Q – As an HR guy, I am curious about the salary levels of the more prominent executives at the largest cruise lines. I wonder if there is any information you might post that would give me an idea of what these people earn annually. I am sure that a lot of cruisers who share my enthusiasm for this site would also be interested. Even an educated guess would be appreciated.
A – Actually, the exact figures are available as the three largest cruise lines are publicly held companies and they file annual compensation reports. Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corporation was paid $9.3 million last year while the CEO of Royal Caribbean, Richard Fain, received a reported $9,388,000 The highest reported income in the cruise industry last year was paid to Frank Del Rio of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCl, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas) who received $31,910,000.
The total incomes reported above included both salary, as well as stock and option awards. Each of the above CEO’s is responsible for several brands. CEO and President compensation levels for specific cruise lines within the families of the big three generally received between $3 – $4 million in 2015. To put this compensation in some perspective, Norwegian Cruise Holdings reported First Quarter earnings this year of $1.1 Billion, a significant increase over the previous year.