Royal Caribbean International reported yesterday that the company now has more than 300 Bahamians in its employ in cruise ship and land-based operations.
Royal Caribbean’s Senior Manager of Global Talent Attraction Cindy Williams-Johnson said the company has been pleased by the response from Bahamians who attended the cruise line’s job fairs over the past year.
“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,” Williams-Johnson said in a press release.
Royal Caribbean plans to hold another series of job fairs in 2020.
“From temporary workers in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in Grand Bahama, to more than 300 on board 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,” the release stated.
The company’s Vice President of Government Affairs for the Americas Russell Benford said Bahamians have easily adapted to their maritime positions and added that The Bahamas itself remains one of the cruise line’s number one destinations.
“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.”
The release said recruiting Bahamians to work onboard cruise ships had historically been a difficult feat. It added that many Bahamian entrepreneurs have greatly benefitted from the presence of the cruise line in The Bahamas.
“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 are 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.”
According to Abaconian Brittany Smith, her journey with the cruise line has been chock full of 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,” she said in the release.
“They used their resources to try to get information too.”
Smith’s family survived the storm but lost 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,” she said.
“It’s a great privilege to work for Royal Caribbean. I feel very honored.”