RCI renews $100,000 sponsorship for The Bahamas’ Music Makers

Royal Caribbean International is renewing its support of the Royal Caribbean Music Makers Junkanoo group for a second year with $100,000 in funding. Royal Caribbean Music Makers Executive Chairman Gary Russell and band members visited the cruise line’s Entertainment Studios in Miami with Director of Destination Development for Royal Caribbean Group Crystal Campbell to explore incorporating the brand’s style into Junkanoo.

Royal Caribbean International announced it is renewing its support of the Royal CaribbeanMusic Makers Junkanoo group for a second year with $100,000 in funding. Reaffirming its commitment to The Bahamas, the cruise line’s sponsorship of the group – which renamed itself Royal Caribbean Music Makers in 2022 – will continue successfully bolstering its year-round community presence to achieve its missions to sustain and infuse Bahamian culture for generations to come.

“Royal Caribbean International has been a partner of The Bahamas for more than 50 years, celebrating the unique culture of our country, the hospitality of our people and the importance of the arts in more ways than one. Since its first year, this sponsorship has and will continue to boost both the spirit and competition of Junkanoo and create opportunities for greater exposure to a quintessential Bahamian experience,” said Philip Simon, president of Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island and general manager of Royal Caribbean International Bahamas. “I hope one day every guest who visits The Bahamas will get a taste of Junkanoo and its incredibly vibrant energy.”

In addition to financial support, Royal Caribbean recently hosted the group at its Entertainment Studios in Miami to spend time with the cruise line’s entertainment team of professional producers, directors, choreographers, wardrobe makers and more. This followed a visit by Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley and Royal Caribbean executives to the Music Makers’ shacks on Fowler Street in the heart of Bain Town this past October.

For Music Makers Executive Chairman Gary Russell, the relationship with Royal Caribbean has been nothing short of a love affair. In 2019, Royal Caribbean executives, including Bayley, first met the group at the Fox Hill Community Centre and were impressed by their story of early wins, historic records and more recent challenges to remain eligible with sufficient numbers for A-group participation. 
“The Music Makers Junkanoo group and community is most grateful and will be ever thankful for the generous sponsorship by Royal Caribbean International,” said Russell. “This type of financial assistance has given a lifeline to our group for its continued participation in the yearly Junkanoo competition on Bay Street.

Royal Caribbean has a longstanding history of supporting local organizations that promote Bahamian culture, such as the Royal Caribbean Music Makers, and empower creative entrepreneurs and drive economic growth, such as Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre and the Tourism Development Corporation. Additionally, the company has supported education and training partners, such as the LJM Maritime Academy, the Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps and the National Training Agency.
As part of its commitment to The Bahamas, the cruise line has also pledged its upcoming Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island will highlight the vibrant spirit and culture of The Bahamas with food, music and art.

The beach club is proposed for a 2025 opening. This decades-long track record celebrating and supporting The Bahamian culture is in line with its parent company’s (Royal Caribbean Group) commitment to SEA the Future by sustaining the planet, energizing communities and accelerating innovation. To learn more about how the company is promoting healthy oceans while celebrating local cultures in meaningful ways visit www.RoyalCaribbeanGroup.com/SEAtheFuture.