Today in Miami, Royal Caribbean International cruise line signed an agreement with Barbados government to strengthen its ties via a new partnership. The agreement strives to support Barbados two ways.
One is to identify employment opportunities for Barbadians onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Said the President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley, this recruitment initiative will include “typical hotel style positions” as well as roles in entertainment, like dancers, musicians, and choreographers.
Bayley stated: “In the Caribbean, we have longstanding relationships for a long time. I think this is one the most formalized agreements we are putting into place. It’s a testimony to, not only of the relationship we have [had with Barbados] for a long time, but surely also a recognition to what happened over the past couple of years,” referring to support from Barbados authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second, the cruise line would like to expand its commercial relationships with Barbados in the form of country niche products. Bayley said, “We can improve the business that comes to the local communities and artisans, not only enhancing the costumer experience but also enhancing it to the local people, who will have a better opportunity to generate revenue.”
“We are really excited about the strategic partnership that we are forging with Royal Caribbean,” said Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins.
She added, “This is the strategic partnership that allows us to be able to break down those silos and to work together in the interest of the destination Barbados.”
In addition to the work being put forth via the new agreement, Royal Caribbean cruise line has added Bridgetown as a new homeport. This past winter the Grandeur of the Seas offered a Southern Caribbean cruise that departed from Bridgetown, and in the 2022-2023 cruise season, the operation will return with cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas in November. Cruises will consist of 7 and 14 nights to such destinations as St. Lucia, Tobago, Martinique, Bonaire, and Colombia.