Despite cruise shutdown, CEOs made millions. Crew members met a different fate
President and CEO of Carnival Corp. Arnold W. Donald delivers a keynote address at CES 2017 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas. - Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

MIAMI — Perhaps no industry was as badly battered by the pandemic in 2020 as the cruise industry, with business in the U.S. — its most lucrative market — banned for 9 1/2 of the year’s 12 months. To cope, the three largest companies stopped paying employees on their ships, cut marketing expenses and worked furiously to raise as much debt and equity financing as possible. The strategy worked out for executives at the three largest and publicly held cruise companies: Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Even as the companies faced record losses in the billion...