In a video that was posted to Royal Caribbean’s Loyal to you Always YouTube channel, the official channel for Royal Caribbean International’s trade loyalty program, Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group’s President, and CEO, spoke about the battle the company is facing with its fight against the Delta variant and COVID-19 in general.
Mr. Fain remains confident that the fight can only be won through vaccinations and believes the battle the cruise industry faces with the Delta variant is similar to the battle the Allies and the Germans fought out in the Second World War.
The comparison, according to Mr. Fain, makes sense: “I love historical perspectives and the best comparison I can think of is the battle of the bulge. It may be a bit of an extreme comparison, but the parallels to our current situation are very strong and very informative.”
Only weeks ago, Richard Fain spoke about the battle that was almost over. Believing the worst was behind us, the virus had been controlled somewhat, and through the use of the vaccines that are out there, the world would become normal again.
But the Delta variant has undoubtedly put a spanner in the wheels. Delta is far more contagious than the earlier versions of COVID and has generated another big spike in cases. Royal Caribbean Group sees a slump in bookings, and the current cases have hurt their business:
“Fortunately, the vaccines are still very effective and they’ve kept the overall hospitalizations and fatalities. Well, below last winter’s peak, even with this much more dangerous variant, that’s hurt our bookings and your business, especially for this year in the beginning of next.”
It has not shaken the belief for the CEO that this is another battle in the fight the industry, and the world is fighting against a common enemy.
In his video, the CEO of the second-largest cruise company in the world draws parallels between the fight the soldiers in WWII thought against the German troops and how Americans are fighting against COVID now:
“The battle of the bulge was a huge attack by the Germans on American forces, near Belgium towards the end of world war II. The attack was a total surprise and our troops were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. The concern was that if the Nazis defeated our troops there, they would split the allied forces in half and thereby prolonged the war.”
“Everyone worked together and saved them. They’re heroes and they’re resolved, saved the lives of countless numbers of people who otherwise would have been victims in a longer war. There are some almost uncanny parallels to our current fight against COVID. Firstly, like World War II, we’re fighting a powerful and determined enemy.”
Richard Fain believes that despite America being a country that admires the rugged individual, the country now needs to stand together and do what is right. And that means everyone able should be vaccinated.
“We have no choice, but to do what it takes to defeat this insidious disease. I hope, and I trust that America will once again, stand up and be counted. Secondly, only by working together, can we win. All of us need to be vaccinated, just like the American heroes that shortened the war by their actions, during the battle of the bulge, we all need to do what it takes to contain COVID by taking the vaccine, not for ourselves, but for our loved ones, our friends.”
The FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine in recent weeks is a big step forward and one that Richard Fain appreciates. The future remains optimistic for the company, and while bookings are not there yet in the near term, the long-term prospects remain positive.
Richard Fain believes the end is near, despite the peak in hospitalizations and fatalities, which occurred mainly amongst those who have chosen not to be vaccinated. Richard Fain closes his video message with a bit of simple advice: “Please wash your hands and dammit. Get vaccinated.”