Dominica asks Carnival Cruise Lines to come and come and come again
Conquest makes inaugural call to Dominica
Carnival was here. At last. And although it was not the jump-up type of Carnival persons in the sector nevertheless jumped for joy.
Many of the more than 3000 passengers that the Carnival Conquest brought in went on tours and that seemed to please tourism officials.
"It was different than when Carnival Cruises was here the last time in that from eight to 1PM the Trafalgar Falls is a Premium Site dedicated only to the cruise lines," said Benoit Bardouille, the Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Port Authority.
Ian Douglas, the Minister for Tourism, added that he believes the uniqueness of Dominica's tourism product gives visitors an experience not available on other islands and he hopes Carnival will return.
"We have done a lot of soul-searching and have reviewed our product with a view of improving it so that your guests can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Douglas said.
He led a Dominican delegation which welcomed the MV Carnival Conquest for its inaugural visit to Dominica on Monday, November 18, 2013. There were 3783 passenger on the vessel that docked at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth. Cruise tourism is a major component of Dominica's tourism sector. During the 2012/2013 cruise season, there were 158 calls which translated into 212,316 passengers. Approximately 200 cruise ships are expected to call at Dominica during the 2013/2014 season, bringing nearly 323,080 visitors to the island, the DDA said.
That was the first visit by the Carnival since the cruise lines left the destination in 2010, citing fuel costs and passenger feedback.
"Effective with its Nov. 21 cruise, the ship will no longer stop in Dominica, and will instead spend that day at sea. It will continue to call in the five other scheduled ports on its itinerary, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten," the USA Today reported then. "Carnival said that it conducted a study of fuel consumption which found that by removing a port from the itinerary and replacing it with a sea day, the ship could sail at a slower speed on a direct route to the following port, resulting in significant annualized fuel savings. In addition, Carnival said that Dominica was one of its weaker ports in terms of guest feedback."
Since then the Government of Dominica has made several overtures to Carnival to influence the Cruise Lines return to the Nature Isle.
Tourism officials would love Carnival to commit to the destination and today Captain Francefco La Fauci, of the MV Carnival Conquest said it all depends on the reviews of the passengers.