Thirty students from Bodden Town Primary School recently got to tour a cruise ship, without even having to pack one suitcase or leave the Cayman Islands.
Along with School Principal Cetonya Cacho; and teachers Arlene Simpson (year 6), Susan Mangalsingh (year 1), and teaching assistant Michelle Rose, the pupils toured Royal Caribbean's cruise liner Liberty of the Seas. The 30 represented the top two performers, plus one other pupil chosen randomly, from years two to six.
Tourism Minister the Hon. Charles Clifford, accompanied by Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden, escorted the group and ensured that they were treated like royalty aboard the ship. Also accompanying the group was PTA member and Personal Secretary to the Tourism Minister Ms Natasha Bodden, who organised the event from the ministry.
"The idea is to recognise the top achievers in each class, and to encourage all students to perform well. We have in the past saluted graduating classes for their performances, as well," Minister Clifford said.
The visits also give students a glimpse of what is available in the field of tourism. "It is always gratifying to see their excitement," he added.
The pouring rain did little to dampen the students' enthusiasm as they scouted some of the ship's main areas.
These included the main lounge, from which they got a panoramic view of central George Town; the main theatre; the ice rink; the promenade shopping mall; the surf pool; the basketball court, where the children got a chance to shoot some hoops; the rock climbing wall; and the innovative swimming pool. However, the video arcade sparked a special buzz.
The culmination of the tour was a sumptuous and unhurried meal, all the more enjoyable after legging up, down and around the various decks. One year three student spoke for her classmates when she rated, as a tour highlight: "The food!"
In turn, Minister Clifford and Mr Bodden were struck by the children's behaviour. "These are some of the best behaved children I have ever escorted," Mr Clifford said.
For further information contact: Bina Mani