NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Royal Caribbean International reported today that a campaign aimed at getting more Bahamians onboard with the company is paying off literally – more than 300 Bahamians are now working on ships operated by the world’s largest cruise line or in one of its land-based destinations.
“We are extremely pleased by the response of Bahamians who attended the job fairs we had in Nassau and Grand Bahama throughout this past year and the follow-through with completion of applications, documentation, references and an eager attitude,” said Cindy Williams-Johnson, Senior Manager, Global Talent Attraction. “What is most rewarding is knowing that Bahamians are excited at the prospect of joining the world’s largest and most innovative cruise line and seeing the world.”
According to Royal Caribbean Vice President, Government Affairs for the Americas, Russell Benford, Bahamians adapted readily to a world at sea, and interestingly instantly recognize one another out of a staff complement of thousands.
“Royal Caribbean prides itself on our commitment to diversity. We are 73,000 employees strong representing 126 nationalities,” said Benford. “The irony of those statistics is that while The Bahamas was our very first port of call 50 years ago and remains our number one destination today, we had very few Bahamians working directly for the company until recently, thanks now to the intense talent acquisition campaign.”
While many Bahamians benefitted from entrepreneurial opportunities and engagement with the cruise line, attracting locals to work onboard cruise ships wasn’t always easy.
“It seems natural that Bahamians whose history is so closely tied to the sea take to the ships like second nature so we are so pleased to see the interest now,” Benford said. “Two things stand out and are outstanding when it comes to Bahamians. The first is a warmth, like a sense of hospitality that comes naturally and can never be duplicated no matter how much training you do. The second thing is Bahamians find each other and gather on breaks as if they were meeting up at Fish Fry on a Friday night. It’s just like they were back home but they can be a thousand miles away at a port they never even dreamed of landing in before they joined Royal Caribbean.”
For Brittany Smith of Abaco, joining Royal Caribbean has been a journey with surprising twists and turns.
“During Dorian, I couldn’t get any word about my family for five days and the company did everything to comfort me, urging me to take time off, go home, try to find out what was happening. They used their resources to try to get information, too,” said Smith, whose family did survive though lost their home while other relatives in Grand Bahama also suffered extensive damage to their home. “There are times when it is hard being away from home but everyone is always so nice and so understanding and it’s like we have our own family onboard. It’s a great privilege to work for Royal Caribbean. I feel very honoured.”
The company plans a series of job fairs in 2020 with a schedule to be announced at the start of the year.
From temporary workers in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in Grand Bahama to more than 300 onboard its ships and in land-based operations, Royal Caribbean is dramatically increasing its role as an employer of choice for Bahamians who bring a unique culture to the company with 73,000 employees representing 126 jurisdictions and nations.