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Royal Caribbean Lay Offs Shed a Staggering 26% of U.S. Workers

Royal Caribbean Lay Offs
Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas in port in Kristiansand, Norway. (Photo: Jonathan Tallman)

Royal Caribbean Lay Offs Shed a Staggering 26% of U.S. Workers

We all know coronavirus has not been kind to many industries, particularly as it relates to the travel industry.  The impact on airlines has been well noted with the debate over stimulus money and news that passenger traffic has decreased by 96%.  Unfortunately, the cruise lines have been hit hard by the virus.  Now, Royal Caribbean has announced lay offs that will shed has 26% of its U.S. workers.

The Miami Herald reports,

Most of the reductions are permanent layoffs, said Rob Zeiger, chief communications officer, though some are 90-day furloughs with paid benefits.

A letter went out to employees company-wide Wednesday. Managers will discuss specific terms throughout the day, he said.

The layoffs are not entirely shocking given the how hard the cruise industry has been hit.  On March 14, the CDC put out a no sail order, which prevents cruises from sailing.  On April 9, the CDC updated that no sail order for 100 days.  That leaves cruise lines stranded and puts them in a difficult position.

Royal Caribbean has 5,000 employees in the United States, which means about 1,300 people are getting laid off.  In March, Royal Caribbean laid off 1,000 contractors in response to the initial days of the U.S. outbreak.

When Will Cruises Continue?

There’s also a question of when cruising will be able to safely continue.  The CDC views cruises as higher risk than other forms of socialization because of the ease of spread through the ships.  Many stories of ships sailing with infected passengers have dominated the news since the coronavirus pandemic became big news in the U.S. in March.

That makes it very difficult to predict when the cruise line industry will be able to return to “normal”.  Of course, cruise lines aren’t the only companies facing that unknown outlook.  But they are certainly are at the forefront of being one of the hardest hit.  With recent news that some form of social distancing might be necessary through 2022 (or until there is a vaccine), the prospect for cruise lines in 2020 is not good.


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