October 16, 2001
As foreshadowed by company executives a few weeks ago, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity has announced it has cut 500 jobs. The employee layoff, which only involves shore side staffers, actually impacts 400; 100 open positions were eliminated as well. The cost-cutting move includes both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. “Like other cruise lines, we were severely impacted initially by the events of September 11,” says Royal Caribbean p.r. chief Lynn Martenstein. “We’ve taken a number of cost saving measures, some more obvious than others.” The criteria for the cost-cuts, which included an embargo on philanthropic contributions through 2002 and postponement of new informational technology and automation projects, involved one major caveat, Martinstein says. “It could not have a negative impact on the cruise product or the experience the guest has on a cruise.” Beyond cost-cuttings -- or perhaps because of them – “the company is very healthy,” she adds. “We’ve taken a number of steps in the past few weeks that strengthens our position in the current environment. We’ve taken cost cutting measures, redeployed ships from Europe to lucrative domestic markets.” Otherwise, it’s life as usual at both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Celebrity’s Summit has been launched (and raised $73,000 during preview cruises which is being donated to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund) and the 3,100-passenger Adventure of the Seas will be unveiled in early November (and will be sailing out of New York, which makes it the first major cruise ship to call there). Celebrity’s Constellation, due in April, is on track, Martinstein says, for an on-time delivery, as is Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, despite a minor laundry room fire that occurred last week while the vessel was in the shipyard.