Disney’s Castaway Cay wins cruise destination award for fourth year
As Disney Cruise Line seeks to develop a new cruise port in The Bahamas at a site in South Eleuthera, the 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Destinations Awards recently announced that Disney’s private island destination Castaway Cay in The Bahamas was selected as the most highly-rated cruise line private island, clinching the award for Best Cruise Line Private Island for a fourth consecutive year.
The list of awards was put together by Cruise Critic, the world’s top cruise review website.
Disney Cruise Lines employs 150 Bahamians at Castaway Cay year round, including in management positions, where the average weekly pay is approximately $32,500 a year, according to a press release. Those employees also receive health insurance and other benefits. The company provides almost $40 million in direct benefits to The Bahamas yearly.
But the company is facing heavy pressure from environmentalists about its proposed development at Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera.
Last week, environment organization the Waterkeeper Alliance announced a new campaign aimed at stopping Disney’s plan to build a cruise ship port at Lighthouse Point.
“The alliance joins its partners Waterkeepers Bahamas and Save the Bays, along with the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation, Earthcare and reEarth, in inviting people to join the campaign to save this unique natural site of extraordinary beauty treasured by generations of Bahamians and visitors from the U.S. and worldwide,” the Waterkeeper Alliance’s website states.
“Last year, Disney Cruise Line and the government of The Bahamas cut off the discussion of economic alternatives for the South Eleuthera communities closest to the point. The government chose to ignore a funded, sustainable alternative developed by Bahamian groups and strong public opposition to Disney’s plans. In October 2018, the government gave preliminary approval to Disney to purchase Lighthouse Point for the construction of a private cruise ship port,” the website further states.
Disney has promised to preserve a large tract of land to be used as a public park and has promised to use the most environmentally sustainable building practices to develop Lighthouse Point and the pier that will be used to moor its ships.
The company is in the midst of its environmental impact assessment study, which will ensure that the project is viable.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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