Update: Carnival’s Celebration Key Bahamas Resort

carnival cruise line celebration key

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Carnival’s project near Freeport, Bahamas, on Grand Bahama Island, is progressing nicely. The cruise operator has begun calling for food vendors who can support its next island resort.

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During last week’s meeting with food and beverage managers, representatives from the cruise line familiarized its audience with what they were looking for, the scale of Celebration Key’s future operations, and the exclusive resort’s anticipated traffic.

When Celebration Key opens in July 2025, it will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will welcome 18 Carnival cruise ships from 10 different home ports and 500 itineraries during its first year—numbers from Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer, Chris Chiames, peg visitors at 3 million by 2026.

Chiames added that the resort has been selling well and that these figures are only the beginning. “We expect that to grow as our homeports and operations grow,” he predicted.

Carnival’s requirements for food and beverage vendors

Grand Bahama Island
A beach on Grand Bahama Island

Senior Destination Operations Concessions and Business Development manager Bernard Piller emphasized that the facility will require considerable manpower. “So, there is going to be a need for significant staff to man the operations year-round. Therefore, the food sector cannot just be a one-man show,” he announced.

He described the most urgently needed types of commercial outlets by saying, “They include food trucks, the employees’ cafeteria—which the vendor will have to prepare to serve 700 plus workers—as well as three iconic locations on the development—ice cream, specialty coffee, and tea.”

Though he assured attendees that there are business opportunities, he mentioned they are implementing strict criteria for approval. Interested concessionaires must demonstrate adequate protocols for food safety.

He also said they must have the capacity to support Celebration Key’s recycling initiatives and water treatment facilities.

Food and beverage vendors must submit their proposals until January 16, 2024.

How is Celebration Key’s construction doing?

carnival celebration grand turk dock

After breaking ground in May 2022, the construction of the port is scheduled to start by late December 2023 or January next year.

The company’s expenses in building Celebration Key have already gone from $200 million to $500 million because of the global pandemic and inflation. 

Despite the enormous investment involved, the vice president of Destination Operations, Juan Fernandez, assured attendees, “We remain committed to completing this cruise port.”

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