In a very brief statement posted to the company's website, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that it has laid off or furloughed approximately 26 percent of its more than 5,000 coworkers in the U.S.A.
"The circumstances of the pandemic made this action unavoidable, and it hurts to part ways with so many good and talented people," the company said.
This comes just a few weeks after the company announced an extension to Cruise with Confidence policy. The policy allowed cancellations up to 48 hours prior to sailing for any reason. Guests would receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy was extended to September 1.
It also comes just a few weeks after the company announced RCL Cares - program created to assist thousands of travel professionals in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories dealing with the negative impact of the crisis.
The travel advisor support program will offer a variety of services to help educate travel partners as they navigate the myriad of government benefits, including those in the newly signed U.S. economic relief measure—the CARES Act. These services will include one-on-one assistance and access to key resources and the latest information pertaining to recovery benefits available under the act. Travel partners can find educational material about the new law, and they will soon have the opportunity to receive more assistance through a resource desk the company is setting up. The program will not provide legal advice.