Downtown restrooms locked because thieves are stealing toilet paper
Relief is on the way for desperate tourists getting caught short in the island’s capital because of a lack of toilet facilities.
New public toilets in central George Town should be open later this month to help meet demand from a growing number of cruise ship passengers.
Tourists, particularly those with children, are getting caught out in George Town because of a lack of public restrooms, according to readers who complained to the Cayman Compass.
The south terminal toilets are locked when there is no cruise ship tendering to that port – apparently because people are stealing the toiletries.
The Port Authority insists toilets at both its terminals are open whenever cruise ships are using them and suggests there are enough facilities at nearby restaurants and malls to meet the need when the ships are not in port.
Government acknowledges there is a more general issue and is opening a new public toilet block next to the library.
Acting Tourism Minister Joey Hew said, “Additional centrally located public restrooms have been required for a considerable time. With cruise passenger arrivals increasing, the need became a priority.
“The provision of a amenities to enhance the ‘downtown area’ experience are part of the bigger picture plans for the revitalization of George Town and other locations are also being looked at. Once this particular facility is opened, visitors and residents will be able to spend more time shopping and enjoying the city rather than dealing with the inconvenience of returning to the cruise terminals to find a bathroom.”
Joseph Woods, the Port Authority’s cruise operations and security manager, said the restrooms at the north terminal are open Monday through Friday. He acknowledged that the south terminal restrooms are closed when the terminal is not in use, but he said there are other amenities around that have toilets.
“We do not open those restrooms when there are no ships tendering to it, because the toiletries were being stolen just as fast as our cleaners could put them out. In a recession, everyone has to be prudent …
“Management took the decision quite some time ago to close the restrooms at south terminal when it was not required for cruise operations.”
Robert Hamaty of the Association for the Advancement of Cruise Tourism said it is important that there are enough clean, well maintained public toilet facilities in the capital to provide for the growing number of tourists.