Cruise lines invited to talks

| 04/02/2014

(CNS): The tourism minister has announced plans for bilateral discussions with the cruise lines, which will eventually be the end users should Cayman go ahead with the development of a berthing facility in George Town. Although the PPM government has repeatedly stated on numerous occasions that it will be undertaking an open and competitive tendering process for the contract to build the dock , the cruise lines, some of which may be involved in bids, are being invited to talks with the ministry about the proposed development ahead of the RFP. In a short release on Monday the tourism minister said it was to find out what the cruise lines would need.

“Government has approached the FCCA and cruise lines as they will be the prime users of the berthing facility, and it is important that any specific user requirements they might have are determined early on in the process,” the tourism minister and acting premier, Moses Kirkconnell, stated. “Once this has been accomplished, we will then look at the best ways to incorporate those needs, while ensuring value-for-money for the Cayman Islands.”

Once again, officials reiterated that the development of the berthing facility would happen via a transparent and competitive process, as required by the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR).  The minister did not state, however, how early talks well ahead of any request for proposals with all of the lines that may use the port would impact the fairness of the bidding process if any of the cruise lines are involved in the bidding, as has been anticipated.

CNS submitted questions to clarify how a level playing field would be maintained if each of the cruise lines were involved in private individual talks with CIG but the ministry has not responded to the request.

Stating that it was committed to an “aggressive timeline”, the ministry said there was only a few days remaining for tenders to be submitted in response to the request for proposals (RFP) for environmental & engineering consultants to prepare the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as the deadline is 5 February.

Government’s intention, officials said, is to carry out the EIA during 2014, and the environmental report which results will establish the requirements and parameters for bidders’ proposals for the berthing piers.

The EIA will be a critical issue as a result of concerns already raised in the business case about the threat to Seven Mile Beach as well as the impact on even greater visitor numbers on Stingray City, among many other issues.

The ministry stated that it is proposed that the EIA process, the discussions with the cruise line users and the subsequent procurement process will all proceed during 2014.

Category: Local News

Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The dock in GT will destroy too many things .Do not do it-  plain and simple.

    The argument here has become a PPM vs UDP. It is obvious that both parties are incompetent. One is perceived as dishonest incompetent the other is 'honestly ' incompetent and clever. PPm is  hiding their agenda well behind this ' we'r honest  and corruption – free'  campaign.

    • The real bobo says:

      The  port, and piers. Need to be moved to the Nort Sound end a story. Mose get with it. Stop the BS. Pull out old studies which Petrie must have that show the Znorthsounds viability.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If Cayman ever hopes to see a cruise berth, I'd suggest that Government discontinue wasting money on going around in circles from this point and allow it to be developed totally by private enterprise.  That way government would receive their head tax at no cost to them and private enterprise would run a facility that earns money, pays for itself over time and that would be the end of the story. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    The current docks cannot be used during a norwester due to the inability to dock the tenders. But… The water goes right over them, so even if the ship was docked directly, people couldn't walk on them. How high are the proposed piers? What happens when you channel waves down the new piers? So many questions… No to piers until fully studied!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Page 3-4 of the Final Draft EIA Terms of Reference (Nov 2013) prepared by Mott MacDonald.  Reinforced concrete suspended deck on tubular steel piles driven into presumed bedrock (under the fractured and cavernous limestone and estimated -10m CD of carbonate sands).  Placing reinforced concrete inside the tubular piles is not envisaged – ha!  The deck will be constructed through placement of precast beam and plank units on the piled foundation with an in-situ concrete topping.  Concept design elevation assumed to be +3.0m CD and the piers will be 300m long by 30m wide. Don't forget the 626,000 cubic metres of cutter suction dredging to remove the inconvenient national marine park and top snorkelling site which will also assure future inundation of GT and severing of future cruise port terminal transport link!  Once begun, the dredging activity will be never-ending to ensure the guaranteed required minimum depth in carbonate sands subject to constant open ocean bombardments.  There has been no other place in the world stupid enough to proceed this far.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What does it say about Cayman that its politicians continually forge ahead with obstinate boondoggles in spite of facts?  With a legacy of bad prioritizing, no actual money, and no spare financing capability for the next decade, the current crew announced the absurd idea of going-ahead with piers.  Then the prelim EIA came back with cautionary statements on the geographic, and hydrologic realities, and dire concerns about environmental impact – not least of which, geological viability – and yet the damning assessments count for nothing.  The NCL was then passed which pledges to resolutely safeguard what the very same government aspires to destroy (626,000 cubic meters of marine park).  Millions and millions spent on renegged deals, backroom agreements and studies that repeatedly inform and caution us not to proceed, and still no bankable business case to offset the certain irreversible destruction.  Now it's decided to poll the target audience to further bolster their weak platform?!?  It is the very definition of stupidity and poornegotiation.  All of this to introduce an inequitable parking arrangement where only the preferred 4 ships get a slip and the other liners really do pass us by for other ports – as the reports have also cautioned!  Sure, there would be some construction jobs – every several months when RC and Carnival are meekly informed their $200mln piers are structurally damaged and out of service.  I recall the concrete fortress that was the old turtle farm was overwhelmed and destroyed by Hurricane seas from a storm hundreds of miles away, on a crystal clear bluebird day.  The surest way to alienate RC and Carnival, is to convince them to pay for a $200mln project that nature wants to regularly claim for the bottom of the sea.     

  5. Kadafe says:

    I still think that the floating dock option that was presented a few weeks back is still the best option. I guess no one around here would get any major benefit $ from it. Guess that's why it's off the table?

    • Anonymous says:

      It's off the table because the cruise lines don't want it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perfect for Sheltered Norwegian Fjords, not for open seas requiring the articulation necessary for blue water ocean.  We don't need a pier.  We should embrace the social responsibility and stewardship of our beautiful natural resources.  To me and my family, that is much more appealing and rare.  Tendering adds an extra 20 min bonus ferry ride each way, so piers would only resolve a 40 min issue and allow RC and Carnival another port possibility for their handful of largest tonnage ships that don't call here anyway.  The answer is to incentivize cruise ships to stay longer in Cayman.  Part of it is just bad service.  The Port Authority is technically open from 6am to 6pm, but can you guess Immigration's hours?  There is a reason the boats don't bother to arrive until 10am and depart at 3pm and it has nothing to do with a pier.  Cayman should be in a constant dialogue with to streamline passenger clearing and visitor experience in the ways that don't prostitute the resources they purport to want to visit and this government pretends to care about.  Page 74, table 3.19 of Mott MacDonald's EIA has a very straight forward chart of adverse vs. beneficial impacts.  Everyone should read this document.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kirkconnel's GT  business preseravtion is priority for PPM not the wellbeing of Cayman.

    Marco, Al , Joey and Wayne you have to grow a pair ….you 4 remind me of Elio, Jon jon and other puppets who lived a short life. Reinvent yourself or perish. PPM is dead  anyway after today's Rooster show where Alden was sytsematically shown up by Ezzard and Arden.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's spelled Kirkconnell

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no comparison whatsoever between Ellio and John John on the one hand and Marco, Wayne, Joey and Al on the other. The latter are intelligent, educated, principled men.   

  7. Anonymou says:

    The country needs to rethink the cruise ship berthing facility. 

    At the very least the government needs to think what is best for Cayman.  Is placing a couple of finger piers out from the heart of the capital really in the best interest of the country?

    Does Cayman really want to put the dredging along 7 mile beach?

    He who pays the piper calls the tune, given Cayman's well known financial woes the cruise ship companies will do what is in their own best interest, not Cayman's.

    If it ain't broke don't fix it.  Forget the Genesis class of cruise ships as only 2 have been built with none on the drawing board.

    Rehab downtown George Town for stayover tourists and keep the current level of cruise ship visitors.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so confused……….didn't it say in the news recently that cruise ship visitors are at an alltime low and airport arrivals are at an alltime high?

      Where is the Trent going? I don't think it is in cruise ships. Why not use the money to expand the airport to allow for bigger aircraft being able to come in direct from Europe etc?

      • Anonymous says:

        The cruise ship passengers will continue to decline if we don't build the dock!  That's the point.  It's not a matter of one or the other, we need both to keep Caymanians working and the economy strong.

        • Anonymous says:

          Theoretical piers would do nothing to stimulate global cruise demand and would dramatically alter our tourist product forever – read the Mott MacDonald EIA.  

          The Cayman experience has so many resolvable bottlenecks that could streamline passenger processing, adding hours of shore time and the possibility of the elusive second tour, without any ecological destruction.  What are we doing to fix the easy stuff?  Nothing.  Are we talking about revamping port/immigration staffing/hours?  Computerizing the transport fleets to optimize shore leave (like buses at Disney World)?  Allowing in port gaming for liners?  Building eco-friendly permanent moorings so ships can power down?  This is the easy stuff.  A little paint here and there is not going to extend shore times with or without piers if the other problems are not addressed.    

          Too many people are listening to lazy ministers that haven't bothered to read the Mott MacDonald EIA and are being guided by false conclusions and cruise ship sword rattling.  The Cayman Islands is a critical part of the cruise itinerary.  The image of Stingray City is in all their marketing material and it's not going away.  We need to strive to deliver longer shore time, greater efficiency for our cruise partners in the simple ways we can, with environmental sacrifice the last possible option, not the first lazy choice.

           

    • So-Wrong says:

      Totally MISLEADING post

      It's not just 2 Genesis vessels, with another one in planning, but 2 Quantum class with another also in planning and 3 Freedom class with 3 more in planning stages..

      So, there are 7 existing MEGA Cruising Ships and 5 more in the planning stages that are beetwen 165,000 and 225,000 tons…

      Many of the posts here seem to be written by the same person with an agenda, hence the deliberate misinformation…

      If the docks will be so fragile that the first tempest will destroy them, and since they will be financed by outsiders, why worry so much??

      Let it happen and bitch later, if warranted…  

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is the actual Global order book for cruise liners in design+ phase:  

        http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=167  

        Only one more 200+ ton RC Oasis Class in design phase – with theoretical launch date of 2016.  RC's next 3 ships are much smaller.  Carnival has no more mega-tonnage ships planned at this stage and one possible replacement ship in 2016 if they last that long. 

        Grand Cayman represents about 30-50% of the Western Caribbean cruise travel itinerary, with no great distance (urgency to depart) to Cozumel.  We should be managing our product better and delivering a better experience for tourists and liner partners. That involves some introspection at the government departments that currently enable the experience, yet work in isolation from each other.  

        We can do that now for free (it should everyone's common objective), and work with liners to help prolong our port call until well after sunset.  Then maybe we can hope for the second tour or restaurant boost that Moses fantasizes about.

        Take your pick, a sheltered and enjoyable 20 minute tender ride – that is unique and fair to all liners and respects the environment, or 20 minutes shuffling like cattle over a milky white ocean along a scorching 300m pier to the sorting facility.  Which of those is a better experience?  

         

  8. KISS says:

    For F's sake.  There are simple piers in St. Kittts, Roatan, and Mexico that I stopped at during my cruise last year.  WHY all the huff for $200 million bucks when all we need are piers, not docks!  Keep it simple and stop this madness.

    Fact 1: New Cruise ships are no longer build to work with tenders  so that market is sying, period.

    Fact 2: There must be a way to elevate and pour $20 million dollars of SIMPLE cement (posts will not destroy our sea-bed ot erode sand.)

    Moses needs to stop trying to build retail heaven around a simple pier.

    KISS: Keep it simple stupids.  (voters…these are the politicians you keep following like sheep.  Demand better and stop the favors and corrupt cronyism.)

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      "Moses needs to stop trying to build retail heaven around a simple pier."

      Last I heard Moses said there was to be no upland or retail development – just two finger piers. Moses himself said that at one of his public meetings. Sorry you couldn't make it!

    • Anonymous says:

      New Cruise ship construction is on hold.   There are less than 10 passenger liners with Oasis-class tonnage on Earth, and the liners that built them are struggling to fill them and pay for them.  

      The ports you mentioned are all sheltered and dredged ports.  GT does not have shelter from seasonal and regular bad weather from the open ocean.  There is no engineering scenario that will overcome the natural kinetic wave action that GT will inevitably face, year after year.

      The steel posts proposed in EIA need to be drilled into solid bedrock – but that area is not comprised of solid rock, rather cavernous and highly fractured limestone – they don't know how deep they will need to go to actually hit solid rock.  It is possible the pilings may not achieve adequate foundation to safely support the piers.  

      One of Cayman's top tourist snorkeling attractions will be destroyed along with the 626,000 cubic meters of cutter suction dredging and blasting (in a National Marine Park post-NCL).  That is not a routine amount of cutter suction drilling.  It is on par with San Diego Harbour.  The suspended particulate from which will cause reef and sponge smothering damage to the aquatic habitat, as well as altering the chemical, accoustic, and thermal propoerties of the surrounding waters.  The current flow from this activity runs in a northerly direction towards what has been ranked among the top wall diving destinations on the planet, and of course Seven Mile Beach.

      If there were ever a day that Cayman had to survive on it's land-based attractions alone, we would be done for as a recreational travel destination.

        

    • The real bobo says:

      Kiss, kiss, those places you have visited everybody knows About. The difference of those and ours is that we have to dredge a lot more than they had to, the depths of water in port areas are not the same everywhere so.

       

       

       

       

       

  9. Anonymous says:

    Focus on stay over tourism, the stats are there. New airport is the main priority. This is pathetic and a waste of time. Really annoys me that retard politicians don't get this, maybe because they can't hold down a real job. I own a business and we do well because we know what we are doing. Stop vote winning ie career politians and do your f!?king job. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tourist industry get together and form a union demand higher revenue share from Carnival etc. ships will still come. Why don't we work together. It's not difficult and everyone wins. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Any successful businessman knows you need to understand what your customer wants before you build it! This is exactly what the tourism minister, Mr. Kirkconnell, is doing.  I give him credit for making sure we are creating the type of pier that our potential customers want.

    He has brought a disciplined approach to one of the biggest projects in our country.  So far the PPM has handled this project with integrity and business discipline.  The process showcases Cayman acting like a first world nation. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear hear! Well said! 

    • Anonymous says:

      "…understand what your customer wants…"

       

      Henry Ford — "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

       

      Hmmm, are we thinking inside the box here?

       

      The Cayman Islands looks and feels like Florida and all the other cheezy ports of call in this region. Why not give Georgetown a major facelift and come up with a plan that sets us apart from the competition. The Botanic Par folks could do wonders with the Georgetown green spaces like the lawn that surrounds the Glass House. That would not cost a huge amount and would be a great start at making this place sparkle.

    • The Thinker says:

      Just who are the "customers" mentioned above and what do they want?  Do the Cayman people's wishes make any difference?  We're going to spend millions of dollars that we don't have to make it easier for the cruise lines to bring in a bunch of tourists that are only here for a few hours to spend a few dollars and are gone.  Even then, the cruise lines sell the tourists tickets (at inflated prices) for tours and attractions and Caymanians get the short end of the stick.  We need to create a better atmosphere and better accomodations for stayover visitors.  Cayman has a lot more to offer that just a short look-see, a snack and a souvenir!  Make the Caymans a pleasant place for a vacation, not a stopover!  No costly cruise ship berths, please.

      P.S.  We are not a "first world" nation……. and I don't want us to be.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr Minister please remember the impact study that was done and the discusions  about doing a cruise ship dock . Please remember that you do not make desissions for the cruiselines, and they will not go into anything that will not benifit them 100% and dont care what the afterafect would be .  They have made huge investments in cruise ships so they need destinations to take their passenger to . Stay in control of your department a 100% and dont cut off your nose to dispise your face .

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why was this never done before? Surely the first part of the whole feasibility study should have been to talk to the cruise lines? Are we really to believe they were just going to build the thing and hope for the best? No wonder the FCO were so keen to shut it all down.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at who was in charge before and that should give you a clue why  this was never done before. I am glad to see some common sense being applied under the watchful eye of the FCO. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Are we really to believe they were just going to build the thing and hope for the best?"

       

      Yup, this was the justification for Boswains Beach.

  14. Anonymous says:

    PPM you bumbling fool of a party. You first 'gave' $1 million to Appleby , then $650,000 to PWC and now you want to find out what the cruise line needs/wants? Stop this charade of giving away political favours. What can a big 4 accounting firm tell you that the people of Cayman already knew.

    You PPM and C4C are peas in a pod – complete confusion followed by complete inaction. All the time blowing smoke of transparency … why do this charade of RFP when the outcome is decided?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why so hostile that you can't see the value of compliance with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility?  Are your emotions clouded by other things?  Are you invested in the tender business that would not be needed if the outcome was to build the piers?

    • Truthseeker says:

      "PPM you bumbling fool of a party"

       
      Now that is just offensive and lacking historical perpesctive. It completely ignores the fact that McKeeve jumped ship on three different contracts for the port redevelopment at the cost to us of many millions of dollars. The last was thge Chinese! Thank God that the UK put their foot down before we were contracted for the next 50 + years.
       
      Before that there was the Italian deal and pior to that the Decco deal, but McKeeva, with the skill that he handled the Cohen deal (substance over process, costing us millions)!, and the Turtle Farm finanancing deal, which resulted in millions to his budies for no benefit according to the Auditor General, the High School, where he declared the country bankrupt, scaring off the fixed bid contractors (eventually replacing their 50M contract with a cost in excess of 100 M ) and having the gall to blame that on the PPM!
       
      All the while, attending overseas postel conferences, marketing trips to Las Vegas and Singapore, private jet trips to thr Bahamas, Cayman Airways launches in Panama with huge entourages. and GIVING PUBLIC FUNDS AWAY AS PART OF NATION BUILDING FUND WHILE STARVING LEGITIMATE PUBLIC SPENDING!
       
      The last is unforgiveable. It is the work of a true megalomaniac who has no concept of the fact that every "special favour" given, is actually money stolen from deserving recipients.
       
      The list goes on and on, and without being a PPM member, I am damned if I am goint to let the UDP fanatics to  try to sway public opinion. Every time this type of slur comes up, I am committed to providing a comprehensive perspective. 
       
      Slur on!
      • Anonymous says:

        No, the criticism is fair.  Mac wasted the nation's money by refusing to go through due process and through cronyism.  The PPM just find technically correct ways to blow large sums of money stupidly. 

      • The real bobo says:

        No matter what you say in favor of the PPM, their true color is shining through.

    • Anonymous says:

      "why do this charade of RFP when the outcome is decided?"

      Already decided?  Why is it so hard for some people to understand or accept that for once, a government is at least attempting to do the right thing and follow correct procedure?

      If they went ahead and built the piers without consulting anyone and found out later that the cruise lines won't use them because they weren't up to par, there would be complaints. They consult with the cruise lines first so that everyone is on the same page, and there are still complaints.  Some people are just never satisfied. 

  15. The real bobo says:

    Yeah Bo talk tal talk where is the Zport

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Could they find a way of being any more vague? Why is there no reference to the visit by the FCO at the beginning of the year?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know something the rest of the Country doesnt? Perhaps there's no mention because it isn't relevant. Suspicious much?

       

      • The real bobo says:

        The visit from the FCO was to tell them who would build the port or else. That's a fact Jack.

  17. Anonymous says:

    yawn ……..more talking!! we want see action not talking

  18. Anonymous says:

    THIS PPM GOVT IS

    Slightly different from the previous one, they do completely opposite what they say they are going to do. May be now they realize that getting things done is not as simple as they thought. The reason McKeeva got things done was exactly what Kirkconnell seems to be doing and that is getting directly involved

    We all know that Kirkconnell is going to ensure that his good old cousins are not effected there in George Town and lose any business but blood is thicker than water so we understand.

    • The real bobo says:

      Brother yaw right, ya right, ya right so right, wand it will not stop there, wait and watch.

    • SSM345 says:

      19:49,

      Perhaps you could ellborate on what Mac and the UDP got done, because you must be the only person on the planet that counts excessive spending, theft, world travel, and complete secrecy as "getting things done".

      Nothing got done by Mac you moron, but he going get done come September as will Cayman when he starts grabbing everybody's coat tails on his way down.

    • Anonymous says:

      "…McKeeva got things done…"

       

      What? The only things he brought home were expensive law suits.

       

      Did he get the cruise port done? Nope.

      Did he get Mount Trashmore fixed? Nope.

      Did he reduce the crime rate in Cayman? Nope.

      Did he balance the government books? Nope.

      Did he lower import duties? Nope, he raised them.

      Did he make life better for ALL Caymanians? Nope, just for the ones that sold their votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva got absolutely nothing done. Complete bumbling idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      "the reason McKeeva got things done" ??? Did I miss something? What exactly did he do for the Cayman Islands? Please elaborate.

  19. What about Stingray City? says:

    At a time when the world is embracing eco-tourism and Stingray City is already a highly debated attraction due to the recent studies demonstrating the harm to them as a result of human interaction, why accommodate more ships? LESS ships and FEWER boats with LESS passengers to Stingray City WILL be mandatory. What then? 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Where is the environmental impact study?

     

    How can 10,000 cubic tonns of silt be prevented from destroying every reef for miles around?

     

    With every nor'wester/storm how much sand will be displaced?

     

    Where will the displaced sand go?

     

    How often will the channel need to be re-dredged as a result?

     

    How can George Town handle the disembarking of thousands of cruise passengers at a time?

     

    How will traffic be diverted from Fort Street?

     

    With the cut in the reef creating a virtual vortex of water taking the path of least resistance, what will the psi impact be during the next nor'wester/hurricane? 

     

    How many businesses along Fort street will need to be upgraded to hurricane shelter standards to resist the enormous influx of water?

     

    Then the whole matter of who is going to pay for this?  Not just the initial construction but all the collateral damage to the environment, infrastructure and maintenance.

     

    This is just a short list of the obvious problems. Who is conducting an extensive study? What are their qualifications and experience?

     

    These questions need to be thoroughly addressed BEFORE even thinking of building anymore reef-destroyning constructions.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiotic comments….The EI study is being tendered and it's conclusions will determine wether or not the port project goes ahead. That is the minister's statement. 

      This is not your UDP what's in it for me project.

  21. Truth says:

    Invite them all once again to tell them its the Caymankind way or the highway.  In other words make sure nothing will get done.  When you have lost the ability to comprehend any ideas that are not your own you will never get better then what you have right now.  A smart man would let the cruise lines save you.  Not in your life time Bobo.