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A word from your new President


AlexsDogPound
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Dear Valued Seabourn Club Member,

Warmest greetings to each of you as the days of June and a change of season is upon us.

I’m writing to give you an update on developments at Seabourn and would like to begin by saying how honored I am to be taking the role of president. You are a passionate group of luxury travelers and I intend to use my past experience with Carnival Corporation to help lead the brand you have come to enjoy and love into the better days we know are ahead of us. Over time, you’ll find I’m an “avid vacation defender” and a firm believer in the need to take time in life to relax and recharge. My focus will be to maintain the spirit and mission of today’s Seabourn experience while finding ways to innovate to make your time spent with us even better. I certainly look forward to the possibility of meeting in the future.

Today our five ships are positioned in key locations around the world as we remain paused from serving guests. Seabourn Odyssey is in Barbados and Seabourn Sojourn is off the coast of Central America. Seabourn Ovation is situated in Northern Europe, just off the Rotterdam coast, while Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Quest are in Cyprus. Each ship is being supported by a core group of Seabourn crew who remain on board to keep our ships in a state of readiness to resume normal cruise operations. We’re grateful for the members of our team who have helped get our crew home or to rotate the people on board at a time where travel has been very challenging as governments and agencies around the world continue their work to curb the effects of COVID-19.

While the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop around the world, we’ve received questions from some loyal guests and travel advisors about the future of cruising with Seabourn, asking what the experience will look like and what health and safety protocols will be in place. These are all great questions and we want to reassure you that our highest responsibilities include the health and safety of our guests, our amazing crew, and the people in the destinations we visit.

COVID-19 continues to be a dynamic situation, with new developments and increased knowledge coming each week, so we believe it’s still a bit early to share exact details or specifics on plans that will be used once we resume cruising. Our CEO, Arnold Donald, has provided some excellent perspectives on his views about the future of cruising, including through this recent interview. Rest assured, our team is fully committed to the development of plans and protocols that will provide you a healthy and safe travel experience. Updates to our health, safety and embarkation procedures will be made available as they are finalized. If you have not yet downloaded Seabourn Source®, our mobile app, we encourage you to do so today from the App Store or Google Play.

We would like to share an update on refunds, which we know has taken some time for requests to be fully processed and paid on cancelled voyages. Over the past four months, we’ve all learned how we are in unprecedented times that are unlike anything we’ve seen in years or even in our lifetime. Pausing our global ship operations across the entire portfolio of Carnival Corporation brands has created a volume of cancellations and subsequent refunds unlike anything our systems have ever had to process. Our team has been working tirelessly to expedite the processing of both refunds and Future Cruise Credits using manual processes while working remotely. Under the circumstances, we are grateful to them for handling each booking accurately and as efficiently as possible. The majority of requests have now been completed and those remaining are on track to be done in the coming weeks. Thank you for your increased levels of patience along the way.

Finally, we have worked to keep the Seabourn experience coming to your inbox via Club News, ensuring that any communication has relevance and conveys a balanced message at a time when most news is of a negative tone. Our team have brought and will continue to “Bring Extraordinary Home”, sharing recipes, cocktails, entertainment and Seabourn Conversations that you would usually enjoy while sailing with us. We hope you have enjoyed these topics and, if you are like my team, you have tried some of the recipes and can’t wait to enjoy them back on board. We’ve created ways to give you reassurance for future travel, such as Seabourn’s “Book with Confidence” policy. New promotions like Early Bonus Savings give you ways to save and have recently been extended. We have recently launched all Fall 2021 through Spring 2022 voyages and hope you’ve seen the announcement of our return to Egypt.

Our outlook on the future of travel continues to be favorable. Signs emerge each day that indicate as much. Hotels are reporting increasing bookings, borders are being opened, and airline capacity continues to methodically rebound while forecasts and surveys show how you — the traveler — continue to plan for your next trip. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to welcome you back in a way only Seabourn can. Until that time, take care of yourselves and those around you.

Kind regards,

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.hollandamer mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.hollandamer

Josh Leibowitz

President
 

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18 minutes ago, Heather White said:

Thanks for this. Goodness, the website is slow this morning! But where do I find my "Preferences"? Certainly not under "My Profile".

Go to account , my profile, and there are link on the left for preferences.

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I guess it was good to hear from the new President of Seabourn.It prompted two (perhaps uncharitable) thoughts;

1 Why is a corporate strategist with limited commercial or operational experience leading Seabourn? Carnival divestment of Seabourn maybe.

2 When you have nothing to say its best to say nothing.

 

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5 hours ago, adoctor said:

Why is a corporate strategist with limited commercial or operational experience leading Seabourn?

 

On a different thread about the gentleman's appointment, I asked the question:  What does the Chief Strategy Officer of Carnival Corporation do?  (There was no answer offered.)  I share your thought.

 

However, I am encouraged that he does seem to be vacation oriented and does seem to understand why some choose to cruise.  (Not so sure that was the case of the recently departed President of HAL when he was initially hired.)

 

Like many executives and other "people in high places", Mr. Leibowitz could benefit if his 2nd or 3rd Grade teachers would send him "a hand writing sheet" or more.

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6 hours ago, adoctor said:

Why is a corporate strategist with limited commercial or operational experience leading Seabourn? Carnival divestment of Seabourn maybe.


With two decades as a partner at McKinsey in Miami, I don’t doubt he knows his way around  the industry from past engagement work before joining Carnival (very likely with Carnival) and how to assess operational and financial performance.

 

I think (and I may be biased as I’m also a strategy consultant) that he’s what the brand needs right now.  For a line like Seabourn that is heavily vested in providing a socially integrated luxury experience, figuring out how to deliver that safely in a post-Covid world is going to require a very strong strategic vision.  I am glad they brought someone in who is familiar with the Carnival portfolio as he’ll at least have a good operating familiarity with the shared services within the portfolio that may need to be leveraged to adjust operations to safely deliver a luxury experience.

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I should have known "A Personal Message from Seabourn President, Josh Leibowitz" was not that personal when it was addressed "Dear Valued Seabourn Club Member" instead of "Dear Mr. Whogo".

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22 hours ago, jenidallas said:

I’m also a strategy consultant)

 

May I ask what your job description is?  (If you choose not to do so, I am OK with that.  It's just that I am curious.)  His former post as CCL's Chief Strategy Officer is what I don't understand.  How does that qualify him to be President of Seabourn Cruise Lines?

 

 

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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

May I ask what your job description is?  (If you choose not to do so, I am OK with that.  It's just that I am curious.)  His former post as CCL's Chief Strategy Officer is what I don't understand.  How does that qualify him to be President of Seabourn Cruise Lines?

 

 

Easier to refer to a great piece from Harvard Business Review on this very question “what does a chief strategy officer do?” as I think they explain it well.

 

https://hbr.org/2007/10/the-chief-strategy-officer


In short, a CSO has a high level of familiarity and experience in many functional areas (which sometimes comes from years of management co suiting for a specific industry) and is charged with driving organizational change from the top down and ensuring that strategic plan execution is at the forefront of every decision.

 

The CSO should be the person in the room that prevents other executives from making rash or whimsical decisions that take focus or resources away from the goal at hand.

 

As an example, if Seabourn has a strategic plan goal (and they very well might have such) of maintaining status as the premier luxury cruise line in the world and the CFO comes to the table with the idea of cutting costs by eliminating complimentary caviar and champagne, the CSO is going to work with the CFO to reframe that decision If it’s out of line with the strategic vision.  

 

From what I do on the consulting side, we often work with clients to help develop the framework in which they make these decisions (and help them gather the data they at need to properly evaluate them).  Using the example above, often the CFO has evaluated how much the line spends on caviar and champagne and has thus concluded that be eliminating them they can save X dollars per year.  A CSO or strategy consultant would reconsider that as a larger framework - what are competitors doing, what differentiations are actually strategic advantages, what additional revenue might be realized/lost by changing the status quo, and how the decision compliments or contradicts the strategic plan, mission statement, and other service promises of the organization.

 

I see having a former CSO in charge of Seabourn as an assurance that any bean counting will be offset by someone asking “but WHY are we doing this and WHAT does it do to advance our strategic plan”?

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, jenidallas said:

I see having a former CSO in charge of Seabourn as an assurance that any bean counting will be offset by someone asking “but WHY are we doing this and WHAT does it do to advance our strategic plan”?

 

 

Thank you very much for your explanation.  I agree with your statement above.  Mr. Leibowitz's experience ought to be quite valuable for Seabourn.  In the recent years, Holland America Line could have used someone with such a background.

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Jenidallas, your description of a CSO was very educational--more succinct than was the Harvard article which you attached. Until reading this, I had no idea of what a CSO did. Who knew reading CC could be so educational. I can justify reading it on "office time".

 

Given the description of a CSO, I agree that Mr. Leibowitz  is likely the right person with the right skills at this time. I wish him good luck in these challenging times. 

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