Trump Asks Cruise Lines for Housing Assistance in the Bahamas

Supplies being loaded onto the Norwegian Breakaway for the Bahamas

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked cruise lines to further help in the Bahamas by providing housing assistance in a post on Twitter.

“The @USCG, @FEMA, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas that were not hit – and that are in good condition. Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The @USCG, @FEMA, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….that were not hit – and that are in good condition. Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!

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Cruise lines are no stranger to lending their ships for aid as FEMA previously chartered the Carnival Fascination and Grand Celebration following hurricanes in 2017; Carnival also chartered ships to FEMA following Hurricane Katrina to help house emergency workers.

Displaced residents and emergency workers in Grand Bahama will be short on housing, with cruise ships, ferries and accommodation vessels potentially being able to assist.

The cruise lines have stepped up significantly in the Bahamas, delivering supplies, relief workers and even helping to evacuate.

FEMA Carnival Charter Cost $74.7 Million

Carnival Fascination

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) charter of the Carnival Fascination will cost the agency $74.7 million, according to the contract between FEMA and Carnival Corporation, which was obtained by Cruise Industry News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The ship was chartered to provide housing for relief staff in the United States Virgin Islands following a number of hurricanes in September.

The charter period runs from October 11, 2017, to February 3, 2018, at a cost of $39.7 million, while a separate provision for port costs and other vessel costs comes in at $35 million, totalling $74.7 million.

By comparison, a 116-day operating period for the 2,056-guest Carnival Fascination would have resulted in gross revenue of approximately $44.2 million (versus the $39.7 million for the charter), calculated using gross revenue per passenger day reported by Carnival Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and analyzed by Cruise Industry News.

By comparison, FEMA chartered the Grand Celebration in a similar deal for $25.8 million. 

The contract stipulates Carnival will provide three hot and cold buffet meals per day as well as drink availability (water, coffee, tea, juice) between meals. Staterooms will be cleaned on a weekly basis. In addition, Carnival will provide access to public spaces for FEMA personnel.

The separate $35 million line item includes docking and port fees in San Juan, various logistics provisions, waste removal, fuel costs, incremental costs related to crew compensation, and the “refurbishment of the ship at the end of the charter period to bring the ship to the same standards as the beginning of the charter period.”

Bahamas Paradise: Ship Upgrades and New Vessel Named Grand Classica

Grand Celebration

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced today that Grand Celebration will set sail with several new guest-focused enhancements later this month, including a new adult-only area, a revitalized casino, and speciality coffee and juice bar.

The ship will return to its regularly scheduled two-night sailings on December 23, 2017, from its homeport in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The company also announced that its new vessel, set to arrive in April, will be named Grand Classica and will also sail two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island. The ship is currently sailing as the Costa neoClassica.

The company has recently signed a three-year agreement with the Bahamas to bring both of its ships to Grand Bahama Island for two-night cruises.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist those in need in the Caribbean. Now we are ready to return to offering memorable cruises to our guests. We are excited to welcome an even better Grand Celebration back to Palm Beach, just in time for the holidays, with several new spaces for our guests to enjoy,” said Oneil Khosa, chief executive officer of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “We are also looking forward to the arrival of our new ship, Grand Classica, in April, and have strengthened our relationship with The Bahamas by signing a three-year agreement to bring both ships to Grand Bahama Island, thus offering daily arrivals to Grand Bahama Island and giving our guests added convenience to fit their schedules.

“Grand Classica will be a wonderful addition and complement to Grand Celebration,” said Khosa. “Having two ships sailing to Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will be the largest provider of tourism to the island, carrying more than 500,000 passengers annually. It will also give our guests more flexibility and choice.”