Royal Caribbean and Azamara ‘considering’ moving UK teams to the US

Image result for azamara club cruises"

Royal Caribbean Cruises is “considering” moving some of Royal Caribbean International and Azamara’s UK non-sales departments to the US.

The company is proposing splitting some staff into separate teams for those two brands so they can “laser focus” on their passengers and destinations.

The proposed shake-up focuses predominantly on markets where Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Celebrity Cruises operate collectively on a “tri-branded basis”.

Royal said this will have “no impact” on sales teams in the UK and Ireland, which are already “single-branded”.

A Royal Caribbean Cruises spokesperson said: “Under the proposal, we are considering relocating some non-sales UK departments from Royal Caribbean International and Azamara to Miami.”

More: Anthem of the Seas to return to Southampton in 2021

 Royal Caribbean names new Oasis-class vessel

Celebrity Cruises’ non-sales staff in the UK and Ireland are not affected by the proposal.

“The relationships we hold with our trade partners in the UK and Ireland are critical for our present and future success and the proposed changes will bring consumer insights benefits to the market going forward,” the spokesperson added.

Royal Caribbean announces a brand-wide withdrawal of single-use plastic straws

Image result for royal caribbean drinks

Single-use plastic straws are to be withdrawn across all 50 ships across Royal Caribbean Cruises brands by the end of the year.

The move is the first step towards a comprehensive plastics elimination across Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Tui Cruises and Pullmantur.

A “straws upon request” policy running for more than a year will see paper straws replacing plastic versions by early next year.

Passengers will start to see Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of the company’s plastic reduction strategy.

The focus will then switch to other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags.

A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company.

“For over 25 years, our Save the Waves programme has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. Eliminating single-use plastics is another step in that programme.”

Royal Caribbean staff to receive ‘thank you bonus’ after profits hit target

Image result for royal caribbean

Thousands of workers across Royal Caribbean Cruises brands are to share the equivalent of $80 million after the world’s second-largest cruise group hit long-term profit targets.

Each of the company’s 66,000 employees will receive equity awards equal to 5% of their 2017 salaries following a record year.

The individual salary bonuses in the form of equity grants over three years will go to staff working at sea and on land, full-time and part-time, domestic and overseas – but not corporate officers.

The parent company of Royal Caribbean International Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises also pledged to contribute to a crew welfare fund for upgrades to crew living and recreational areas on board ships.

The windfall for staff came as Royal Caribbean announced that it had achieved a three-year goal of doubling earnings per share and recording a double-digit return on invested capital – a so-called ‘double-double’.

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “Exceptional results require exceptional effort.

“Reaching the double-double required remarkable focus and discipline from our employees, and they delivered.”

The “thank you bonus” had the added benefit of enabling employees to see the company as shareholders do, he added.

“Ours is a people business. We want to thank every one of our people for the hard work that got us to today’s announcement and give them a stake in our success going forward.

“We wanted to show our appreciation in a tangible way and we wanted it to reach every employee regardless of level in the organisation. It was our way of saying thanks a million; in fact, thanks 80 million.”

The group’s net income for 2017 rose to $1.63 billion from $1.28 billion the previous year.

This result was achieved despite what was described as an “unusually ferocious” hurricane season last September which hurt earnings by approximately $55 million.

Passenger carryings nudged up marginally year-on-year to 5.76 million from 5.74 million. Looking forward, bookings for 2018 is better than last year’s record high and at higher rates.

“North American and European consumers continue to drive strong demand for all of our main products,” the company said. “These trends, coupled with strong onboard spend and a positive outlook for our Asia Pacific products, are positioning the company for a ninth consecutive year of yield growth.”

The forecast came as the group prepares for the launch of Symphony of the Seas in April and Azamara Pursuit in August in Europe and the introduction of Celebrity Edge in Fort Lauderdale in November.

“These new ships will be important contributors to 2018 yield growth,” the company said.

Chief financial officer Jason Liberty said: “Our yields are increasing on top of an exceptional 6.4% net yield growth experienced in 2017.

“This is quite extraordinary and a testament to the strength in the demand for cruising and our brands.”

Reviewing last year’s performance, he said: “We started the year very well positioned to achieve our double-double goals, and 2017 ended up being exceptionally good, resulting in the company exceeding these goals.

“Strong demand trends for cruising coupled with disciplined cost management helped deliver another record year for the company.”

A combination of strong demand for North American and European cruises as well as onboard offerings drove growth.

Fain said: “Each of the brands performed excellently during the past year raising their guest satisfaction and employee engagement scores to new heights.”