Jamaica’s 2023 cruise-shipping season promises to see a major turnaround following the pandemic period. The arrival of the Wonder of The Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, at the Falmouth Port on December 1, marked a key milestone towards this development.
According to a press statement, the Wonder of the Seas, currently on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, was greeted with much fanfare on its arrival at the Falmouth Pier. From having a live reggae band, the coconut vendor, craft traders and duty-free merchants, visitors were greeted to “everything Jamaican”, interacting throughout the day with locals and with many vowing to return for longer stays.
Wonder of the Seas, which had its maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the eastern Caribbean on March 4, arrived in Falmouth four days after sailing from Port Canaveral, Orlando, Florida, on November 27. The 18-deck cruise ship has capacity for 6,988 guests and 2,300 crew members.
The statement adds that the inaugural visit by the near 9,000-passenger and crew Royal Caribbean flagship vessel is just a prelude to the return of normality in the cruise sector. Jamaica remains the most exciting port of call in the region and will be getting a lot of calls going forward.
There is the allure of the attractions plus Jamaica’s reputation for clean water as major pull factors, noting that major companies such as Carnival, MSC, Norwegian and Disney have all made commitments alongside Royal Caribbean to send their “biggest and best” ships to Jamaica.
Along with Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Royal and Port Antonio, all the ports of call will be seeing their fair share of traffic between 2023 and 2024 thanks to full cooperation and participation from the local stakeholders, including the residents, the police, and the leaders of the public and private sectors, says the statement.