As many of you know, I do not have much fondness for Frank Del Rio, the CEO of NCL which owns and operates Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. Nor do I have much positive to say about how Regent Seven Seas, Oceania or NCL are operated. As you will see, there is a reason for the consistency.
Del Rio was, until today, last notably in the news due to his showmanship and (non-substantive) threats towards the CDC and the State of Florida. Regardless of some of the merit to his concerns, lawsuits were threatened as was the declaration that NCL was going to pull its ships out of Florida in an shameless headline-attention grabbing ploy.
So what was the effect? Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean both received the go ahead to sail out of the United States. NCL hasn’t received permission from the CDC. But read on: There is more (or should I say “less”).
There is the incredible claims that Oceania as set records with its sales and is sold out on virtually all of its longest cruises and it did so in record time. Really? Let’s just say considering what you are about to read I’m a tad bit skeptical.
Oh, but there is more! (I told you there was more!) Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania will be the last of the major cruise lines to set sail at all, post-Covid. While Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea, Seabourn, Windstar, etc. are starting to sail in June and July, it won’t be until September before any of NCL’s ships are on the move…and they won’t be all sailing until February 2022!
I know. I know. You are going to say, I am just prejudice against Regent Seven Seas because I sell a lot of Seabourn. Well, I also was very critical of Silversea, but Silversea has made very significant changes and improvements, so I now hardily endorse it. Alas, Regent Seven Seas still pitches “Free. Free. Free.” when nothing is free and what you receive is – at best – premium and many times not even that when it comes to service and cuisine. Trust me I tried to enjoy myself on the Seven Seas Voyager in 2017 (after having sailed on the Mariner and Navigator…and even the Diamond and Paul Gauguin when they were in the fleet, so I know the product). See Goldring Travel Revisits Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Seven Seas Voyager: August 1, 2017) – Caveat Emptor! Consistently Inconsistent: Not a “Six Star Luxury” Cruise Experience
By now you are thinking I am just on another roll. Well, you’d be wrong! You know who is more outraged by Del Rio’s conduct and his performance: THE NCL BOARD OF DIRECTORS!
Frank Del Rio decided that he should receive a $36,400,000 (that’s $36.4 Million) payout along with a $2,800,000 bonus while the company lost a record $4,000,000,000 (that’s $4 Billion). You know what makes that even more offensive: Del Rio’s sought compensation is double what he received the prior year!
If that is not enough, the two largest cruise line corporations Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp. paid its CEO’s $12,000,000 and $13,300,000 respectively and they receive NO bonuses. So somehow Del Rio should be paid three times what the executives of the largest cruise companies earned and receive a bonus?
To color this a bit more and to make it personal: Have you had to endure Regent, Oceania and NCL’s rigid insistence that you are only going to receive a Future Cruise Credit unless you decide immediately you wanted a refund and then, even in the time period allowed, you changed your mind and were denied a refund? That’s right NCL did everything it could to keep your Covid-related cruise payments…so that Del Rio could make the books look better and, thus, make pitch that he should receive a grotesque amount of compensation.
Well, the NCL Board of Directors had enough. In a truly remarkable vote 83% voted against Frank Del Rio’s demanded compensation package. It has been called “incredibly embarrassing”. Here is the Miami Herald article.
I call it a damn good reason to put your hard earned money towards a vacation with a cruise line that holds its officers and its operations to a high ethical and moral standard. You, the consumer, deserve better.