The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA)—the trade association representing the mutual interests between the cruise industry, Caribbean and Latin American destinations and stakeholders and its member lines—has detailed the industry’s commitment to help the Bahamas fully recover in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
While the Category 5 storm devastated the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama last month, much of the destination emerged unscathed, with 14 of the country’s most-visited islands continuing to welcome travelers every day.
On Monday, the FCCA announced that its member lines have already raised $8 million in donation pledges and gathered more than 10 million pounds of food and supplies while providing 20,000 meals a day and hundreds of millions of dollars in accelerated investment plans. Hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars have also been put toward educating people that the Bahamas is open for business and that visiting is one of the best ways travelers can help given the destination’s reliance on tourism.
Many cruise lines have already begun returning to the Bahamas, which is vital considering cruise tourism is calculated to have generated more than $405 million in the Bahamas during the 2017-18 season, according to FCCA research.
“Though we still mourn for all those impacted in Abaco and Grand Bahama, it is humbling and heartwarming to see our member lines’ enormous effort to not only provide the necessary relief but also work with those in the destination toward sustainable recovery,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA, in a statement. “On behalf of FCCA, we are honored to help support that recovery in any way we can, and currently one of the best things any of us can do is visit the Bahamas, as nearly half of its GDP relies on tourism, and broadcast the message that most of its islands are open and welcoming guests every day.”
Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, The Walt Disney Company and MSC Group have each stepped up to lend a helping hand to the Bahamas in recent weeks.
For example, Carnival alone collected an estimated 10 million pounds of food and supplies, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line launched multiple humanitarian cruises and Norwegian met its goal of raising $2 million for hurricane relief.
You can visit f-cca.com/relief to learn more about individual FCCA member line relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Comments & Discussion
Royal Caribbean Makes Additional Comment on Future of Buffets
The buffet—as much a staple on cruise ships as anything—will live on in a different form, at least on Royal Caribbean vessels.
A week after Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, intimated that buffets would likely not exist when Royal Caribbean returns to the sea, CruiseRadio.net reports something of an evolution on that stance.
Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, appeared on Coffee Chat, a weekly talk with travel advisors with host and Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support and Service Vicki Freed, and said buffets will change but not go away entirely.
“(Where) everybody reaches in and everybody touches the same tongs, you’re not going to see (that) on land or sea,” Fain said. “(But) it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a buffet. You might have it where all of that is served to you by other people. And there (are) other possibilities. But the point is that it will evolve.”
By way of example, Fain said to consider the Midnight Buffet.
“I don’t think anyone says, ‘Where’s the midnight buffet?’” he said. “You haven’t seen the midnight buffet for years and that was long before we had COVID-19. Tastes change and people change, and cruise lines change to accommodate.”
Fain told TravelWeekly, sister publication to TravelPulse.com, that cruisers will adapt, much as air travelers did in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“If you remember after (that), all of a sudden you had to do a strip search at the airport. You couldn’t take a bottle of water on the plane,” he said. “A lot of people said, ‘Nobody’s ever going to fly. Who’s going to want to go on an airplane?’ Airplane travel didn’t end. In fact, it grew. But it evolved. So it isn’t the same when you go today. You do go through security checks, and you do go through identity checks and frankly, we’ve become accustomed to it and the technology has helped make it easier.”
Comments & Discussion
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