Yet another Cruise ship added to the list

St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: 2016 is already looking to be a monumental year for Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the Tourism Industry – Minister Michael. Continue his inaugural speech welcoming the Captain and crew of Norwegian Breakaway Cruise. “So what an honor and incredible way to start this wonderful New Year, in being able to welcome the largest cruise ship that we’ve ever had the pleasure of welcoming to Antigua and Barbuda”.

Norwegian BreakawayThe Norwegian Breakaway is truly a landmark vessel in the cruise industry – with the capacity of almost 4,000 passengers, with the additional 1,650 crew members. That is 5,650 visitors to our lovely island in one day! Not only is the Norwegian Breakaway the largest vessel, at over 1,000 feet long, but also your vessel is truly leading the Cruise Industry. Only having been inaugurated in 2013, you have already been recognized by the leading publications and organizations across the industry to be named: Best Cruise for Families, Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment, Best Specialty Restaurants, Best New Ship, Best Rookie Cruise Ship, top 10 Spas on a Cruise, and Best Large Ship Cruise Line in the World. Just to name a few! These accolades just re-affirm what we know already: that the Norwegian Breakaway is a leader in the cruise industry.

We are genuinely honored that the Norwegian Cruise Lines chose Antigua as one of the stops on Norwegian Breakaway’s itinerary. This clearly indicated that Norwegian Cruise Line has firmly endorsed Antigua and Barbuda as a destination that can provide its guests with a first class shore experience that will only enhance their total cruise experience. So, for that Captain we say thank you and please accept this warm welcome, not only on behalf of my administration and everyone here today, but the people of our lovely twin island nation as well.

Breakaway Minister plus officalsWe are incredibly happy to welcome Norwegian Breakaway and your passengers, as we truly believe that our ethos as a country and people are a good fit with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Your vessel and service stands for providing the best and latest offering to your passengers, from casual and entertaining to the more luxurious in services such as spas to culinary. Easygoing, relaxed, warm and friendly – these are descriptors of what personify our people and customer service we provide to all visitors. You are never a stranger, but always a friend when you visit Antigua. So we hope to continue your similar friendly service for your passengers today.

We are also excited to greet you and your passengers here today as the Tri-state area on the Eastern Seaboard of North America is by far our largest and most important source market for stay over air arrivals.  With the ability now to also welcome the largest ship to be based year-round out of New York we hope this will also be the same for our cruise passengers!

So thank you for introducing Antigua and Barbuda to such a large slice of an incredibly important market to us! We promise to show them why you chose us as a stop and why we’re the best destination in the Caribbean.

Please rest assured Captain that your guests, and crew, are in safe and expert hands. We promise that they will have an unforgettable experience on our island today.

Your arrival is incredibly important for Antigua’s economy, and the competition is incredibly fierce in the Caribbean, so please know we truly do appreciate you stopping here today. As the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, I feel I can safely say with some authority that you and your guests are an important part of the success of this industry, and that it is our duty to provide you and your guests with a stay and experience that is above and beyond your expectations.

As part of our promise to improve services on island, our Government has taken steps to ensure we’re providing the most desirable product possible to visitors and residents. We aim to become the port-of-call of choice for those travelling to the Caribbean from around the world. A total transformation of the port facilities and downtown St. John’s will ensure that we once again regain our former status as a “marquee” destination in the cruise tourism industry.

So, while we won’t be able to rival the Norwegian Breakaway, we will at least be able to complement the 29 different dining experiences, Broadway performances, to aqua parks to clubs, casinos, kids clubs, fitness center, sports complex, Carlo’s Bake Shop, variety of spas…we could continue all day! Suffice it to say, we’re aware there is something for everyone on your vessel!

All of this is to say: Welcome to Antigua! We hope you enjoy your time with us today, and that you will have the opportunity to appreciate our beauty, culture and warmth.

 At very minimum do ensure that you have an opportunity to disembark and sample at least one of our 365 beautiful beaches as well as our renowned cuisine and drinks. We’re famous for our Antigua black pineapple, which is the sweetest pineapple around, for our Norwegian Breakaway

We wish you safe onward travels and that you all have a wonderful 2016!