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Cruise Line CEO Incomes: Who makes what?

The highest-paid cruise executive in 2018 was Norwegian Cruise Line's Frank Del Rio, who collected a whopping $22,590,000

PortandTerminal.com, March 28, 2020

The top cruise executive made almost 50 times more than the Executive Director at the Port of Los Angeles. Remember this when the cruise lines come asking for COVID19 bailouts.

MIAMI, FL – Compared to their counterparts, CEOs at America’s port authorities, the heads of the cruise lines make obscene amounts of money.

Over the past several months, PortandTerminal.com has published a number of articles along the lines of “who makes what” at some of America’s largest ports.

The highest-paid CEO at a Port Authority that we could find was Griffith Lynch, Executive Director at Georgia Ports, with a salary of $640,915 in 2018.

READ: $ Who makes what at Georgia Ports Authority?

Gene Seroka who is Executive Director of America’s largest port, the Port of Los Angeles, had a total compensation package of $474,523 in 2018.

READ: Elon Musk earns 1,082 times more than the CEO at the Port of Los Angeles

Now let’s compare that to the salaries of the CEOs at Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp.

The following data is sourced from Cruise Law News and can be found by clicking here. All data is based upon 2018 sources.

1: Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s Frank Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO, Frank Del Rio
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO, Frank Del Rio

The highest-paid cruise executive in 2018 was NCL’s Frank Del Rio, who collected a whopping $22,590,000 (up from $10,490,000 in 2017).

Mr. Del Rio received compensation valued at $2.9 million in 2016, down from almost $32 million in 2015. According to Seatrade Cruise News, Mr. Del Rio received compensation valued at $31.9 million in 2015, including nearly $17.8 million in stock options and $10.3 million in stock awards.

His cash income was about $4 million including a salary of over $1.8 million, and a bonus of $1,900,000. Other compensation in 2015 included a cash automobile allowance, tax preparation service and a country club membership totalling $140,651.

2: Royal Caribbean’s Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean’s Chairman Richard Fain was the second-highest-paid cruise executive in 2018.

In 2018, he collected $13,510,000 (versus $13,343,413 in 2017 and $10,405,684 in 2016). Mr. Fain was the highest paid cruise executive for 2016 and 2017. 

3: Carnival’s Arnold Donald

Carnival CEO, Arnold Donald

CEO Donald was the third highest-paid cruise executive in 2018. Last year, he collected $13,510,000 in 2018 (versus $13,050,000 in 2017) as the CEO of Carnival Corporation,  including stock awards of $7,000,000.  Mr. Donald has recently been in the news after he was ordered to appear together with Carnival Corporation’s board of directors before United States District Court Judge Patricia Seitz Carnival’s regarding Carnival’s ongoing violations of probation following its guilty plea to oil pollution, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

READ: #COVIDIOTS – Carnival CEO says cruise ship not a riskier environment for COVID19

In the latest quarterly report by the Court Appointed Monitor (CAM), Carnival corporation’s “highest levels of management” were criticized for the cruise company’s ongoing failure to comply with its environmental probation.

“CEO’s like Del Rio benefit from an industry where the cruise lines pay no U.S. taxes and comply with no U.S. wage or labor laws which permits them to exploit workers from around the world. Meanwhile, they nickel-and-dime their tax-paying customers whenever they have a chance.”

Jim Walker, respected cruise industry lawyer and head at Walker & O’Neill Maritime Lawyers

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