It was with heavy hearts that Royal Caribbean International recently shared news that Captain Ron Holmes has passed away. He’d spent a lifetime on the seas, and nearly three decades helming ships for the cruise line.
“He will be sadly missed by so many,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of the company, said in sharing both the news and the below picture, provided by Holmes’ widow, Carol.
Holmes started his maritime career with the Royal Canadian Navy, and then went on to work aboard cargo ships before joining Royal Caribbean in 1995. He spent the last 28 years with the company.
He first joined Royal Caribbean aboard Nordic Empress before going on to serve on ships including Radiance of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas, among others. He loved to share his passion of the sea, and had a soft spot for giving tours of the bridge to kids from the Make a Wish Foundation.
“He died peacefully,” said Holmes’ wife, in a message passed along via Bayley, “with me and our dog, Winnie, by his side. Ron loved his job and wasn’t afraid to say that. As captain, I know that he loved, protected and had great respect for all of the crew that traveled from all over the world and all walks of life to work on ships… We had an extraordinary life together and I thank Royal Caribbean, in part, for that.”
He will, of course, also be missed by the literally thousands of passengers whose lives he touched. There exists between a captain and those sailing upon his ships a special, if largely unspoken, bond. We know that in their hands, we are safe. It is became of them that we are able to create memories which will last a lifetime. For that, we are grateful and, if lucky, able to express during brief encounters when our paths cross.
Even as those who sailed with him are touched by the loss, they will no doubt see his smiling face and feel a moment of gratitude for what he brought into their lives.
Written by Sarah Bretz and Richard Simms