Employment Opportunities Getting a Boost in FCCA Partner Destinations Amy, what makes your job so unique and fulfilling?
Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International
ruise lines are looking to give a raise to the employment of seafarers hailing from destinations around the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, with a recent increased push by FCCA Member Lines to work with those destinations to not only source crew members (whose onboard lives bring a host of options for upward mobility), but also foster ways to create bridges leading to high-level positions including captains, engineers and more. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International (with a multinational workforce of over 58,000), and Amy Alexy, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Royal Caribbean Group (with more than 80,000 employees worldwide), joined a Platinum Member webinar on March 31 to discuss some of those initiatives and opportunities. A lightly edited transcript follows: Michael, you joined Royal Caribbean more than 40 years ago as a purser, can you tell us more about this amazing journey? MB I joined in 1981 as an assistant purser on the front desk of Nordic Prince, which was 16 SECOND QUARTER 2021 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Amy Alexy, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Royal Caribbean Group
one of the only three ships of the fleet of the entire corporation back then. So I’ve seen our company grow over the decades and become a very successful vacation company, and I feel honored to be part of that journey. I’ve always been incredibly encouraged by my relationships with my fellow employees who bring such passion, dedication and honesty to everything we do and allow us to be creative, innovative, honest and transparent – and I think one of the reasons Royal Caribbean is loved by so many of our partners, employees, travel advisors and guests is we’ve always had a fundamental honesty about our vision: delivering great vacations and wonderful memories. What’s positive about my experience is I was a kid who joined a ship sailing in the Caribbean, and as the company grew, I grew and saw so many of my fellow colleagues grow – and our company has always been very focused on helping people evolve and develop within our corporation. Our ships’ captains have all been with us for decades. We have generations of employees. It’s an amazing company and journey, and it gives me great optimism about the future of our company, this industry and our incredible relationship with the Caribbean.
AA I started in 2018, and I will tell you that you can immediately feel the passion and energy that our employees and crew members have for the work that we do and the guest experience that we all desire. Passion’s the word that continues to come to mind when you think of that experience, and at the end of the day our guests are left with memories – and our job is to leave them with the best memories possible. The energy is really contagious. Even though this past year has been a challenge, I’m confident we’re going to emerge from this as a stronger organization and industry. Just the collaboration through the different cruise lines and the connections we’ve built despite the virtual environment and hardships have been outstanding. The employment landscape for us is extremely positive. We have five ships on order for the Royal Caribbean International brand alone, and we’re growing. There are a lot of dynamic employment opportunities for people to join our organization, and one of the main goals we have as a company is to bring in great talent to help us grow and talent that can flourish with us as an organization for many years to come. How has the pandemic changed your view on how you will crew ships, and what will life be like onboard? MB I think this has been an extraordinarily difficult time for our crew members. When we first voluntarily stopped sailing as an industry, all of us had tens of thousands crew members who needed to get home. Every country had introduced new rules and regulations, and it was phenomenally difficult to get our crew members home to their families, and the whole industry worked together.