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Disney Dedicates New Website to Bahamian Lighthouse Point Project

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Disney Cruise Line has just launched a new website dedicated to reporting upon the progress of its Lighthouse Point project in the Bahamas.

With the Bahamian government’s approval, Disney purchased 700 coastal acres on the island of Eleuthera back in March 2019, now slated to become Disney Cruise Line’s second proprietary destination in the Bahamas. Its first, Castaway Cay, has been in operation since 1998 and has become a touchstone of the Disney Cruise Line experience in the Caribbean.

With three new cruise ships in the pipeline, which will expand its fleet from four to seven ships by the year 2023, and 75 percent of its current passenger volume already stopping in the Bahamas, executives deemed it prescient to incorporate another privately-owned port of call on the islands.

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The Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney Cruise Line had been criticized by some leading up to its acquisition of the land parcel, located on the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera, which it was looking towards developing into its second Bahamian destination.

Perhaps in the spirit of transparency, LighthousePointBahamas.com now provides public updates on plans and advancements surrounding the new venture, and particularly demonstrating the company’s awareness about the environmental and economic impact that the development will have on the area.

Various subsections of the site pertain particularly to: Opportunity, Environment, Culture, Community, Progress, News and FAQs. Executive newsletters, progress reports, video interviews featuring project collaborators and preliminary artists’ renderings are all at hand, illustrating Disney Cruise Line’s vision for the property and the multitude of experiences that it is planned to create.

Several emphases become readily apparent upon visiting the site, with content outlining the extensive measures that have been and are being taken in order to respect and preserve the natural environment at the site while developing a maximum of 20 percent of the land in the most sustainable ways possible.

Socio-economic ramifications of Disney Cruise Line’s upcoming presence on the island are also explored, and the site addresses the projected ways in which communities on Eleuthera will benefit from the Lighthouse Point, as well as the Bahamian economy at large. The site also explains the ways in which the destination will be designed around a celebration of elements of Bahamian culture, incorporating many artistic and cultural elements, employing local artisans and professionals, and generally giving back to the local community.

Executive newsletters, statistics and investigation results are all displayed to offer insight into the inner workings of the development and construction process. Users will find concept renderings and illustrative plan maps, which outline the locations that are envisioned to hold various infrastructure elements and guest attractions.

They show the planned the positioning of the pier and marina, an adventure camp, pedestrian nature trails and dedicated stretches of beach, as well as donated public lands (As part of its purchase agreement, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas had dictated that Disney donate 190 acres of the Lighthouse Point parcel back to the government, to be made into a national park).

For more information, LighthousePointBahamas.com.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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