Cayman gets poor report from FCCA

| 27/08/2009

(CNS): A visiting official from the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association described Royal Watler cruise terminal as “organized chaos”. Talking to News 27 about the facilities for their members and passengers, FCCA officials said it was time Cayman kept up with the rest of the Caribbean in terms of berthing facilities and customer experience. One of the major problems, they said, is the lengthy transfer of passengers from ship to shore and that an eight hour port of call is actually a six hour call because of the time spent tendering from the ship and back. (Picture courtesy News 27)

News 27’s Tammi Sulliman said the officials pointed to another problem – lack of proper signage directing passengers where to go when they come ashore. The officials said the little we have was too confusing.

“The most important thing to Cayman is that people spend as much time as possible having a phenomenal time spending money,” said one official.

However, despite the poor reviews, Sulliman reported the FCCA officials as saying it’s not too late to show cruise ship passengers the best service that Cayman has to offer.

Watch the News 27 video

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Be reasonable, do the CI Gov have any money to do this?

    My answer in "NO"

  2. noname says:

    I remain to be convinced that a 250 million investment in berthing facilities for the mega cruis ships is a wise investment. If the cruise ship industry is going to pay fees per passenger that will service this debt and return a profit to Government in the range of 15 – 20% per anum on this investment then it may be a sound investment. But if the fees they pay will only service the debt over the twenty year bond and not deliver a return on the investment then the only entity that benifits is the cruise industry. I have been on cruises with these companies and they always stop at the island in the Bahamas chain that they own and guess what they have not built a dock their for their own use, not they use tenders. Are they building a dock for their mega ships.

    The departure time for the cruise ships from Cayman is only controlled by one thing the ETA for the next port that is why those going to Cancun leave earlier than those going to Montego Bay. They will leave at the same time dock or no dock.Most of these rednecks on these ships have alimited amount to spend in each port and will have no more to spend on the mega ships dock or no dock, What we may need to consider is the Port authority taking over the tender services and doubling the amount of tenderes the passengers after standing in line on the ship does not care too much whether he steps into a tender that takes five minutes to reach land on he steps on a gang pway onto to a dock and walks five minutes to reach land.

    Stephan is right improve the conditions in waiting for the tenders build airconditioned corridors if necessary, probably one million instead of 250 million.

    the reason we have a cash problem is that the ppm spent 100 million or a new office building that will produce no revenue, 150 million on schools that will produce no revenue, 17 million per mile on roads that produce no revenue, all these investments did was add to the recurrent cost through operational and maintenance cost and to the cost of the loans to build them.

    The Governor and the UK government that unilaterally appointed him should be sued for malfience and missfeance of office, so much for their stuardship of good governance over the last four years. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Since there is no agreement on the design/plan, assuming CI$250mln is an accurate projection is as reckless as the politicians quoting the figure.  But assuming it was, explain how long that would take to construct and how you would amortize that investment, what would be the revenue model?  Who will pay for ongoing maintanence and administration of the facility (separate harbour master?), How often will the 50 foot channel need to be redredged – after every nor’wester?  Who will pay for that?  These are straight forward questions, yet ask any minister backing this plan to answer them…    

  3. Toorass says:

    Well you dun knows they wuz told to say all that before theygot here. Come on people. Is more unsustainable and out of control growth really the answer? Isn’t that what put us in this position in the first place? Too big for our own boots, eyes bigger than our own bellies, all dem tings and more….

    Heck,  lets put a gay bar in the Columbian Emeralds location, them there cruisers won’t mind taking a little tugboat to shore and spending the day in "The Manhole" im sure. Any investors?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where the held Balboa is going to get money to sustained this Islands economy maybe we need to tax her hush man you talking foolishness crystal clear water that must be a class of water you are drinking Get real!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Laying in 30 feet of crystal clear water, a mere 200 yards off the GT dock lays the "Wreck of the Balboa", one of the finest shipwrecks in the Caribbean and a national treasure.  In 1932, the year of her loss, she was a 375 foot freighter carrying lumber to the States when she sprang a leak and was bravely guided by her Caymanian Captain into George Town port.  The Great Hurricane of ’32 finished her, but much of her cargo was salvaged and became instrumental in rebuilding all three islands.  Many of our historical buildings from that year were made from her cargo.  She is now home to abundant fish life including octopi, coneys and orangeball coralimorophs (anemones) and offers excellent light and visibility for underwater photography. 

    For the VP from FCCA it is not about this history it’s about headcount; it’s not about preserving Cayman for future generations, it’s about the promise of more easy money NOW, and in particular his bonus for this year.  Cram another 2000, 3000, 4000 cattle into GT per day, get a guarantee from CI gov’t to collect landing fees and make it easier for passengers to unload, reload, and leave.  The reality is that for many years we have not been able to comfortably digest or entertain all of these many guests.  The berthing facility creates additional environmental risk to other key tourism sectors, and additional infrastructural burden without any assurance of profit.  There is yet no agreement on a plan.

    Engineering a berthing facility involves an enormous outlay of capital this government doesn’t have.  It involves more than the collosal expense of dumping cement into a sea mold to build a pier. The smaller cruise ships draw over 25 feet, the newer Millenium and Genesis class bohemoths require over 45 feet to clear their pod thrusters at 40 feet.  At 220,000 Gross Tons and 5400 pass capacity (assuming 100% double occupancy) these ships are destinations unto themselves.  They no longer require ports of call at all, and many passengers will likely stay aboard the ship in port.
    With the ironpan and reef in the proposed Burger King approach at about 10-30 feet, the math requires that reefs be moved or destroyed and a channel dredged and maintained.  You don’t need to be a hydrodynamic engineer to know that digging into the claylikeironpan will produce silt and sediment.  Much like how the sand shifts on SMB, the particulate can be expected to be suspended in the water and carried with the currents like flour, choking the sponges and impairing the visibility on our signature West wall dive products (further reducing the enducement for stayover guests). (read comments!)

    Unwilling to counter the obvious, and blinded by the prospect of a new revenue stream (which may not offset construction and maint costs) our leadership has chosen to abandon the environmental assessment requirement and hopes that nobody will raise a fuss.  
    "Mr. Bush announced earlier this month that an environmental impact assessment study into plans to construct berths for cruise ships would not occur." (CayCompass Wed Aug 23 2009)

    How nice that this unpleasant decision has been made for the electorate.  Is this the legacy we want for our children and grandchildren?  Are we all complicit in allowing our politicians to be directed by a Vice president of FCCA?  Indeed, it sounds like FCCA have been handed the pen to draft their own plan!   

    • Anonymous says:

      So balboa will close down, balboa had its time. I have seen a plan for a dock that was approved by a environmentalist to give to the previous gov’t and it didnt have an environmental study . they approved it!! Its amazing the rhetoric that has been going on about this dock which has been kept back for such a long time. I hope and pray that Mckeeva  stops listening to biased people who are so hellbent in trying to keep Caymanians from keeping their houses and their way of life from being destroyed.                     I went to your article where 3 people complained that they didn’t like the change. But lets look at it from our side 3 versus 1.4 million who do like going on crowd filled ships. Doesn’t that tell you something !! Oh wait a minute maybe you never went on a cruise ship on vacation. Well its not for everybody. The diving community has to do the next step make new ship wreck sites, simple. As far as the other  reef  is concerned. How many Caymanian people are actually working in dive companies today?? Hmm… not many , how much are they offered? not much.. basic pay. How much Caymanian people with kids and houses working in cruise ship industry?? 2000-3000 people need ships good to excellent salaries. So why should Caymanians even care about balboa?????

      • Anonymous says:

        Some Caymanians care about their history and honour their forefathers who built this nation.  Others, are eager to sell it all and then whine that our once proud seafaring culture is all gone.  

        There are no environmental assessments firstly because there are no set plans, and secondly because the projects if assessed, would fail.  Also keep in mind that without a plan, there can be no accurate budget calculation nor an ROI projection.  The extrapolated numbers suggested are just fluff in the wind.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just take a cruise to the Caribbean and see if Cayman is as bad as they say.

    I did and was disgusted by some of our Caribbean Islands.

    Put it in West Bay and don’t come up to East End.  Our district is pure now and we like it that way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The last few years have seen a relatively poor tourist product made evne more worse and classless.  There is only one way to go now – mega-high end complexes in the East End.  It will benefit less people that a properly planned model for the islands 10 years ago, but it really is the only option left.

  8. Avarice says:

    ""The most important thing to Cayman is that people spend as much time as possible having a phenomenal time spending money,” said one official."

    Could have been a quote from a Cayman official!  We have reduced the industry to a soulless attempt to grind as much money as quickly as possible in bland shops  which have removed any character from GT.  We would be better off ditching the cruise business completely.  Yes a few stores would suffer, but a far better GT would emerge.


    • Anonymous says:

      Over 2 million cruise ship tourists a year that support large parts of the economy and employ tons of people and we should "ditch" the cruise business completely? Did you actually think that through? Maybe we should go back to making thatch and having smoke pots to ward off the blankets of mosquitos everywhere? That would be awesome…

      A berth is needed. Build it. Put up some easy to read signs.

  9. Anonymous says:


    Surely the quote is wrong?

    “The most important thing to Cayman is that people spend as much time as possible having a phenomenal time spending money,”

    should be

    "The most important thing to Caymanians is that people spend the shortest amount of time possible spending a phenomenal amount of money"

    Cayman has to think it’s product through again. People have always hated arip-off and these days the bad taste offends more and lingers longer.