Ben Murray-Bruce updates his track record of entertainment achievement by offering African families an alternative to fun and relaxation through sea travel, starting with the most sophisticated cruise ship in the world. world, the Wonder of the Seas. He explains how. Excerpts from Nduka Nwosu
On July 24, the world’s largest and most expensive Oasis-class cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, which carries a maximum of 6,988 passengers, will sail for seven days from the coast of Barcelona in Spain through three countries in six European cities. , and return to Barcelona on July 31.
When the ship sets sail, a strong African presence, especially Nigerians, is expected. This is courtesy of Silverbird Entertainment Group, TheXperts based in the Democratic Republic of Congo/Rwanda and Royal Caribbean Nigeria.
Why are these three business partners embarking on this modern expedition of rediscovery? Murray-Bruce, who is the lead, is ready to look back on his memories and tell you why he has something new to offer. His ultimate goal is to get the Africans back on the big ship and then the party begins. He has done this with musicals, video films on NTA, bringing film culture back to families, couples and people who leave their homes to relax and watch movies on the big screen, whether in Accra Ghana, or in Abuja, Lagos and Port. Harcourt.
Perhaps when the wonder of the seas docks at Apapa Quays, the Most Beautiful Girl in Africa (MBGA) Beauty Pageant supporting the Miss World Beauty Pageant with the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) Beauty Pageant and over 30 Nigerian musicians who performed on his 60th birthday, will fulfill the dream of bringing Africa back on the big cruise ship. “It’s going to be crazy ooo,” croons a Nigerian infomercial. Murray-Bruce says he has three other projects up his sleeve and will reveal them when the time is right.
Of course, since his inception in 1980 when he launched the Silverbird Entertainment Company which brought foreign artists to Nigeria, Murray-Bruce has remained a recurring decimal with class and panache in the entertainment business, even as a distinguished senator. of the Fourth Republic.
A smart from the old block, Ben as his friends call him, may remember his father Papa William Mully Murray-Bruce traveling to London in 1953 in a business class, Elder Dempster Lines passenger ship fitted with what might have passed for a cruise ship at the time. Dad and his wife both paid £101 (one hundred and one pounds) each to sail the Elder Dempster business class section. Senator Bruce still has the ticket from that trip to support his argument.
If they took the same trip in 2022 on the Wonder of the Seas and in a first class balcony cabin, the couple would pay $2,235 each while dad as a single guest would have paid $4,215. It was a smooth two-week sail in 1953, attracting a minimum cost of £101 as the Wonder of the Seas left Barcelona port for a week and returned with a more incentivized ticket. Life has changed many times since the couple took this trip, but a sea cruise is a dream that those who embark on it are willing to save up for years to experience.
In 1974 mum and dad navigated London in a similar fashion and that was it. No one could tell if what they paid as a couple was over £101. However, if Dad had traveled in the most sophisticated ship in this world as a single guest in a cabin in 2022, he would have paid $3545 facing the Central Park Balcony where the panorama of New York’s famous Central Park is reproduced, whereas if he was traveling with mom they would each pay $1900 for people sharing a cabin. A family of three would have been classified as triple or quad passengers with a fourth person, all attracting defined occupancy rates in that category and recorded facing Central Park or the balcony; subject to availability and timeliness.
The focus on family is explained by Ben: “If you’ve never been on a cruise, I’m talking to you, it’s an experience. How do Africans relax? We dont do; we work until we die, whether as Africans or Nigerians. We don’t have any kind of fun; we don’t spend time with the children; we don’t spend time with our loved ones. I say seven days in an entire year, in 365 days take time and spend some quality time with your family and a cruise ship has all the facilities on planet earth.
It’s like having concerts on steroids. You have entertainment for children; it’s out of this world. You have a combination of everything you can imagine, water park, theme park, the best food, the best drinks; there are doctors and a clinic, everything you can imagine.
“You are near the port; you circumnavigate the ocean stopping at different ports and countries each day. The take-off date is July 24 in Barcelona; it is for the world. However, the next would be African only in the sense that all entertainment on the ship would be African music only. This one would be a mix.
According to him, if you arrive early, it will be possible to process your visa and buy tickets before the fare increases. “We will help you process your Schengen visa. We will help you with plane tickets to get to Barcelona. We will publish the program very soon. You will arrive there, take your flight and from the airport you will be taken to the seaport. From here you enter the wonder of the seas and sail from Barcelona and back to Barcelona. It will be seamless and stress-free on your part.
“You cannot apply a week before the cruise because it would be stressful. If you need assistance with a visa, you should apply now.
“Cruises are all over the world. The one I sailed on was from Los Angeles to Mexico City. I sailed with my mother and some of my siblings from Los Angeles to Mexico and back. Yes, there are cruises everywhere but this one is special. It is the most expensive and luxurious cruise ever. I’m not setting a target on the numbers right now. I look at the experience. “
Murray-Bruce says he wants people to come back and tell their story. This, he thinks, is more important, then next year he will organize another type of cruise. “We’ll score it differently every time we do it, but don’t forget the goal, to get Africans back on the big ship.”
Cruising the Mexican Riviera on Norwegian Cruise Line gives you a taste of the wonder of the seas. It was then described as a seven-star resort on the high seas with restaurants, swimming pools and cinemas to capture your ideal screens, with four stops at four ports, including Cabo San Lucas, to pick up souvenirs.
It was quite fascinating to stand in such a long sea and the night added to the hypnotic hold on nature with the sky providing electricity that descended on the waters like a thousand fluorescent light bulbs on. The beaches with their pearls provided a tourist delight. The island offers a range of great seafood and outdoor activities – surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving as well as the beauty of beach resorts.
The Cruise Ship of the Century also features an Oceanview compartment depicting a panorama that exposes occupants to the beauty of cruising at sea ($3005 for single guests in a stateroom and $1635 for one person sharing a stateroom) while inside staterooms hide guests from any of these views again with $2605 for a single stateroom and $1435 for sharing.
The next one, adds Ben, will be an all-African cruise but “we won’t leave Nigeria until we have reached a critical mass in terms of sponsorship or participation. This ship cost a few billion dollars to build. We’re not going to bring a multi-billion dollar ship here and you can’t guarantee three to five thousand passengers,” says Murray-Bruce, adding, “You’re not going to bring the most expensive ship in the world, and you can’t guarantee a deal that the economy makes sense. We are therefore carrying out a test from the Barcelona cruise to attract as many Africans as possible. At the moment, TBI Cruises and Tours is selling tickets for the current cruise departing from Barcelona.
According to Ben, 1974 was the last time Elder Dempster sailed from London, England, Banjul, Gambia, and Accra, Ghana. From that date until now, there have been no cruise ships in West Africa and Africa except for a few small cruise ships built in South Africa. Therefore, he says, “I had an idea on how to bring the Africans back on a cruise? How about planning a vacation on a beautiful and amazing cruise ship from Apapa to London? How about bringing it back and I said to bring it back I have to do something historic. I have to get people back on the cruise ships. Cruise ships will not come to Africa because there is no demand but if I can get Africans to go on a cruise, whether it is a Mediterranean cruise or a Caribbean cruise, a South American cruise or a cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico; this means we bring Nigerians and Africans back on a cruise. Then I can get the cruise ships back here.
Ben goes lyrical with a poser to all dads and parents: “How many dads can say I spent over two hours with the kids. This cruise is important to promote the family values of a mother and child, father and child. Take time, spend time with your children, spend time with your daughters and sons.