The British Colonial Hilton hotel is beginning to see bookings increase for the weekends Royal Caribbean International (RCI) begins its seven-night cruises out of Nassau’s cruise port, Hilton’s General Manager Pablo Casal told Guardian Business yesterday.
Casal said RCI’s decision to home port in Nassau was a positive one for the Hilton. Casal holds those sentiments because the cruise line has decided to use the Hilton as the check-in location for its guests. It is expected that some of those cruise passengers will come to Nassau ahead of their cruise and possibly stay in the country and the hotel when the cruise is over.
“Every partnership that is going to bring more guests to the island is a good one, so we’re happy that they decided to do the home porting here,” Casal said.
“It’s a positive one for us and I think it’s going to bring some people who are going to stay before and after the cruise. So, I think it’s going to be a win-win situation for everybody.”
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas is expected to set sail from Nassau for the first time on Saturday June 12 and then every subsequent Saturday for about six months.
Casal said the Hilton is seeing booking movements for the weekends Royal Caribbean plans to sail. He said the next few weeks are looking slower than normal for the hotel, but explained that since the hotel reopened in December, reservations have seen a constant uptick.
“Every month is one or two points up,” said Casal.
The Hilton was best known as a hotel for business travelers, but Casal said in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend has flipped toward the leisure traveler.
“Business hasn’t recovered yet, so what we’re seeing is mostly leisure,” he said.
“It’s going to take a little bit longer to recover and eventually go back to the normal market segmentation.”
Casal said the Hilton will put its best foot forward as it acts as the check-in site for RCI’s cruise, in hopes that the cruise line would consider prolonging its home porting initiative.
“Hopefully it is something we can sustain,” said Casal. “We have to perform now to give confidence to them and to the people that this is a good place to come and do it.”