Celebration Cruise Line hits record numbers
By Cleopatra Murphy
Freeport News Reporter
With The Bahamas set to mark a milestone by passing the 200,000 passengers mark this year, president of Celebration Cruise Lines Charles Kinnear said the company is excited about its future on Grand Bahama.
"This year we hit record numbers. We are allowed by law to carry 1,311 and on one or two sailings we actually reached 1,305/ 1,306 people on-board, so that is very exciting for us," Kinnear told The Freeport News.
He said the ship has received good reception from the public since it started coming to Grand Bahama, noting that passengers continue to express surprise at the experience on the ship.
"The best comment that I have is people just come on board and they go 'wow,' this is a lot more than I was expecting," Kinnear said.
He noted that people think that it is going to be in line with a ferry or similar to the Discovery Sun, but the Bahamas Celebration is a full cruise ship with all of the amenities.
"We have meals, we have bars, we have nightly shows, so they don't realize how much more they are getting for their value when they come on-board," Kinnear said.
He noted that on cruisecritic.com the Bahamas Celebration was recently rewarded the best value.
"It's a very exciting year for us and the future looks great," Kinnear said.
He said that revenue for the cruise industry is based on value, noting that the margins are small when you look at it on a per person basis.
"The more volume we have, the better the revenue will be overall for the company," Kinnear said. "It costs us the same money to run from West Palm Beach to here, whether we have 500 passengers or 1,300 passengers, so obviously we would like to have more passengers onboard. It helps spread the costs and cover the expense of running this wonderful lady."
He said Celebration Cruise Lines is looking to attract more passengers and is opening up the market to several different markets in the U.S. and is looking at marketing in South America.
"We have seen a great increase in both Bahamian residents as well as South American residents and we hope to continue with that market as well," he said.
Kinnear said the Bahamas Celebration has been operating on Grand Bahama for two-and-a-half years and is now one with the island.
"Our business model is built around being here on Grand Bahama and the future looks very good and we are very pleased and we think this partnership will continue and it will be good both for the people of Grand Bahama and also Celebration Cruise Lines," he said.
© 2012 The Freeport News