Carnival reducing cruise passengers in 2013

Carnival Cruise Line passenger arrivals in the Cayman Islands are projected to fall by nearly a quarter of a million in 2013, the Ministry of Tourism said Friday.

On December 21, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association informed the ministry of the changes by telephone, government officials said. 

The cruise association noted that the cruise company did not wish to have the Carnival Breeze serviced by cruise tender boats.

Various cruise ships have also been reallocated to Roatan, Honduras and to European routes, according to Carnival.

Tourism officials said the decision to not have certain ships serviced by cruise tender boats “illustrates the need for proper berthing facilities”. 

Tourism Minister Cline Glidden. Jr. has consulted with Governor Duncan Taylor on this matter. Mr. Taylor said he has no objection to the proposal to develop cruise ship berthing facilities, so long as procurement procedures are in line with international best practice and are transparent and robust.

The decrease in Carnival cruise line passenger arrivals was forecast to be offset somewhat by increases from other cruise lines, tourism officials said. 

The Cayman Islands Port Authority web site states that scheduled calls for 2013 are at 508 and projected total cruise passengers are approximately 1.4 million for this year. 


  1. I think we played around this cruise berthing facility. So much rhetoric about procurement procedures and who was the best one to do the job. But at least we see what will be hurting our economy, and we can still stop this from happening.

  2. When Bush got China Harbour to build the port to accommodate the cruise line! The Governor and the UK was against it! Now the country will have to face the harsh reality because the tourism industry will fall as a result of this! Question Who is really anti the development of Cayman? Is it Bush or the UK? Furthermore, the rippling effects that will cause on the economy will further turn George Town into a Ghost Town! Tourism under attack! Banking under attack! The Glory Days of these beautiful islands seems bleakly! I am very much sadden!

  3. Well the cruise lines did give us fair warning several years ago and it has finally happened. The UDP govt. has spent the past 3 1/2 years talking about building the cruise piers but actually accomplishing nothing except suspicions of corruption and damages for breach of contract. First it was to have been built by the cruise lines, then Decco (Dart), then GLF, then CHEC and then nothing. Now we have even less chance of balancing the budget and getting out of our fiscal hole.

  4. its a double edged sword… how do you build a multi-million dollar facility when you have no money in the bank and your credit is maxed out.

    Answer is you can’t.. govt needs to deal with one issue at a time and that is reducing govt expenses.

  5. crisscross – that is not really the issue. There was never a plan for govt. to directly finance the building of the cruise piers but instead to give a contract to a third party to do so who would be paid from future receipts from the port itself – landing fees, upland development etc. The point here is that 1/4 m less cruise tourists represents a major loss of revenue to the govt.

  6. FairandBalanced – I wish you would live up to your tag and leave the melodrama off. You conveniently forget that Bush breached the contract with GLF almost 18 months ago in order to enter into a deal with CHEC which was not even a bidder at the public tender for the cruise port. If the deal with GLF had proceeded without his interference the cruise piers would probably have been built already.

  7. The cruse industry is asking for berthing facility not more shopping areas as proposes as a payback by China harbor. As combat engineers, we built tank ranges that would dwarf the piers proposed for Cayman. How about a peace-time mission for the royal engineers to build the piers. The UK could recoup its cost from the tender fees.. Too far outside the box?. Call it in the interest of the territory national economy security. If tampura caused a riff concrete could sure mend it.

  8. Imagine how well off cayman would be now it they had built the piers instead of those big expensive buildings, all the profits would be Caymans and they could have used that to build new schools…

  9. The cruise company is not being very truthfully here; the cruise industry diverted its ships to the Caribbean due to terror threats in the Mediterranean and now these treats have lessened the ships are going back to these routes therefore less ships in the Caribbean.

    However the UDP failure to procure the docking pier will be felt for many years to come as it was advised to me it would take 3 to 4 years to build the marine works. So even if they had gone with Decco then the pier still would not be ready.

    The decline of George Town is mainly due to the world recession and the cheap cruise prices thus whilst there is an increase in passengers their spending power in each port of call is reduced thus the high value spending is replaced with a t shirt or other trinket instead of Rolex. Also central GT has become scruffy with short term lets and once shops now empty spaces looking sad. Whilst this is a reality of the recession it does not give a pleasant impression to the tourist.

    So how can this be improved – the only way is to reduce government costs and pass saving on to local business so they can cut their overheads and in tun reduce the cost of goods to the consumer. This will make us competitive with other ports and thus tourists will spend more here and the economy will improve. I know this the exact opposite of the UDP approach but that was their choice and we are now in the position we are now.

    If our good prices are the cheapest in the caribbean, tourists will come whether we have a pier or not as market forces will make cruise operators need to bring people here to fill their ships and thus make them more profit.

    It should be noted that cruise ships will demand that the can open their casino if they stay over night with fixed piers as this is a major income source for them and so the public should be informed of this instead of it being a surprise once we have committed a major private-public docking facilities. Also an increase in port fees will also cause cruise firm to look else where.

    So cut 100M from central government and use 50M as cost savings and 50M to fund a new dock over the next 5 to 10 years and this way it is paid for without incurring long term loan interest whist allowing the cost of goods sold to be lowered.

  10. I beleive they heard about our crime problem and it has yet to be addressed. The police are ok but our politicians are lacking basic sensitivities on this extreaming important issue. They have yet to evolve.

  11. Many see cruise ships passengers as a cash cow. Now, ask yourself, what do they get in return? There are no even safe sidewalks to walk on, no crosswalks, let alone nothing to do. The less cruise ship passengers-the less impact on infrastructure, which was not designed to handle millions of people in the first place.

  12. The cruise industry is at best a double edged sword because the companies themselves are first of all awfully demanding about standards, but second of all they take the lions share of the profit and leave the tour operators to do the work. The land based Cayman jewelry stores, restaurants and bars may not see that side of things, but the tour operators certainly do.

    The cruise ships like to book everything in advance for their customers and take a healthy commission for doing that. As a dive operation they’ll give you full boats, a strict timetable, and about half the income you might otherwise get for that much work. As a tour operator, heaven help you if you don’t have a second toilet available when someone has to go, because those passengers will complain and there goes your A1 rating for next year.

    Back to the facts though and about the Cayman cruise ship pier, this facility has been years in the planning. The politicians of the days have been diddling and dawdling pretty much for over a decade, and over more than one administration, while the cruise industry were getting ready to pull the plug on stopovers on Grand Cayman.

    The reason for this is pretty simple. Cayman can’t afford a cruise pier, and the cruise industry is busy financing ships, not piers. So one party of the part has served notice to not show up so often in the future.

    The cruise industry just pulled the plug. You can thank your politicians of the day for that, and I’m sure I don’t need to give any names.

  13. I well remember those days when Georgetown was a REAL city with local businesses.

    I can’t remember the last time we went there, and we live just 4 miles away.

    It has become nothing but a tourist trap filled with jewelery and T shirt shops.

    Think about it. What is in Georgetown to attract local residents? Or even the stay-over tourists who REALLY spend money here.

  14. After dealing with cruise lines for several years it is crucial to realize how the cruise line thinks and why do they make the decisions when it comes to visits. Carnival Cruise line bottom line is profits, they will start new ports and bewilder the governments with promises of abundant business, they mostly operate in unethical corrupt culture and extract like parasites the best of every country for little or nothing at all. The reason why Cayman is being reduced in calls is simple, other countries are giving their product for little or nothing at all only to have cash flow, therefore the cruise lines will follow. Look for instance Roatan Honduras the tourism village was built by Carnival under the ex- corrupt President Zelaya whom was ousted from Honduras and had to flee. The village is owned by Carnival and the land where It was built used to be for Zelaya relatives that got the prime land for Penny’s as political gifts.. Let examine Belize, the tourism village is owned by Royal Caribbean it was given exclusivity by corrupt politicians in Belize primarily the Ex- minister of Tourism Godfrey Smith, all duty free status and the only port of entry for cruise ships. The lists goes on and on. The point is until the light is exposed of the corrupt ways the cruise lines do business then will governments be pressured to say enough is enough and negotiate better terms for their people whom invest time and money in this industry. Cayman is blessed we are not heavily indebted like other countries whom have to sell their soul for pennies. As a country we can overhaul all our cruise policies to suit us more favorable . In all these countries mentioned if proper research is done you will see locals rising up to point out the corruption with these cruise lines , it’s only a matter of time the bubble will burst . Only then these cruise lines will get the message , what starts on a weak foundation eventually will crumble.

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