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Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean CFO to retire and names replacement


Royal Caribbean announced today that chief financial officer Brian Rice will retire soon and the company will begin transitioning his duties to Jason Liberty.  Rice will officially retire in the spring of 2014 and in the meanwhile, Liberty will begin taking over to make the transition process seamless.  

Rice will continue to serve as Vice Chairman until his retirement, overseeing Royal Caribbean’s finance, supply chain, strategy and information technology functions. Rice has been with Royal Caribbean for more than 20 years, serving as CFO since 2006 and Vice Chairman since 2012.

Royal Caribbean named Jason Liberty its new CFO, effective immediately, and he will continue to report to Rice.

Liberty joined Royal Caribbean in 2005 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Finance, overseeing the company’s Corporate and Strategic Planning, Treasury, Investor Relations and Internal Audit functions. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Liberty was a senior manager at the accounting firm KPMG.

“Over the past 24 years, I’ve had the very good fortune to work for an outstanding company in a truly exciting industry,” said Rice. “I am proud to have played a part in its success, and I feel comfortable that I will be leaving the company in excellent shape.”

“Brian has been a key figure in the development of Royal Caribbean, and an important leader who has made significant contributions to the entire cruise industry,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises. 

Royal Caribbean will add a float to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Royal Caribbean announced that it will add a brand new float to the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Royal Caribbean's participation in the parade will be part of its celebration of the upcoming fall 2014 debut of Quantum of the Seas.

"Royal Caribbean cruise vacations are known as the ultimate in family entertainment at sea, so it's fitting that they will join us this Thanksgiving as we kick off the holidays for millions of families nationwide," said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "Designed by the artists of Macy's Parade Studio, the new Royal Caribbean float promises to astonish audiences as it makes its maiden voyage down the streets of Manhattan this November."

Royal Caribbean executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, Lisa Bauer, also commented on the news, "As the leading global cruise line offering families incredible vacations only found with Royal Caribbean, we are thrilled to be partnering with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and to participate in an iconic event that brings friends and family together.We hope that our float will WOW Parade spectators and those watching at home just like our ships WOW guests all over the world."

The 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC, on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 from 9 a.m. - Noon in all time zones.

Royal Caribbean names Rob Zeiger new Vice President, Global Chief Communications Officer


Royal Caribbean has named Rob Zeiger as its new vice president, global chief communications officer.  Zeiger will be responsible for Royal Caribbean's overall communications, corporate social responsibility, and public relations and corporate positioning strategies.

Zeiger is a communications expert with more than 25 years' experience in media relations, corporate reputation and issues and crisis management. Most recently, Zeiger was the senior vice president of communications for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he served as their chief communications strategist and advisor, as well their chief media spokesperson. 

Zeiger was fired from the Eagles shortly after the team came under fire for the handling of fans in the stands. Zeiger called into a radio show to defend the increased speaker volume in the stadium, a move that many fans felt was done so the "Fire Andy" chants could not be heard. It is unknown if any of this has to do with the firing of Zeiger.

Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain, who Zeiger will report to, commented on the hiring, "We are delighted to have Rob join our team. Rob's experience as a trusted communications leader and advisor will serve us well as we continue to tell the Royal Caribbean story to the world."

Zeiger holds a Bachelor's of Arts in History from Columbia University.

Royal Caribbean ready to invest $300 million into new cruise terminal in Sevastopol


Sevastopol, Russia first deputy chairman of SSGA, Deputy CDF Regions Party Sergey Savenkov announced on television that Royal Caribbean is ready to invest $300 million in the construction of a new passenger terminal for the Black Seas port.

"One of the biggest passenger cruise companies in the world, Royal Caribbean is considering working in Sevastopol." said Savenkov.

Savenkov said a Vice President from Royal Caribbean met with him and are working with officials to reserve land in the vicinity of Cape Crystal to build a new terminal.

He added: "There is a very serious project of the passenger terminal at Cape Crystal. Royal Caribbean is willing to invest in the construction of the terminal 250-300 million dollars in the first phase. "

According to him, the negotiations between the Sevastopol authorities and Royal Caribbean are in the active phase.

How Royal Caribbean CFO Brian Rice is cutting costs in the supply chain


Royal Caribbean CFO Brian Rice was profiled by the Wall Street Journal about how he is helping to cut costs from Royal Caribbean's supply chain to help the company's bottom line.  Cost cutting is especially important these days given the poor operating environment the cruise industry is dealing with.

“I’m still in the learning stages of the supply chain,” says Rice, who was put in charge of that function in September on top of his other CFO duties. “They’re helping me more than I’m helping them [right now].”

Rice's approach is to make sure the supply chain gets the resources it needs, rather than reorganizing or making major personnel moves. Rice cited an example of engineers sometimes having to take photos of ship parts that need to be replaced and email them to the mainland because they can't find the required part in the "obsolete" computer systems.

Rice believes by cutting costs from the supply chain, that should eventually lead to boosting Royal Caribbean's cash flow, which in turn will help trim debt overall.

Because Royal Caribbean has no new ships coming online in 2013, the company is opting to pay down its debt using much of its operating cash flow.  Rice says over time, it aims to reduce its debt to about 3.5 times its Ebitda from the roughly five times where it will end this year.

Royal Caribbean announces new promotions


Royal Caribbean announced a few new internal promotions today.  First, Brian Rice has been promoted to Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  Rich will continue as the cruise line's financial overseer but will also be responsible for the company's supply chain department as well as focusing on strategic issues.

In addition, Jason Liberty has been promoted to Senior Vice President – Strategy and Finance and will continue to work with Rice. Liberty will assume responsibility for overseeing Strategic Planning, Corporate Planning, Investor Relations, Deployment and Treasury functions.

Royal Caribbean also announced that Lisa Bauer has been appointed as  Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo Executive Vice President of Operations.  Bauer will be responsible for Royal Caribbean International’s worldwide marketing and revenue management as well as for the corporation’s sales and marketing offices around the world.  Bauer continues to move up in Royal Caribbean, having previously been involved in Royal Caribbean International’s sales department and hotel services areas

“I am excited that these powerful leaders will further strengthen our organization and help drive our profitability into the future,” said Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain. “I’ve always believed it is our people who are the key to our success and who continue to make Royal Caribbean a leader in the vacation industry worldwide.”

Royal Caribbean Australia names new Public Relations Manager


Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand has named Allison Brennan the new Public Relations Manager.

Brennan joins Royal Caribbean after working with Surf Line Saving Australia, where she was the media and communications manager.  Previously, she had worked in various media and public relation roles for over ten years.

Many members of the travel industry will remember Allison as the media and public relations manager for the Canadian Tourism Commission, where she worked for over four years promoting Canada to Australians. Throughout her career Allison has also worked as a senior publicist with Random House Australia and at some of Australia’s best known public relations agencies.

Royal Caribbean will continue to work with its two local PR agencies - The D'Arcy Partnership in Australia and Dockstreet Group in New Zealand.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Allison to our local team. Allison has great experience in the travel industry and is a perfect fit for our rapidly expanding business,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand. 

Royal Caribbean 2013-2014 opening schedule


Royal Caribbean's schedule for the 2013-2014 cruise season is starting to open for booking and we have the schedule of what is available for booking now and when the rest of the bookings will be available

  • Available now
    • Alaska
    • Northern Europe
    • Summer Europe & Transatlantic Cruises
    • Northeast- Caribbean/Bermuda & Canada/New England
    • Australia
    • Summer Caribbean
    • Europe
    • Cape Liberty Winter
    • Florida & Gulf Winter Caribbean
    • Baltimore Summer/Winter & Boston Canada/New England
    • Summer Caribbean & Long Caribbean/Canal
    • Remaining Europe
    • Short Caribbean & Bahamas
  • Opening June 2012
    • Summer Asia
    • Colon, Panama & Cartagena, Colombia Winter Caribbean
  • Opening August 2012
    • Winter Asia
  • Opening October 2012
    • Brazil

Royal Caribbean releases statement about death of Mikel Semler


Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain released a statement about the death of Mikel Semler, who was the Director, Trade Support and Services for Royal Caribbean Cruises.

“It is with great sadness that I report to you that Mikel Semler passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Mike started his career with us 13 years ago (before the delivery of VOYAGER OF THE SEAS) when the concept of our Wichita call center was still just a work in process. He oversaw the creation and development of this important business center. Over the years, Mike built up the size and importance of Wichita as a key part of Royal Caribbean’s ability to handle the needs of our rapidly growing guest base. Currently, the center has over 400 employees handling almost four million calls per year.

At the same time, Mike made sure that the office was a proud supporter of his local community, becoming an active leader and promoter of Wichita and the surrounding community. He was most recently the Chairman of the Kansas Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation. He also held board appointments for United Way of the Plains (having previously served as its Chairman), Kansas Community in Schools and Go Wichita, a local travel and tourism association.

We will all miss him as a work colleague and friend after his many years of loyal service to Royal Caribbean. His dedication and commitment to our company was an integral part of our success and growth.

It seems hard to imagine it, but Mike was just here in Miami for a two day retreat of the company’s executives. His good humor and focus on the future helped lift all of our spirits and raised the demands we placed on ourselves.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends during this most difficult time. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers.” 

Royal Caribbean in Germany seeing positive booking trend


Following the cruise industry-wide booking slump thanks to the Costa Concordia disaster earlier this year, Royal Caribbean appears to be moving back into positive numbers again.  

Tom Fecke, Royal Caribbean Germany chief said, "We are seeing a permanent increase in bookings for a few weeks" and is satisfied with the results.  According to Fecke, compared to the same period earlier this year, bookings are seven percent higher and Fecke hopes to finish the current fiscal year with "small growth".

To achieve this goal, however, Royal Caribbean would have to normalize the booking patterns again.