What a year it’s been.  As Charles Dickens once wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  There were dramatic geopolitical events around the world that include: the Arab Spring, fluctuating oil prices, earthquake in Japan, an uncertain global economy, etc. The world at year’s end is in a profoundly different place than when 2011 started.  And yet in spite of all of these landmark events, our bookings remain strong and our guests are happy. Once again we have proven to be resilient.

Sure, we continue to be smart about our business processes but we could not be where we are today as we end the year if it weren’t for you, the men and women of Royal Caribbean. I thank each and every one of you, whether you work onboard one of our 40 ships, in one of our eleven international offices plus those in the U.S.  I know firsthand how hard and long you work daily ensuring our guests enjoy memorable experiences.

Congratulations on your continuing to successfully meet the challenge of finding opportunities for better efficiencies without impacting the overall customer and guest experiences.  Thanks to you, our ratings reached their highest marks across our brands this year.

We are also ending the year with top awards from various organizations in the travel industry, environmental groups, luxury sector and more. Because of you, our employees, we are winning the most awards in our company’s history around the world including “Best in Industry,” “Best Cruise Operator” and “Best Cruise Ships.”

Our international growth continues. This year we have increased our number of international offices to include locations in Mexico City and Paris. We are sending more ships to the Pacific Rim including Celebrity Solstice.  Voyager of the Seas will be joining Legend of the Seas in calling Asia its homeport.  In the new year, over 50% of our business will come from outside of the U.S.

A very special thanks to you! You are our greatest assets.  Your daily work and tireless efforts make us who we are today.  For over 40 years it has been the men and women of Royal Caribbean that have made us what we are today.

Muchas gracias. Merci beaucoups.  Danke schon. Grazie.  Xie xie.  Dhanyawaad.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to a great 2012!!!