Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 20, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Executive
Richard D. Fain

clock with the multitude of governing bodies to repatriate our crews as soon as possible. We've even gone to the extent of using our ships as transport vessels and currently have nine ships, carrying more than 10,000 crew members back to their home countries. It's a complex and expensive way to do it, but it's the most reliable way to get these men and women home to their families as quickly as possible and therefore, we've undertaken to do it this way.

We've also implemented actions to provide guests with some flexibility and peace of mind as they look forward to resuming their travel. To this end, we have implemented the Cruise with Confidence program, where guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruises up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit on the cruise fare for future cruise. We have recently enhanced this program with our Lift and Shift program -- or Lift and Shift option, which gives our guests even more comfort for the time ahead. We're delighted to say that these programs have been very well received as they benefit both our guests and our liquidity profile. In a few moments, Jason will provide more details regarding our results during the first quarter and the proactive steps that we've been taking to address the current environment with a focus on cost reductions and on liquidity.

First, though, I'd like to talk about the future and the steps that we're taking to address that future. It's useful to reflect on how quickly our world has changed and how quickly our understating of this awful disease has evolved. It's amazing to think it's only been two months since we suspended operations. When I think back to how little we understood then about this disease, it's remarkable. Over the period, the pace of new information and understanding has been astounding. Things that we were told were right one week became unthinkable merely a week later. The flow of information has been so fast; it's been hard to assimilate. Fortunately, our level of understanding and that of governments around the world is beginning to stabilize or at least seems to be. We're all beginning to understand the dos and don'ts and the tight structures are beginning to loosen.

It's very early days but these are auspicious signs. Obviously, the most immediate question that you would all like to know is when cruising will restart and we'd like to know it too. The world is clearly embarking on a program of gradually opening up. That process is just beginning and it varies widely between geographical areas. It's also highly dependent on many different factors, including the availability of testing, contact tracing, therapeutics, and ultimately, vaccines. While it's very difficult to have any certainty around the timing or shape of recovery, we do intend to make sure that we are prepared for it and for the changes it will entail. To this end, we are focused on all aspects