It is evident that Barbados is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, welcoming yet another vessel to these shores. On Wednesday, November 8, Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas docked at the Bridgetown Port for the first time.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Hon. Richard Sealy welcomed the cruise ship's captain and crew at the official inaugural ceremony, which was attended by CEO of Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) David Jean-Marie, BPI’s Divisional Manager, Corporate Development and Strategy, Captain Karl Branch, along with other invited guests. During the ceremony and plaque exchange, which was conducted on Deck 15, Minister Sealy said he was extremely delighted that the relationship between Royal Caribbean and Barbados Port Inc. continued to grow from strength to strength. He further noted that the alliance will certainly redound to the benefit of the local cruise industry.
“This is going to be a good season for the cruise industry in Barbados; it’s going to be yet another record breaking season for us in terms of the number of passengers coming to our shores. We value ourselves as being a top destination because of our hospitality and we intend on maintaining that high level of service persons have become accustomed to,” the Minister said.
Caption 2- CEO of Barbados Port Inc David Jean-Marie presenting Captain Iv Vidos with a plaque at the inaugural ceremony
Captain Iv Vidos expressed how pleased he was to be on the island and commended the Bridgetown Port for the exceptional service it had provided.
“We've come with approximately 4000 guests and 1430 crew members, it’s truly a pleasure for us to be responsible for bringing over 5000 persons to this beautiful island,” he said.
Arriving last Wednesday morning from South Hampton in England, the 15-deck cruise ship was expected to make its way to Martinique the following Thursday, then Fort Lauderdale on November 13. This luxurious ship, which has been in commission for 10 years, houses several boutiques, restaurants, spas, night clubs, sporting facilities, pools, bars and lounges.
Caption 1- Captain Iv Vidos (left) and Minister of Tourism and International Transport Hon. Richard Sealy during the exchange of plaques.