Today’s Editorial November 24: Time to fix Spotts Dock

Sometimes it feels like we’re beating a dead horse.

How many more cruise visitors have to disembark at a port with no amenities and mass confusion?

That’s been the case this week at Spotts when cruise ships did decide to drop anchor and let their clients see Grand Cayman.

Weather was so bad on Wednesday that not even the three ships that are limited to Spotts could anchor. Six ships in all were slated in Grand Cayman that day.

Nor’wester-like rough seas make it necessary for cruise ships to be moved from George Town to Spotts Dock.

But every day we use that docking facility without making necessary improvements, we are hurting our cruise and possible stayover tourism industry as a whole.

We learned during the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference that many cruise visitors pick a destination with an eye to scope that area out with thoughts of going back as a stayover guest.

How many disgruntled cruise visitors were totally turned off by the Spotts experience that they’ll never come back to Cayman, and worse, will share their negative experience with potential travellers to the Cayman Islands when they’re back home?

Just as location, location, location is everything in the real estate market; experience and word of mouth are everything in the tourism industry.

And who can blame the cruise tourists for grousing?

The environs at the Spotts Dock are extremely cramped with the number of arriving hordes off tenders, officials have to process those disembarking and there are taxis and buses jostling into position to carry them away from the dock, which makes for long delays for commuters from the eastern districts trying to get into George Town to work.

Basically it’s miserable for everybody.

We know nor’westers are going to happen.

And we know that when they do, cruise ships will have to be diverted.

So isn’t it time that talk about bringing Spotts Dock up to standard stops and action begins?

For starters, come up with a parking plan for buses and put up some kind of system for orderly queues.

One of the complaints we heard loudly from cruise visitors was the lack of facilities for the disabled.

It’s time to pay attention to the Spotts Dock and for the powers that be to come off the cash to see that it’s done.

We really can’t afford not to.

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