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Unity gov’t sticking with cruise port plans

| 24/08/2017 | 64 Comments

(CNS): The premier has revealed that the coalition he is now leading is backing the previous administration’s cruise berthing and cargo port plans. Even though the CDP and some of the independents campaigned against this specific project, the minority members of the ‘Unity’ government have not been able to derail the controversial proposal. Delivering his presentation on the Strategic Policy Statement in the LA Wednesday, Alden McLaughlin said that tendering would begin next month and also unveiled ideas about trans-shipment business at the new cargo port.

Outlining the government’s goals to continue supporting the tourism product, he made it clear that the cruise berthing facility, which does not have popular support, is still a key government policy.

“Work to provide a modern cruise berthing facility and an enlarged cargo port has also been progressing, in particular in the redesign of the piers to dramatically reduce dredging and impact on the environment,” he said. “Preliminary designs and cost estimations are complete. Prequalification of bidders and negotiations with cruise lines are ongoing as well, as is the preparation of bid documents, with a projected tender issue date at the end of September 2017.”

The port continues to raise concerns because of the anticipated price tag, which is now believed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the damage to the marine environment and the impact on the local infrastructure. Many people also believe that the benefits of a cruise facility will be enjoyed by only a few key merchants and that the negative impact on the wider overnight tourism product will harm many other stakeholder in the tourism sector.

The previous Progressive government dismissed most of the concerns raised by those who object to the project and the party is now doubling down on the size with the enhancement of cargo facilities.

“It is worth noting that this project includes an enlarged modern cargo facility, which is key to our ongoing economic development,” McLaughlin claimed. “The ability to accept larger ships will reduce shipping costs and consequently reduce the cost of goods bought locally. It will also allow fresh fruit and produce to be brought in directly from Central America by ships that now pass us by for Florida.”  

He further stated that the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands was exploring interest from shipping companies that not only want to bring their larger ships here but have indicated that Grand Cayman could be a trans-shipment port for perishable cargo out of Central America.

“We will see how this develops, but at the moment the potential is certainly welcomed and will be pursued,” the premier added.

See the premier’s full SPS presentation here

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Category: development, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An honest , objective review of Alden’s decision-making ability does not engender much confidence in his ability to judge the cruise berthing facility as being a good thing for Cayman. The way over budget Clifton Hunter High School, the unfinished (since 2005) John Gray High School, the 2013 Immigration PR point system resulting now in a legal crisis, etc. come to mind. Whatever he touches or refuses to touch always seems to result in failure or a crisis. We cannot sacrifice our natural environment at his hands. People wake up and resist this madness. It’s doomed to fail and all of us with it.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    If this is about transshipment and cargo goods, build the dock elsewhere. There is no reason why cargo goods should be coming in the middle of downtown. Put it somewhere in the Eastern districts.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Not one of the politicians are certified divers. Not one of them have ever seen the beauty under the waters of the Cayman Islands. If any of them are, then they haven’t been diving in years.

    It is so easy to make a decision to destroy something that you do not have any personal experience. If any of those politicians were certified scuba divers or even went free diving there growing up, they wouldn’t make the decision to destroy something that cannot ever be replaced.

    Scuba diving is a huge industry. These type of tourists are the repeat visitors. The beaches and the diving is the ULTIMATE draw to the Cayman Islands. If you destroy the very thing the tourists come to see, why would they come if you build a fancy dock? What will the tourist come to Cayman for if there are no beautiful dive sites? Or easy shallow dives for the inexperienced and junior open water divers aka children?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    The cruise port is the only thing that will save george town.




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    • Diogenes says:

      Sorry, save GT from what is there another city somewhere that all the business is going to go to, are you one of the “Dart is gonna take over group” can I borrow a tinfoil hat?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Until Dart buys it up at bargain prices. Then you all can go there to a trendy McRestaurant, get drunk, and watch the sun set… on your lives.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear. Have the protesters resigned themselves to this? Where are they now? I support them. Come on guys – hug a coral or something! Seriously! There is no point in bringing double the number of tourists to a town with half the activities destroyed!




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  6. Wahyaseh says:

    It is good for those that serve in goverment but not great for destruction to our shores. The reefs has already been destroyed by channels fishermans catch now our dive sites what more destruction…why not piers with bridges these can be without mass destruction oh well we only got little time to do things so be it




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    • Sharkey says:

      CNS , Unity Government sticking with cruise port plans , you mean the Cayman Islands Government has become unified in unity ?




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  7. Anonymous says:

    If there is one thing that can be learned from the recent past its that CIG is the same Circus with the same clowns doing the same act over and over. It does not get any better with time. If they could actually do the work and figure it out they would have done so a long time ago. They can’t. They never will. They have continually failed at just about everything they try to do. There will be no change to this in the near future. The ship is slowly sinking and the captains are too busy looking for the lifeboats to even try and save it.




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    • Sharkey says:

      Agree 4:42pm. I think that this Government should do their research on other places who have built Cruise ship dock and allowed their own Country /Islands to get destroyed by crime and corruption and see what happened to those places .

      I believe that it’s a big gamble when you go to big expense of building a cruise ship dock. Just look at how many cruise ships there are, and how many Companies own them . When that Company /Line decide to drop a destination all of their ships drop out .
      So when the Cruise Lines makes that decision, what are you going to do with that Cruise ship dock then ?
      To me Cayman today is not that perfect destination no longer that would prevent them from making the above mentioned decision . Sometimes it doesn’t take very much for a company to make big decisions to protect their bottom line, “profits” and they don’t care about yours unless they’re involved .




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      • Anonymous says:

        Just go to Turks Island and see their cruise ship dock and build it like that, it won’t cost any damage and won’t cost a arm and leg.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Stupid people make stupid suggestions, stupid people approving the stupid suggestions.




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  9. Mokes-for-all says:

    It would be a damn sight cheaper to develop and promote local-grown fruit and veg, and more sustainable, but they can’t see the wood for the trees …..




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  10. SSM345 says:

    Has our Government heard of this place called Jamaica and in particular Falmouth?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Or have our taxi owners? Logistics change dramatically when the cruise ship headcount doubles. It will all be liner-owned or leased buses. Minivan taxi owners and drivers here will be just as SOL, as their regional colleagues were.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It was the behavior of Jamaicans that drove the ships away from Falmouth.
      Caymanians be very afraid of what the Jamaicans here will do to your tourist industry.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Austin, where your big mouth now?




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    • Anon345 says:

      Hahahahahahahahahaha yes!

      Glad there are others who don’t forget 🙂




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    • Diogenes says:

      By all accounts the new Policies of the government and its members were not accepted with smiles and agreements, so I’m sure Mr Harris, let his thoughts be known behind closed doors, partially dignified and partially secretive, very different from his days on the radio but we’ll see how this whole “Unity Government” goes




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    • Anonymous says:

      Austin proving he talks a good game but has no substance. He should formally join the ppm now that he is a lackey boy




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    • Anonymous says:

      Austin Harris never A TRUE INDEPENDANT candidate, he was always a party man in waiting for whichever party got the most people elected.

      Both him and Tara Rivers need to go ahead and join the PPM and stop the charade.

      Dwayne Seymour should also go ahead and join them as his promise to slow down work permits never stood a chance anyway.

      The deception tactic will not work next election.




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      • Diogenes says:

        i don’t know how much you know about how our system of government works, but one MLA can get basically nothing done on their own, in order to get a motion on the floor they need a seconder, and even then they need to secure 10/18 votes to get it passed, Mr Harris and Mr Seymour figured that although they ran as independent and partially anti-establishment tickets they can get more done working with the government, if you recall Mr Seymour went to his constituents and asked them for approval to join the Government , by all means not everyone of his voters was consulted but he made a start and quite honestly I haven’t yet met a BTE voter who is upset with his decision. As for Mr Harris, although he has a long history of criticizing the government from the outside now he has an inside look and position and his vote is very important to a government that only has a 3 person majority, at this point and time if they don’t project unity and power they will crumble. The only point agianst Mr Seymour is now he is bound by collective responsiblity. The fact that you can’t see past your nose and think about how much of a difference they could make by being a part of the establishment speaks quite clearly as to the type of voter you are. as I’ve said before undying loyalty belongs in Saudi Arabia and North Korea, here in the civilized world people compromise and make the best out of the situation they are given. If Mr Harris and Mr Seymour had stuck to their guns and said “nope we are against the government by definition and are here purely to oppose” it would change nothing the government would still be the government but I guess you would be happy then right? Think first, think again and then one more time for good luck, because evidently you forget this isn’t a playground this is the Government of these beautiful islands. Tara Rivers is another conversation entirely however I’ll give you that point the fact that she didn’t declare her intentions beforehand, shows that she was willing to go with whomever would give her a cushy ministerial position, lets just thank whoever is above that she is no longer in charge of Education. Also when you are done with your tinfoil hat and your Alex Jones level conspiracies can i borrow it, I need to bake a potato




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  12. Diogenes says:

    This proposal needs to be presented and voted on by the public shoving this through the LA will not and cannot be allowed. Voters talk to your representatives!




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  13. Anonymous says:

    The South Pier at George Town Port is advertised as 135m long with a depth of 3-6.6m. To accommodate the cargo vessels Moses has in mind, we’ll need to dredge the harbour to double the current depth and add channel width to around 100 feet plus a 10% maneuver allowance below and across. Plus figure ongoing maintenance dredging, and a whole new fleet of more powerful tugs blasting and churning away what’s left of the harbour ecosystem after the initial basin expansion and silt suspension event. Putting Cruise piers thousands of feet out at sea, still won’t change the inner harbour destruction being proposed by these ministers. We don’t need a new EIA to understand this – it was all laid out in the initial papers.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    nothing will happen…ppm style.
    why did it not happen in the last administration???




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  15. Anonymous says:

    As an ex resident, Grand Cayman is a very popular port of call for tourists whether it be by flight or cruise ship. We won’t mention the popularity of these islands by illegals, but that’s another debate! The island is deemed to be the richest in the Caribbean with its worldwide knowledge of it being a tax haven. Obviously, very attractive to the wealthy. The standard of living here is really high compared to the other islands and something that you should be proud of. However, if you want to move on with the times, you need a new cruise ship berth. You have realised the importance and upgraded your airport, so why so many negative comments and excuses not to carry out this work. Yes, construction is expensive, but you have had a massive amount of tourists since all your beautiful hotels have been built. The chain companies like the Ritz Carlton, Holiday Inns and the latest Kimpton would certainly have not put money into this small island if they weren’t sure of a good return. These are qualified successful business people, they can see the potential here. Look how much Dart has poured into this island. I, like many of you, have seen a huge difference since 1980 of how this island has improved ten fold. Let’s face it people, the good old days of crime free Cayman will never return. Make the best of what you got and be eternally thankful that foreigners are pouring money into your island to make you what you are today.




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    • Just Askin' says:

      Out of curiosity, did the airplane door hit you on the way out?




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      • Anonymous says:

        No, the airplane door did not hit me on the head but I tell you something, it needs to hit a few heads in Cayman to knock some sense into people. You have such a beautiful island and you are letting the place down with all the crime and crackheads there. Your old fashioned ideas of putting money into fruit and veg etc.,??? you are going backwards man! Tourists are not coming here to buy fruit and veg that’s great for you and I 100% agree. Tourists come for the fabulous crystal clear waters, the diving, the glorious weather and the peace and tranquility of a safe resort for vacationing. They do not want beach bums, robberies, rip off shops and bars and don’t forget your highest taxi fares ever known to mankind!! There is nothing else in Cayman. The island is going to fall apart if you don’t all get your acts together. You constantly slag Government off in every department and it just goes on and on and nothing is done! Nothing makes my blood boil more than you constantly complaining about RCIPS at every opportunity. You have some really good Officers, and your latest Commissioner and his highly trained personnel from the UK are something you should be proud of. Go down to Jamaica to see what you’ve got. You will never have a crime free place wherever in the world you live be sure about that. You need to come to the UK to live. You’ll see crime, a diminishing NHS, millions of immigrants arriving by the boat load, tons of illegals overstaying, beggars on the streets. You go to Leicester you think you’ve landed in the Ganges and Birmingham is like Kingston! Please be thankful for the beautiful island you have and improve on it. HELP RCIPS and quit complaining. Get that cruise ship berth asap. Tourists want to visit you because you will sink without them. I remember when just a few ships used to call once or twice a week. Yes, Georgetown was full of people mainly from the US, and yes, not all spent loads of $$$ in your shops, and the reason being, was you are so highly expensive!! But every cent spent was a cent more than what you would have had if the ships past you by. It’s certainly keeping your ships afloat and job security for you all that’s for sure. Cast your minds back when you only had the likes of the old Holiday Inn, The Royal Palms and a few condo’s. The grocery stores were like something in a 3rd world country. Look how you have improved. It’s a pleasure now to go into your lovely air conditioned grocery stores that are kept so clean and not seeing cockroaches and dried up blood I used to see on meat counters ugh!! They’d shut you all down in the UK. You’ve come a long way Cayman, embrace your achievements. Look forward to any improvement. It’s $$$$ in the bank and job security for you all.




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    • Anonymous says:

      10:26 That reads like a Troll to me.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting that none of the examples you site have anything to do with cruise tourism. The developments you do site you suggest saw a ‘good return’ on investment. However the Govt. has yet to show that with the Port. In fact, their first Business Case is now being ignored since they haven’t shown how they’ll ‘pay for the port’, which is shorthand for ‘get good return on investment’.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but it is not only about the money! So many of the older folks who know and understand the sea, sand and hurricanes says it will be foolhardy to go ahead. I don’t know all the ins and out of this project but every time the subjects comes up so does like the cautions. I hope all the fluff we are hearing now is true and that all will work out ok.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The Island has improved 10 fold since 1980? For who? Please elaborate. Certainly not for Caymanians.




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    • Starfish says:

      Duh…..we trying to save what’s left of our ecosystem and the reasons the premier claims we need to have the port are all poor reasons. For one why not invest in education on farming, farm lands and farm equipment to grow our own crops, shrimp farming, fish farming, cattle, etc? We want to screw up the envorinment to import crops? Hog wash! Why not we become a sustainable country Mr. Premier? Who are the special interests behind this project?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Please…we are tax neutral and fully compliant in all international regulations and agreements on AML, transparency and so on. This is recognised pretty much by every body that matters. Tax haven we may have been long ago, but only crime programs such as NCIS perpetuate that myth, not based on facts. If they wanted facts they would mention inscrutable companies and bank accounts in Delaware or Nevada. You cannot open a bank account here without jumping through ever increasing layers of regulation.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Seamen used to get taxed and even some men even up till they were 18 in Cayman, know your history bobo.




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    • Better CI says:

      I agree unfortunately ever project ever done in Ci was object to by people who have no vision thus the reason they are not sucessful. Projects objected to include Glass house, new Government building.ORIA airport terminal expansion in the 80s, Dr Horter Hospital,
      Even opposition to the Ritz Cartlon check the hansards and the court for Humphy but now praise the hotel. The Esterley Tibbetts road expansion.The list is too long to mention.
      These projects now distinguish the Ci as modern upscale country/ territory from other islands. You want to reduce the cost of living well the governmnent is trying




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  16. Anonymous says:

    We shouldn’t be trying to cater to cruise ships packed with cheapskate rednecks and riffraff who have no money to spend! We need to build a port to cater to mega yachts. How many yachts are registered in Cayman but have no where to dock when they come to our shores? It is beyond me that our government are that slow that they can’t see where the real money is! Create a port where mega yachts can stay over night and make it easy for their billionaire owners to come ashore and spend $$$$$$$. And do it in a way that doesn’t destroy the GT underwater environment!

    We don’t want our beaches over run with thousands of people on budget holidays with no money to spend when they get here! They will only ruin the experience for the stay-over visitors! Try using your brains for once CIG and keep Cayman exclusive!!




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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Western Caribbean not exactly overrun with mega yacht or on the top 10 list of billionaire yacht owners destinations. Just because their yachts are registered here doesn’t mean they ever have to drop an anchor here. Long way here form the Eastern Caribbean, even further from the Med, and for what exactly…




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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe they don’t come here because we can’t accommodate them? Cayman is the jewel of the Caribbean, build it and they will come.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Hotels and airport, yes. Keep it a jewel.




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        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          Maybe they don’t come here because its a long way away from any other attractions, whereas in the Eastern Caribbean they can cover a variety of islands with different scenery and attractions in a small cruising distance, and with a superyacht consuming 300-500 litres per hour the price of fuel here and the transit distance is not an inconsiderable sum. Whole concept of yachting is to cruise, see new places , enjoy new experiences. If you want to sit still in one place damn sight cheaper and quicker just flying here and taking a suite at the Ritz or the Kimpton. Berthing is pretty down the list of considerations when planning a superyacht itinerary.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The Cayman Islands hasn’t made any conscientious effort to make it easier or safer or draw in private yachts and sailers. It is beyond shameful. The sailers that arrive in Cayman still don’t know what the clearing procedure is, or where they are allowed to anchor, because those instructions are squirreled away on obscure websites and our Port closes for the night. There is very limited, and often obsolete information on the web-integrated GPS systems used and relied upon by 100% of these visiting Captains. In many cases they must resort to finding online sailing guides – many of them decades obsolete, or just plain wrong. DOT/Immigration/CI Port have no clue, and nobody thinks it’s their job to talk to captains, update this info, and roll out the welcome mat for their often multi-million dollar traveling circuses. Marking our boat channels and North sound marine hazards with $20 solar lights might be a prudent idea too! Someone needs to be fired!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!!!!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      ” cheapskate rednecks and riffraff?” Your comment deserves to be posted on TripAdvisor. CaymanKind at its best. Shame on you.




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      • Anonymous says:

        True tho isn’t it!

        Please do post it on trip advisor! I would be so happy if cruise lines all pulled out of Cayman. They’re filled with trash!




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      • Anonymous says:

        You want to be truthful, or be good?
        I bet your one of those people who call the Lion ‘bad’.
        Shame is on you – Truth is a double edge blade son.




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    • Veritas says:

      Forty years ago a popular saying was that the cruise ship passengers come ashore for the three “P’s”. A postcard, a Pepsi and a pee. How little has changed!.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The only thing that’s changed is they don’t buy postcards anymore. They just take a snap on their smart phone after the first two P’s and off they go!




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Build a longer runway and bring in the stayovers-80% of spending here comes from them with far less people doing damage to Cayman. 2,500,000 cruise ship people just producing 20% of the income, clogging up traffic, filling the shop owners pockets…very few owners…some with conflicts…only in Cayman




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention the additional garbage that will be generated…
      Maybe sort out the dump first?




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Enlarged modern cargo facility is NOT THE key to the ongoing economic development.

    It is THE KEY to economic dependency. Heavy dependence on tourism which can be easily impacted by climate change, natural or man-made disasters, outbreaks of pandemic diseases or global financial crisis.

    They speak as if country’s revenue stream would never get interrupted.

    Not a word on Contingency Plans. Maybe there is one, I don’t know. Does anyone know?

    Small islands face high economic vulnerability to economic and natural shocks beyond domestic control.
    High import content and dependence on a narrow range of export product, excessive dependence on international trade and hence vulnerability to global developments,
    With their fragile ecosystems, they are also highly vulnerable to domestic pollution factors and globally-induced phenomena, such as sea level rise.

    WHAT IF, any of the above happens in no particular order? How ready this country is to survive and for how long? Remember 9/11? All planes were grounded for 3 full days. What if cargo ships stop coming?

    Power outages, Fuel Depot fire have shown people of this country how prepared this country is for disasters, big or small.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Eejits




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Go ahead and build the Dock, don’t listen to fools, if we listened to fools, we would not had the jets Airport and the cargo dock that we have now.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone had ‘Jets Airport’ since the late 1950’s… Cayman had no decision in the matter …….fools or no fools.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Money going into the pockets which don’t need it and unnecessary destruction of the environment.




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  22. Veritas says:

    I am waiting to hear how many cruise lines they have lined up offering to fund all this development.




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    • Anonymous says:

      as near to zero as one can get, I suspect




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      • Anonymous says:

        12:02 It’s exactly zero. Not one cruise line has expressed any interest in getting involved in this project. They’re all looking elsewhere, some of their mega-ship itineraries actually bypass Grand Cayman now because they make more money at sea.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Cruise ships don’t make more money at sea 1.53pm. I have been on plenty of cruises and there are very few shops on there which are top price, your meals which are available 24hrs a day inclusive of drinks are all paid for before you get on the ship. The idea of a “cruise” is to experience each island meaning getting OFF the ship not staying on! Otherwise, what’s the point. People are glad to get off. There’s nothing so boring than being on a ship and not seeing sight of land.




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