Cruise petitioners drumming up support this weekend

| 31/08/2018 | 42 Comments

Cruise ship in George Town

(CNS): Following the launch this week of the campaign to begin a people-initiated referendum for the Cayman Islands cruise berthing project, organisers will be out and about this weekend collecting signatures. Registered voters will be able to sign the formal petition at various locations in and around George Town. Described as a grassroots initiative by concerned citizens, campaigners believe the proposed facility is a matter of national importance that should be decided by the people.

Government is moving forward with the controversial project, claiming the cruise lines will stop calling on Grand Cayman if we do not develop piers, but just this week Carnival confirmed that Grand Cayman is on the itinerary of one its mega-ships for another season.

On Thursday Carnival said the Carnival Vista will re-position to Galveston, Texas from Miami next month but the ship, which carries almost 4,000 passengers, will still operate a seven-day western Caribbean cruise, calling at Grand Cayman. The Horizon, another large ship, will also be cruising into Cayman this winter.

The petitioners, who oppose the project, hope that they can collect the 5,288 signatures from registered voters to force government to hold the public ballot and make the information necessary for people to decide public.

“We call on our government to act with transparency towards its people, in the best interest of our country and all its citizens and residents, and to make full disclosures of all pertinent information relating to the proposed Cruise Berthing Facility to date, including full disclosure of the Final Business Case Study, an updated Environmental Impact Assessment and other studies and reports,” the petitioners have said.

The details of the modifications to the original design as well as the proposed cargo facilities, projected costs and financing model have not yet been revealed and the public needs to see this information to make an informed decision at the ballot.

To support the people-initiated referendum petition, residents and those not yet registered to vote, including Caymanians under 18, can sign a general petition. However, campaigners are urging those who are eligible to register as a voter to do so before the 1 October quarterly register update deadline.  Those who register by then would be eligible to vote from January 2019.

Currently, the petition is available at Barcam ESSO in Red Bay, and Pure Art and Cathy Church’s Photo Centre on South Church Street. Petition signing will be available this Saturday at Hurley’s in Grand Harbour from 8am to 4pm, Centennial Towers, Countryside, Four Winds Esso and other locations.

If you would like to assist with collecting signatures, please contact email Visit the Cruise Port Referendum Cayman Facebook page for more details.


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Comments (42)

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  1. CAYMANGIRL says:

    Mark my words. If we go ahead with this project, we will live to regret it. There is such a thing as “killing the goose which laid the golden egg”. Sometimes you can be too greedy. If you cannot walk the streets of George Town now due to the many cruise shippers, what will happen with the Mega ships? Will they have to build a separate area for residents to walk and get around? Not to mention the damage that could be done to the coral, etc., etc. Remember the Tatoush? Some rich man’s yacht that did a lot of coral damage.

    We’re fooling ourselves in the name of the almighty dollar. But that will come back to bite us some day. The economy will not crash, in spite of what some say. People will still want to come here. They’re coming now, aren’t they? We have had the best tourist season in a long time, due in part to the hurricanes elsewhere last year. Hotel rates are at an all- time high. What more do we want? Let the local Caymanians in on some of this prosperity before we go ahead and kill the goose and ourselves in the process. I’ve also heard we are opening up ourselves to future hurricane damage if we dredge this port.

    You decide.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello… Austin… You there?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The past two elections caymanians have given the government a mandate to built the cruise piers but we still have self interest groups trying to stop this very much needed project, they will not be successful this time. We getting our dock so get over it you selfish bunch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hah! Amazing…so people with real concerns for Caymans future and sustainability, heightened by the EPA being thrown off the board don’t count? Yes, we are so selfish we want a great Cayman for all and not just the few misers in town.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s no way they will get the numbers. They can’t even get that high recruiting non voters

  5. Anonymous says:

    If they didn’t get at least half the numbers they need this weekend they’ll never get a referendum.
    I stopped by Hurley’s and it hardly looked like they had any traction.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Government has been quite clear about where it is at with the project. The environmental impact assessment has been completed. It was deemed that if the piers were longer, it would require less environmental harm, so they are requesting longer piers from the project bidders and have accepted that this will cost more.

    There is no need for another environmental impact assessment. The environment out there has not changed.

    they have also been very clear about the fact that the reason there is no final design yet is because this is the part of the project that is currently in the procurement stage. A company has yet to be hired to do the design, therefore there is no final design. this is all quite clear.

    The Ministry has said that in November they will have chosen their preferred bidder and then they will start contract negotiations with that bidder. Once the contract is signed, the next step would be the design. I am guessing here, but I would think that is still several months away, so everyone needs to hold their horses until the design is ready for viewing and then we can have a reasonable debate about it. When they do the design, they are going to be looking at the EIA.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love how you think the EIA is valid when the design has not been settled

      The EIA can only be accurate if the plans remain the same (which they are not )

      Hence a new EIA is necessary for new plans it’s pretty simple

    • GT Voter says:


      The Kirkbots, a ppm loyalist or Fountainhead the PR agency retained by the pro-port and ppm government to handle the advertising campaign are likely responsible for this post which is full of half truths and spin.

      They are being paid to try and deflect from the main issue and are providing information from the 2015 Plan.

      The public must be provided with the updated information based on the 2018 plans and designs.

      What exactly does the government have to hide? Why are they paying advertising agencies to deflect and confuse the issues instead of properly educating the public?

    • Anon says:

      The design has changed significantly since the EIA in 2015. The EIA must be updated to take account of the significant design changes before any decisions can be made, or before any costs or benefits can be accurately weighed.

      The original design did not include Cargo expansion at all. This will require significantly more dredging in the south of the harbour and very close to shore and Eden Rock.

      The EIA must be updated and the results made public and subject to national discussion before moving forward with this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why remove the DOE from the committee if there is nothing to hide on the Environment…they should be telling us what the issues are exactly, but the very people who can do that are being silenced..

  7. Anonymous says:

    The dock can easily be built so it’s a fish and lobster habitat as well. What ecowackjobs won’t admit is that marine life love man made structures. This could easily be built to be a lobster amd grouper farm at the same time .

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, but the fish and lobsters don’t like being squished by hulls and chopped by propellers, and the coral doesn’t like all day shade.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fish and Lobster farmed in Diesel, Oil and Gas, oh my!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Won’t waste my ink on this. Read the EY report and build the dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a bunch of idiots. Not one REAL Caymanian objecting against the Cruise Dock. I heard Ezzard on the radio on Friday with some nonsense about losing the Balboa dive site, well last time I dove the Balboa site in 1983 there wasn’t enough of the wreck left to take home in my pocket. Where in the world do you see dive sites in the middle of a commercial harbor? Caymanians beware, all these people that protesting against the cruise pier have no ties to this island and will go back home when the economy crash and laugh at us. We need to get on with the construction of the cruise piers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Look Kermit, I am a real Caymanian and I am objecting against the cruise dock. Oh and guess what, the economy will not crash if we don’t build the dock. Stop being an alarmist. F’n muppet.

        – Muppet Hunter

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      If you won’t waste your ink , would you then use your brain and see why Cayman don’t need a cruise ship pier. About the EY report, that was paid for by the one’s who wants to build the pier . So do you see anything wrong with that report ?

  9. Anonymous says:

    These poor people really need to get their facts straight, they don’t even know what’s considered a mega ship, we have been missing the first 2 mega ships from royal Caribbean since 2009 and 2010 , people already had their say during the election the talk of building a port is not new , UDP or PPM it has been on the table for a longtime so hopefully this government will get the much needed cruise port built

  10. Anonymous says:

    Vista and Horizon are not the mega ships!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, they are, according to Minister Kirkconnell- in his ministerial statement of October 2015, he says “Without berthing facilities the Cayman Islands will not be in the consideration set when itineraries for these ships are being crafted and we will continue to be bypassed as is currently the case with the Oasis ships. As a consequence, our cruise industry will become severely impacted if Carnival Cruise Line and others reduce their calls in port because we cannot service the new ships in their fleet they are transitioning to.”

      Vista is already visiting (has been doing so for a few months now) and Horizon starts next month. Quite happy to do so without berthing, and Carnival intends this to continue in the future.

      So, does this affect the Outline Business Case? We simply do not know, and that may be of concern given that Carnival is our biggest supplier and that cruise-tourists only account for 24% of total tourist inward investment…

    • Anonymous says:

      Check your pants. They are on fire.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Go cayman. Can civil servants sign the petition?. Because civil servants are kept tied down and shut down most of the time from their rights by the higher ranking civil servants. So most of the time the civil servants are afraid to participate so they just withdraw themselves in nervousness and fair.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 5:03pm , very good point . That is something that should be addressed with the AG Mr Manderson , Civil Servants should always have the rights of how to cast their vote how they see fit to, regardless if they are voting for a Candidate or a referendum . They shouldn’t be prohibited /intimidated in anyway . Could that be one of the reasons why the government is trying to make everyone Civil Servants ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ron let me give you some much needed advice. Do you research before commenting. The DG published comprehensive guidance which sets out clearly that the vast majority of civil servants can sign petitions.

        • Ron Ebanks says:

          Anonymous 2:38pm , can you direct me to when and where Mr. Manderson made that statement , or policy ? One can say anything after he learns to talk .

        • Anonymous says:

          . . . then they become Redundant and are fired?
          SCARED to sign, many would be.
          Ain’t easy finding employment for a Caymanian, gainful or not. SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        Ridiculous comment Ron.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Round 1 kirkbots vs tenderbots

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would be interested to hear what non-voters think….any resident living on the island, as well as the cruise ship passengers themselves. I don’t care what the cruise companies want as ultimately their success depends on bookings.

    I have lived here 15+ years and have always said that I would never do a cruise which stopped in Cayman. In high season it looks like a cattle drive and cannot be enjoyable for the crowds or the residents which have to put up with traffic delays. We should be limiting the number of ships to a maximum of 4 per day and even that is pushing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry… GREED PREVAILS…

    • Anonymous says:

      of course you dont mention the cattle drives when the cruise ship goes to other countries.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, let’s be like Mexico and Jamaica.

      • Anonymous says:

        ok I’ll mention what I experienced on a 10 day southern and eastern caribbean cruise a few years ago. Started at Port Everglades then a day at sea and first stop in Aruba where we were the only ship in port. On to Bonaire where we were the only ship in port. Then to Grenada with 2 ships in port and after that to Dominica with just us again. After that it was off to St Thomas where we had a couple of ships in the south port… clue about the north port. Finally a day at the cruise line’s island in the Bahamas before returning to Florida.

        No cattle drive, high season, and a great experience. I meant what I said. If I were on a cruise which stopped in Cayman I would stay on the ship, something a lot of repeat cruisers do. The government likes to highlight the number of passengers on a ship and I would be very interested to know the number that actually gets off the ship. I agree a dock would make it easier to get off but when I see the crowds in town with 6 ships in port and tendering there is no way I would want to get off with a dock and the same number of ships here. The same duty free options exist in other islands. Other islands have beaches, dolphins, tortuga ‘caribbean’ rum cake, and souvenirs made in China.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am an annual Snow Bird.
      I say NO DOCK!
      p.s. I stayed on the ships whilst ported in GT.
      I was surprised each of the 4 cruises I took there, how many people stay onboard and not because of Tendering. I ask. Many do not like the hords of people infiltrating the small town, others Sunbathe, others care about the quantity of ‘free’ food onboard, others have already been there, etc.
      The Ship informs to not purchase Jewelry, Watches, Leather Goods and the like on Grand Cayman because the prices are outrageous compared to other Ports-of-Call which may be different on each Itinerary.
      *That information can also be easily researched online on many sites other than
      Trip Advisor.
      We live in a Google world, the Internet is at our fingertips.
      What are these CIG supporters thinking?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a Caymanian and I have been on cruises that stop here in Cayman and staff on the ship warned me and my wife against buying goods in Cayman because of the price. The same people we want to come here are telling their passengers not to buy jewelry in Cayman, I wonder how the Kirk masters feel about that and they are the ones wanting this new dock. At the time I bought a watch off the cruise ship that I always wanted and was saving for because Kirks had it literally twice the price. I bought jewelry from other islands because the prices were so much cheaper. The same people we are trying to please undermine us on a daily basis.

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