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Old February 24th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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Default Grand Cayman Needs a Cruise Terminal

I just read an interesting article about, how Grand Cayman has less passsengers than other Caribbean ports and how tendering passengers has a direct corrolation on the amount of money spent per passenger.

I think many of us have missed this port due to weather conditions, or decided to stay onboard. My last 2 stops there I didn't get off, once I was sick, and the other time it rained like I had never seen it rain, so tendering, rather than just walking off the ship, made a difference..here is a blurb...one mans point of view....what do you think?
~~~~~~~~~~
The cruise industry in Cayman is in crisis. Cayman is losing credibility with the cruise lines and has lost the goodwill with cruise visitors, which puts us at a lower rating in the Caribbean. We are losing cruise calls every week and will run lean in the summer months when large vessels like Oasis of the Seas and her sister ship Allure will not visit Cayman due to their size and our lack of berthing facilities
~~~~~~~~~~~
Long article but worth the read....

Cayman Islands News
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Old February 24th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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Trip, really I don't understand if a port like Progresso can justify a 5 mile long pier, what's really going on in Grand Cayman? Maybe they really don't want that many cruise visitors.

I think of Cayman as a more upscale location, unless something has changed recently (which would not surprise due to the world's economy) their primary industry is banking. My perception has always been that if I am going to make a purchase of goods, I will be more likely to spend my money in a port where I will get the most value for my dollar. For example I can get 5 T-shirts for $20 in Mexico, or one T-shirt for $20 in Grand Cayman I am more likely to spend that money in Mexico. I have a perception that purchases will cost more in Grand Cayman than in many of the other Caribbean ports. If I intend to buy a couple of bottles of alcohol, I would do that elsewhere.

The majority of the popular excursions in Cayman seem to revolve around Scuba diving, Stingray City, beach breaks, deep sea fishing or boat charters. So it looks to me like perhaps their tourism industry just isn't as aggressive as others are at attracting the interest of cruise passengers. My guess is that the majority of passengers that make it ashore in Grand Cayman wind up doing a small amount of shopping or heading to the beach or perhaps do an inexpensive excursion to Hell or Stingray city. I think if they spent more time and energy focusing on enticing the passengers to leave the ship to spend their money and offering a larger variety of excursions and activities they might see an uptick in those dollar figures.

I am no marketing genius but that is my take on it. The tender ride is not long at all in Cayman and I don't see it as a huge factor as it is in other ports like Belize, last time it was over a 25 minute boat ride to get to shore there. Cayman just doesn't seem too terribly reliant on cruise tourism and doesn't seem that aggressive in getting that business.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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I was told that the water off Grand Cayman is too shallow to build any piers.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Grand Cayman should not build a pier or overly cater to the cruise business.

Grand Cayman isn't Roatan or Jamaica where they "must" have cruise business. Grand Cayman is a well to do island and the people in power could care less if the cruise lines come to Grand Cayman or not. They would probably like to attract the stay over tourists who partake in the hotels, high end shopping and stay for more than five hours.

I see that the above article was written by a member of the islands tourism industry. While $20,000,000 in revenues is nothing to sneeze at the island makes far more than that in one week of banking and other financial dealings. I would believe the people in power on Grand Cayman would rather attract visitors who will spend much more than $100.

Yes: The more cruise passengers who come the greater the revenues but the cost in infrastructure and the environmental impact on the island probably isn't cost effective.

I also can't imagine how Grand Cayman, even with major infrastructure improvements, could handle a mega-ship and a couple of large ships. 10,000 people at Stingray City would be impossible. There is already a crowd there now with boats trying to jockey for the best position.

Grand Cayman should not try to bring in more cruise ships and those that do go should continue to tender.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Here is the latest press release from the Port Authority of Grand Cayman

PORT AUTHORITY OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

I knew that I had previuosly read that they were thinking of build a pier.

When we were there a couple years ago talking with the driver for our tour he said that there was definitely a group that felt they were losing too much by not having a pier and so were pushing for one to be built.

Not sure if one will be built that could really handle ships like the Oasis but if they can port 4 at a time maybe. I'm sure that with a pier more people would go into town and of course that would translate to more money being spent.

When were were there in Jan the seas started getting rough for the tenders and the tender captains were not wanting to take anyback to the city after brings others back to the ship and even a couple of the tenders stopped early due to the roughness.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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Don't the Cayman Islands already restrict the number of cruise ship calls per day? And one ship per line? (I could be wrong on this...)

I always understood the main reason for not building a pier was environmental, not economic.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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The entire island of Grand Cayman is surrounded by a fairly shallow reef. Ships with a draft (depth below the water line) greater than 18' cannot go over the reef. A channel would need to be dredged in order to accommodate cruise ships. Almost all cruise ships have a draft greater than 20 ft. with a ship like Oasis of the Seas having a draft of 31'.

There would be an environmental impact. To what extent I don't know.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 08:55 PM
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I remember my first cruise or second cruise, a stop in Grand Cayman was scheduled, but cancelled due to high winds. I booked that cruise just because of that port, so yes, it would be wonderful if they can ever get a pier in there. Look at Belieze, they are building one??
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Donna, where is there a peir being built in Belize? The whole coast is the coral reef and for the ships to now go in it is a zigzag course thru the reef and they have to anchor a good distance from land due to the reef. I know some would like a pier there but don't know where it would be.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlb1050 View Post
Donna, where is there a peir being built in Belize? The whole coast is the coral reef and for the ships to now go in it is a zigzag course thru the reef and they have to anchor a good distance from land due to the reef. I know some would like a pier there but don't know where it would be.
Welcome to the Belize Cruise Terminal

The problem is that construction has been halted a few times due to accusations of corruption and things of that nature. Not sure what the current status is of this project. It is a Carnival funded project so I don't think you'll see NCL docked there.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Thanks Beenie. I looked on Google earth and think I found where the construction is. On the very south of Belize City.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 12:34 AM
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I totally agree with Mike.........there is no need for a cruise pier in Grand Cayman The island is wealthy and really doesn't need the cruise ship trade. It is a nice supplement to what they already have there, but it is not necessary for their economic survival. Personally I think GC is already overrun by cruise ship tourists! It is an expensive stop for the cruisers and I personally think it is overrated.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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I have read that the reason they do not build a pier is the reefs and the wrecks. Additionally, I have been there five times since January 2007 and the ship has NEVER once not been able to anchor. One time we did have to anchor at the South end of the island and left early because of weather, but we still had almost a full day by the time the last of the passengers arrived back.

Now, has anyone NOT mentioned that when the high season is on there can be as many as six or seven ships on port at once time. The last time I was there in January 2009 there was between 18000 and 20000 passengers between the six ships that were anchored in Grand Cayman. In Ocho Rios, Jamaica ONLY two ships can dock at the main pier and one at Reynolds old Bauxite pier. I have been to Ocho Rios three times in three years and never had more than one ship in port with us, whereas in Grand Cayman I have been there only ONCE when we were the only ship. We were on a altered route and no ships normally stopped there on that day.

No, ships will still go to Grand Cayman. I don't think the island cares if the Behemoths of the Seas stop there or not. As long as it is still is able to accommodate the ship with passenger loads of around 4000, they will still have people who want to see the island. I would love to go back again!
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