Cabinet approves cruise port

| 28/10/2015 | 96 Comments
Cayman News Service

Tube Sponge on Balboa Reef (Photo by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): The government’s inner circle has approved the next step in the cruise berthing project, Premier Alden McLaughlin stated Wednesday. He and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said that their Cabinet colleagues and the Progressive and C4C joint caucus had given the nod to moving the controversial project on to the next stage. McLaughlin said all of the government’s members had backed the move to the next step after vigorous discussions that ended with unanimous support.

The environment minister was absent from the press briefing attended by the premier and the tourism minister. Although a number of hurdles remain before the dredging begins destroying at least a dozen acres of coral reef, the premier made it very clear he supports the project, regardless of the environmental risk.

However, both McLaughlin and Kirkconnell spoke about a review of the current design plan said they had asked the engineers, Baird, to look at moving the piers into deeper water to avoid some reef destruction.

Check back to CNS for more on this story later today.

Tags: , , ,

Category: development, Local News

Comments (96)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    The problem in Cayman we sold out to rich people who don’t need to work. They don’t want anything beside an expensive rest.,liquor, a boat Capt. to drive their boat, An ocean view condo that few people can buy except them etc, etc. Got it? So they already have their own airline.Their problem is only the Dump and keeping people off their beach. Anything else they will go off island to buy.
    Now where does that leave us? I own a business and do not need one rich person at all. They do nothing for me.
    What this island should have sold to, was the middle class. They should have built 20 story condos or apts. So that everyone felt the same and wasn’t different. But once they befriended them they thought they could be like them. Lawyers and accountants etc. thats why the graduates all want to work in offices. They also don’t want to pay people the same as themselves to discourage more Caymanians from coming in . Our prices to live in this island is for the rich. That means we can’t make it here.Why aren’t they trying to help us get this cost of living down? Do they own those businesses that are charging so high? Why aren’t they worried about increasing crime? They would rather pay higher security and insurance costs rather then put an unqualified person to work? Why?
    Every year around Christmas they would put people who needed a job to get christmas money . You know the ones I’m talking about. But they paid them $8 per hour. They would show up and work and they didn’t get in trouble after that . Doesn’t that show that people will work if its fair?

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    We actually need a modern dock not only for cruise ships but also so that larger freight ships can dock. The freight rate from Florida to Cayman is one of the highest in the world – although that could also be influenced by the greed of the freight operators who control this lifeline to Cayman…

    • Knot Happnin' says:

      What do you think is going to happen if you build a bigger dock? That suddenly a Maersk giant is going to show up every week with a load of 20,000 containers?

      Out port handles a grand total of 50,000 containers a year. That is driven entirely by the size of the local economy (it is not a transshipment port) which in turn dictates the carrying capacity of the ships allocated to the route.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well by the looks of the comments and thumbs here a referendum won’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. Press on, Mr.Premier.

  4. Cecil says:

    Dear mr. Premier you bankrupt this country with the Clifton hunter school and now you are going to destroy the last bit of our environment. Your people spoke in the last elections when we were forced to vote for udp. Sorry but you just lost my confidence in the ppm party.

    • Anonymous says:

      “destroy the last bit of our environment”??? “When we were forced to vote for the udp”??? What in the world is this about??? and this clown gets 167 thumbs up??? Something is RADICALLY wrong here, folks.

  5. Blue Tang Fish says:

    Well Cayman has learned a valuable lesson today the Kirkonnell’s empire come first before everything else!!! Their needs supersedes protecting the environment ain’t that so ALdon!

    • Anonymous says:

      After that last post I admit that I underestimated the mental illness issue in cayman and maybe we sold redirect 200m to mental health

      • Endless payroll says:

        Better than being a mindless Kirk Bot Eh???? Ask them for raise their buddie! now u gots a problem?

  6. Megan says:

    Weeeelllll; if this must go ahead… can we at least use the tenders over in Cayman Brac and get some cruise ships coming in over there? Makes more since than leaving millions of dollars in tender boats rotting away in some canal.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the disturbing aspects of this is the way the Brac is being completely left out of it all. I can’t think of a better place to build a dedicated cruise center like the one on Grand Turk than the north side of the Barc. It would bring investment and create jobs there without really doing much harm. All you seem to have going on on the Brac now is derelict resorts, holiday homes that are probably unoccupied most of the year and vacant lots with ‘For Sale’ signs slowly fading in the sun. Let’s put this money where it will do some good.

      • Megan says:

        And our Hon. Minister of Tourism just happens to be a born “Bracka”! He has done nothing to market, aid or promote the islands and its small businesses since his fancy title was bestowed! SMH! He’s PPM, so Alden pretty much just gave him a seat!

        And your observance of derelict hotels and for sale signs are very accurate, shame, shame. And the locals looking work just as much as the ones in GCM, but the close-knit family community is what helps the unemployed and down-trodden fair a bit better than the unemployed in GCM whose family is much too busy and constrained financially to even assist another member besides those immediately dependent.

  7. ReadyForGrowth says:

    Honestly, our island needs this change why is that so hard to comprehend? I certainly don’t agree with the pier being in George Town, that’s a bit risky but relocate it to a better side of the island , I think they’re just looking for an easy way out. But if this is just another project that focuses on Work Permits and NOT CAYMANIANS then they can forget it. Tired of seeing our people suffering for nothing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m so happy that we will get a cruise ship facility. I’m sure we could win a referendum. You all had non caymanians who you tricked into signing Save Cayman on the basis that the “Gov’t was destroying the reef”. Which was a vicious lie, YOU that signed never “wanted to know the truth”. You were either a friend,family, worker or an associate to the tender group. How sad such a greedy envious and jealous bunch of people. Now I see “dozens of acres” to be dredged another lie? “7 acres ” plus a blown up ship will be impacted. Eden Rock, Soto Reef and Cali are free shore dives only equipment rental is possible.
    We didn’t collect a petition from the line of people who had to wait in line in the hot sun or rain . If we did your petition would not look so big.
    Good work Gov’t You will have my families vote for sure in the next election.

    • Anonymous says:

      5.46- telling fairy tales was never your strong point, was it? Just stick to counting your 30 pieces of silver and how you are going to tell your grandchildren about your part in the great cayman reef destruction escapade. You will probably lie about that too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Do the people approve, Alden? Have you asked them in your DEMOCRATIC society?
    The emperor has no clothes on. Everyone laughs in unison!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely tragic news.

  11. Anonymous says:

    i can see the pro’s and the cons…..
    let the people decide…referendum….
    although it might be hard for the kirk-bots to hack a referendum….i hope….

    • Anonymous says:

      With the history of this place, planning, 101 further consultation papers and lots of back handers, building won’t start for 5 years and won’t be completed for 10 years by that time if the mega cruisers do come give it a year with all the complainants because of no infrastructure in GT no space at stingray city and best nothing is said about the turtle farm they will stop anyway and the country will be left with a big white elephant

  12. Driftwood Massive says:

    Yeee haaaaw! 3500 more work permits on the way for my brederens!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s government is making the right decision here. There is no future for a country with no industrial production and a potentially disappearing financial sector if they do not have a firm grasp on developing tourism. There are many places with beautiful beaches and clear water and they all have made sure they remain competitive in the cruise industry. The last thing Cayman needs is to turn their back on the cruises and have constant threats picking away at the banks and funds. Yes a lot needs to be done in planning the development, restructuring of town, roads etc but this is long overdue anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      No industrial production? Open some factories and employ Caymanians; Financial sector leaving – Because the fees for doing business were tripled when Mac was in power, in still haven’t come back down to a reasonable competitive level hence exodus to other jurisdictions just as foretold. Financial sector has always been the BIGGEST contributer to both the Caymanian economy and the employment of Caymanians. So all those professional jobs disappear and all that is left is labouring jobs on the dock until it is built. And then what?

      the solution is to reduce the cost of living and doing business for all. We need a dock but not at the expense of our world famous environment that is the very thing that attracts tourists to the Cayman Islands.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To me there’s a bit of deja vu here. The Premier of TCI tried to put a cruise dock in the centre of Cockburn Town – as a result his party lost the 2003 election. I had the pleasure of discussing this with him in 2005 when the current Grand Turk cruise center was being built.

    His replacement was Michael Misick.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Remember these are the people who brought you the open classroom design contained in the $100 million high schools.

    Does that concern you?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations for boldly doing what you were chosen by the majority of this country to do, Cabinet. That is such a refreshingly refreshing change from our country being gravely humiliated from having our forever onerable premier in court for gambling out half of our treasury.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The MAJORITY of CAYMANIANS voted this government into office. The major campaign promises were a new airport and cruise berthing facility. This is not a surprise, and those who voted for them in turn voted for these projects.

    Those who are proclaiming against them here must have voted for UDP, which got the MINORITY of votes. This pier is not a surpirse to anyone, or shouldn’t be, because McKeeva signed two deals in the past to build it and both fell through for various reasons. No one was kicking up a storm then.

    I’m convinced that it is a very vocal minority against the pier, and many of those simply wanted the piers to be pushed into deeper water, which is going to happen now. Criticism should be constructive, and those who truly care about the island should be trying to help and come up with ideas, not just make noise. But then again, those making noise are the MINORITY, who must’ve voted for the losing UDP and therefore can’t stand to see PPM progress Cayman to prosperous times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Winning an election is not carte blanche to ride roughshod. You ENGAGE your people! Stop being a thug.

      • Anonymous says:

        They ran their campaign on building a dock…..
        I would hardly say doing what they were voted in to do is “carte blanche” or riding roughshod

        • Anonymous says:

          Then let them ENGAGE. An election win does not or should not guarantee four years of populous silence. Please, you are obviously educated, but do you think that Western politics is a real democracy? Come on, friend. Wake up!
          I may elect you because I respect you as a human being and I put you in office to protect my values. For God’s sake, engage me at some point along the way. It is NOT a carte blanche. I really hope you reconsider your position. Please respect people.

        • Tibbetts says:

          The MAJORITY do want a dock but not at the expense of our reef!!!!!

        • , says:

          We criticised Bush for saying he would remove a bit of reef. Now they want to destroy acres of reef and build piers at huge cost with no real guaranteed ROI. I thought with clearing the debt things were getting better but this IS the definition of roughshod.

  18. F.A. Cetious says:

    Oh thank God, praise be to Allah. Our troubles are all over. Prosperity is finally in the hands of all Caymanians. All is right on the good ship Cayman.

  19. Anonymous says:

    People talk about the almighty dollar…I’m not sure what you think pays for the food on your table. This is about sustaining the living standards all Caymanian families enjoy, not just a few. Easy to point fingers when you are ignorant and narrow minded.

    • Anonymous says:

      ironic when the cruiseship dock will have to paid for by all Caymanian families, while only a few Caymanian families will enjoy the spoils, with crumbs for the rest.

      meanwhile when this determentally affects stay over tourism, more Caymanian families will suffer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Um, the cruise dock will be paid for by taxes collected by both Caymanians and expats on island dear – so we are all paying through the nose for this nonsense

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is hard for me to understand why people, besides the tender company owners and friends, would be against his project. Especially now that the government has decided it will put the piers out into deeper water so dredging will me minimized. The tender company obviously stands to lose, but if this is done carefully, it will provide for thousands of Caymanian families for the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect 1.45 that you can only understand how much cash you will make at the expense of others along with destruction of reef that is already under threat and there is no more room in your tiny one celled brain for any normal thought.

    • GT Voter says:

      Deeper waters to put the piers means the project will easily cost in excess of CI 450 million to construct. That is not progress or in the best interests of Cayman long term

  21. Anonymous says:

    The tender crew won’t be happy but in reality they are the majority of the people that are against the dock.

    • Geoff Wilson says:

      In reality, I think you’re talking out the corner of your mouth, 1:02. I would expect the tender crew to be against the dock. I would be against it too if I had a tender, but I don’t. The dock is a budget-busting mistake that will hurt Caymanians for many years, if not forever.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I remember several years ago – the Cayman Islands were coming to an apocalyptic type end according to D.O.E. and their environmentalists friends; as it relates to the construction of two Dolphinariums in Grand Cayman.

    From these two facilities……… the North Sound and Seven Mile Beach would become extremely polluted and tourists were no longer going to visit us. We would all have to go back to making thatch rope and using kerosine lamps.

    Stingray City would have dolphin feces floating around and it would also be washed up on Seven Mile Beach.

    Whatever happened to that prediction ??

    • Anonymous says:

      12:59pm – Why don’t you put on some gear and go for a dive in those areas and see for yourself. Over by the turtle farm as well. Check out the outtake areas. Everything is dead with a sludge layer over everything.
      I don’t recommend staying in that area very long and wash off really good once you get out.
      Then come back here and tell us about the prediction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would you swim near the dolphin torture attractions?

    • SSM345 says:

      The North Sound is a stinking polluted mess, but the main cause is seepage from our Dump, not the Dolphin Aquariums. Perhaps you missed that giant hill that every cruise visitor gets to see when they arrive on our shores?

    • Anonymous says:

      Soon come Bobo…parts of Marshall Islands need to be evacuated owing to rising sea levels, so stick that in your “no global warming” pipe and smoke it. Soon come here..we would be much better off spending the money on sea defenses so we actually have somewhere to live, and preserving what coral we can from bleaching whilst we can, rather than making the few short term richer so they can bugger off where they want and leave us to sink…

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean those islands 3 inches above sea level? One bad rain and they’re underwater.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you could read anything other than comics 4.33 you would see the real story with the Marshall Islands and what is not too far away from happening here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Um FYI the Marshall Islands has an average level above the sea of 7 feet – the SAME as the Cayman Islands.

    • Jonas says:

      Aha now we understand Mr. Premier now we know your Government sold us out in regards to the Beneficial Ownership registry, therefore your government is now putting all its marbles on cruise berthing. Serious game with people’s lives sir. Destruction of one ulnar because of lack of as Roostwr talk show host is wont to say cojones, for a unmitigated destruction of the coral.

      What a sad set of leadership. We will soon be called Cayman Went.

  23. History student says:

    A day that will live in our memories forever. PPM sold out to the merchants and Cayman will pay a heavy price in the end. Never forget this announcement.

  24. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Perhaps Baird can move it far enough out so that the cruise ship tourists can not see or smell Mt. Trashmore upon arrival too?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Referendum!! The only majority it has is from the majority of CIG and kirkbots who want to line their pockets and look after their friends. In my book, that is a very small minority..

    • Anonymous says:

      Correction, I think the majority voted this Government with the pretense a pier would be built. Again, I repeat majority.

      • Reefer says:

        Then what, pray tell, is it that you have to fear?

      • Anonymous says:

        Donkey, Mac was going to build three. The pier had absolutely nothing to do with the election result and you damn well know it.

      • Anonymous says:

        And we want a pier – but not at the risk of bankrupting the country only to find the cruise ship operators dump us anyway just as they did others before us. Just because they say they will consider Cayman with piers they will NEVER EVER give any form of solid commitment. They will leave their options open so they can get out and leave us in debt just as quickly as they got us in debt.

        If you don’t believe me, do some research and see for yourself how this very same issue is just a case of history repeating itself in a different location. And Cayman policiticians alongside the Kirkbotts and many others just have no clue whatsoever what they are dealing with.

    • Anonymous says:

      you can sign the referendum at

    • Anonymous says:

      @12:23PM Says the Briggs-bot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who is Briggs? Unlike you I am quite capable of having my own balanced opinions without needing Dr Evil to guide me!

  26. Mr T. says:

    I pity the fool that doesn’t take this to a Referendum

    • Anonymous says:

      the government was already voted in, by the majority, under the premise that a new airport and pier would be developed. They are true to their words. You probably didn’t vote for them and still don’t realize you are siding with the minority.

      • Walk Good says:

        The Government was elected solely on the premise that they would not allow a modern waste management facility to be built in Bodden Town. They did not have a majority, but relied on the former Deputy Leader of their main rivals and the three independent candidates to be able to form a Government. Tread lightly my friend and stick to the facts. This dock will be the straw that breaks that particular camels back, mark my words.

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay Ferrari/fake rolex man.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s all they campaigned on? Really? You must have a very very selective memory my friend.

          Also, that sounds like a majority to me, more than C4C and UDP…aka the majority. Did they have to get more support to form a full government? Yes, but they were the only ones with bargaining chips because they had the majority.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s be honest here. The only reason the government got voted in is because (a) we wanted somebody, anybody else in other than Mad Mac and (b) there wasn’t anybody else to choose. The dump played a part, the dock played a part, and national debt too, but without these the PPM would still have gotten in, because there was no other viable alternative.

        If you are so confident of your position I don’t know why you would be so scared of the outcome of a referendum.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a lot of sensible people to pity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Referendum at

  27. Nostra D. Ebanks says:

    I think the tides are trying to tell Cabinet something. Maybe they should listen.

  28. Fed Up says:

    Here we go with the schools fiasco again!! However, a school sitting abandoned with overgrown trees will be the least of the consequences when you think about what is currently at stake. What is the FUTURE PLAN PPM? I am hoping this is just for optics and that when you get down to the brass tacks there will be no funding thus no approval for this disaster.

  29. Anonymous says:


  30. Cass says:

    Enough said really; “the premier made it very clear he supports the project, regardless of the environmental risk.”

    All hail our sacred leader…..selling out his own one piece of coral at a time.

  31. Anonymous says:

    ” the premier made it very clear he supports the project, regardless of the environmental risk.” That speaks to how much they care about the environment! It is a sad day for Cayman. But I guess it is to be expected. After all the “almighty” dollar is more important than the Almighty’s creation.

  32. Cheese Face says:

    Brilliant, bye bye long stay rich folks, hello cheap ass cruise shippers.

  33. Anonymous says:

    About time!
    Listening to the broadcast I didn’t hear anything along the lines of support “regardless of environmental risk” I did hear both the premier and deputy premier both state that they want to exhaust any possible means to reduce the environmental impacts of the project.

You can comment anonymously. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cayman News Service