Royal Caribbean has announced a multi-year agreement with the Bahamas aimed at helping to grow tourism to the destination, increasing the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and investing in hospitality training to develop talent in the country.
At a signing ceremony attended by Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas and Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line confirmed plans for a significant investment in major enhancements to CocoCay – its private island destination in the Bahamas – which will include the construction of a pier, additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of The Bahamas to visitors. The new pier will be able to accommodate the line's Oasis-class ships, including the just-announced Symphony of the Seas.
As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean plans to work with the Bahamas government to develop a training program to provide those who aspire to a career in hospitality with a unique opportunity to participate in innovative training and development. The cruise line will create a curriculum that will prepare many thousands of students for careers at sea on board one of Royal Caribbean’s ships. The classes will be facilitated by dedicated instructors who will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge to help them develop valuable and marketable hospitality skills. In addition to the classroom experience, students will receive on-site guidance and training from shipboard professionals.
Royal Caribbean has committed to rapidly growing the number of Bahamian nationals employed by the cruise line in the next five years. In addition, they have joint ownership of the Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport at which major revitalizations and drydock maintenance of its ships take place.