Royal Caribbean has notified cruise passengers booked to go to The Bahamas will have to give extra money, due to a change in the Bahamian taxes.

Bahamian Government to Impose Taxes

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, the Bahamian government will implement a change in the departure tax amounts for all cruise guests visiting the island. As a result, Royal Caribbean will be adjusting reservations to account for the new taxes. An email has been dispatched to passengers, clarifying that the exact amount of the additional charge will vary depending on the cruise itinerary. These updates are being made in phases based on the sailing date, so you’ll have time to adjust your budget.

All Cruisers will be Affected

The Bahamas has been a favored port stop for many cruises, and the recent development of Perfect Day at CocoCay has further cemented its popularity. Royal Caribbean’s Caribbean sailings frequently include visits to this private island paradise with approximately 11,000 cruise passengers visiting CocoCay daily. With the upcoming addition of an adults-only beach, the numbers are set to soar to an additional 2,500 to 3,000 guests per day.

Cruise Passengers
Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruises

The new tax also will impact sister brand Celebrity Cruises, as its ships are scheduled to make their first-ever calls at Perfect Day at CocoCay in 2024. Both Celebrity Beyond and Celebrity Reflection will be making stops at the private island from April through November 2024, offering guests a taste of this enchanting destination.

While no one relishes paying more taxes, there is some consolation in knowing that The Bahamas is investing in enhancing its port experience. The recent $300 million upgrade to the Nassau cruise port has led to the opening of a new terminal building, Junkanoo museum, 3,500-person amphitheater and a living coral exhibit. The revamped port now boasts increased entertainment, food, beverage and retail space with a capacity jump to over 33,000 passengers per day.

Tourism is at Record Numbers

The efforts have paid off, as Nassau has seen a record number of visitors, with 2 million cruisers in the past year alone. Royal Caribbean’s Michael Bayley expects to send around 2.5 million passengers to CocoCay this year. The upgraded port’s potential to accommodate up to six cruise ships daily, including three Oasis or Icon Class ships, has further cemented The Bahamas’ status as a top cruise destination.