“This Too Shall Pass!”
Dear Officers, Crew, Clients, and Shareholders:
Words cannot express the gratitude, respect, and appreciation I have for our officers, crew, clients, and shareholders for working so hard every single day for the past 18+ months in trying to get through these very difficult and seemingly insurmountable times in our lives, businesses and careers.
Each group, in their own way, is battling to get through this, in one piece:
• Our officers and crew at home are seeking ways to continue to provide for their families, while some are on board our ships dealing with the uncertainty of when the operation will restart; and
• Our clients who are doing everything to keep marketing their products and to maintain a
level of excitement amongst their clientele base; while
• Our shareholders and shipowners are working their magic to meet their financial obligations and maintain their assets.
We thank you all for your commitment to making it through this, for ensuring people can continue providing for their families, for the resources provided to continue the projects planned and for simply believing in each other and the future of our cruise business.
I must say it is very hard to deliver a message that expresses positivity during a time when all news is dominated by negativity. It is challenging to talk about exciting initiatives, or to report on our progress when everything seems to be focused on one topic: COVID, COVID, COVID and how it hinders our business from returning to some type of normalcy.
But we must! We must filter out the negative messages and believe only in the one positive outcome and remind ourselves every day that, “This Too Shall Pass”. We must be convinced that we will come back to cruising with improved results, with enhanced programs, more efficiencies and a renewed, inspired approach to want to make things better. Truthfully, what is the alternative? Exactly!
As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, it is clear we are not out of the woods yet, therefore I would like to repeat the statement from my last President’s Message, as it holds water even more so today, several months later:
“Focus must be our key ingredient in achieving what today seems insurmountable, but inevitably will lead you back to the top. Leadership and decisive actions will ensure we can stay there through good times and through crisis.”
In the meanwhile, at the time of this writing, we are preparing the Ocean Diamond for her cruising season in Iceland commencing in July, 2021. We are doing everything we can to ensure this is a success, as we look forward to reactivating the remainder of the Fleet later this year.
We continue to make the adjustments to our protocols based on developments posted by the various health authorities and the vaccine roll-out progress. The Compliance Team is working with each client updating the ANNEX I of our protocols to meet their individual requirements.
We have of course not only focused on the pandemic and have taken this off period to further the many initiatives we started some time ago, such as the integration of our InfoShip and Accounting systems, but also reviewing how we can better collaborate in a remote working environment. We therefore signed up with Monday.com to track tasks and monitor progress, by incorporating MONDAY.COM with TEAMS, enhancing the collaboration platform allowing everyone to follow projects, progress and submit documents entirely in a cloud-based environment. We will eventually connect each ship via Teams and Monday.com as well.
We also signed up with Predictive Index, our new Talent Optimization Partner. It is a behavioral assessment tool utilized by more than 8,000 employers worldwide to measure the motivating needs of both current and prospective employees. For CMI it will serve as a valuable tool in employee and team development and engagement, as we start using this for shipboard officers and staff ashore.
We changed our crewing agency in Manila from OSM to Anglo Eastern, and updates are featured later in this edition. Another program initiated is with ISWAN, our new crew mental health support partner (see: www.seafarerswelfare.org), which is a membership organization promoting and supporting the welfare of seafarers worldwide. All ships will be signed up for this program which will be accessible to all deck, engine, and hotel crew on board, including expedition and cruise staff as applicable. You will soon find updates to our CMI website featuring a new crew portal allowing us to disseminate information to crew more efficiently.
As you can tell, we are continuously looking at improving our processes and we are making progress. The pandemic has put a hard stop on certain things but allowed us to focus on others. We hope that soon we can continue working on all of them concurrently without impediments.
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CMI Team, who have not stopped making sure we met every challenge head on, and who even now, months later are still dealing with difficulties and constant changes. They have not wavered in supporting all of you, never ignoring any requests, and always trying to ensure we deliver when we must as they continue to prepare for all vessels to return to operation.
“I thank them for their ongoing
support and for working non-stop when needed.”
Safety + Integrity + Profitability + Transparency + Risk Aversion