Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2021

4 7 “When we ask the CDC about vaccines, they completely agree that these will be transformational, but we don’t know when,” he says, adding that whenever that time comes, Royal Caribbean International will be poised to resume services. “We have protocols worked through with the Healthy Sail Panel. We believe they will be very much part of trial sailings. We have operated with them in Singapore with great success.” Once the industry does get the go- ahead in the USA and beyond, Bayley expects that guests having extra finances will help to drive uptake of cruises. With respect to the USA, Bayley says: “The credit card debt of consumers has dropped by a bucket load of cash in the past year and the savings rate has increased dramatically. There are billions of dollars in the consumer pocket. That is really impressive. Once we move through this Covid-19 period, we are of the mind that customers will have more disposable income, particularly in our target market range.” With vaccinations on the rise (both amongst travellers and the communities in ports of call), a reduction in the rate of Covid-19, and money in the pocket, people will be looking for top-quality vacations and that, Bayley says, is exactly what Royal Caribbean International provides. Noting that he is not alone in wanting to “go big” when it is possible, he says: “We believe that when they feel comfortable and safe, consumers will go a little crazy on travel.” Bayley believes that many positive lessons and developments have come from the pandemic. “Any difficult journey, any traumatic experience, anything so massive as this, creates a huge desire to analyse, understand and learn from it. All of us, both personally and from a Royal Caribbean Group perspective, where we obsessively develop our business, have learnt from it.” Like his colleague Martha Poulter, Royal Caribbean Group’s chief information officer (read her interview on page 128), Bayley says the number one area that the company has taken the opportunity to look at in different and helpful ways is technology. “Almost from any angle or dimension there has been a shift and a change. I would say that the culture of our company has always been fairly quick to adapt and it continues to require a great deal of flexibility. “The one thing that comes through this is really where we are with technology and where we are going, which has made this a survivable event. Technology has really facilitated and helped us manage an incredibly complex environment.” One example of this is contact tracing, which has been implemented on Quantum of the Seas. “We can now trace, for an active family of four halfway through a four-day voyage, every single point of contact within 60 minutes,” says Guests can use Muster 2.0 app to review key safety information via their mobile device or stateroom TV, rather than assembling in large groups on deck Masked guests prepare to try the RipCord by iFly sky diving experience onboard Quantum of the Seas