Lack of research to justify cruise port, Trust says

| 08/10/2015 | 98 Comments
Cayman News Service

The Balboa, which sank during the 1932 Hurricane (Photo by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): The National Trust for the Cayman Islands has thrown serious doubt on assumptions made by the consultants to support the Outline Business Case (OBC) for the cruise port facility, which the Cayman premier has cited to justify its development. In particular, there is a significant lack of research on the claimed increase in the amount of money cruise passengers will spend here if the port is built, the Trust said in a statement Wednesday.

Stressing that its mandate is “the preservation of the historic, natural and maritime heritage of the Islands”, the Trust pointed not only to the destruction of the coral reef if the port project goes ahead, but to “the loss of or damage to the wreck of the Balboa, a victim of the 1932 Hurricane and an irreplaceable part of Cayman’s history and heritage”.

The non-profit organisation said it recognized the need for cruise ship tourism to continue to be sustainable but, stressing what will be lost forever in terms of irreplaceable ecosystems and significant Cayman history, plus the certain loss of business to the watersports industry in the area that will result if the cruise port goes ahead, it questioned the claims of economic gain to justify all this, noting concerns “about the sustainability of the proposal and the fact that so much remains unclear”.

“There is a significant lack of research and data to support the assumptions in the Outline Business Case (OBC), particularly with respect to direct passenger surveys and research on spending increase assumptions as well as loss of business if the Cruise Berthing facility is not constructed,” the Trust stated.

Pointing to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conclusions that the cruise port development will result in irreversible destruction of marine habitat and biodiversity in the area, the Trust highlighted recommendations by the EIA consultants “that the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy of the Cayman Islands be adjusted for the loss of the value of the ecosystem goods and services, that the anticipated displacement of watersport businesses from Hog Sty Bay be accounted for and that the OBC be updated accordingly”.

The Trust noted other areas of concern that it said should be addressed, including whether the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has “definitively stated that Grand Cayman will be removed as a destination if a Cruise Berthing Facility is not constructed”, something that the PPM administration has not yet clarified.

And as government clings to the current proposal as the only viable option and does not appear to have properly considered other options, the Trust also asked if there were less environmentally destructive alternatives to the proposed cruise dock that would “enhance the local cruise passenger experience that would be acceptable to stakeholders”.

Questioning whether the huge and certain losses would be compensated by hypothetical gains, the NGO asked, “Does the OBC make a reasonable assumption that there will be significant increases in cruise passenger spend as a consequence of slightly more efficient disembarkation rates as assessed by the EIA?”

Pointing also to additional costs of the project over and above the enormous price-tag that comes with the port facility itself, the Trust noted that the EIA did not address how much it would cost to upgrade George Town’s infrastructure, which must be done “in order to support the assumed increase in passenger numbers”.

The stated purpose of the cruise docks is so that Grand Cayman can accommodate the new mega-class of ships that carry over 6,000 passengers each. However, critics of the dock have stressed that with more passengers coming on island and with less things for them to do, since the construction of the dock will obliterate some of them, there will be more stress on the attractions that are left, which may not be viable.

In its statement, the Trust recommends that the actual numbers of visitors that Grand Cayman as a whole can accommodate “should be assessed so that a sustainable tourism product can be maintained”.

The NGO noted “the reputational damage that may be caused to the Cayman Islands brand as a tourist destination”, and pointed to the “significantly negative reaction from the local residents as well as the international media to the proposed Cruise Berthing Facility and the environmental damage it will cause if implemented”.

“In summary, the Trust believes that there is room to question whether the investment in the cruise berthing facility will yield the substantial improvement to the economy predicted by the OBC as the negative economic and environmental consequences are far reaching and in many cases irreversible,” the NGO stated. “As obligated by its mandate, the Trust urges the government to consider carefully the conservation of the submarine areas of beauty, historic and environmental importance within Hog Sty Bay and to validate and scrutinise all available data and inputs before deciding whether or not to proceed with constructing a cruise berthing facility as proposed.”

While the Outline Business Case is not yet available to the public and the Cabinet has not yet come to any formal decision on the cruise port, Premier Alden McLaughlin sidestepped procedure last week and announced that the project will be moving on to the next stage.

National Trust Statement on the Cruise Berthing Facility Proposal, 7 October 2015

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Category: Marine Environment, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As visitors to your beautiful island , and lucky enough to vacate on it, we’ve been quite saddened by the number of cruisers that appear to land, shop for their bits of duty free gold, then return back to the ship for their all inclusive. Many don’t venture out of Georgetown and allow themselves to enjoy Grand Cayman, and fully laden tenders can be seen ferrying people back before lunch.
    A select few business benefit from these people. Easier disembarkation will not alter that. They are not the people who are likely to return for a stay on island.
    Those who want to experience the island want to escape the hoards as quickly as possible to make the most of their time, swim, eat and drink, swim some more. Take away the local snorkel and dive sights and you lose them. Give them a taste and they will come back – who wouldn’t ?
    From the outside – Grand Cayman main attractions are
    global financial centre
    fantastic beaches
    fantastic diving / snorkelling
    duty free
    For me the questions are ; what do you want your islands to be known for? and who do you want to benefit ( a minority of firms in Georgetown or everyone else ) ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Port is caymans future, y’all are stupid. Port!

  3. Anonymous says:

    When you’re hunting doe sometimes it comes home to roost. When that day comes you will understand the smoke. I will smile and cry together. Because this was not meant to be what it became. But you put it there. Enjoy the peace. Peace will not last.
    To the end my dear, to the end. Ever wake. Ever watch. Ever speak. Never sleep.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This article and 90 percent of it’s comments appear to be a general waste of time to me. I really think we’ve worn the subject out folks. Build the dock, Mr.Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound kind of cocky now.
      I’ll check back with you in a year or two and see if you’re still strutting.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to the Trust for saying “In particular, there is a significant lack of research “as I have been saying this for a while. I can’t say I am against the dock but I would like more answers. Questions I have raised before are
    1 How many people come ashore now
    2 How many people would come ashore after we get a dock
    3 If we get more people after a dock what would they participate in
    4 If we got more people after a dock who precisely would benefit
    5 How many ships will come here after the dock
    6 How many ships will not come here without a dock
    7 How many ships will we get on Friday / Saturday / Sunday / Monday with the dock.

    I don’t know the answers and the people commenting on here certainly don’t so let’s hear how we will actually benefit from a port or without one.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Part of the misinformation against the dock is the propaganda that spending does not increase when using a berthing facility or pier.
    This could not be farther form the truth. While the piers themselves do not spark greater spending on their own, the massively increased time spent on shore. In our current port’s form almost as much time is being spent on the tenders and waiting in lines than in the actual town or on tours. Crew, who spend almost as much as passengers on average, spend 50% less in Cayman than in other ports. With over 200,000 crew members that sail to Cayman it equates to over $13,000,000 missed merely because the majority of the crew cannot leave the ship when anchored instead of berthing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where was the voices of SaveCayman, the tender company, the overseas experts, the famous actresses, and The National Trust when uncle DART was going to build the dock?

    • Cass says:

      DART can afford it, CIG (public purse), cannot! Your direct hatred towards one person, I am sure you never met, is quite pathetic.

      DART can spend 154 million and worry about not seeing a return, but I can tell you he wouldn’t do that. He’s smart. SO, keep supporting stupid initiatives just so you can say “take that DART”.

      Pretty simple if you ask me, when you decide to wake-up and see the facts for what they really are; write a book if you feel to. BUT, right now you fail to realize that the same DART you curse daily is the number 1 investor in these Cayman Islands. Truth hurts so much, why is it so hard for you all to see that the enemy is your own people, lying to you, using your votes to get in the LA but not to do what’s best for the country and ALL who reside here, but what’s best for THEIR pockets!?

      One last small reminder; a few years ago CIG were pretty “tight” for $$$ and had DART pay Government salaries for one month. They were one month out and had no idea how they would pay their civil servants….guess who covered their A$$? The same DART.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! Caymanians are so caught up in this expat vs. Caymanians crap that they can’t see what their fellow Caymanians (CIG) are doing to them. So predictable. No wonder Caymanians have the reputation they have. So gullible and uneducated (some of them). Always willing to believe what is said to them before they do their own research and ask questions. Even quicker to become “YES” men.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Further evidence that there really aren’t that many ports with piers – and none that cost anywhere close to the $300mln – a figure being thrown around like it’s a routine and digestible amount of partner capex. We are way way way off the mark on this, willing to risk national default and put our number one product in jeopardy to satisfy one guy: Giora Israel.

    http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=9871:carnival-expands-cruise-activities-in-cozumel-with-new-berth&Itemid=231

  9. Anonymous says:

    There seems to be a misguided approach or understanding here, it seems if the port is built cruise passengers will somehow want to spend more and we’ll be globally competitive.

    Like if they walk on the pier it’s gonna make them spend, however they get on land, by tender, or pier walking, the problem is there is nothing to offer, on a day without ships GT is basically empty, besides vehicular traffic, the tourism product that we offer needs to be re-done. That’s the issue, Town is now Camana Bay!! The only real valuable product we have to offer is the ocean and our way to get more visitors is to go ahead and destroy the very same thing we advertise to bring them here.

    We have to balance the economy with the environment, if we continue to destroy it, one day it’s gonna destroy our economy!

    But I guess Govts answer is: if you build it, they will come. #CaymanKind..

  10. Wisioner says:

    Remember that quarry project disguised as a harbour out front of the Shetty Hospital?

    Well If you fly over the island you will see that a deep water, inland, all weather harbour system already exists along the south coast in the Pease Bay region between BT and Breakers. These are currently disguised as quarry lakes but most have been excavated to 30 ft and are well on the way to 50ft. All that is needed now is a channel through the far eastern end of Pease Bay into the Scott’s quarry. Thereafter inland navigation canals can extend the harbour network back westward to the Woods and other quarries behind Meagre Bay pond. This will also make the abandoned waste center project viable as barges will have access for removing recyclables etc. The bulk fuel storage depots can also be moved inland to safer locations.

    And fear not Kirkbots. I have thought of you too. With this plan, ships can dock during northwesters and the east arterial extension will bus the cruisers to your door in under 15 mins.

    A veritable Venice of the Caribbean awaits.

    • Anonymous says:

      West Indian Marine Plan B … no Plan C … no Plan A …

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Pretty sure Rene can squeeze a couple Oasis class in to the South Sound Marina. From there the passengers can be transported by cable car to collect their Fossil purse and then back to the ship. Everyone is happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uncle Luke’s Pond and Jackson’s Pond have got to be close to 50 feet by now. They were at 35 feet back in 2012 before the big ETH push or Kimpton started. The weird thing about quarry regs – if you can call them regs at all – is that because they have gone deeper in excess of MSL limits within property limit for over 3 years, they are allowed to continue…all the way to China.

    • Anonymous. says:

      I really believe the time has come to just build the dock. This debate has been going on for over twenty years and there will never be consensus because every sector has their own agenda. Mr. Premier if you and your government are satisfied that you have done every thing possible to mitigate the damage on this project please go ahead with it And do not let anyone railroad it any longer. millions of dollars and hours have been spent on reports and research and unless you go ahead this will go on forever and then there will still be some group who is not satisfied. The. Port area is small compared to other countries and the main purpose should be to accommodated cruise ships and cargo and the fees derived will eventually trickle, down and benefit everyone. Move the Balboa and if possible move some coral and the divers can go to other dive sites, As I said you cannot please ,everybody.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What have we learned
    – The Kirk-bots appear to be nocturnal. They vote at night.
    – They really don’t like the mention of the Turtle Farm.
    – They also dislike the National Trust.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The National Trust are now economists, since when has the trust been so interested in the business case for anything. Have they ever been interested in the business case or a hotel or Camana Bay or even Ironwood before they destroy 100’s of acres of natural bushland and mangroves, NO, so why are they suddenly interested in the business case of the port. Very Strange indeed !!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I dislike the national trust. They always think about the environment first. Why don’t they think about where we live instead;-)

  14. Rp says:

    So this is what I don’t get: how many people does the gov aim to fit into:

    1) sting ray city
    2) 5 miles of beach
    3) Camana bay
    4) our tiny GT and its stores and restaurants
    5) turtle farm
    6) in the water diving snorkeling etc?

    5,000? 10,000? 20,000? Or the more, the merrier? That’s something I haven’t heard yet! What are we shooting for here?

    • Anonymous says:

      News check, daily averages are between 5000 and 10,000 this month. Busy season we are above those.

      The total and daily numbers aren’t expected to take a massive jump.

      The average spend will though hence the economic benefit.

      • Anonymous says:

        The average spend will not increase and there will be no economic benefit.

      • Anonymous says:

        The whole proposal is based on an over-inflated perception that spend will increase. First the analysis on that issue does not justify the risk. Second the vast majority of that benefit will only flow to a very few capital owning families.

        • Anonymous says:

          Delusional advocates are the same penny-wise pound-foolish that leverage their finances and credit cards to the hilt to attain a Mercedes Benz or other depreciating asset they couldn’t afford, and then convince themselves they are: A) richer B) more respected/envied by their peers. Neither is correct, and demonstrates to others a lack of responsibility or appreciation of what is truly important in life, or in this case, for a society. They don’t think they will get the final bill. Flawed selfish motivators are far too prevalent in this land. Don’t tell these bozos we don’t have $300mln, let alone $10mln for the dump, or $5mln to finish their JGHS debacle from two terms ago…

          • Anonymous says:

            Cash and cash only. Dammit
            Sometimes daddy looks after himself sometimes daddy actually cares about the family.
            Sometime family is worth more than anything including money.
            Hope you find the latter one day big chief.
            Enjoy you and your(s)

      • Anonymous says:

        Your figures are exaggerated. No surprise there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s be clear that there is no economic benefit of adding est.$300mln in debt, unless there is some offsetting bankable revenue that exceeds the service value and opportunity cost of that debt over its lifetime. We haven’t seen anything like that. Not even close.

    • Anonymous says:

      The latest draft Baird report wants to charge us CI$300K to find out though.

    • Jelly Bean says:

      It’s not a matter of whether they can all fit.

      The theory is that the more of them there are wandering about town then at least some might opt for the climate controlled comfort of the red roofed plaza.

      Trickle down economics Kirk-Bots style!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pay attention to visitor “Q. Frankly’s” comments, that is the real issue that Government should be addressing! The poor quality of transportation services available to visitors and thereafter, the lack of real tourist attractions. Crowding people into a smelly bus to see the Turtle Farm, and a blah-blah rock formation??!! Come on!

  16. Rp says:

    “Stressing that its mandate is “the preservation of the historic, natural and maritime heritage of the Islands”, the Trust pointed not only to the destruction of the coral reef if the port project goes ahead, but to “the loss of or damage to the wreck of the Balboa, a victim of the 1932 Hurricane and an irreplaceable part of Cayman’s history and heritage”.”

    Sounds to me like building a skyscraper on top of the Statue of Liberty.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who has ever dealt with consultants knows that, “whoever pays the piper calls the tune.”

    Please take the know it all consultant reports with a grain of sand as the stakes are very high and damage to diving environment and to 7 mile beach would be catastrophic to the local tourism product.

  18. Q. Frankly says:

    My family and I arrived on a cruise to Grand Cayman recently. The tender ride was was the best part, the horrific experience began when we got to shore.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I used to sell black coral back in GT way back in the 80’s. In those days, we had loads of folk in our shop dropping big money on jewellery. I remember on day, we turned 60k for the day!
    Those days are over. There is not so much cash available to the middle class and we all know it. I am clinging to my middle class status and would never consider spending more than 50 bucks in a port.
    We do not need a port for cruise ships. We need a better airport and better hotels. That is where the money is.
    Who is making these studies? Perhaps they need a dose of reality.

    Once the port is kicked off, just follow the money and all the one-off companies that spawn to consume the allocated dollars.

    Haha…we dumb yeah massa!

    I am Zephaniah Kotokalooka and I approve this message.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If the Balboa is such a historic treasure, why did they fill it with dynamite and blow it up? In 1957 under the supervision of the army corps it was blown away because it was deemed to be a navigational hazard to the cargo port.

    • Cathy Church says:

      Think it through, Anonymous 2:40pm. 1957 was LONG before SCUBA diving and watersports put this island on the tourism map!! Now that our diving tourism has helped to raise the income of every single person on this island, we want to keep it that way. The 9 people who liked your comment need to learn where some of their money comes from, too.

      • Anonymous says:

        You of all people should know better than to make comments like that. Trying to claim that diving has raised the income of everyone, while you continue to claim that the cruise ship industry only brings in for a select few, discredits you completely.

        The cruise industry brings in millions upon millions to government alone, just with the head taxes. That money is used to support the island. So before a cruise guest even spends a dime on the island Cayman has made millions. All the goods the cruise guests buy on island all have brought income to the entire island through the duty paid on them. That’s not even considering all the services/tours they buy as well.

        I’m not saying that diving is not great for the island and brings in for many. But I’d confidently say that the cruise ships bring more people to the island than diving does. That is hard to deny. They are independent of each other, and we need both. If we have two less dive sites, that are inaccessible to everyone most days of the year, I think the dive industry will be just fine.

        • Anonymous says:

          Pro port BS, as always

        • Anonymous says:

          “Coral and sponge suffocating silt” seems to be an acceptable consequence for the land-bound morons that never read the PEIA, let alone EIA. As soon as the first blades churn into the iron-pan, in a blue-water unprotected situation, the collateral damage will not be limited to the Balboa. You’d have to be an absolute moron to believe the silt damage has any hope of being contained.

        • Anonymous says:

          You may well be correct that “cruise ships bring more people to the island than diving does” but divers certainly stay longer so the potential to spend more is there.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Balboa was a Jamaican lumber freighter that sank in George Town during the 1932 hurricane. The lumber from the ship was salvaged and used to rebuild George Town, including Elmsley Church and many of the historic and protected buildings of the nation. It has enormous national historic importance. The putrid Cali rice ship of Hogg Sty Bay (1948) was also scuttled by the British Army Corps of Engineers in 1957. The fact that these were scuttled does not diminish their national importance or the fact that these are two of the most popular and iconic diving and snorkeling spots in Cayman – at a depth suitable to all divers including novices.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Just let the merchant’s have there way and give them the port. To bad they don’t want to pay for it!

  22. Just Askin' says:

    Can we scrap this stupid cruise pier idea already and get on with some less damaging fracking?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Lack of research?

    Are you Crazy?

    How many scientists accountants and specialists do we need to weigh this thing?

    Government is a bit silly holding on to a business case that obviously was strong enough to convince the Premier to get in front of the chamber and tell the world the dock is going ahead. I hope it comes out to the public really soon so we can see what they have seen.

    Having said that it is a bit silly for the National trust to make a statement l;ike this without the final report.

    • Anonymous says:

      The National Trust is asking for the answers to the same 4 questions we all are asking. Show us the details of this new income, tell us why you don’t like the other options of port designs with MUCH less dredging, and show us how we are not going to lose more money than we make.

      • Anonymous says:

        Other options to the proposed cruise piers have been considered and discussed and you would do well to inform yourselves of the disadvantages and the increased cost of these proposals. Also, where does the Trust propose to put a new cargo dock which is necessary? Do your “other options” solve this problem? Have you considered that there will also necessarily be environmental damage when the cargo port is extended as it must be eventually?

        Perhaps the National Trust would like for the Cayman Islands to maintain the status quo and stand still in time? I think history has proven that things must always change and we can only weigh the advantages against the disadvantages which has been done in the case of this new proposal.

        I’m asking you, The Trust, these questions for you to answer instead of the way you often ask questions to which you already (or should already) have the answers.

  24. Anonymous says:

    At last the National Trust awakes after a long sleep and offers us its opinion on the Port CBF shenanigans. For a moment there, we all thought the Trust to be aloof to the scrapping between the pro- and anti-port expansion factions, maybe deaf to the cries of rape and pillage on our beloved reefs and corals and the woe of the impoverished trinket-higglers. But by coming awake, it weighs in with gravitas and makes an eloquent plea for the powers-that-are to look carefully both ways, left then right then left again, before launching us off into the consequences of this thing.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Common sense, reason, scientific facts and preservation of environment and history will not deter Government from moving ahead with this project. Greed drives it and that’s that!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are we even discussing a marine park?
      This is a tragedy and I am disgusted with govt and politicians. What a sad testament to greed and lack of vision, let alone all done against the voters will and voices?

      • Anonymous says:

        Better question is what moron decided to mark a marine park in the middle of your only harbour?

        • Cathy Church says:

          Anonymous 2:42, that marine park has made this country a LOT of money. Look at all of the cruise ship tourists who pay to come here to visit it. Where on earth is your brain? Think it through. It is one of the few clean, wonderful, sought after harbours in the world. It makes us special. Why can you not see that?? Does your fantasy of some remote promise of money distort your sense of Cayman pride? Why can you not encourage our gov’t to reconsider the plans that do NOT require so much dredging??

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious about the claim that the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has, “Definitively stated that Grand Cayman will be removed as a destination if a Cruise Berthing Facility is not constructed.”

    If that is true then the FCCA has grossly over-stepped their mandate to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues, and have effectively tried to dictate future policy to the elected government of a BOT.

    CNS – do you have any idea where this originated? Who put this argument forward?

    CNS: You need to read that paragraph again because you haven’t understood it. The Trust is asking whether or not the FCCA has made that claim.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s not pretend that the FCCA is a legitimate impartial advocacy group. They are an 8-employee predatory travel seminar and marketing report business selling membership and “inclusion” to merchants of the Caribbean at $25,000 per business per year. Michelle spends her time riding her horses that these suckers have paid for. Part of the $25,000 annual fee will get you a commemorative clock, some travel reports that promote their $25k sucker list, and a bunk on their annual merchant cruise. The false hope they are selling should be illegal and we should not be talking to them at all.

      http://www.f-cca.com/membership.html

  27. Anonymous says:

    Don’t let research get in the way of the pursuit of possible profits. The only creature that will benefit from this plan is one huge white elephant that will make the Turtle Farm seem a good idea.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again…

  29. Anonymous says:

    The worlds best scientists (as opposed to the Cayman Cruise Berth Supporters who actually know nothing and just grasp at straws to get their 30 pieces of silver) now say that we are now going to lose a large part of our coral anyway-see http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34473371

    So on top of that, you want to destroy some more just to fill your pockets with the filthy lucre? I am all for going forward, but responsibly, and it is clear to me that the cable car system is a much better idea, much less damaging and still achieves what we need. Any other arguments about what is destroyed or not are all bunkum as no-one really knows, and why would you risk destroying even more reef when you have no idea of the knock on effect. Highly irresponsible behavior and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but the cable car idea is fantasy. What happens if the system breaks down at 3pm when an Oasis class ship is in town. How are 6,000 guests going to get back to their ship? Any moving system requires maintenance and WILL fail at some point. Any machine that is in the open air and that is close to the sea requires at least twice as much maintenance to keep it going and is likely to fail much more often! It’s a cute idea but realistically what is plan B when the system fails? Tenders?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        Your ignorance is astounding don’t make factual comments without valid reasearch

      • Anonymous says:

        They rarely breakdown, 11.29, but what if the ship rudder and thruster breaks as its entering the pier zone, rams the jetty and 6000 people die?? You can twist and turn all you like. You are just another gold digger refuting any point with no evidence just so you can get your hands on the cash for the few, rather than for the long term benefit of Cayman. If you are so convinced this is such a good idea and that everyone supports it, a referendum will not worry you in the least. So go ahead and ask CIG to organize one, after all, when it says “yes” (as you all seem to indicate it will), then you and CIG will be vindicated. I will be the first to put my hand up and say I was wrong.

        But you won’t do that will you? Because apart from the handful of pro-port button like pushers on here, no one else actually believes in it. Go one, push for a referendum. It will solve it once and for all.

        • Anonymous says:

          “They rarely breakdown”….. so what you are saying is that they DO breakdown. So again what is the plan B? If there is only a link via a cable car system from an island dock to the port area then there needs to be a plan B to move up to 24,000 people a day in case of equipment failure. (24,000 is the max of 4 Oasis size ships in port at one time). Or are you advocating that we should just wing it and hope it doesn’t happen?
          If the cable car concept is such a great system please tell me how many other cruise ports are using it!!
          Your comment about the ship rudder and thruster failing shows a lack of understanding about how modern cruise ships work which is based on the concept of multiple redundancy in all critical systems. Please look at this page http://www.cruisenewsdaily.com/nf81124.html and you will see 4 bow thrusters and at the back multiple pod propulsion units, each with their own electrical motor to provide power. These redundant systems ensure that there is a very very low statistical chance of a ship losing ability to dock properly. Could it happen, yes of course it could. However if you are asking the question whether a cable car will fail or the ship will fail it is clear which is built with multiple redundancy from the design stage onwards! If you had to bet $150m which would you bet on?

          • Just Sayin' says:

            Tell it to the passengers from the Costa Concordia.

            • Anonymous says:

              You mean the 6000 that died?

            • Anonymous says:

              …and if you read any of the accident reports they talk about human error as being the main component there. Not to belittle or reduce the personal tragedy of those affected, this accident was the worst the cruise industry has ever seen and it only resulted in the deaths of 32 people. The sensationalist view of the poster above that 6,000 could die is just that – sensationalistic.

              • Anonymous says:

                And the claims about cable cars ain’t?

                • Anonymous says:

                  What claims? A cable car is mechanical…..? That they need maintenance, that includes them being taken out of service for extended periods…? That they WILL fail at some point…? That no other cruise port anywhere in the world has chosen to use them as proposed in Cayman….? Or D all of the above….?

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Every ski resort of any note in the world uses them in much worse conditions than are experienced here. But the French, Swiss, Italians, Yanks, Canadians they are all wrong you say?? Wow. So many freakin geniuses here in such a small place. Now cruise ships break down and catch fire sometimes, and not far from here, I can get the stats easily. Or shall we just agree BS was called and you failed in your pro port blind stupidity. Jeez, nothing is sacred to these guys, which in itself should tell everyone reading that it is a bad idea. Except for a desperate few. Join the protest! Referendum needed!

                    • Anonymous says:

                      And which ski resort relies on any gondola type ride to provide the only way to get up a mountain? Very few if any. If you look at most ski resorts they intentionally build multiple lifts to get you to the top. That way if one breaks down then there are other options. What is being proposed in Cayman for the dock is to have one way of getting from the ship to shore and back again. One gondola system. It is crazy to believe that any mechanical system will be 100% reliable, especially one operating in a marine environment.
                      Please do get the stats about cruise ship fires and incidents. When you look at them please consider the number of guests moved every day as part of any response you give as you will find that the number of issues are relatively rare. Yes there have been issues but the cruise industry is pretty good at learning from it’s mistakes and making sure that they create safe and reliable services.

          • Do You Believe In Magic? says:

            If the incompetence of the crew of the Carnival Magic and Port Staff can do as much damage as they have done with one anchor, imagine what they can do to 150 million dollars worth of concrete covered with passengers.

          • Anonymous says:

            Hey – the Dursey Island cable car works just fine with a bottle of holy water and a prayer taped to the window.

          • Anonymous says:

            Referendum a$$hole, stop deflecting attention

            • Anonymous says:

              So calling me an a$$hole is supposed to win the argument? Seriously answer the questions about your proposal to put a cable car in. Show me you have thought through the proposal and can support it with a rationale argument about why it would be better than a solution accepted by every other cruise port in the world, a dock structure, and I would be happy to respond to your point about a referendum.
              Answer is you can’t because the concept of a cable car port is seriously flawed with no plan B if the system fails when 20,000+ guests are ashore.

      • Rp says:

        So what if the next plane you board breaks down? What’s your back up plan?

        Moving systems…Close to sea…open air…

        You’d wish you were stranded on a dock waiting for a tender cause the frigging rig broke down.

        Come on dude!

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