Two cruise lines that had become estranged to the BVI in recent years have given positive feedback to the territory that its efforts towards satisfying guests are ‘noteworthy’.
The recognition came from Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises recently.
“The vibe I’ve received in connection with the Premier and the people has been very positive. So I can bring that back to my senior leadership because we always want to diversify our itinerary for our guests. So in the future, I can’t say right now or tomorrow, but I can say in the future there may be a possibility for Carnival [yo return],” said Director of Commercial Homeport Operations on the Carnival Cruises, Carlos Estrada.
“I think we are heading the right way,” he added.
In the meantime, Premier and Tourism Minister Andrew Fahie said the cruise line has shown their commitment to the territory despite having a somewhat rocky relationship.
He said: “The relationship between Carnival and the BVI was strained, and we set a reset button since I became Premier, and we have had a lot of dialogue.”
He added, “I think Carnival has shown their recommitment to the BVI by adding the inaugural calls of the Carnival Sunrise which was in June and that came with 3,900 passengers and 1,100 crew. So it was a good indication of things to come, and we are in continuous dialogue. So I would say that the initial move was a good-faith gesture to show that there is better and more to come. That relationship is getting stronger and stronger and will result in more calls to the BVI.”
Associate Vice President of Government Relations with the Royal Caribbean Cruises Andre Pousada also had good reviews on the destination.
“We are excited as well as Royal Caribbean to increase the calls in the BVI. Actually, this is a destination that has high levels of guest satisfaction for our company. So that is one of the reasons why we are increasing our calls to this destination,” Pousada said.
Notably, the Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines pulled out of the Territory more than three years ago after local government signed preferential berthing agreements with Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.