ALL ABOARD: Royal Caribbean’s Bahamas cruise seeing “very strong bookings”

ALL ABOARD: Royal Caribbean’s Bahamas cruise seeing “very strong bookings”
Russell Benford.

Adventure of the Seas to set sail next week, homeporting in The Bahamas and running through August

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Royal Caribbean is seeing very strong bookings on its Bahamas cruise offering, which is set to begin in just over a week, according to a senior official with the cruise line, who noted that customer demand will determine the future of its Bahamas homeporting arrangement.

Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) Vice President of Government Relations for the Americas Russell Benford, in an interview with Eyewitness News, said: “Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas will set sail from Nassau on June 12. The ship is already at capacity. I believe the first sailing is already at capacity or close to it.

“There are well over 1,000 guests for the first four sailings, which is great. The response has really been strong and we are excited about that opportunity.

“The first sailing will be with several Royal Caribbean cruise executives, media from around the world and paid passengers. The bookings are very strong. We are going to limited capacity to begin with. That is one of the recommendations the health and safety teams have given. The most important thing is to return to cruising safely and respect the health and safety protocols of the Bahamas.”

The Adventure of the Seas has a 3,807-passenger capacity, however, RCL’s initial sailings will be at 50 percent capacity. The Bahamas cruise runs through August. The cruises with fully vaccinated crew are available to adults who have proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as those under age 18 with negative test results.

Benford said: “The Bahamas really has a lot of advantages for homeporting ships. Homeporting has given us the opportunity to engage Bahamian small businesses and entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.

“Bahamasair has been able to ramp up their flights from the US because of homeporting as well as occupancy rates at the hotels have increased. This is the first time ever that we are making meaningful partnerships with the hotels. It’s also a great opportunity for the taxi drivers, tour operators, livery drivers, food and beverage companies and the like.”

As to the future of RCL’s homeporting arrangement in The Bahamas, Benford said: “We’re going to see how it goes. The future of it will be determined by customer demand. We will monitor the sales and revenue and take it from there. I don’t know if the program will be extended beyond the summer, but it gives us an opportunity to see what homeporting can be.”