Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) has completed the hiring of 200 Bahamians for entry-level positions on its cruise ships and several for its private island, Coco Cay, as it pushes to meet its deadline for the May 2019 opening of the first phase of the cay’s redevelopment, the company’s president and CEO, Michael Bayley, said yesterday.
Bayley, who paid a courtesy call to the National Training Agency (NTA), said RCCL made a commitment to the Bahamian government to hire 200 Bahamians per year, and yesterday, with the hiring of 25 more people at the NTA, RCCL fulfilled its promise.
RCCL’s recruitment team was in the The Bahamas specifically to find Bahamians to fill those positions on the cruise ships, and positions on Coco Cay for when the first phase of the cruise line’s “Perfect Day” experience on the cay begins next year.
“It is progressing very well,” Bayley said.
“It is our intention to open the first phase, which is really the biggest phase, in May next year. We have also been building the pier. The pier is a little late in terms of schedule, but it will be fine in terms of the opening of phase one of Perfect Day.”
Bayley said there is already a lot of interest in the new offerings at Coco Cay from the international community.
He said RCCL yesterday hired from the NTA the island’s new venue manager. He added that the island manager is also a Bahamian.
Yesterday RCCL also committed to helping the Berry Islands, of which Coco Cay is a part, build a community center. According to the member of Parliament for the area, Carlton Bowleg, the Berry Islands has been trying to complete a community center for 15 years.
While there has been some concern about private islands taking away tourist spend opportunities for New Providence, Bayley said the cruise lines see the addition of private islands as a win-win, especially for the companies’ three and four-day trips that stop in Nassau and the private cays.
“The ships that call into the private islands are typically calling into Nassau,” he said.
He added that, over the next two years, RCCL could bring almost 2 million tourists to the Bahamas, 500,000 more than it currently does, as it increases the frequency of calls by 2020.