Watersports, cruises affected
The unsettled weather in the second week of December has affected watersports businesses in Grand Cayman.
The cruise industry is affected by not being able to dock, but there are wider implications that affect the stayover sector, too, said Rod McDowall of Red Sail.
“Weather is going to kick you in the teeth all the time. But it knocks out the diving industry, it knocks out Stingray City too. Regardless of whether your boats are servicing cruise or stayover, they can’t do the trips.
“None of the beach side along Seven Mile Beach, like the waverunners and the toys, could operate; any tours on that side for diving and watersports are knocked out. A Nor’wester, for example, anything that takes place in the North Sound, Stingray City, Rum Point, get knocked over, so it’s a widespread phenomenon. It hurts anyone that’s involved in watersports; that, and transport, really gets hammered the most. People still have to stay somewhere; they’ll still go out to eat and drink, still shop, but they can’t do any watersports,” he said.
Joseph Woods, port security and cruise operations manager at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands, explained how the inclement conditions had affected schedules.
“We lost Carnival Legend and Norwegian Dawn on the 14th as we had five ships scheduled that day but could only handle three at Spotts, so those two bypassed. On Wednesday, we lost Carnival Inspiration because they were unable to dock in Tampa due to the weather, which then caused them to cancel their call here on the 15th.
“On Monday, Crown Princess and Celebrity Eclipse went to Spotts. On Tuesday it was Carnival Valor, Disney Magic and Celebrity Century. On Wednesday it was Carnival Freedom, Celebrity Equinox and Gemini that went to Spotts,” he said.
In December 2009, three calls were lost because of weather conditions; two that were scheduled on the 19th and one on the 21st.
Mr. Woods added that cargo operations were unaffected because the ships originating in Miami were discharged prior to the weather setting in, although inter-island cargo had been slightly delayed.