Cruises to Cuba expected to help Caribbean in general

Cruises to Cuba will help the Caribbean in general rather than taking away from the rest of the Caribbean, Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said during the first panel discussion at the Seatrade Global Summit at Port Everglades on Tuesday morning.

One reason that Cuba won’t have a harmful impact on the rest of the Caribbean, is that the island nation has a limited ability to handle cruise ships, Fain and other CEOs on the panel said.
Fain, who leads the world’s second-largest cruise company, said Cuba will create a halo of interest effect that will get people talking about crusing and help overall interest in in the Caribbean. Cuba could add two to three percent of the supply in Caribbean cruising, but create a 20 percent increase in demand for cruising over time.

“Cuba is a terrific destination, but the infrastructure isn’t going to support 5,000 or 6,000 passenger ships coming. Cuba won’t divert that much traffic from other places because it doesn’t have the capacity,” Fain said.

Arnold Donald, president & CEO, of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, said he is still awaiting approval from the Cuban government for sailings of the Fathom cruise line, which will provide a cultural immersion program in Cuba. However, Arnold said he expects the approvals to happen and the sailings to start.

The Fathom is a relatively small ship that carried 825 passengers (all berths) as P&O Lines MV Adonia

The website for the cruises, fathom.org, lists stops in Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Havana. The price for a one week cruise with an inside cabin for two in June was more than $5,000.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, which isn’t based in the United States, said his cruise line already has one ship in Cuba and is planning a second one.


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Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.