Over the years, the summer months heralded vacation travel for hundreds of Barbadians, and cruising is quickly becoming the preferred choice for many. Since the 1980s, Barbadians have watched as majestic, imposing cruise ships sailed in and out of the Bridgetown Port, bringing travellers from diverse parts of the globe. Something about these mega-ships captures the imagination. Their size has increased, and most of them boast a capacity of over 2,500 passengers, with the newer ships carrying over 3,500 passengers, plus crew.
And while most discussions on cruise tourism are often focused on the numbers of arrivals to our shores, on port facilities and services, and the development of our infrastructure, a very relevant question is ”what do these cruise passengers seek?”
The answer is simple - cruise passengers seek an ‘experience’. The entire cruise industry is marketed as an experience, from the moment the passenger makes the decision to travel, to the end of the voyage when he steps back on home soil.
The design of the cruise ship has ‘the experience’ as its theme, whether it is the fun-filled Carnival Cruise Line, Club Med Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, or the relaxed cum classy Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, P & O Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line, or the elegant, up-market Cunard Line, which has the Queen Mary 2 in its fleet.