This afternoon CNBC interviewed Royal Caribbean Richard Fain about when his cruise line will re-start operations and when his crew members will finally be repatriated. Here is a portion of the interview:
“CNBC: . . . we know that this is a challenging time. We really appreciate you spending time with us today. . . . You’re hoping to resume sailing coming August 1st, is that realistic at a time when there is no COVID-19 vaccine on the market and medical experts like Dr. Fauci say the risk of a second wave is high.
FAIN: ” . . . well, I think we have said that we’re not sure when we’r coming back, we won’t come back until we are absolutely sure that we have done everything we can to work to protect the safety of our guests and crew, we said we won’t be back before the end of July but we haven’t gone to the next step to say that we are absolutely confident that we will starting on August 1st, we will work with the authorities, we will work with all the experts that we asked to help us with this to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect all guests and crew.
CNBC: Yeah, it’s tough to envision passengers getting on board when, Richard, there still thousands of crew members stuck at sea, isolated, tell us why it has taken so much time to get these crew members home.
FAIN: Well, you know, we have wonderful crew members who really devote their lives to helping our guests, and they come from a hundred countries around the world. In this situation, every country seems to have its own travel restrictions, its own border restictions even for its own citizens. And so it’s very difficult to coordinate having all of these people go through it. But we already have managed to get a large percentage home. We’ve taken the extra step of coordinating to bring alot of crew members from all over the fleet to assemble them on individual ships and then we using those ships to transport them home. It’s frankly it’s a difficult thing to do, it’s very complicated, it’s also very expensive. But these people really want to get home to their families . . .
CNBC: Richard, on that point, can you make a pledge that by the end of next week all of your members, all of your crew, get to be home.
FAIN: Ha. Ha. No. Absolutely not. In fact, we know we won’t be able to make that schedule because there are some countries which are limiting and not allowing their … citizens back under any circumstances. But we do think that we are making quite strong steps, we’ve got 10,000 that we’re coordinating to go home on our ships, and we think that the rest are coming home over the next couple of weeks.
CNBC: At the same time . . .
FAIN: I should say over the next few weeks . . .”
Listen to the entire interview below.
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