It’s been a while since I chronicled my travels. That doesn’t mean I’ve been glued to Miami. Traveling is part of the job and sometimes my colleagues have to remind me that it is one of the more interesting aspects of the job, the hassles of traveling notwithstanding.
In February, there was a three week travel spree that compares favorably even to the travels of my heyday in international sales and marketing. At the beginning of week one I accompanied my wife as the spouse on a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans to celebrate her Tulane friend’s 50th birthday. From there I was immediately off to Europe with our Chairman Richard Fain visiting the German shipyard (Quantum of the Seas/Anthem of the Seas) and the French shipyard (Oasis III). I hadn’t been to the French shipyard in many years and it was really nice to be back, especially on a beautiful and unseasonably warm winter day on the coast of France.
After returning home for the weekend, I was on my way back to Europe, this time to London for the CLIA Global Executive Committee meeting. CLIA really has become global in the past 12 months, finally representing in fact what the I for International in its name has always represented.
The day after I returned I was off again, this time to the western U.S. First stop was Las Vegas where we celebrated our new relationship with MGM resorts. Royal Caribbean will provide benefits to MGM’s top customers in their MLife customer recognition program and MGM will do likewise for our Crown & Anchor Society guests. From Las Vegas it was off to Los Angeles where I had the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the Oscars as well as to visit top travel agents in the area. Finally, I went to Seattle to visit more top travel agents and to visit one of our marketing partners (coffee, guess which one).
More recently, I had the occasion to visit Shanghai to check in on our busy and energetic colleagues who are building Royal Caribbean’s leadership position in the high potential China market. Shanghai is a remarkable place that is developing and changing all the time, yet I’ve been there enough in recent years to feel comfortable and to see familiar faces in the office, the travel agency community and the government.
On the way back from Shanghai, I stopped by Vancouver for a day to give a talk to high powered cruise oriented travel agents from Australia. I may have done a lot of public speaking but that was the first time I’ve given a speech to Australians in Canada. The Aussies are good fun to be around plus Royal Caribbean’s Australia team is an impressive group to be around.
Throughout my travels I kept the hotel fitness centers busy. I’m often the only one in the gym, which makes me worry if there will be fitness centers in the future. I know they’re a lot busier on our ships.
Now I’m back in Miami, hassling my assistant Marta and our corporate travel department to see flight combinations for upcoming trips.