Three cruise lines plan fewer Cayman visits in 2011

26 per cent drop in cruise calls will hurt retailers

Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises
and Celebrity Cruises will make a combined 54 fewer cruise calls to Grand
Cayman in the one-year period ending 31 January 2012.

Duty free retailers learned about
the decrease earlier this month when media houses selling advertising issued
the numbers of cruise calls for Grand Cayman for each of the cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean’s seven ships will
make 11 fewer calls on Grand Cayman next year.  
Although four of its ships are actually scheduled to make more calls in 2011
than they did this year, the additions could not offset 20 fewer calls of the
ship Liberty of the Seas. That ship was scheduled to make 24 calls this year,
but only four calls next year.

Princess Cruises’ three ships will
make 18 fewer calls next year. One if its ships, Emerald Princess, made nine
calls this year, but isn’t scheduled to make any next year.

Despite adding a new ship, the
Eclipse, to its Cayman routes in 2011, Celebrity Cruises will make 25 fewer
calls here next year.  One ship alone, Celebrity
Century, is scheduled to make 26 fewer calls over the course of the year.

In total, the three cruise lines
will make 154 calls on Cayman in 2011, 54 less than the 208 scheduled in 2010,
a 26 per cent decrease. In terms of passenger capacity, the decrease represents
a 23 per cent drop compared to this year.

Kirk Freeport Managing Director
Gerry Kirkconnell said that because the ships being lost brought some of the
highest spending passengers, Cayman would really lose more than 23 per cent of
its cruise spending.

“Liberty was our biggest ship,” he
said, speaking about passenger spending. “We’re not only losing x-amount of
ships, we’re losing the best ships.”

Read more details on
this breaking story in the Monday edition of the Caymanian Compass.

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