The Caribbean has always been the main operating area for Royal Caribbean, with the company being able to draw from a pool of employees with deep roots in the area.
That strong point will be further developed after the cruise line’s CEO Michael Bayley and the Minister of Tourism for Barbados, Lisa Cummins, announced a new partnership.
The agreement between the two parties will allow Royal Caribbean to recruit more talented employees for its ships, while Barbados will be operating close to Royal Caribbean from a new office in Miami.
The offices will be focused on finding employment opportunities for Barbadians in the industry and introducing potential cruise partners to authentic Barbadian experiences.
Michael Bayley Pledges Thousands Of Jobs To Barbados
Young people and those young at heart in Barbados who always wanted to work in the cruise industry will have a better chance to do so soon. Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley pledged thousands of jobs to the island’s inhabitants within four months.
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Bayley committed during a signing of a memorandum of cooperation with the Barbados Minister of Tourism, Senator Lisa Cummins, at the Sea Trade Cruise Global Conference in Miami.
Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean: “One of those things that I think that we’ve had discussions about is deepening our commitment to Barbados. I think today reflects that in the signing of an agreement with regards to hiring and recruiting not only across typical traditional hotel-style positions but also in the entertainment space where we have obviously a vast entertainment organisation, musicians, choreographers, dancers, etc., and our intention is to recruit much of that talent from Barbados.”
Barbados has been a valuable partner for Royal Caribbean during the pandemic and the initial start-up period. Barbados facilitated charter flights for more than 20,000 Royal Caribbean employees who found themselves stranded during the global pause in operations, something that Bayley has not forgotten:
“It was Barbados who stepped up and was incredibly supportive and helpful in allowing Royal Caribbean and other cruise companies to bring their ships to Bridgetown and to arrange charter flights literally to all over the world. We really do want to thank everybody in Barbados for being incredibly supportive.”
While the exact numbers are unclear, there is the possibility of up to 10,000 jobs for Barbadians interested in working for the world’s second-largest cruise company in the upcoming cruise season.
Tourism Minister Senator Lisa Cummins: “We’re talking here about our creatives, our entertainers, our photographers, persons who work in hotel and hospitality management and if we know one thing about Barbados is that Barbados is well known for our hospitality,”
She added: “We are warm, especially when it comes to our cruise partners and we are looking forward to this new partnership with Royal Caribbean, getting more Barbadians employed onboard cruise ships, traveling the world, and taking Barbados and our hospitality with it and working with you to develop more opportunities,”
Barbados to Open Tourism Office In Miami
The hiring of new crew members will be coordinated from a new office that Barbados will set up in Miami. The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. is moving its cruise operations out of Bridgetown and into Miami.
Senator Cummins commented that the new office would focus on finding employment opportunities for Barbadians and, at the same time, introducing cruise partners to authentic Barbadian experiences.
Cummins: “All of the relationships with the cruise lines and partners like Michael and Royal Caribbean will be anchored out of our Miami office with support from our Barbados office so that we are constantly in recruiting mode, we are constantly in training mode, we are constantly in developmental mode.”
The plans that Barbados has developed with Royal Caribbean will enable the Island not only to diversify its economy but also to increase the quantity and quality of cruise ship visits to the popular Southern Caribbean Island.
For the 2022-2023 season, Royal Caribbean has scheduled Rhapsody of the Seas to sail from Barbados. The Vision-class vessel’s season starts in November 2022, for a series of seven- and 14-night cruises. Ports of call include Tobago, Bonaire, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Roseau, Dominica, amongst others.