In traditional fashion for a first-time voyage to the island, a plaque exchange took place at the Freeport Harbour between the Carnival Sunrise, Freeport Harbour Company, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and shipping agents, Inchcape Shipping Services agency on Saturday (May 4) at the Freeport Harbour.
During the exchange, representatives welcomed Bruno Palomba, Captain of Carnival Sunrise, passengers and crew members to Grand Bahama.
Port Director of the Freeport Harbour Company Orlando Forbes expressed, “On behalf of the Freeport Harbour Company, we want to welcome you to Freeport, we trust that you have an enjoyable stay and we look forward to seeing you on many, many more occasions.”
Manager of Niche Markets, Ministry of Tourism Nuvolari Chotoosingh said, “Captain, on behalf of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, we welcome you, your staff and of course, all of the guests that you have brought to our lovely island, Grand Bahama. Thank you very much.”
On behalf of the Inchcape Shipping Services, Philip Pinder, Assistant General Manager added, “Captain, on behalf of the Inchcape Agency, we want to again welcome you back to The Bahamas. We will be with you in Freeport and in Nassau … all the best.”
Palomba, also offering each of them a token of appreciation on behalf of Carnival noted, “It is great for us to be here; we look forward to coming back very soon, thank you.”
“I know that the guests are very happy to be here, and we are happy to have brought them.
No stranger to the island Palomba stated following the exchanges that while this was the first voyage for Carnival Sunrise to the island, this was not a first for him, as he has captained other vessels to the island in the past.
“I am very happy to be here after such a long time. It is always a pleasure to be here, it is really a great feeling to be back after a few years. Carnival Sunrise has never been here before, but I have with other ships.
Palomba informed that about 5,000 passengers were on board the for their first voyage to Grand Bahama Island, inclusive of guests and crew members.
“We are traveling from Half Moon Cay, today, and the day before we travelled to Grand Turk. We are now going to have a sea day and then we will arrive in Norfolk (Virginia), which is our port of call. It is a seven-day cruise.
“The ship has just come back from a refit (renovations), where we have several new areas. Everything has been renovated to improve the guests’ experience and the safety and security of the ship.
“We are looking forward to giving our guests the best experience possible. We want them to have the best of the best and that is the reason that we are here,” said the captain.
The extensive renovations to Carnival Sunrise took place just last month and the seven-day cruise was the first voyage for the vessel since the upgrades were completed.
“We had about a month-and-a-half (six weeks) to refit the ship. This is the Carnival Sunrise’s first voyage since that.”
The Freeport Harbour Company and Bahamas Ministry of Tourism representatives, Forbes and Chotoosingh respectively, also commented on what the Carnival Sunrise’s voyage means for the island of Grand Bahama.
Forbes noted, “It is a pleasure having Carnival Sunrise call on our harbour today. Obviously, Carnival has always been a major supporter of Grand Bahama and they continue to do so. They have significant plans coming forward in 2021 and for us this is Carnival continuing to be supportive. We take this opportunity to thank them for their support of this island.”
Chotoosingh added, “It is always good to have additional unexpected guests arriving to our shores. This call was unscheduled and so, with the additional passengers coming over, 2,000 of them, certainly means additional business for our tour operators, vendors and everyone else on the island.
“We would certainly like to thank Carnival for adding Sunrise to the schedule of stops, here on Grand Bahama Island. We look forward to having even more ships coming to Grand Bahama.”
With a number of upgrades to the vessel, inclusive of a new spa, entertainment areas and restaurants among other amenities, the Carnival Sunrise boasts of affording all guests a memorable experience and voyage.