On Friday night, the Bridgetown Port was lit up as the Aida Perla said ‘Thank You’ to Barbados for its hospitality over the past month.
The cruise ship arrived at the Bridgetown Port shortly after the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) announced temporary suspension of cruise ship operations in March.
During that time, the Aida Perla has worked with the Bridgetown Port, and local Port agents Foster and Ince and Platinum Port Agents, to complete complex operations to repatriate passengers and crew.
Throughout their stay, the Port continued to provide intensive operational support to the vessel and its captain and crew while working closely with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and cruise partners Carnival Cruise lines as the parent company.
Before saying farewell and setting sail from the Bridgetown Port on Friday night, the Aida Perla’s remaining onboard crew wanted to say thank you to Prime Minister the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, who made their stay possible, as well as the entire Government and the Barbadian people who welcomed them.
The crew staged a beautiful lights display on board the ship saying ‘Thank You BB’ while crew members shouted the words from the deck.
With hundreds of ships still at sea following the shut down and rejection from other Ports, Barbados has been a place where the homeporting ships who call the island home have found safe haven, warmth and hospitality in the midst of the biggest humanitarian crisis facing the cruise industry.
Senator Lisa Cummins, Chairman of the Barbados Port Inc. commented “this has been a proud moment for Barbados and a proud statement on who we are as a people. It reminds me of that song that says this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. We have let our light shine as a people and the Aida lit up tonight in return. This is who we are. I’m proud of my nation.”
Cheryl Franklin, Director of Cruise at the BTMI, added that: “the warm welcome that the Aida Perla received was representative of the warmth and hospitality of the Barbadian people that we often illustrate in our brand messaging. It doesn’t only extend to consumers, but also in our partner relations, which are critical in the cruise sector especially. The cruise lines have been in contact with me to thank PM Mottley and wider Barbados for their leadership and assistance. They are especially grateful to us and we look forward to forging even stronger partnerships with them as a result.”