Road Warrior: Running with Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein by Robert Hackett @FortuneMagazine September 8, 2014, 7:10 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Cruise connoisseur Adam Goldstein sprints from port to port as the president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. I travel constantly. It’s relentless. I was in China in June and in August. Then I’ll be in China in October with the new ship Quantum of the Seas. I live in Miami. I’ve got two kids at Princeton, a house in Maine, and I’m trying to be a competitive runner at the same time, which presents certain challenges. Right now I’d say I travel probably 30-40% of the time, which may not sound like much, but it’s actually a lot. Early in my career when I was the head of international sales and marketing, I think it was as much as 60% of the time. Fortunately for me while my kids were growing up it was somewhat less. And now that the empty nest is upon us, it seems to mushroom again for the moment. So I’m not really in Miami more than a couple days at a time. First of all, I never check my luggage. I will go to absurd lengths to work with a carry-on. I’m not talking about that my carry-on bag is breaking the overhead compartment or that I’m trying to sneak it by the security people, it’s how do you pack for any length of trip and fit it in the required size of bag? It’s certainly an art form and, of course, it’s something that road warriors have a frequent dialogue about. The thing that really is the challenge is the workout clothes—to have my workout shoes and clothes together with my business clothes. That’s where it gets difficult to fit into a little bag. But it must be done. This is not optional. The biggest challenge by far is how do I reproduce my workout schedule that my coach and I devise under the parameters of traveling? When do I use the hotel gym? When do I venture outside? Can I do this in the morning, which is usually what I do? Can I do this at night? It’s one thing to go out and do six miles relatively easy. It’s another thing to figure out how to do an interval workout where I have to run hard 200 or 400-meter segments when I’m traveling. Can I find a track? If I don’t find a track, can I use my GPS watch to mark off a distance? At the Mall in Washington D.C.—which is really cool to run on—that’s an easy place to mimic an interval workout on a track. Central Park, maybe I can do it around the reservoir but other places it’s really difficult to do that. The last two weekends I’ve taken a chance on a 34-minute connection in Newark from Berlin to Miami, and it worked out both times. But if I try enough 34-minute connections one of them is not going to work out and then I’m going to have to deal with a pretty huge dislocation to my schedule. But those are the calculated risks that you run as a road warrior—literally, run—because there are times when you might otherwise miss your flight. On a recent close connection in Detroit between China and Portland, Maine, I had my briefcase and my bag—both packed to the gills and heavy. I had to make it. To not make it would have completely screwed up my weekend. I ran like a madman with these bags from one end of the airport to another. My coach and I later joked that that was as good as any workout he would normally give me to do. I think I made it from the plane to the gate, through security, through Customs and Border Protection, and then back into security and across the airport in 19 minutes. That was good. My arms were killing me. But it was good. You don’t need that much to run, right? You need a t-shirt, shorts, socks, and some shoes. And my GPS watch, that’s pretty essential. A Garmin Forerunner 610. I’ve got to have the watch to know that I’m hitting the pace and that I’m running for the required time. There’s no substitute for that. Unless I would be on a track, but to run 10 miles around the track—even a beautiful track—would be more than I could, or almost anybody could, handle. I don’t listen to music while I’m running. When I’m running I am totally tuned into my pace, technique, times. I like to listen to music on the airplane. There was this whole collection of CDs of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that just came out with the 40th anniversary of the live concerts they gave in ’74 with commentary by Graham Nash, and it was super interesting. That’s not something I would normally have the time to do at home. We use the Waze app quite a bit now when we’re on the road. It’s very helpful. Especially in Maine where you’ve got all these backcountry roads and you don’t know if there’s going to be a traffic jam on the way into Portland or whatever it’s going to be. The most interesting place I’ve ever been to was the Galapagos, which we did on the Celebrity Cruise ship as a family. It was certainly one of the greatest vacations that we’ve ever taken. Everything is geared toward the land experience, so there’s no real entertainment, per se. Everybody gets together after dinner and talks about where they’re going the next day and the excursions you can take. The essential attraction of the Galapagos is that the wildlife is just right there and has no fear of humans. Whether it’s the tortoises, the lizards, the sea lions, all the different kinds of birds, they’re just right there. If you walk backwards on a trail you’re taking the risk of stepping on a marine iguana. Of course you don’t want to do that, so you have to be careful where you’re looking all the time so that you don’t bother or hurt any of the wildlife. It’s just fantastic. I don’t have the time too much to explore new places. I mostly keep going back to places I’ve already been because, I guess because I’m not in a sector that’s bringing me to way out-of-the-way places. But I would love to get back to more exploration travel when I have the time. I’ve done a tone of ship visits, which is not the same as cruising. And I’ve been on a ton of cruises for work, which I wouldn’t even count. I would say the number of truly proper cruises—like real people take—I’ve been on 20 or 30 over the years. I’m going on Allure of the Seas in December, which I’m looking forward to. And my slightly delayed honeymoon—I got married 23 years ago—will happen next year. On a cruise! From Fiji to Tahiti. I’ve never been near any of those places. It’s really good to have an understanding and resourceful spouse. I mean understanding for obvious reasons, but I’m incredibly lucky that not only does my wife understand what I do, because she worked at Royal Caribbean for 10 years, so she’s incredibly clever in finding solutions to road warrior problems. If anything is going awry, if any plane is appearing to be late, if there seems to be any danger of missing a connection, or if I just have to suddenly, for whatever reason, change my plan, she is crazy good at finding new alternatives on the fly.