Tenders used for medivac from Oasis class ship

| 13/06/2019 | 79 Comments
Tender boat assists in the medivac from the Allure of the Seas

(CNS): A passenger on a mega cruise ship who was in need of emergency medical assistance was brought to shore on Grand Cayman Thursday with the help of a local tender service, despite government’s continued insistence that these ships cannot use tender vessels. Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas can carry almost 5,500 passengers and more than 2,000 crew on its 18 decks. One of the first large ships to be developed, it triggered the early concerns that the entire cruise industry was investing in these mega ships that could not tender and would need berthing facilities.

But this is not the first time that mega ships that claim they cannot use tendering services have called on Grand Cayman’s port in cases of medical emergencies. In all cases the passengers in need have been taken from the boat directly to the hospital here or flown to other medical facilities overseas without incident.

CNS received pictures of the Caribe Dauntless assisting with the passenger, which demonstrate that claims that a height difference on the ship’s exits prevents tendering are unsubstantiated.

Johann Moxam, one of the organisers behind the Cruise Port Referendum campaign has long said that the government’s various justifications for the cruise berthing project are continually undermined and proved to be false. From the misinformation about passenger spending to the false suggestion that the large ships cannot tender, the myths he said are being dispelled.

“It is fair to say that the story being peddled by the pro-port lobby and government that the Oasis class of ships cannot tender is a myth,” he told CNS. “When we see one of these ships in the harbour today and watch as the tenders provide a safe and secure service to the passenger in need without incident, this strikes at the very core of what government is claiming and again calls into question the entire cruise berthing project.”

In 2015 CNS learned that Royal Caribbean had been in discussion with the government about tendering Allure of the Seas and the necessary security investment and tender upgrades that would be needed, and a presentation was made to the cruise line by the local tender firms. Emails between the parties demonstrated that the issue of tendering is a matter of choice. The larger ships, like any others, can be tendered and a permanent anchor spot also could be found to accommodate them.

As well as tendering for medical emergencies, some of the larger ships use tenders when calling on private islands owned by cruise lines. Others have also stated they are fine with tendering. MSC Cruises will bringing its new 5,714 passenger mega ship to Cayman this year. The fourth-largest cruise ship in the world, the MSC Meraviglia is expected to make its first call here in October.

Already Carnival Vista and the Norwegian Epic, which each carry around 5,000 passengers, are being tendered and operators of the tender service state that if a ship can dock in George Town Harbour, then they are able to offer tendering services regardless of capacity.

See pictures below – click to enlarge

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Category: Business, Health, Medical, Tourism

Comments (79)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You know the sad thing about this referendum? The people who are pushing it so hard really don’t want the cruise ships or stayover tourism. They are not connected to either. Plus they don’t care about local people. They only care about their time in bars and restaurants with their group of friends who all think like they do. Who like music, sports and food like they do. They’re like spoiled children who don’t want to share their toys.
    If everyone was truthful in their group they already know. We showed youtube videos the reefs are dying. But they say no. But in the next breath Global warming is happening. Climate change is upon us. 330 ft ship runs on top of Eden Rock and has to be helped to come off the reef. But that reef is coming back. Well if that reef can come back in such a short time? What are we worried about? Eden Rock was hit by a cruise ship that turned around in the wind on anchorage by Eden Rock. That reef came back. That wasn’t the Cruise ship’s fault they were put there by pilot working for the “Tender” service. Another time when a Northwester was scheduled to come one afternoon another pilot put a Holland America ship anchored in front of Burger King. The ship turned broadside and slapped into Soto Reef central or “burger king reef” the other “name” to help foreign dive masters to find the reef.
    We have to remember only one company benefits from tendering. That company has many other companies. They have been a very wealthy company for more then 40 years. If they could have offloaded a larger ship like RCCL Allure of the Seas they would have. These larger ships are the class of people we need. They are like the Ritz of the sea. Sunset House is not the Ritz. They are like the older ships coming here. Someone will offer a large enough price that will sell the property. The children of today are not like the children of old.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know you would have gotten more attention to your message if you had not taken the opportunity to degrade people. In a democratic society everyone has the opportunity to speak their minds and there is nothing wrong with being critical but to resort to the this type of talk is nothing short of insulting and generalizing everyone to suit your needs is wrong..

    • Anonymous says:

      If the commercial margins are so appealing in ferry operations, why aren’t there more competing Caymanian-owned and operated tendering businesses? I think you’ll find the problem is not necessarily with the lone monopolistic operator and connected marina cronies, but with the poorly-negotiated and long redacted liner deals made by successive regimes to subsidize passenger arrivals while the CI Port sinks deeper and deeper into the red. Time to shine the light in on all of this.

  2. Bertie : B says:

    Hope the passenger is ok and received proper treatment to head home . They will remember Cayman as going above and beyond to assist them .

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had a Cruise 4 weeks ago on the Allure of the Seas and I would hate to think of having to disembark by tender. personally I would not have came ashore.
    I wonder how many ” NO FOR PORT ‘ have cruised on a Super cruise ship and experience the size and number of passengers in and around the ship?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have never ever heard the argument made that the Oasis ships can’t tender because of a height issue, it is because there are too many people on board and so it takes too long. This really is the height of ridiculousness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you are new to the argument concerning the need for the dock as the height of the departure platform was one of the first reasons government unreasonably implied the ships could not be unloaded by tenders.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you been sleeping??

    • Anonymous says:

      Also debunked: Passenger loading and disembarking time is about the same. The bottleneck is the ship door.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This can also be argued as and example for the port. How long did it take the tender to bring the person to shore for medical attention? Had the ship been at a dock the medical personal would have had immediate access. Hopefully it wasn’t a serious medical condition where the personal quality of life could be permanently affected by any delay in received advanced medical treatment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure about that, when they don’t dock they just stop in the sea and drop their anchor. Docking takes more maneuvering at slower speeds so I would argue they probably both use around the same amount of time or the tender might be quicker as the small boat can dock quicker.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spoken like a civilian who’s never piloted a heavy ship. You think you can just come in full speed, hit the brakes like a car and drop anchor? You still need careful maneuvering, and usually done by a Caymanian pilot.

        • Anonymous says:

          None of the active pilots are caymanian

          • Anonymous says:

            Capt. Banks and Capt. Martin ( both just retired) was Caymanians from Cayman Brac, also Capt Scott, all was pilots for the cruise ships and cargo ships and all 3 are from the Brac

      • Anonymous says:

        I would argue a lawsuit due to victim note being stabilized prior to transport and had a cardiac arrest during transport via tender without specialized trained medical personal and equipment. Who settles that bill tender company or government?

      • alaw says:

        10:00 dropping anchor from a cruise ship is not as simple as you may think.
        You probably think you just have to slam brakes and drop anchor anywhere.
        Or not like a cat boat in the North Sound!

    • Anonymous says:

      misinformation again, – have you ever watched the cruise ship / tendering process ? Early in the morning the tenders are typically waiting for the ships to begin offloading at the deep water mooring, – also most of the time the ships are positioned using GPS without dropping anchor. Compare that to the time required to dock a ship and I’m sure personal quality of life would be affected by your alternative delay.

      • Anonymous says:

        The ships would likely be docked from 6am rather than just arriving 7/8am onwards. Offloading would be ready to go at 8am sharp and finished in 30 minutes. That is what happened on every cruise I have taken where a pier is being used to off load. Then I can arrive back on the pier 5 minutes before departure time and everyone is reloaded quite swiftly.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can you imagine dropping that amount of people in George Town in the height of morning traffic..Try go get some sense..

        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody begins to leave the boat until they have (a) consumed their included breakfast (b) gone back to room to apply sunscreen (c) completed coffee poo. WORC/ HM Customs / Port staff also have to show up. Most passengers begin their day ashore around 10am and are gone by 3pm, and that’s not because of tendering, and not accelerated or otherwise improved with 4 berths.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:25 If the dock was full, they would still have to anchor then be tendered.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kirkbots out in attack mode again!

    • J|) says:

      Bots? Or just a group of Caymanians.. hmm let’s find out.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s bots, paid for by your government.

        • J|) says:

          Right because it couldn’t ever be possible that THE CURRENTLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT, who Caymanians voted for, have support from some people, right?

          Did you vote? Good. That’s your right. But one voice does not determine fate.

          We do.

        • Abyss says:

          We are few but many

    • Anonymous says:

      “People actually agree with this comment that I don’t agree with? Hmm.. could it be that I’m wrong? No, it must be bots.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oasis class ships can’t be tendered huh?? Well there’s that lie debunked!

    • Alex says:

      Quite like saying,

      A pool can’t be drained with a spoon huh?? Well there’s that lie debunked!

      And you would have a point! But you devour sensationalism like this without even considering the throughput!

      CNS I usually respect and love all of your articles but this one seems a bit biased to publish without a comparison of passenger processing rates. Looks a lot like a political stunt to degrade the current government by Moxan and crew so that can start gathering wotes for next election cycle.

      Would a pier offer the same throughput, lesser or greater passengers processed per hour?

      • Anonymous says:

        count in the immigration process and it doesn’t matter how fast you can shoot passengers off the boat.

        • Anonymous says:

          Which immigration process? Have you actually ever been on a cruise? Or are you just regurgitating myths you swallowed from the CPR activists?

        • J|) says:

          A dock is like connecting a hose.

          A tender is like a man running back and forth with a bucket.

          Which own would you choose to out a fire? The bucket because both work but it’s cheaper?

          Let go and join the other 75% of us with our heads on.. Or don’t. Your say, but just remember not all of the 25% who signed the petition will vote no.

          Push harder, CPR group.

      • Alex says:

        I also respect you for publishing a critical comment. It’s commendable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, God forbid they should have been forced to use a fixed dock instead.

    • Anonymous says:

      The lie is stating that the largest ships can’t be tendered. You know better. That’s not what was said.

      The truth is that the cruise companies have stated that they will not tender them on an ongoing basis. And so they pass us by every week.

      Plus taking a few people by tender to shore is not the same as trying to tender thousands.

      Let’s just be factual.

      • Anonymous says:

        “They pass us by” is not a factual assertion. One boat every two weeks during high season is not a “they” plural situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:55 In an emergency Captain Chesley had an OPTION to land an Airbus A320 in
      New York’s freezing HUDSON RIVER, all 155 passengers and crew survived!
      That is what emergency will do!

  8. Rick says:

    As a signatory to the cruise port initiative, I feel betrayed by these dishonest portrayals to the general public. Clearly disembarking one passenger does not equate to 5,500 plus crew and when we have the usual verbiage from Yohann and company, I have to wonder what else was subject to this false analysis.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Seriously???? This is news? Loud stueps

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope the passenger wasn’t from the DRC, Ebola is at an all time high as well as the measles epidemic

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep let’s close the airports as well and live in our bubble. Cause those DRC Ebola victims are everywhere. Especially cruise ships – Those villagers living in rural Congo love nothing more than jumping on transatlantic flights and taking Caribbean holidays.

  11. Anonymous says:

    They can send up a helicopter to the top of mount Everest to save a life if they n Ed to, bit no one is about to start regular trips to the peak outside of extreme circumstances.

    • J|) says:

      I get your point, but it’s actually near impossible. The air up there is simply too thin.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Before those ships were even launched they made it clear that they would not tender, not that they can’t tender, they choose not to, not sure how the government worded it for the people of the island , the ships said from the beginning it would be too time consuming

  13. Call 911 says:

    Back to the drawing board for Alden Moses Joey Who Big Mac and the Kirkbots.
    The story to support this unnecessary project unravels by the day as the public lose confidence in this administration. Call 911

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why do Caymanians like to Kick against almost everything and after it is built they like it ?

    • Anonymous says:

      6:56 just like West Bay road and Dart tunnels forgotten!

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not forgotten. Every time I pass I marvel at how much money talks and xxxx walks.

        • Anonymous says:

          Did you own the land? Another Caymanian had to make the choice to sell it.

          We live in a democracy where you have the right to owning and selling private land.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speak for yourself 6:56pm and 8:06pm. It is not forgotten and not thought all is well liked. Not sure where you got that idea. Just what do you expect people to do about it after the fact??
      I, for one, avoid that roundabout in from of Camana Bay at all costs. And the only reason I go to CB itself is if I just HAVE to see a movie on the big screen and there is very few of those so, I’m good without your zombie mall.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice to see some one with principles- a bit undermined if there is a movie you HAVE to see on a big screen tho. Interesting value set.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:02 in a child explanation the dock will also be after the fact !
        By the way which one of Dart roundabouts did you use to get to CB??

        • Anonymous says:

          I avoid both anything of dart and the roundabout. I don’t go to west bay because of him. If I really need to see a movie I can go to Miami. Otherwise wait for Netflix, Amazon or download.

          Actually I dislike dart so much that if I do go to a mall in the US I make sure that it isn’t owned or managed by dart realty.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, are you really trying to convince the public that because a tender could get one passenger off an Oasis-class ship, or let’s say even half-a-dozen people got on the tender if they were accompanied by cruise officials and/or family and/or friends, that proves there’s no worries with tendering 5,500+ passengers off these ships?

    The representatives of Royal Caribbean and Carnival said very plainly in the public meeting at Family Life Center, they WON’T be calling on Grand Cayman with that size ship if there is not a cruise berthing facility. As far as I remember, neither of those two cruise line representatives actually said they CAN’T tender these ships. They simply won’t put that many of their customers on a single ship through that experience of such a large number of passengers lining up and waiting for a tender, then getting off the ship on to a tender, then off the tender onto a dock, and then having to go through all that again the other way round to get back on board.

    These medical emergencies therefore prove nothing about the realities of whether or not these ships will put Grand Cayman on their itineraries, so please Mr. Moxam and CNS, don’t try to spin these medical evacuation incidents to conjure up some sort of “proof” that Cayman doesn’t need cruise berthing facilities. Who’s really peddling a myth here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Larger tenders. With AC and free WiFi

      • Anonymous says:

        Or just build the damn port and skip the need while upgrading your literal main artery / lifeline / cargo port

    • Anonymous says:

      That is the only ship of that size in the entire Caribbean! Why should we build 4 parking spots for it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yet another example of an Anti-Berther peddling a myth, doing the very thing they are so fond of accusing Government of doing. Saying that Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is “the only ship of that size in the entire Caribbean” might fool a few of the people that were convinced by whatever the CPR activists told them to get them to sign the petition, it might even fool many of the people who signed, but it doesn’t fool people who know the facts or who fact-check such statements.

        Just take a look at the itineraries of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas (starting again December 2019), and Allure of the Seas, and that one-ship myth is debunked. Already there are FOUR ships – NOT JUST ONE, from that one cruise line, with Western Caribbean itineraries in 2019. Not to mention the other large ships anticipated to be coming into the Western Caribbean in future years.

        The shipyards’ order books for cruise ships to be completed 2020 through 2026 show 16 – sixteen! – of the large cruise ships with nominal passenger capacities of 5,000 and above. Of course not all of those will end up on Western Caribbean itineraries, but it would be another myth to pretend that several of those won’t be operating in our area in future years.

        By the way: MSC Meraviglia is nominally classified as a 4,500 passenger ship, and it is no longer the 4th largest cruise ship in the world. Nominal ship size classification for general publicity is usually done by counting double-occupancy capacity, not maximum passenger capacity, the same way as an Oasis-class ship will be classified as a 5,400 (or 5,500) passenger ship based on double-occupancy, and the Helios class LNG ships being built for various Carnival Corporation cruise lines are classified as 5,000 or 5,200 passenger ships although they have max passenger capacities of 6,600. Trying to make an argument from MSC Meravigilia being tendered in Cayman is therefore, yet again, peddling another myth as if it were proof that the ships with significantly larger passenger capacity are going to tender in Cayman.

        “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

        • Anonymous says:

          But are all these ships slated to hit our docks? Or is it only 1-2 using cayman on their itinerary….

      • Anonymous says:

        7:59 this is the year 2019 by the year 2035 we could need 9 parking spots!

    • Johann Moxam says:

      Please see link below:


      Please review the attached emails and communications between the parties in the report.

      Today proves again what is an inconvenient truth that is ignored by pro-port lobbyists, the beneficiaries of government sponsored corporate welfare and Cabinet in this long running debate.

      It’s disappointing that the facts do not seem to matter before major decisions and long term financial commitments are made considering the other pressing priorities our country is facing.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so naive.
      They only use that as an excuse to try to get the dock built but once they come to grips and understand that cayman is not going to build that they will then change their plan and offer the Cayman Islands as a stop for that ship.
      It’s the same thing they do to the tour boat operators to get them to drop their prices and cut each other’s throats so the ship can make a bag of money off of them while they make nothing for the service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you!

    • #wakeup says:

      Every major port in Europe has taken steps to ban Oasis class ships. Venice, Pisa, Barcelona, Santorini, Amsterdam. Oasis class ships are a failed business model. These ships are an answer to a question that no one was asking. Too big. Too many passengers. Unsustainable. Unwanted. The cruise lines want to send Oasis class ships to Cayman because they can’t send them anywhere else. #Wake up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Another myth from the anti-cruise-berthing activists: “Oasis class ships are a failed business model.”

        The shipyards’ order books for cruise ships to be completed 2020 through 2026 show sixteen of the large cruise ships with nominal (double-occupancy) passenger capacities of 5,000 and above.

        That fact is not a sign of “a failed business model.” Quite the opposite.

        Wake up indeed! Look at the facts.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just because they can sell the rooms doesn’t mean the ships will have anywhere to go. If destinations that can accommodate them are choosing not to, we should not destroy our environment so that we can later make the same decision to ban them. We do not know better than those European cities and countries; they have struggled with tourism for centuries longer than we have. We should follow their lead, not the cruise companies.

        • Anonymous says:

          What makes you think the cruise lines want to stop ANYWHERE? They would much rather keep their captive audience onboard spending their money on the ship. You wake up.

      • alaw says:

        11:53 that same record is played when its a plane, a train. a bridge, a tunnel….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Tread lightly, this is a tender subject.

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