A Royal Caribbean ship that originated in Panama made its first call to Grand Cayman on Thursday, 2 December.
Grandeur of the Seas is a 2,446-passenger cruiser that is scheduled to visit Cayman biweekly on a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, which begins in Colon, Panama, and also visits Cartagena, Colombia; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Honduras.
The inaugural call by the ship featured 2,204 cruisers who were docked at the alternative landing site between 7am and 4pm.
Government representatives greeted the ship to mark the debut voyage, the first of 11 calls by the ship in the high season. The last call will be Thursday, 21 April after which the vessel will not call again until Thursday, 24 November, 2011.
The arrival of the ship from the Latin American market presents new opportunities for the tourism industry in the Cayman Islands, according to acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott.
“Industry partners who are integrally involved in the cruise tourism sector should seek to deploy their bilingual staff to meet the needs of these passengers and to ensure that they are welcomed with all the warmth and hospitality that have made the Cayman Islands a destination of choice for cruise and stay-over visitors alike.
“If bilingual staff are not available, at a minimum, their English-speaking staff should be equipped with a list of simple, but useful Spanish words to ensure that basic communication is maintained and our commitment to first class hospitality shines through to these visitors,” said Mr. Scott.
The Royal Caribbean debut follows the inaugural November visit by Happy Cruises’ 900-capacity M/V Gemini, which originated in home port Havana, Cuba, and similarly caters to mostly Spanish-speaking guests.