Oasis of the Seas calls for medical emergency

| 03/09/2015 | 59 Comments
Cayman News Service

Oasis of the Seas

(CNS): One of Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ships made an unscheduled call at the George Town port Wednesday as a result of a medical emergency. The Oasis of the Seas towered over the other three Carnival vessels that were in port yesterday but the local tender service was able to deal with the passengers that needed to disembark during the short emergency-related call. The mega-ship was here for a brief spell, but with the capacity to carry more than 5,000 passengers, if the ship had visited on an official call, there could have been as many as 14,000 cruise passengers in town.

With three Carnival ships in port carrying over 8,000 passengers, it was already a very busy day for September in George Town. But if the Cayman Islands government makes the destructive decision to press ahead with its proposed cruise berthing facilities, the capital could see those kind of arrival figures on a more frequent basis. Despite strong support for the development of cruise berthing piers from a limited number of downtown retailers and an even smaller number of tour operators, there is still no evidence to support a significant increase to their economic fortunes even if passenger numbers reached such levels regularly.

Despite indications that the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ review and update of the outline business case based on the findings of the environmental impact study published in June has been completed, the consultant’s review of the figures has still not been revealed. The potential cost of the destruction of the marine environment and the economic impact of that loss is understood to be significantly higher than government previously beleived, which may have skewed the numbers in the original OBC.

Estimated to cost as much as $200 million, there is still no indication of how government will actually pay for the development, which is expected to see the destruction of more than 35 acres of marine habitat, including some of Cayman’s most spectacular reef systems.

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Category: Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (59)

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  1. Michael Fenstermacher says:

    I was on the Oasis when it made the stop For the medical emergency. There were actually a little more than 6400 guests aboard.

  2. attn cns says:

    Dear CNS. Please investigate. There appears to be a money shortage on the island. Total chaos at Country Side CNB on Saturday. ATMS islandwide have notices that no US available. You can now buy US on the blackmarket. Cayman dollar has been devalued

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear WaYaSay, if you channelled your negativity energy and your confrontational anti to everything disposition into constructive positive energy for the benefit of the country and its people you may achieve far more for the country. People are drawn to positive energy and constructive comment and are repulsed by destructive negativity. If you wish to be successful in the next election you better think about changing your ways.

  4. Sharkey says:

    I wonder if the cruise ship got the medical help it needed, or did the group for the cruise ship dock got their point across. This is a very poor excuse to not have more concerns about the Island environment and over crowing the Islands . Just look at this , if we have a cruise ship dock , we’ll have cruise ships 4 to 5 day’s a week, that would be about 100 thousand people more that the people who live on the Island would have to put up with, and the week long visitors to the Islands would have to put up with, the impact that many more people would have on the environment . Who wants to live like they are living in a over crowed island. Who would want to vacation on this Same island.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lol ok… and here I was annoyed I get paid in USD and lose out on the exchange all the time- I will trade mine for a small commission.

  6. Cass says:

    we literally are up shit creek, hope you got a paddle.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous article

  8. Anonymous says:

    Make the most of the experience because dock or no dock it’s likely to be the only time any of these mega-liners ever visits GT.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Competition” is all that’s needed!
    With a Cayman government guarantee or “angel investors”, the CIWOA or any group of boaters could buy decent tenders and manage the loads. It could be staffed by, students, ex prisoners, etc.
    Remember Cable n Wireless vs. Digicel?
    Doesnt Bernie have such a mega boat?
    Captn Eugene……?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please just don’t let the PPM count this ship in their cruise arrival stats to make it look like the drop in arrivals has not occured.

  11. Anonymous says:

    None of the liners have pledged to re-route their few mega-cruise ships to Cayman. Proponents of the pier development leap to that optimistic conclusion without any supporting guarantees from anyone. It is delusional fantasy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I just want to know how the poor sick person is doing.

    • Shhhhhh. says:

      Yeah! I thought that was what the article was about – a medical emergency, not a wobbly bicycle ride into the cruise pier issue! LOL.

  13. NewAndImprovedWaYaSay says:

    You do know that there were three ships in town yesterday right?

    It would then make sense to assume that disembarking three ships at once would be similar to having 3 security lines at the airport with three separate sets of staff operating each line. Would that not make things three times as efficient and take 1/3 the time?

    I know it can be confusing sometimes. Glad I’m here to help.

    Let me know where I can drop off a towel to help you wipe that egg off your face.

    • NewAndImprovedIdiot? says:

      That is one of the best and most well thought out responses I have ever seen you give, in response to me, to date.

      You and your 26 friends must be so proud.


    • Anonymous says:

      You do know that that extra separate group of staff would have to leave their office, thereby interrupting their tittering through the glass block upstairs and laughing at the inconvenience they are causing to non Caymanians who are, in the main, bettering the lifestyle of all Caymanians with their international experience in day to day work.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love the bollocks that the media feeds us. As if every passenger gets off a cruise ship in port, or even wants to for that matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get your facts straight…it is not 35 acres, far less than that, and CIG is not paying for this…it is the cruise lines.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your ignorance is only surpassed by the bullshit your employer is feeding you!!!

      • SSM345 says:

        4:19; Please show us where the Cruise Lines have confirmed this. Did you get a personal email? If you actually kept up with everything and didn’t just drink the never-ending Kool-Aid you love so much, you would know that they have in fact done the complete opposite, and put all the funding for this project squarely in our laps.

  15. Anonymous says:

    CNS Fact Checker:

    “capacity to carry more than 5,000 passengers” – The Oasis and the Allure of the Seas can actually hold 6235 passengers and 2184 crew members. Although you are correct technically, you should get your number exact when it is easy to do so.

    “it was already a very busy day for September in George Town.” – Three Carnival ships does not equate to a very busy day, in number of passengers or in the business that they bring the island. You could ask any tour operator, taxi cab driver, the Turtle Farm, beach bars, restaurants, retailers, coconut vendors, craft market or any of the other many businesses that rely on cruise ship passengers and they would gladly tell you they need more and could easily handle more people. The fact that Cayman could get 6235 more cruise guests in the summer months every other week , from a ship that has higher ticket prices and brings cruise guests with a much higher purchasing power, clearly shows how desperate the island is to construct a pier. That is also a massive amount of money being missed out for the Government in fees.

    “makes the destructive decision to press ahead with its proposed cruise berthing facilities” – Overly emotional adjective to describe the decision shows how biased the writer of this article is. At least pretend to be somewhat impartial.

    “limited number of downtown retailers and an even smaller number of tour operators” – Can you give us the data you derived this statement from? Can you let us know how many people will be negatively affected if a cruise berthing facility is not built? Can you tell us how many families will be negatively affected? It is a large number. You fail to acknowledge that the “strong support” for the anti-port side is even smaller that those favoring the cruise berthing facility. If you cannot even correctly inform us with how many people are on the Oasis that just stopped by for a medical emergency, I think you’ll have trouble with this also.

    “there is still no evidence to support a significant increase to their economic fortunes even if passenger numbers reached such levels regularly.” – This information is found quickly and easily if you spend any time doing any research. Cayman averages $93.70 spend per cruise visitor and $57.50 spend per crew member compared to USVI who has a cruise berthing facility who averages$147.00 per cruise visitor and $138.30 spend per crew member, St Maarten, also with a cruise berthing facility, averages $185.00 spend per cruise visitor and $135.50 spend per crew member, and Puerto Rico, again due to having a cruise berthing facility, averages $144.00 spend per cruise visitor and $122.20 spend per crew member. Cayman is currently only considered by the cruise industry a one tour island. Meaning the cruise passengers only have time to get off the ship and do one tour. If the island had a cruise berthing facility, Cayman would become a two-tour island, meaning that passengers would now have the time to be able to take two separate tours. Obviously, this means double the amount of money tour operators alone can enjoy. Not to mention the transportation to and from these places and all the jobs this demand would create. The cruise passengers would have more time to explore the further reaches of the island by rental car or otherwise. The economic benefit is very clear and undeniable. You are also forgetting that the cruise berthing facility is not going to increase the number of passengers visiting by a large number, it is to maintain what we are getting and also attracting the better quality visitors. As new larger ships are built that cannot tender, and the smaller ones are eventually decommissioned, there won’t be many cruise ships left for us to tender into Cayman.

    “the economic impact of that loss is understood to be significantly higher than government previously believed, which may have skewed the numbers in the original OBC.” the only thing skewed is this article and CNS’s continued fabrication of opinions and facts on this subject. Again, show us some real proof this comment has any fact or legitimacy and that you have not just made up this statement or rumors or just made it up completely.

    “which is expected to see the destruction of more than 35 acres of marine habitat” – This is complete baloney. Taking more than the worst case scenario, with no mitigating factors considered. There are only 3 dive sites out of Cayman’s 365 dive sites that will be affected in the 15 acre footprint, where the EIA stated that between 15%-20% is coral (not even stating what is living coral out of that 15-20%). The other 25 acres you are mentioning is more of the scare mongering you have tried to preach in all your biased articles. To go even further, these 3 dive sites are not safe to dive or snorkel most days out of the year, due to the tender ships driving over them to ferry guests back and forth all day.

    To summarize, this article is so skewed and biased it is not even funny. It’s reckless and full of misinformation. Come back when you have a real piece of news with substantiated facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.07, get a job, far too much time on your hands…

    • Anonymous says:

      I work in town and it was BUSY! It was annoying, horrible, busy and congested and it cost me about 45 minutes of MY day. I would be happy if there were NO cruise passengers here- I certainly do not want more. -P.s. I am a Caymanian (not sure how that’s relevant but before it’s even questioned there you have it).

    • U. R. Miztakin says:

      Anonymous 1:07 that is the biggest bunch of half truths I’ve seen so far. You must be a politician.

    • Anonymous says:

      So are you employed by the day yes to the Piers group,or bybGovernment. Whoever you are employed by should ask you where have you been all along with these numbers. Seems that there is another wave of pro information about to drown us, without consideration or care for the environment present and future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could you just clarify what “spend per cruise visitor” means? Is this what they actually spend when they come ashore ie on food, jewellery, souvenirs, buses or does this include the amount they give to the cruise line for pre-booked excursions before they get off the ship?

      • Anonymous says:

        How on earth can people “dislike” & “troll” this, it is a QUESTION, or is this just showing the mentality of the commentators on here?

  16. 1 if by land, 2 if by The Oasis of The Sea says:

    I think it is fairly safe to say that anyone working in the cruise industry in Cayman would have happily greeted the Oasis of the Seas over three Carnival ships any day. What is happening in Cayman is that the tender owners and their monopoly have successfully held Cayman back over the last decade.

    Cayman is more than missing the boat.

    The Oasis passengers spend over $150 per day so effectively Cayman saw over $900,000.00 sail away from Cayman yesterday (and every other week during the summer, every single week during high season as the Allure of The Seas joins the western run). The fact that we are a tender only port means that we are limiting ourselves to the lesser ships. In early 2016 the Harmony of the Seas will launch leaving Cayman even farther behind as we lose the Independence of the Seas (the ship the Harmony is replacing on our itinerary).

    Add in the crew spend and it is well over a million dollars that Cayman has to watch go right past the island and the economy.

    Everyone keeps talking about “Quality vs. Quantity” but what no one seems to acknowledge is that in the cruise business if you want the quality you have to accept the quantity because these larger ships are the ones with the higher ticket prices and passengers with more disposable income.
    For the last 6 years Royal has stuck to their policy of not including tender ports in their itinerary for Oasis (Genesis) class ships. Save Cayman makes it sound like we need to “call their bluff” well we have been Calling that bluff for 6 years, do we need to go another 6 or 10 before we realise that it isn’t a bluff and Cayman will keep getting bypassed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cruise passengers do not have money- people with money don’t want to be crammed on a disgusting boat and walk around looking at I *hear* Cayman t-shirts.

      • Anonymous says:

        you obviously have never been on a cruise ship. They are not some disgusting boat they are (except perhaps anything owned by carnival) floating 4 and 5 star resorts. And yes. People with great wealth take cruises.

        • Cass says:

          People with great wealth have yachts! They some times stop in to Cayman. Hence, wealthy people don’t do cruises.

    • B.N. Trusty says:

      1 if by land, where do you come up with all this bull hockey? If you want to scare someone with big money losses, just tell the truth about what the white elephant dock would REALLY cost!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And yet, they keep coming…..

  17. Anonymous says:

    Proof that Cayman does not need a 300m cruise berthing facility for Oasis ships the tenders can move the passengers

    • Anonymous says:

      “Come On Man!!!” Where is football night in America when we need them?

      Tender boat bringing in one poor guy strapped to a hospital stretcher is a whole heck of a different world than trying to move the entire ship.
      These attempts are getting sadder and sadder.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You make a lot of unsubstantiated claims in this article. A lot of made up opinions to try to make yourself seem legitimate. The facts don’t lie, and you cannot hide from them. The only anti-port support comes from the editor at CNS and some overseas dive masters.

    In fact, most of the support against the port are from agencies and people off island who do not know anything about the project, just showing blind support. That is not who we want giving opinions on a major project that affect’s many people’s lives.

    • Iggy says:


      There is a very strong support for the anti-port movement from well educated. intelligent, forward thinking individuals who are more focused on the long term well being of Cayman and the environment. Eco-conscious tourism is the way of the future, not the wanton destruction of the very earth we rely on the survive.

      The pro-port movement uses very thinly disguised arguments which barely hide their massive greed and lack of forethought for the future generations in search of the almighty dollar.

      Take for example their slant about the need for port facilities to cater to the growing cargo needs. Currently the port caters to 5-6 cargo vessels a week – many voyages of which are barely half full. The capacity is there to handle more than double the number of ships, at full capacity, with minimal additional investment – ie faster and more cranes. I bet the same self serving dock enthusiasts were the first to go up in arms against the potential doubling of the population as was suggested as being the target figure Cayman should have as a population base…

      Anyone sitting on the fence about this should go down to Eden Rock and look north. Now imagine not being able to see any land on the other side of a monstrous pier that would jut out into the sea 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. A concrete monstrosity that serves to accommodate the tieing up of 2-4 vessels for less than half the 24 hours in a day… While any other vessels would still have to be tendered…

      Until I see a concrete commitment from the cruise lines committing to ten+ years of service by the mega liners that supposedly require and will utilize these piers on a daily basis, I will continue to see the weak arguments put forth by the pro-porters as a wild stab at “if we build it, they will come… and when they do, they will line my pockets!!!” If they want the piers so badly and are so convinced of the security and validity of their arguments, then get together, scrape up the funding, and go to government with a solid proposal to put their own skin in the game. And by their own skin I mean their own money and financing backed by their own assets that will NOT rely on taking money from government in any form, either up front or from recurring fees. Fund it with the massive increase in sales they will see… Bet THAT will NEVER happen!!! They know as well as everyone else the financial risks that they are trying to ram down the entire country and its future generations’ throats…

      Until they step up and assume the risk, they have no right to gamble with the financial well being of the country taking on this level of dept, and the ecological well being of the country and it’s surrounds with the risky environmental moves.

      • Anonymous says:

        It only takes one person who is not familiar with port operations to put out an idiotic statement like this. Sure during the summer when everyone is importing less and there are less cruise ship days there is plenty time to bring in cargo ships. During High season that is a whole different kettle of fish.

        We are running out of days in the week to bring in these smaller cargo ships. Even the EIA that is so highly regarded states that the size of the ships servicing Cayman are well below the standard size used in the Caribbean.

        Part of the financing of the port needs to come from the cruise lines to ensure their commitment and continued use. If they are involved with building it THEY WILL come.

        WaYaSay ’bout dat?

        • WaYaSay says:

          The real WaYaSay says that all your posts about the “fact” that tenders cannot service the Mega Ships is just Mega BS.

          Why dont you go to the hospital and ask the patient how greatful he is for the tender service.

          I think my point has been made that, with properly upgraded bigger tenders, Cayman can maintain its uniqueness and offer a first class tendering service that we and the Cruise Lines can be proud of.

          More importantly we can do it without inundating Harbour Drive with thousands of people who are simply catching a cab to West Bay.

          As importantly we can do it without throwing $300million into the ses.

          Equally importantly, with an upgraded tender fleet, we can surpass 2million cruise passengers per year.

          How greedy are you anyway? Cayman cannot afford your greed!


          • Anonymous says:

            It’s a shame that you are someone considering running for office. This same old simple mindset is not going to help our island move forward.

            The ability to use a tender to get a person off of the Oasis is not being disputed. The ability to efficiently get over 6000 people tendered off of the ship IS.

            Have you researched those new improved tenders you speak of? They cost anywhere between $6m-$8m a piece new. There are currently about 20 tenders in service in GT Harbour. Replacing the current fleet with these “upgraded” tenders will cost almost as much as a dock and we still won’t have the efficiency nor will Cayman own the infrastructure that brings the cruise passengers ashore.
            All this talk about upgraded tenders is just smoke and mirrors to make people thing it is a possibility so they can keep things how they are.

            If Royal would actually use tenders, whether newer faster ones or not, don’t you think that within the last 6 years of Oasis and Allure passing by that if it was a viable option that the current operators would have done something about it? Don’t you think they have had the conversation about this? Over 300,000 passengers a year pass our shores in those two ships alone. At the $5+ a head they make, the money is there, they just know that it isn’t an option. Stop fooling yourself.

            If you were a really good bean counter this would be easier to understand.

          • Anonymous says:

            You sounded really cute on the radio yesterday by the way 😉

          • B. Hurlstone says:

            Splendid reply, WaYaSay! Well stated and right on the money. I feel the same way. Dump the dock!

          • Anonymous says:

            If the only solution provided by the savecayman group is to upgrade the tenders you are all delusional and fooling yourselves. Upgrading the tenders will not change a thing, because larger tenders take longer to load and unload so the only saving is the short time to dock and undock smaller tenders. A larger tender means having to move toe a catamaran ferry type tender which will cost between US$5-7m building cost per each tender. Think about it, the cost of upgrading tenders also proposed by the Chairman of the EAB could effectively cost US$50-70m for 10 vessels. Now really, who is going to invest this amount of capital when the cruise lines simply do not support tendering for their larger vessels. Do you not think that the cruise lines as the owners and operators of their ships, know their own business and what can efficiently and logistically be done in the disembarking and embarking of their passengers. This is a sad case of Cayman and the tender operators trying to tell the cruise lines how to run their business.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear Iggy, you are so misinformed that you comments have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. You are talking rubbish. We are the wealthiest, most affluent island in the region, yet we have the worse and most antiquated commercial cargo port facilities in the entire Caribbean except for Anguilla and Monserratt. If you truly believe that we can handle double the number of ships and cargo volume with the existing single berth at our GT dock you are extremely delusional. We have had to build a second port inland at industrial park 15 years after the GT dock was developed in 1977 and the inland port has already been expanded 4 times. The cargo dock needed to be expanded and developed 20 years ago and because we have not had the foresight and the vision to do so, our antiquated and undeveloped port facilities have caused the shipping companies servicing the island to operate two small shallow draft ships each week rather than a more economical single larger vessel each week for each shipping company. We are the only island serviced by these small cargo ships in the region when the other islands are being services by ships with three times the capacity of the ships calling to Grand Cayman. We are running out of days in the week to have a ship at our dock and the importance of expanding our cargo facilities is to allow multiple ships to work on our cargo dock at the same time when only a single vessel can work now with the port having only a single lo/lo berth. The commercial cargo port has been in its present position since the 1700’s a long time before the DOE and marine parks ever came into being. Grand Cayman has the only commercial port in the world situated in the middle of a marine park and as our commercial cargo port is the life line of our existence as a country, are we to stop all progress and development of critically important infrastructure because of 2-3 acres of live coral to take precedence and priority over human lives? Ask yourself this question and then propose a solution and alternatives to the many issues involved in this matter.

    • Cheese Face says:

      Pretty sure Charles “not today Bobo” Ebanks is against it. Is he an overseas Dive Master?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am Caymanian- I am not a divemaster and I have no vested economic interest but I do have an interest in the overall wellbeing of the economy of Cayman (after all, my children and grandchildren will live here) and I cannot believe government is entertaining spending that much money to destroy our natural resource when that money is so desperately needed for much MUCH more worthy projects such as the dump, school, hospital, hospice … etc. etc. etc. It disgusts me. WE DO NTO NEED A PORT BUT WE DO NEED A SOLUTION TO THE DUMP AND OUR SCHOOLS!!!! Damn it- it’s not rocket science!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        3:34, I think everyone agrees that government needs to fix the dump, the schools, health services, etc. etc. but none of these are revenue generating projects… The port, and tourism overall is.
        Not that they have any money now, but without the direct income from cruise passenger taxes, and the $200 million a year that cruise tourism brings to the island, government won’t have the money to do anything.
        Your right, it’s not rocket science.

        • Anonymous says:

          The 300m + will never be re-generated by the cruise ship increase- it will only lead to a decrease of the average Caymanian’s life- I do not know how I would manage to drive my kids to school and get back to work- it is already so bad with traffic on cruise ship days and the cost of that stupid pier will leave our country so far in debt that income tax will have to be introduced. Of course the wealthy and powerful (like the Kirks) will have some magical exemption and the middle class will bear the entire burden of this ridiculous entirely corrupt project.

      • Anonymous says:

        Err… who is going to pay of the dump and the schools? You? Where are you going to get the money from? It would be good to remember that if Cayman wants to build new infrastructure the money has to come from off island in some way, either tourism, off shore finance or someway else to drive the economy. Cruise tourism helps us by new money coming into Cayman and being spent here with not a lot of infrastructure needs. The port will be a long term project and will provide a reason for the big Oasis class ships to come here.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:12 You are the one making the unsubstantiated claims. You pro-dock people are such bad liars.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Oasis was carrying 6236 guests and 2184 crew. 1 guest was taken off for a medical emergency. There is a massive difference between making special arrangements for that one passenger to be taken off the ship and the ability to efficiently tender 6200 passengers to shore without ridiculous delays.

    • WaYaSay says:

      Idiot, the tenders disembarked 8 000 passengers the same day with an antiquated fleet.

      With upgraded tenders and multiple landing sites we can save Government over $225million and let the tender providers pay to upgrade their fleet.

      New mega CBF, new airport (needed) new roads? and nothing being said or spent on their unfinished schools or a solution for the dump……….looks like the PPM have their prioteries straight? NOT.

      • Anonymous says:

        8,000 passengers from multiple boats dufus. Each ship whether Oasis sized or not mas only 2 ramps to disembark from. It’s a little easier to have multiple ships with multiple doors and multiple tenders loading at once. Each Cruise ship only allows one tender to board regardless of two ramps for safety.

      • Anonymous says:

        Big man go read up top I reckon that was meant for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        You, sir, are the idiot. The delays are far too long, inconvenient, and ill thought out in terms of customer experience for a first class destination.

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