According to Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board Mitchell Welds vessels licensed under a retail liquor licence under the Liquor Licensing Law and the Music and Dancing Law operate under the same requirements as licensed premises on land.
Any function that has an admission charge should be in possession of a Music and Dancing licence, he adds. However, such a licence would not normally be granted for Sundays.
Under the law, music and dancing is not permitted on Sundays, with some exceptions (exempted premises).
However, some party cruises taking place on Sundays advertise music and dancing, with organisers saying the music is out at sea so it does not bother anyone.
Exempted premises under the law include: cinemas, premises being used for bona fide dramatic entertainment, certain areas in hotels not open to the general public with no charge for admission, and town halls. However, restaurants are permitted to play pre-recorded soft, background music under the Restaurant and Hotel Licence, he said.
‘Any vessel that caters to the public would normally be a licensed vessel,’ said Mr. Welds.
A licensed vessel must be half a mile away from shore in order to serve alcohol and play music, he noted.
Once this distance from shore, licensed boats are entitled to serve alcohol from 1pm to midnight.
If it is a non-licensed vessel then it cannot serve alcohol for a charge.
A spokesperson on behalf of the organisers of a boat cruise for this coming Sunday, 14 May, Owen Brehay, said as far as he is aware the vessel they are taking on the cruise, the Sun Dancer, is licensed under the Liquor Licensing Law.
‘We’re going to be out on the water and not disturbing anyone,’ he said.
The cruise, Indulge, by Flava Girls in association with Red Diamond Promotion is next Sunday 14 May at 9pm from Safe Haven with music from Red Diamond Int’l, Scatta Hype and Fire Bug. There is liquor for sale and admission is $20.
He was not aware that there was anything wrong with having music and dancing on a boat on a Sunday, he said.
He noted that many such boat cruises take place and there is never any trouble on them.
The cruise, he said, is just some locals having fun, and the purpose of it is not to make a profit, but to make back what it cost to put on.
Another Sunday boat cruise, Soca on the Seas, was to take place last Sunday, 7 May, with soca music, champagne and an admission charge of $20.
One of the organisers, who declined to give his name when contacted by the Caymanian Compass commented that the music does not affect anyone else because the boat is out at sea and does not go near to crowds of people.
The boat being used operates under the Liquor Licensing Law, he said.
‘The Captain always says we cannot serve alcohol until we are well out to sea,’ he said.
They do not dock near any crowds and make sure they do not interfere with the public, he said, adding that a boat cruise is not something the organisers Trini Limers Entertainment, have often.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police reports that it has not had any problems in recent times with party boat cruises and that inspections can be carried out by the liquor licensing board or the police to ensure operators are working within their licenses.