Johanna Jainchill
Johanna Jainchill

*logoPerhaps it is as much a sign of the economy as it is of technology that cruise executives this year have made themselves increasingly visible to their customers, both cruisers and travel sellers, through blogs and web radio programs.

The added transparency might be a way to create publicity. But it turns out there are truly interesting, and sometimes fascinating, glimpses into the way these executives think and live their lives.

In his blog last week, Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain wrote about "wkuuan," which stands for "what keeps us up at night."

He describes it as "a phrase that has taken on a life of its own within a large group of people preparing for the introduction of the Oasis of the Seas."

"One of the things that is so amazing to me is just how literally so many of our people mean this," Fain wrote. "They are losing sleep to make sure that they haven’t missed anything in the process.

"Please don’t tell anyone, but the fact that they are all giving up their sleep to make sure everything goes well means that I get to sleep like a baby."

And his colleague Adam Goldstein, who writes his own blog, hit on a topic in a post earlier this year that most people would think he’d avoid like the plague: the disappearance of George Smith from the Brilliance of the Seas four years ago.

Goldstein explained that he and Smith’s wife, Jennifer Hagel Smith, have become friendly since meeting on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2006.

"Despite my assumption that in her eyes I was akin to Darth Vader, we struck up a conversation on the set that led eventually to the settlement and to mutual respect," Goldstein wrote.

Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s executive vice president of global sales and passenger services, will host several shows on the line’s new NCL University radio program that enables travel agents to ask executives live, on-air questions.

And while he’s not an executive, it is possible that the inspiration for all of this was the industry’s rock star of bloggers, John Heald, a cruise director for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Nobody can deny that Heald’s blog offers the most personal and intimate look yet at a day in the life of a cruise line employee.

Case in point: A recent blog entry of his started out, "I am sure there are many of you out there who as soon as you wake up, you fart ... OK ... that’s probably just me."

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