At the helm of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise line, Michael Bayley leads a global team of more than 50,000 ship and shoreside employees, delivering memorable cruise vacations to over five million international guests on its fleet of 26 ships sailing to more than 270 destinations.
As President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Bayley is responsible for the cruise line’s entire operation, in addition to its private destinations, including Labadee, Haiti and Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas – the first in a series of private island destinations around the world known as the Perfect Day Island Collection. A key focus of his is to inspire teams to deliver the unrivaled and award-winning Royal Caribbean vacation experience of innovation and excellence.
Under Bayley’s leadership, Royal Caribbean continues to grow as the leading cruise line. He most recently oversaw the debut of revolutionary ships Symphony of the Seas, offering cruises to North American and international markets, and Spectrum of the Seas, sailing from China year-round. The line has an additional six ships under construction and on order, including Odyssey of the Seas – set to debut in fall 2020 – and a brand-new class of ships named Icon. Bayley is integral to the development of innovations with each new private island destination and ship introduced by the cruise line, which is a leader in inspiring an active style of cruising and known for creating unexpected, industry-first architectural concepts and experiences – from rock-climbing walls and ice-skating rinks, to surfing and skydiving.
Bayley began his career with Royal Caribbean in 1981 as an assistant purser on board the m.s. Nordic Prince. Over a 10-year span, he worked in a variety of positions throughout the cruise line’s expanding fleet, each with increasing managerial responsibility. Bayley’s success led him to serve as vice president of Total Guest Satisfaction, Fleet Operations; senior vice president of Hotel Operations and Onboard Revenue, and later as executive vice president of Operations, overseeing marine, hotel, tour and ground operations, and commercial development. He has spent time based in Europe as the Chairman and Managing Director of Island Cruises, a joint venture between First Choice Holidays, a leading U.K. Tour Operator, and Royal Caribbean. Bayley also once served as vice president at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The industry veteran has pioneered the concept of cruising in emerging markets across the globe. In 2008, as executive vice president of International Sales and Marketing at Royal Caribbean, Bayley started up offices in 11 countries throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia, and was instrumental in opening and developing the China market. In 2012, he was named President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, becoming responsible for improving the brand’s overall financial performance when he expanded the vacation offering to guests in the premium segment. He then became President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International in 2014.
A native of the United Kingdom and currently living in South Florida, Bayley graduated in Business from the University of Bournemouth.