Water for tourists

Update, 3:30pm: The Ministry of Tourism confirmed that water will not be distributed to tourists in George Town every day but only when large numbers of cruise visitors are in port. Volunteers from the Association for Advancement of Cruise Tourism and by Department of Tourism dock staff will hand out the water free of charge.


Thirsty tourists from cruise ships will be able to avail of water as they prepare to join the long queues to reboard their ships, courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism.

Making water available to cruise ship visitors in George Town from Wednesday, 16 January, when seven ships carrying almost 18,000 passengers, is an effort to make “immediate improvements” to the cruise visitors’ experience, according to the ministry.

A statement from the tourism ministry, released Tuesday morning, said that while the arrival of 18,000 visitors was “great news based on the high number of cruise visitors in port on a single day, the Ministry of Tourism also saw this as an opportunity to improve the experience of cruise visitors while in port”.

It said Minister of Tourism Cline Glidden instructed his ministry to partner with the private sector to provide water distribution at points along Harbour Drive on the George Town waterfront, “This water distribution is a fairly simple improvement that will enhance the cruise visitor experience as they will undoubtedly have to form long lines in order to be tendered back to ship,” the statement continued.

This move follows an announcement by Mr. Glidden at a government press conference last week that a new procurement process to build cruise berthing facilities in Cayman would be followed in accordance with international best practice. As that procurement process and any subsequent establishment of cruise ship berths is destined to take some time, in the meantime, the government is seeking other ways to make cruise ship passengers more comfortable, including providing improved shade and seating.

“Looking to interim improvements to the cruise visitor experience, the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands has examined the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal and identified physical improvements. First, the Port Authority is currently in the process of acquiring new shading to replace the tents that are now worn. Second, the Port Authority is also currently in the process of acquiring benches to replace the concrete blocks, which will be replaced with the current tents that are in place,” the statement from the ministry read.

It added: “The Ministry of Tourism is currently in the process of identifying other improvements to the cruise visitor experience and will be discussing additional improvements at the meetings on 17-18 January with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.”

Mr. Glidden said the ministry would keep the public up to date on any further improvements that were identified, until “there is a proper cruise berthing facility in place”.


  1. I believe the would mush more enjoy a 345 that is only 6 dollars a six pack. one dollar each is cheaper than paying for water. Give them 345.

  2. nice idea, frugal tourist can taste bottled fresh water after long journey. i’ve seen a lot of clever tourists carrying gallon of water from ship, a kind of free flowing tap water from the lido deck.

  3. What is needed is a modern berthing facility. A decade ago the cruise industry gave notice of their intention of shifting to a larger class ship that required a dock. What did government accomplish? Nothing. Plenty of excuses, however. Each month this continues the loss of business revenue is stacggering.

    Think of Cayman as a business and the Governor and the Premier as CEO and President. What is their plan? A vibrant tourism industry is important to every Caymanian. Time to break ground on a new facility.

  4. This is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars and it does not change the First Impression. If I’m one of those people standing waiting and waiting and getting angrier by the minute about how inefficient and ridiculous this shuttle boat service is – especially on an Island like Cayman (would expect it in Haiti or Puerto Rico), then handing me a bottle of water will not make me happy, nor will it change my opinion. Put the money into construction of the new cruise ship terminal NOW. We’ve been talking about this for years, and still, it has not been started. Are you waiting until ALL the cruise ships pull out to action it? Looks like it. Then you’ll really see an increase in robberies crime. The Cayman we all know and love will be gone forever.

  5. Even prisoners get bread and water. At this pace in a few years we can consider loaning umbrellas on really sunny or rainy days. Anything to avoid the real issue…building a proper docking facility. These are not un-wanted invaders…they are your visiting guests.

  6. Handing out 18,000 plastic bottles of water does nothing for the trash problem and lack of recycling for the island!! The bottled water is cute, but just bandaids the real problem of no new terminals and creates another.

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