning.
Naturally we have lots of little struggles behind the scenes or even sometimes in front of the scenes. The regular Aquatheater show Oasis of Dreams will be incredible when it is fully ready to go but we continue to experience more obstacles to have it be 100% ready than we would like. But overall we are having far fewer problems than we have had in the past for any first of class ship never mind one of this complexity.
I’m not necessarily the best person to help break in a cruise ship. I never played in the casino, never had a drink, never did the Flowrider, never had a spa appointment. I worked out like a madman every morning and played hours of table tennis with the guests in the afternoons of the days at sea. The rest of the time I was meeting with travel agents, suppliers, media, etc. But the team relentlessly checked everything out and that’s why we have a team.
Some very pleasant surprises included the Adventure Ocean puppet show, the popularity of the Seafood Shack and the Solarium Bistro and the remarkable number of positive comments about our digital signage in the elevator areas.
Now we are on a cruise where the guests have actually paid us to be onboard. What a concept! I’m confident they will feel they have received great value for their money. Yesterday, (Thursday) Oasis of the Seas was in Labadee. It’s yet another historic day with more to come.