Royal Caribbean: The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Poorer

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line CEO Adam GoldsteinRoyal Caribbean Cruises President and CEO Adam Goldstein sold 44,256 shares of Royal Caribbean stock yesterday.  Zolimax News reports that Mr. Goldstein sold his stock at an average price of $52.96, for a total transaction of $2,343,797.76.

After the sale, Mr. Goldstein's stocks total 358,804 shares, valued at approximately $19,002,260.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) has a 52-week low of $31.35 and a 52-week high of $53.42. 

We last reported on the cruise president's stock sales in October of last year when he sold 7,855 shares of RCL stock at an average price of $43.22, for a total value of $339,493.10. At that time, he reportedly owned 335,654 shares of Royal Caribbean stock, valued at approximately $14,506,966. 

It looks like the cruise executive's net worth has increased by over $7,000,000.

Royal Caribbean pays a salary to its waiters and cabin attendants of only $50 a month; the cruise passengers pay tips to the waiters and stewards but Royal Caribbean is scooping up much of the tips to pay other crew member's salaries. Employees like utility cleaners earn a pittance of around $550 a month (with no tips) working around 11-12 hours a day, every day of the month during contracts that are 6-8 months long. 

In September of last year, Royal Caribbean fired over one-hundred employees in its corporate offices in order to increase profits. You can read about that here: Loyal to Royal? Royal Caribbean Axes 100 Jobs in Corporate Headquarters.


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Photo Credit: Adam Goldstein - Cruise360 Vimeo

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Comments (36) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
tinikini - February 26, 2014 11:42 AM

Geez, if you do the math that means some employees make a $1.52 an hour. I made that an hour back in the 70's when in was a teenager.

I am torn at this point whether or not to keep cruising to help the crew make a living or stop cruising to wake up the cruise industry to treat them and pay them better. But I am only one person, so how could that ever hurt the cruise line?

This is really so sad.

Bijosh - February 26, 2014 12:30 PM

My name is Bijosh I was crew member for princess cruises for 8 contract ,now I quit ,actually this is called modern slavery....there is USPH to care American s health but not any ...... To care crew members benefits....

Deisha - February 26, 2014 2:14 PM

I am bartender at royal Caribbean for the past (10)years never took a work break , but one day come I had to I told the companie I had to they told me I should resign , so I did (2)mths later they told me I was no more employ with them ,so never get my (10) years money ,and I work for that companie for (10) years life .

Aytaç kuzu - February 26, 2014 2:14 PM

İ used to work at cruise ship as a waiter. İt was so hard and what makes me pay only one way ticket to go home.And also internet was so expensive for crew .İ know some guys they call home once a month .İt should be chepar

Harold Kurte - February 26, 2014 3:11 PM

Several years ago as a stock holder of Royal Caribbean I mentioned to Goldstein that most crew members are paid $50.00 per month and in his usual arrogant manner he relied not so that they also receive tips. The passengers actually pay the hotel staff with their tips. Yes Goldstein really struck it rich with his stock options and other perks. Remember that Goldstein does not give a damn about anyone except himself. Hopefully, he reads this board.

shantia rooplal - February 26, 2014 3:27 PM

Yes this is horrible modern day slavery because i work on legend of the seas for 5 years as a bell attendant and housekeeper.And the worst part rccl hire crew members from third world countries and assign them to manual labor once on board.And for your information take our passports and only give it back to us when the contract is over on the same day you have to leave the ship.Had i known some of the good old laws.

Stir Fry - February 26, 2014 6:04 PM

It really saddens me to read the stories of the crew members here. I hope their situation becomes more fair and equitable. They really seem to be indentured servants which should solely be a historical memory at this point. I certainly admire them since they do not let their situation show and are always cheerful and well-dressed.

anton ida saputro - February 26, 2014 9:56 PM

i used to work in celebrity cruise ship(sister company of rccl)as linenkeeper for (almost)3 contracts..they cut me in the middle of 3rd contract due to of arguing with my boss and others silly reasons....they gave me straight 3 warnings, just in 1,5 cruise.....and i didnt have any chance to defend myself..

can u imagine this?event as a crew(not officer),the company treat us badly...its just another dark side of modern slavery in cruise ship industry.....

but for us, in 3rd countries,(i come from indonesia), the demand to work onboard is really high, because our exchange rate compared to US$ still relatively high...perhaps, some people here can suggest us where can we find JUSTICE...

Andrew Holtz - February 27, 2014 12:02 AM

I also worked for RCCL for 7 years, and saw the treatment of the crew worsen during "economic hardships." They pushed propaganda that people on land could not find jobs and that we were lucky just to be able to support our families. But they were lowering wages, tightening rules, removing privileges, cutting the pathetic food budget...and installing advanced camera systems and electronic propaganda devices in the main corridors. I can't even describe all the corruption and lies, especially to passengers (lobster and chocolate are out of season, ha!) The solution to this and every other corrupt corporate problem is to stop supporting these companies, both in patronage and labor.

sweetgirl - February 27, 2014 12:09 AM

Its true..they signed contracts for 8-10 months with 50$ salary every month..and the guests will pay the gratuity..and they company will slpit it for Cabin stewards, waiter/s,front desk and back of the house...but they never posted how much gratuity they got and explain how they split the gratuity...even sometimes they let the guests pull their gratuity back...

Renato - February 27, 2014 12:32 AM

Is true about how Royal is not loyalty to their employees.I used to work for them for many years till they took me out just to complain several times in a week that i can not take shower or use the toilet of my crew cabin because all system was not working in that cabin since a few contracts ago and water is coming from toilet flooding the cabin.
The real is they make a final warning to me which i never sign because i was not agree with their deception.
They gave me a paper to sent to their headquarters to let them now that i was not agree with that and they suppose to investigate and answer to me in a few weeks.
What happens?.
They never investigate nothing.They never answer to me and the person who firs time reply my later telling me that they will took a few weeks to answer to me when i call to them after the time they said....i got this answer from RCCl: The person was at human resource from headquarters office is on vacations.we don't know about your case and it was all.
In other words they laugh on their workers and no moral at all in this company to the workers.

angelo - February 27, 2014 1:40 AM


ANGELO - February 27, 2014 1:46 AM


annonymous - February 27, 2014 10:27 AM

i am currently working for rcl and i am on ship now you have no idea how bad this company is. no money for crew working long hours. no one cares about the crew its just work work work. they go on about safety and othe rthings but how safe is it to finish work at 4 or 5am and then have to be awake again at 8 or 9am for drill. the owners of this company have no idea what its like they should come onboard and do just 1 contract then the would see.

Norwegian - February 27, 2014 7:53 PM

Sad reading but I belive every word written above, I worked for rccl, they fired all Norwegians shoreside, my word is the company was started by Norwegians and run by Norwegians, then Fain and his cussine Goldstein came in the back door and all ethic in the workplace went out the same door.

Previous employee - March 10, 2014 12:38 AM

Had my wages cut so much I couldn't afford to take care of my kids. I worked sales and ended up quitting because while we are getting paid much less the CEOs are raking it in. They don't care about their employees only money. Was a great company to work for until Greed got to them. We also had commission cut and not paid to us. Horrible company and their cruises are over rated. I will never cruise with them again. Customer service is getting bad because the employees are not treated right. Glad I no longer work for them.

Long gone - March 22, 2014 8:53 PM

I worked for this company for over 10 years. My-oh-my, are they indifferent to the welfare of the crew...Adam Goldstein in particular.

Once a year these high executives came onboard the ship, gathered the crew out of their spare time to praise the work the execs had had done over the year, then ask the crew if they had any questions. The questions were always the same: Why have you cut my wages/commission/tip structure? (or why don't you actually pay us, rather than make the passengers do it). Why is the food for the crew so sub-standard? Why are the hours so long (14 hours a day, 7 days a week)? Why do I have to pay so much for my work uniform/airline ticket, in order to work on the ship? (uniforms have a markup of between 100 - 200%).

You would think these execs would have had their answers worked out in advance. When one crew member said publically that the execs didn't understand what it was like to live and work in this way, Adam Goldstein dropped the facade, and we got to see what a horrible, impetuous little man he was. This was not the first incident, another time I believe (before he became CEO) he was sent off the stage by the captain for being horrid to his crew.

He would write insincere, quarterly missives to the crew, where the language was verbose and inaccessible to his multinational crew.

Nepotism...I discovered with horror that a nephew of Goldstein's had been hired shoreside. Same horrible person who, as a teenager caused a major scene when asked for ID. His father, Goldstein's cousin, made a very public scene over what was most definitely standard practice for anyone in their teens...all because he was related to Goldstein.

That is the CEO. The man who instills pay cuts and freezes wages for the crew, while building more ships and encouraging terrible labour practices:

1. Their flawed rating system determined which cabin stewards would be working for tips, 2 weeks out of every 4. The lowest rated would be sent downstairs to work for no tips (someone has to be at the bottom, no matter how friendly and efficient).

2. Waiters would have to give kickbacks to supervisory wait staff.

3. There were slot machines down in crew areas on some ships, where the cruise line was making a profit out of crew with definite problems.

4. Cabin Stewards were cut en masse, leaving a massive workload for those lucky enough to keep their jobs. Cabin stewards would actually hire other crew members (also working extremely long hours) as it was a virtual impossibility to get so many rooms done in the small time between one cruise ending and another beginning. So...getting paid $50 a month, with the possibility of not getting tipped (cultural norms vary) would sometimes result in cabin stewards working a full cruise and not only not getting paid, but running at a loss on account of having to pay their 'employee'.

5. So many more

The Next Level- some marketing genius did a whole campaign for the crew outlining how the corporation needed to cut corners to make bigger profits. Posters up all over the crew areas reminding crew of how exactly they were being screwed for the good of the shareholders. Like having someone spit in your face.

A couple of my friends were sent back to work when feeling ill for weeks, even months...then getting diagnosed with cancer when they eventually got time off to visit a private land-based doctor.

Doctors were on commission for their budgets. Some very unethical decisions were made in the name of profit- not to send sick crew ashore for blood tests, cat scans etc.

RCCL seem to get exponentially worse with the passing years. They are unregulated, so they get away with it.

The only thing they understand is money, so each time you book a cruise and sail with them, you are propagating this treatment of other human beings, voting with your dollar.

Norwegian - March 24, 2014 8:07 AM

Me again, more sad reading, but one thing you people should know, Goldstein can do this to other human beings because Ricard Fain lets him do it,, And believe me Goldstein is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, a spoiled kid will be the right name. We all seen revolution against dictators the past years,,TO ALL THE CREW WHY NOT SAY US OR HIM? and organise you all.

Andrew - March 25, 2014 2:07 AM

Yep, now this is not an employment -it is modern days slavery. 11 hours working day - official, non-official - depends on your manager. :)
salaries cut, bonuses removed, workload is much higher. loyal to royal?? not sure, they don't care about crew, as they know - you resign - there are 20 more on your place, no matter if they are qualified or not. qualification onboard cruise ships does not matter. you have high education, you can mop floors, but at the same time we have executive housekeeper who does not know how to write :)
that is how it is.

Andrew - March 25, 2014 2:17 AM

Peeps… by the way, do you know how much royal pays for food for crew per day? - It is 1.39 USD. This is correct!!! Imagine food quality

Bob - March 26, 2014 12:09 PM

Agree with most of your article. However with the MLC now in full swing with RCCL, the salaries that you quoted are incorrect. That being said, for a company to cut cost just to increase profits, you really have to question when their empire will fall.

Great article.

Bob - March 26, 2014 12:14 PM

Hi Andrew,

Your comment about the food: I cannot be sure exactly what they spend, but the food quality is terrible. Imagine a chicken curry that just oozes grease,with skin and bones... You want any chicken with that oil?

Seriously though, on some ships the food quality is alright... It all depends on the onboard Executive Commitee & how much they want to be under bucket to clect a nice fat bonus at the end of the year..

If anyone reading his wants to know anything from the inside just holla...

C - May 9, 2014 3:55 PM

HI Sailors,

Worked on cruise ships for many years (still at sea, but in other leisure area), for various companies. All are the same. SHIT food (totally unhealthy!!!), hard working conditions, 11+ hrs/day for "n" months in row, heaving the obligation to smile non stop to your guests (most of them very nice people who think that you have on board same conditions as they have!!!!) even if your inside moral is fucked up, limited free shore time (if you are lucky), super expensive internet fees!!! (the only way to relax and spent your little free time on board).
If you are lucky to have a nice crew and nice colleagues (as I had) - you can have a great time. If not... you have to suck it. Other point: mafia! Experience, professionalism, qualifications may value zero if you not suck the dick of the right person! Sorry for the language... but you can take it as it sound. And this rule apply especially on the big vessels with hundreds of fancy positions! Otherwise... stay safe and try to enjoy as much as you can. At the end, it is the dream job, right? Travel and being paid!!! Hmmm...

Tattozapata - May 9, 2014 4:32 PM

Let me say something for all of you, I'm not defending any kind of bad labour practices, I just want to state the context, This is a business as any other in the world, who ever want to come and work in this company is welcome under the conditions establish for this company, who ever is not agree with these is also welcome to leave and find a better job with the diss are conditions, privileges and any other related good wanted, like it or not, this is reality in any country and business around the world, if you desired to resign in the middle of the contract is up to you and you will be given your passport back when you leave, unfortunately by internationals conventions not all nationalities in the world by social conditions are admitted in every where and if a crew member leave with out notification a fine have to be pay.....THIS IS A BUSINESS. If you believe is the kind of slavery or the new age slavey, you're also welcome to not participate, Don't be part of it, don't slave yourself with something that you're not agree with and be happy, I'm a Royal Caribbean employee, I know the conditions of my position, I started as a cleaner, now I'm an officer and everything that I did and do, is the result of what I wanted, every achievement is a result of hard work and swim in the waves that I had too, this is a life style and if this company is the garbage that many of you say it is, go and work in another cruise line and come and tell me that the others are better, that you have better salaries, better food and less months of work and less day hours labour, GO GO GO, be happy and find yourself a clue, I'm happy as an employee and the conditions thanI had accepted are my responsibility and me and only me who decide what's fair for me or not.....

maria - May 9, 2014 6:52 PM

Used to work for RCCL for 3 years and thanks God i quit.the most i wanted to see some new places but really there is no time working seven days a week, 10-11 hours:-/ and it s true! Every time i got my pay check it was a mistake, less than i was suppose to get.. Once 60$, other time 25 $ and so one:-oif u don t say smth , they won t neither ! But they couldn t mess with me:-) they wanna look like they care for staff, but they don t at all!:-$

cesar serracin - May 10, 2014 6:16 AM

I did work for Royal Caribbean as a waiter for 5 years, use to work almost 14 to 16 hours a day for 6 months contracts, and who really pay your salary its the guest with the tips they give you;I never went back to work with them cause it become another oportunity for me to work at land in my country Panama; the never pay me for the years I work for them! I will not recomend this company to nobody.

chris - May 10, 2014 6:21 AM

It's Modern day slavery.

leandro negri - May 11, 2014 12:03 AM

And nobody say nathing about how many hours per day First officer who are responsible for the rudder and no lower than 12 to 14 hours of daily work not reported under threat of senior management. And all under the capitalist logic. the heads of the company safe because on paper they do things well but in reality everything is evación income tax. but to investigate the secret accounts that are handled in the accounting RCCL casinos. and that's a lot of black money

Linda Lester - July 26, 2014 2:47 PM

We just got back home from a RCCL cruise, and I'm ashamed that I went. I'll never go again. How awful that the employees get $50 a month. The public is paying the workers salaries, and they work long long hours. Sounds like they are treated like slaves. Our cabin boy cleaned our room every time we left our cabin. He worked long hours and deserves more than $50 a month. It should be against the law to treat people this way.

martins - July 30, 2014 10:11 AM

Yes, Mr. Tattozapata. I do understand you.In the time you were a cleaner, the crew condition were not the same they are now. And you are aware of that, dont you? And now that you are an officer and dont share cabin and have slaves to take care of your clothes and food from the officers mess, and a good salary, you came in here with that talk? You are the ones Mr Goldstein wants to be happy. To make others live a hell. Y know very well how things are working on RCCL. Pay well the officers with two and a half stripes above and give them better conditions, but force them to apply the rules to the rest of the crew.
You capitalist view of live is a very sad thing to see. Good luck to your live wen capitalism will turn against you, ok?

Peter - August 9, 2014 12:32 PM

ok,i just got job with RCCL am suppose to report end of this month,and i was offered $998 so you mean they will not pay this amount?what is this $50 everyone is talking about,please advice..

martins - August 12, 2014 10:37 AM

Peter, probably you are going to work as a purser, no?
That is more or less the salary they pay now. Good luck to you. Please take out of your mind that romantic view of working on board cruise ships - specialy on Royal ships. It is not what it looks, and you are going to feel disapointed, most probably, (hope not)!! Slavery is the appropriate word for what is going on the cruise lines industry.

Tonya - September 6, 2014 1:24 PM

I just came back from a cruise and was thinking about the good people that waited on us. I have read the comments and it has almost made me sick to my stomach. We always elect to give the tips to our wait staff personally. If we do this do you the crew get to keep the cash? Or does the cruise line take that too? We usually palm it when we shake hands.

JeanMario - September 29, 2014 4:36 PM

Hi there guys, i have read your comments ,i wonder how much a waiter assitan can do in a month?,could you helpme with this, im aplying for this job possition.

I knew that rcc pays 50 bucks per month, and all what a waiter earns are tips, but what happen with the waiter assitant?

Izzaty Arita - February 10, 2015 9:02 AM

Hi everyone. I am supposed to report to rcl's jewel this march and I've been offered the position of Cook 2 with the pay of $760. Pls advice me on whether is that a good amount or not....

David - February 19, 2015 1:00 PM

Hey guys I HV been offered job as a cleaner 740 USD ,do you mean they might underpay once on board

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