Azamara Captain message to the crew “Don’t Panic. Important stuff remains - You - Our Crew and our Guests”

Jan 20, 2021

Following yesterday’s news that Royal Caribbean Group will sell Azamara to the private equity firm Sycamore Partners, Captain Carl Smith – Master of the cruise ship Azamara Pursuit reached out to his crew with encouraging words, reassuring them that the company has a bright future ahead. After the big announcement many Azamara crew members who have been with the company since the very beginnings, were concerned what will happen to their jobs after the change of ownership. As a true Captain of its crew, Carl Smith shared his perspective about the future of Azamara in an inspiring letter:

“Most of you who are reading this had your lives impacted by the news released yesterday that Azamara was being sold. You are probably scared and upset, or at the very least, anxious.

Don’t Panic.

First of all, I am writing this as a personal note, I have no access to information that you have not already been granted access to on the internet or from news releases. That said, I have lived through all this before, several times.

I was 19, and a first contract 3rd Officer the first time a ship was sold out from under my feet. I did my level best to be sold with it, but that never happened. I was upset too, but life goes on.

This time, the new owners of Azamara, and yes, it will continue to be Azamara, Our Azamara that come with the company. 

From what I understand, the Sycamore group have purchased not only the ships, but the Brand Azamara, the guest list, the future cruise itinerary and also the crew. Lock Stock and Barrel.

Change. Nobody likes it.

As Carol stated yesterday in her video release, this is exciting news. Exciting news is never easy, and will mean some changes, big or small its too early to tell, but the important stuff remains. You. Our Crew and our Guests. Our ships, our lives and careers. Our contracts and salaries. Your ships, your vacations and Cruises. Our Azamara!

We will still get paid, the same amount for the same jobs. Our guests will still get to sail, and we will still get to look after them. The first change any of us will see, is where our salary comes from. But as long as it does come, do you really care that much where it comes from?


I don’t own a boat. Never have. Never understood how anyone could make money from it given the expenses I see day to day. That said, if I had a spare $200 million, I could think of far worse investments today. I think Sycamore Partners, our new owners, with Carol Cabezas as CEO, might just be the cleverest company I will ever work for!

In the mean time, I am enjoying my first long period at home in over 30 years. Full time Husband and Father. Honestly don’t know how my wife manages it all alone. I’m going to need to get back to sea for a rest...”

  • See you onboard.
  • Captain Carl.

Photo credit: Azamara