The name Royal Caribbean conjures up images of luxury cruise ships, top-notch entertainment, fine dining, sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, tall tropical beverages.
“Our mission is to create fabulous vacations with great experiences and great memories for our crew and our guests,” says John Maya, vice president of operational excellence at Miami-based Royal Caribbean Group.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, however, Royal Caribbean has the same internal systems as any company in the travel/hospitality industry – corporate offices, sales, marketing, reservations, call centers, baggage handling, etc.
Maya describes his IT infrastructure as hybrid cloud, with some resources hosted on Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, but also some core systems, such as the mission critical reservations application, running on an IBM AS-400 server in an Equinix data center in Virginia.
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There are three brands under the Royal Caribbean Group umbrella—Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises—with a total of 85,000 employees, most of whom work aboard the ships that take vacationers to more than 300 destinations, everywhere from Alaska to Australia.
But there are also between 8,000-10,000 employees who work at fixed locations, including corporate headquarters, offices in Europe and Asia, and port operations scattered across the globe. There are also third-party contractors, and close to 1,000 call-center agents who work out of their homes.
On the cruise ships, guests and most crew members don’t have access to the corporate network, but Maya does have to provide secure