Updates From My Trip to Asia (with Videos)

by 1263

My annual summer trip to Asia transpired last week.  I can always count on two things to be true.  First, it is logistically daunting, in this case nine flights and over 48 hours in the air and no stays beyond two nights in one place.  Second, it is exciting and rewarding to work with our people in the region to spur the development of our brand and the cruise industry overall.

First I was in Singapore, our Asia/Pacific Regional headquarters.  Jennifer Yap and her team have done a very nice job of establishing our presence and the team is looking forward to the return of Legend of the Seas for the winter season. Because Singapore (thus far) allows a large local competitor to require travel agents to sign contracts restricting them from promoting other cruise lines, we have consumers coming into our office to book their cruises directly with us.  This is unique amongst our global offices and it was interesting to observe the dynamic between the consumers and our people.


When I first visited Singapore in 1990, it was a strikingly modern city with many gleaming office towers. With the recent opening of their two so-called integrated resorts or IRs, Singapore has graduated to a whole new level of 21st century sophistication.  I stayed in the Marina Bay Sands, one of the two IRs, and toured the other IR which is on the island of Sentosa.  They are very different from one another, with Marina Bay being more for “MICE” guests – that is, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions – and Sentosa being more for families.  Both IRs have substantial casinos and an array of top notch restaurants and other attractions including a new Universal Studios theme park at Sentosa.  The big attraction at Marina Bay is the park that sits on top of the three 57 story towers.  Incredible.

Then I shifted to China, traveling first to Shanghai, then to Beijing.  In each case I spent time with government officials who are interested in developing the “cruise economy” as they call it; with port officials because the Chinese are seriously focused on infrastructure development; and of course with travel agents because somebody has to find customers to put on Legend of the Seas or there is no cruise economy.  It was clear to me that Dr. Zinan Liu and his team have gained significant experience in their roles since I was in China a year ago.  This is the brave new world and we have a lot of work to do to capture the huge potential of China as a cruise market.

One night in Shanghai I visited the World Expo with Dr. Liu and his leadership team.  This is the World Expo of World Expos.  It is to Shanghai what the Olympics were to Beijing.  They are projecting 70 million visitors from May to October.  Most of the visitors are Chinese but there are many international tourists as well.  It is simply enormous.  With the benefit of VIP passes we were able to see both the China pavilion and the Japan pavilion in one evening including dinner.  Without VIP passes one would have to expect multi-hour lines for any of the principal pavilions.  There are multi-stop bus routes inside the complex.  It is really something to see the whole world come to Shanghai.


Another night in Beijing, I had a very different experience with an evening function we had for travel agents.  What made it notable was that Dr. Liu had arranged for a table tennis table so the Chinese travel agents could torment me.  I actually would have been ok if I had brought my own paddle.  While everyone knows the Chinese hold the paddle differently, I had no idea that a Chinese paddle has a short, stubby handle to facilitate that grip.  To make matters worse, the paddle had dimples on one side and a flat surface on the other side.  I did not want to hit with the dimples, so I had to guess where my opponent would hit the ball so I could get the flat surface on that side.  Oh brother.  I won three of five matches under those conditions.  Next year I will bring my paddle.

Finally, I visited my brother who lives in Japan with his wife, daughter and newborn son.  My adorable niece mostly speaks Japanese but she knows a good number of English words.  From her I learned that animals in Japan make very different sounds than animals in the US.  I’m not sure why that should be, but I can now report that cows and dogs do not say moo and woof in Japan.

I got back to Miami exactly in time to see Spain defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup final.  Congratulations to Spain.  Our colleagues at Pullmantur in Madrid and in Royal Caribbean’s Barcelona office should be open for business again in a few weeks.  Just kidding.

  • http://yahoo lynn sumski

    Sounds like you had a very busy and tiring week. I have 2 questions that don’t pertain to this but I need to know as we will be planning our 7th cruise for next summer very soon. Is there any chance that Explorer will be going to the Bahamas again next summer and when Royal has a WOW sale does that include Celebrity cruises also? Would love to go to the Bahamas again, but also thinking about 7 day Bermuda with Celebrity out of Bayonne.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Lynn, thank you for your comment. To receive more information about the Explorer of the Seas itineraries, you can view our cruise calendar here: http://bit.ly/aPLcVC As of now have scheduled itineraries through June 2011, but when that information will be available, it will be included there. Regarding the WOW sales, these are specific to Royal Caribbean. Thank you for reaching out to us.

  • tamara Warzecha

    What are the plans for Legend of the Sea after Feb. 2011? We’ve been waiting for the Asian itinerary to be updated and cruises added. We will leave out of Sinapore next Feb., but much prefer to leave from the Hong Kong Port (Ocean Terminal). Please continue to use the Hong Kong Port. It’s a great departure point for us living in Japan. The crew on Legend is Great!

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Tamara, thank you for your comment. To receive more information about the Legend of the Seas itineraries, you can view our cruise calendar here: http://bit.ly/aPLcVC At the moment our itineraries are only scheduled up to February 2011, but when that information is available, it will be included there. If you’d like to see a full list of Legend of the Seas’ itineraries, you can find them here: http://bit.ly/9DBzod. We look forward to sailing with you in the future on Legend of the Seas.

  • Scott Jensen

    While it was nice to see you do another video blog, it took forever to down the three and when trying to play the first one, it never played.

    Next time start off with just a little bit of you talking to the camera and then take over the camera and narrate what you’re showing us.

    Normally, I would tell you to make your video blogs longer but these three took over a half hour to download. I went to other websites and their videos downloaded nice and fast. Not sure why yours didn’t.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Scott, we are sorry to hear that the videos took a while to download. By chance, are you are watching it in High Definition? If so it may slow the playback speed. Lowering the quality to 360p should make the video load faster. Also, you can view all of our videos on our Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalCaribbeanIntl Thank you for the suggestions and feedback.

  • David

    Hello from Norway. Can you please tell us when more sailings out from Asia will be ready? Its only possible to reserve on Legend of the Seas until February 2011. Will the program be extended or will she be replaced by another ship?

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      David, thank you for the compliment and positive feedback with regard to the blog. As soon as we have finalized our 2012 Legend of the Seas itineraries, we will release this information, so please check back for these announcements on the blog or on our cruise calendar here http://bit.ly/9h2eL5 .

  • David

    Dear Adam. Thank you for a great blog, just wished it was updated everyday and even several times a day. Big RCCL fan. Can you please tell us a bit more about your Asian programs or future plans. Its only possible to reserve on Legend of the Seas until february 2011. When will the program be extended and announced? Will Legend still be baced in Asia or will she be replaced? Hoping for a response. Thank you! Greetings from Norway.

  • Mannie Cruz (manolo )

    Your right about that Expo, people all over the world come and visit that place twice a year, I was in Guanghzou China at the canton Fair last April and I saw enormous people, for me It is true that this will be a potential place for cruise market, I think R&D is useful for future while the focus should be on the booming place. RCCL can be a dominance Leader on the booming place

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Mannie, thank you for the vote of confidence and the compliment. We appreciate your support.

  • http://www.medinaonline.se/archives/787 Horace Hecht

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Hi Horace, thanks for reaching out. Our site includes a page that outlines our terms of use which addresses the issue of copyright and includes the following language: Unless otherwise expressly noted, nothing that you read or see on any Company website may be copied or used except as provided in these Terms and Conditions of Use or with the prior written approval of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
      If your website does not already have such a page we’d recommend adding one to help prevent this from happening. You can refer to our Terms and Conditions page here: