By Denise Maycock
Tribune Staff Reporter
CELEBRATION Key is the name for the $200 million project Carnival is developing in Grand Bahama.
The port, which is expected to open in the summer of 2025, is estimated to bring some two million passengers in the first year to the island.
Grand Bahama Minister Ginger Moxey is excited about the new name.
“I love the name, and I think we can tie it into the marketing campaign for Grand Bahama Island when we think of events and entertainment,” she said on Monday.
Minister Moxey reported that Carnival has completed the dredging for the port and will soon commence development on the landslide.
The cruise line has acquired 329 acres at Sharp Rock in East Grand Bahama. The cruise port will be able to accommodate two of Carnival’s largest ships, the Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, which each carry up to 6,000 guests.
She believes the name Celebration Key evokes the feeling of a grand celebration.
“I got the call before the announcement was made on the new name, and it ties in perfectly for the direction that we want to see Grand Bahama headed in,” she said.
“This new port is going to bring two million passengers every year, and in the first year to Grand Bahama, that is going to spill over into all segments of the community,” she added.
“It is going to benefit our straw vendors, taxi drivers, and other facilities outside the cruise port; we don’t want those just in the cruise port walls to benefit.”
She encouraged Bahamians to create business ideas to provide new authentic Bahamian guest experiences.
Carnival officials met recently with retailers and will soon have meetings with food and beverage operators interested in providing services at the new port.
Minister Moxey said that prospective vendors can contact Carnival directly.
“You go to Carnival’s website, and there are requests for proposals on the site. They are having one-on-one meetings with potential vendors and also in partnership with the Ministry for Grand Bahama in our Collab Unit.
“We want to ensure Bahamians have every opportunity to be part of this new development for GB,” she said.
“I feel that now is the time that Grand Bahama is going to take off, and the Carnival cruise port is just one of those (developments),” she said.