Jamaica News: There is heightening stakeholder anticipation over the impending arrival of the world’s largest cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, in 2020.
The vessel, which will dock at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny, is slated to make eight port calls to Jamaica between May and October, bringing nearly 72,000 passengers.
Each visit is expected to see some 6,680 passengers and 2,200 crew members arriving.
Consequent on the mega-liner’s arrival, Jamaica will earn the distinction of hosting three of the world’s four largest cruise ships, as the Symphony of the Seas will join sister vessels – the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, making calls at the Falmouth Port.
Water sports operator, Garfield Dussard, is among the business interests welcoming the Symphony of the Seas’ addition to Jamaica’s 2020 cruise ship itinerary, noting that “we are, indeed, fortunate to have [it] over a period of six months”.
Mr. Dussard, who has operations in Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Montego Bay, argued that the addition of a mega-liner of this magnitude to Jamaica’s itinerary is “an important step in the right direction”.
“The Symphony of the Seas made its maiden voyage in 2018 and there were questions as to whether it would ever see Jamaican shores. To see it now actually booked for 2020 is a delight to every cruise shipping interest here,” he added.
Owner of the Royal Shop chain of duty-free stores, Ravi Daswani, concurs, noting that the arrival of 72,000 passengers is “a welcome addition”.
“The Port of Falmouth can, indeed, accommodate all these Oasis class vessels that are owned by Royal Caribbean, and we look forward to welcoming the Symphony,” he further stated.
For his part, Falmouth craft trader, Michael Farr, said industry stakeholders are also anticipating the Symphony of the Seas’ impending arrival.
He noted that “whenever there’s a ship in port, there’s hope of doing some business”.
“This is why we, the craft traders, are very happy about having the world’s largest cruise ship here, in Falmouth,” Mr. Farr added.
Meanwhile, National Cruise Council Chairman, Michael Belnavis, said he is not surprised by the feedback, noting that “it is not every day you get to see the world’s largest cruise liner docking in your port”.
“Royal Caribbean has been very consistent in that they have blessed us with all their Oasis class vessels, including the former world’s biggest ship, the Harmony of the Seas,” he pointed out.
Mr. Belnavis disclosed that a fifth vessel is being built and is “expected to be out in 2021”, adding that “if the trend continues, we should be seeing that one visiting our ports sometime in the future also”.
The Symphony of the Seas, which was constructed at a cost of US$1.35 billion, is an imposing 1,188 feet in height.
It comprises seven compartments, hosting 26 lounges and bars, nine Jacuzzis, spas, swimming pools, restaurants, a laser tag arena, ice skating facilities, theatres and more than 12,000 trees and plants.
Additionally, it has 2,759 staterooms (cabins) and 24 guest elevators.
Source: JIS News