CHEF BERNARD DAWKINS and his visiting culinary students at Junkanoo Beach Club.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - Cruise ship passengers visiting Grand Bahama are being offered a new uniquely Bahamian culinary experience at Junkanoo Beach Club at Taino Beach.
The new tour is one that is expected to improve visitor experience here on the island, which has been ranked last among the various other destinations visited by Carnival Cruise Lines.
Bahamian chef Bernard Dawkins said visitors taking the tour learn to prepare three popular Bahamian dishes - cracked conch, conch fritters and peas and rice.
He said there has been a lot of positive feedback over the past six weeks.
"We are getting lots of high praise so maybe this will give Grand Bahama the impetus it needs and the turnaround because we have been hearing so much about what tourists say, that there is nothing going on in Grand Bahama," he said.
Chef Dawkins said the tour offers visitors a unique cultural experience.
In addition to preparing Bahamian dishes, visitors learn about Junkanoo, a cultural festival that is often celebrated in December and January.
Chef Dawkins said Junkanoo Club is situated at Taino Beach and visitors also have access to the beach.
He said they want to give tourists a product that will allow them to enjoy their visit to the island and improve their overall experience.
The recently released poor ratings by passengers of Carnival Cruise have put plans for a creation of a new multi-million cruise ship port on hold indefinitely.
In March, Minister of Transport Neko Grant revealed that Carnival was reluctant to partner with the government because of "unpleasant" visitor experience in Grand Bahama.
He said that of the 37 ports visited in the region, Grand Bahama ranked last based on passenger surveys.
Mr Grant said the poor rating should serve as a "wake up call" for Grand Bahama.