Joe Schlipman: keeps profits afloat

schlipman-joeJoe Schlipman is originally from Denver. He graduated with honors from Loyola University Chicago with a BBA in 1996 and earned his MBA at the University of Miami. Upon graduating from Loyola, Joe and his wife moved to Miami and he started working for Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD, where he is currently the director of onboard revenue. Joe has worked for Royal Caribbean for the last ten years. He has held various leadership roles within the sales organization, including a quick relocation to Charlotte, where he was in charge of the Mid-Atlantic sales region. In addition to a hectic work schedule, Joe is also a father of two children, Claudine, age 5, and Balen, age 2. He and his wife recently renovated a historic Spanish home in Coral Gables, Florida, which they now call home.

What’s the most enduring lesson you learned at Loyola?

I went to a Jesuit High School (Regis in Colorado) and Loyola University Chicago and am confident that I got one of the best educations possible not only because of the institution, but also because of the role models that I met there.

What’s your favorite memory of Loyola?

Every Tuesday afternoon, Father Jerry Overbeck and I had a standing racquetball reservation and would enjoy dinner afterwards. I still miss the days that I would occasionally win!

If you could go back to school, what Loyola course would you take? Why?

Spanish. Even after living in Miami, I still can’t pick up Spanish! Can you believe my wife and her family speak Spanish fluently, and I still can’t seem to learn? So frustrating… I guess some people just have a knack for that.

Where was your favorite place on campus?

Halas Sports Center was great, but I always enjoyed my Wednesday nights at Cheers (this is definitely dating me) and Thursdays at Hamilton’s.

What’s your favorite place in Chicago?

Wrigley Field on any afternoon

Why did you decide to become a director of onboard revenue?

This is the type of job that you don’t set out to “be” one day. In 2007, I was asked to work on a struggling joint venture project between Magic Johnson Enterprises, GOGO Worldwide Travel, and CruiseshipCenters to bring travel franchises to Urban America. Unfortunately, due to many circumstances, the project did not get off the ground and within six months I launched and closed down a business. It happened to be perfect timing as a position was just opening in the hotel operations division at Royal Caribbean under the same executives who asked for my help the year before…and here I am!

What’s the most interesting part of your job?

I recently played a large role in the retail areas onboard the new Oasis of the Seas, which has received media attention around the world. It has been an incredible project to be a part of. Our maiden voyage was on December 1, 2009.

Essentially, my job involves the money our guests spend onboard our ships: gift shops, spa and fitness areas, photography, Internet, cell phone, art auctions, weddings, temporary tattoos, and our port shopping guides, so my day never has a dull moment. I get to work with some incredible partners in the industry and get to make the company money while providing great services to our guests. It’s the perfect job!

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I have received so much great advice from friends, family, and colleagues over the years! I credit them for making me the individual that I am today…but they’ve all given the same “themed” advice, which is “don’t rest on your laurels.” Too many times, people can get complacent and just rest on their previous achievements and not continue to push themselves further.

What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it to others?

For non-fiction readers, I continue to reread the book Prioritize! by Joe Calhoon and Bruce Jeffrey. It’s a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration to lead a successful business.

For fiction readers, I recently jumped on the vampire bandwagon and read the Twilight series. The movies have been quite popular, but the book by Stephenie Meyer is a wonderfully entertaining novel.

Describe your perfect day.

Just returned from an inaugural voyage on Oasis of the Seas with my wife, and I must say it was quite an experience and a perfect day. Is it bad that a vacation without the kids is a perfect day? That’s going to sound awful in print….

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

There are so many places to list. (I am all about experiencing a new place on each vacation selection)…If I had the time, I would love to go on an around the world cruise that stopped all over Asia, Africa, and Europe… just live aboard the ship and let it take me from destination to destination.

Describe yourself in three words.


What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My 20-month-old son who (like clockwork) is up at 6:30 a.m. everyday without fail! I haven’t used an alarm clock in five years since I have two very young children. Luckily, my daughter likes to sleep in, like “Daddy!”

Which one best describes you in college: athlete, intellectual, artist, young professional, activist, or social butterfly?

That is difficult. I would say a mix between young professional, athlete, and social butterfly. I was working various jobs for the majority of my junior and senior years and had some great times my freshman and sophomore years. But all four years I enjoyed my time playing intramural sports and met some great people as a result. I was on one of the first rugby clubs and played on all kinds of intramural teams like basketball, football, and softball.

2 Responses to “Joe Schlipman: keeps profits afloat”

  1. Uncle Mike Says:

    A very enlightening interview and I must say I learned some things about you and your history. You are an interesting fellow Joe. One reply that I must agree with unequivocally is your comment that you are “Full Of It!”

    You always keep things lively Joe and we greatly enjoyed being with your family at Disney World.

  2. Annette Russo Says:

    really enjoyed you interview. Congratualtions on all you accomplishments but we’ve always known you were smart, handsome and talented:)
    Aunt Annette