Manager, Nautical Services
Royal Caribbean International
Why did Adam choose this career area?
Growing up in Corner Brook, Adam took an interest in the ships coming into the harbour.
He remembers visiting the ferry Joseph and Clara Smallwood when she was open to
the public. As soon as he saw the bridge, he began investigating how to become a
ship’s officer. He liked the type of work as well as the salary, vacation time,
and travel opportunities.
What’s Adam’s educational background?
Adam completed the Marine Institute’s Nautical Science Program. On his first work
term, he was a cadet on an ice-breaking multi-cargo vessel. He sailed through western
Europe, eastern Canada, and Arctic waters. His second work term was with Royal Caribbean
aboard the Legend of the Seas. The cruise ship sailed Alaska and Hawaii at that
What’s Adam’s job all about?
Adam has been employed with Royal Caribbean since graduation, working on cruise
ships in increasingly responsible positions. He was chief officer for three years,
superintendent for two years, and first officer for four years.
It’s been an exciting career. Adam’s most remarkable memory is of working many worldwide
cruises, seeing so many places and cultures. One stand-out six-month assignment
was in Turku, Finland. He had an active role inspecting and commissioning one of
the largest cruise ships ever built, the Mariner of the Seas.
A few years back, Adam was appointed to a shore job as Nautical Operations Officer
in Miami, Florida. As such, he is involved in most aspects of cruise ship safety
and operations management. His primary duty is providing navigational support to
the entire 20-ship fleet, which requires keeping pace with new technologies.
Adam troubleshoots ship system problems and deals with unexpected weather events,
such as hurricanes. As he tells it, no two days are the same.
What are Adam’s working conditions like?
These days, Adam works at a corporate office in Miami, Florida. Though he loves
the city, he finds the traffic and congestion difficult.
The working atmosphere at Royal Caribbean is very positive, and teamwork is the
reason for the company’s success. Typical office hours are Monday-Friday, but Adam’s
job requires phone and e-mail monitoring during off hours. As a result, his 40-
hour weeks are quite flexible. He travels once a month for meetings, ship visits,
and various ship system trials.
What benefits are associated with Adam’s job?
Adam notes that Royal Caribbean’s officers make very good salaries, and the shift
rotation is ten weeks on and ten weeks off. Positions are very responsible, with
nothing being more important than safety.
For those who move to shore-based positions, the salary range is $75,000 - $150,000
per year. The money is very good, and the employer offers excellent benefits and
tremendous training courses.
What’s exciting or cool about Adam’s career area?
Working with a cruise line means officers get to travel and see the world, all while
enjoying the same amenities as guests on their ships. It also means great time off.
Adam has used some of his generous leave time to learn about his second love: aviation.
He attended a Florida flight school and got his private pilot’s license. Using other
leave time, he completed a full pilot training program and achieved a commercial
pilot certificate. He has also earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics.
What advice would Adam give to people considering a marine transportation career?
Adam suggests that people interested in this type of career must be open minded,
disciplined team players. Working on a cruise ship requires fair and polite interaction
with crew and guests at all times. It’s a challenge and a thrill to communicate
professionally with people from all over the world.
Adam’s most important advice is: “Never stop learning, no matter how old you are.”