Job fair allegations unfair, says VIIP

| 31/10/2019 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service
T.J. O’Sullivan, Director, GTO Compliance, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, gives a presentation to Cayman tour operators

(CNS): Representatives from the Verdant Isle Port Partners, the preferred bidders on the government’s proposed cruise berthing project, said allegations that the job fair they hosted this week was a ploy to persuade voters to back the controversial project was unfair. But making it clear they wanted to stay out of the political fray, they said the fair was about engaging with the community to let them know what work was available and was all part of the information people had wanted.

Organisers said that around 100 people visited the fair, which lasted for around three hours on Wednesday afternoon, but they were not all job seekers. Several dozen people also attended presentations by the cruise lines and one-on-one meetings with executives about how they can sell their excursions to the cruise companies.

The companies that form part of the consortium, including local construction firm, McAlpine, and the marine engineers, Orion Marine Group, who will offer the first vacancies for the project, had lists of the types of jobs available and were there to talk generally. Candidates were asked to sign up for mailing lists or submit resumes rather than given the opportunity to make an application there and then for a specific post.

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Those working in the sector who were seeking to sell trips via Royal Caribbean and Carnival, the two cruise lines partnering on the project, were given a presentation outlining what the cruise ships want before they will sell their offerings, with the long list of expectations, ranging from top dollar insurance cover to unique experiences.

The cruise lines have been critical of trip offerings in Cayman and have warned that, even with the piers, ships will not stay longer in port here until operators offer more interesting and attractive excursions. However, some local tour companies have said there is little incentive for them to be creative, given the ongoing problems they have had for years of cruise ships squeezing their margins and playing operators off against each other.

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Category: development, Jobs, Local News

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Grand Cayman has been my much loved home for 40 years.
    But most regular cruisers have already been here. How many times can you get excited about picking up a stingray?

    The answer is the same as how many times do you want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower or marvel at the Last Judgment at the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
    Been there, done that. Next.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need any more hot air – got enough of that from Austin and crew earlier this week.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s surprising VIIP has walked into this fray as they have, they’ve played this game before. With the current brand of politics and misinformation pitching an almost easy voting majority against the Govt surely VIIP would be steering away from stunts like this until the local issues are resolved. The cruise lines already have a questionable reputation in the press with regards to environmental impact, pollution, etc etc, – why would you want to add posturing and possible intent of siding with a Govt trying to influence the electorate against the majority of its concerned people. – Vote NO and VIIP please walk away for now

  4. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would they go ahead with a job fair before the Referendum vote is taken if they were not trying to manipulate the outcome? This project if it goes ahead will take a few years before they have any additional jobs on offer ( if any) therefore why the rush to a job fair? Think about that!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is the virtual refrigerator promise. This is a totally dishonest practice. Mr. Bayley, surely you have a modicum of decency and if so, please go away. We do not want your port. Our politicians are going mad with greed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was talking to a multigenerational Caymanian today who has been involved in the tour business for many years. No invite by any of the cruise companies to discuss opportunities and were rebuffed when they asked if they could meet to discuss.They were informed that all the future tours for the additional cruise passengers are already agreed in principle with a handful of tour operators. So much for the trickle down of revenue for locals. That’s one big family with multiple connections who are now saying no. Alden, be a statesman and admit you are wrong this time. People will respect you for a brave decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? You think he doesn’t already know? Just one of the deals my friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      5.57pm So the cruisers admitted that they will be bringing bigger loads meaning bigger ships.

      • Anonymous says:

        They stated that recently saying 2.5 million plus. 600 K more people to accommodate in existing or new attractions. Crazy.

  7. Anonymous says:


    “Preferred Bidder…..” first paragraph up top!!

    Do they think the ink is dried on this contract!?

    Why are VIPP spending their time at meetings, on radio junkets, and hosting a job fair when they are nothing more than ONLY “preferred bidders”?

    I wouldn’t trust this government with a pair of fishing rods.

    Why would a huge company be wasting its time when there is a good chance this is not going to go in their favour, in more ways than one?!

    China Harbour is still waiting in the wings.

    Joke will be on them and then they’ll see first hand how it feels.

    Is the CIG putting up room and board for VIPPs while they are here?

  8. Anonymous says:

    In the news, Royal Caribbean outlines the first of its ‘ New destination concept experiences customized for cruise guests ‘ in Antigua.


    It is not difficult to read between the lines of them saying ( on one hand) that Cayman has an outdated tourism product , with the veiled threats of little in the way of extended stay-overs with the ships unless : ” until operators offer more interesting and attractive excursions ” as above. It is not a coincidence that these two comments were casually dropped at the same time , with the latter getting a repeat in this job fair article.

    I’ll let the more creative thinkers amongst us look ahead into the crystal ball of the future.

    The dock gets built , Cayman is then joined at the hip like a Siamese twin to the cruise companies , who will then be allowed to establish their own ‘ Cayman Experience ‘ ashore , complete with all their own interests running & staffing the thing . It would be a true wonder to see how many local jobs for Caymanians in established water-sports & tour operators get a piece of that pie.

    Possibly it is a question that needs to be asked ? Has the Cayman Islands Government made a promissory offer to the cruise companies to establish & own a [Future] land based tourism attraction for cruise passengers?

    • Anonymous says:

      @5:27. You are absolutely correct. The cruise lines will establish their own tours complete with their own busses with branding all over. Our poor local operators will be left with bank loans for their vehicles that the can’t repay. Unfortunately I’m not sure many of them can see this coming. SAD!

      • Anonymous says:

        The Premier and his government should have put the energy they are expending on fighting the Referendum on assisting and forming private/ public partnerships to create some new facilities and experiences for the tourists that we can comfortably accommodate. However instead they are only thinking of coralling thousands more to wander around George Town or sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and going nowhere on the beautiful double decker buses that will be provided by the Verdant Isle buses.

    • Anonymous says:

      It already started when they brought in all of the new snorkel equipment on one of the ships for their new tour operation. Duty free…
      Anyone know the Cayman family that backed that one?

    • Beth says:

      Well said and sadly I believe you are correct.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Kimpton had a job fair too…and Caymanians wanted that, but guess what, go see if you can find one Caymanian working there now..

    I really don’t understand Caymanians in general. These promises are made over and over by large scale developers and now the cruise lines and we all know it is just a ploy to sooth over the natives and the government so that they can get their schemes going..

    As far as this one, who the hell holds a job fair when you don’t even know whether you can provide the job you are toting??…by the way why could you not apply for specific jobs there and then…Something stinks and it wasn’t the dump that evening!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because you hold a job fair, then you tell Immigration you tried really hard but no Caymanians applied, then you get your bulk WP grants so you can bring in really cheap labour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Margaritaville was advertising their jobs on the radio in Toronto and had a job fair here with the Toronto Cayman DOT reps !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      4:11 pm– Ease up friend! There are plenty of Caymanians working at the Kimpton! Without thinking too hard, I personally can ramble off a few in various departments- including HR, Food & Bev, Front Desk and the Spa to name a few.

      I’m not trying to say that I side w/ this Cruise company and their bogus job fair, but please stop with the bashing of other companies and the lack of locals when you don’t even know!!

      • Sunrise says:

        Really, if you can name a dozen local caymanians, I will personally buy you a two week paid vacation wherever you would like to go. Please give me some facts to your comment and I will personally apologize to you with a paid vacation, but we know that you will never be able to provide this valuable information!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          what’s your address, I’ll email you my 12 local Caymanians, along with my destination of choice for that vacation you’ll be buying me!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Best advise; LAY LOW until you get the true green light dingdongs.

    “out of the political fray” But lEt’s HoLd a jOb FaiR For WoRk ThAT iS nOt eVen BeEN apProVeD bY tHe PeOpLe! Really???
    Wah wah wah. Keep a lid on it until the people have agreed to the work proceeding.
    Now you’ve just pissed people off with your arrogance!

  11. Anonymous says:

    All sounded like a charm offensive to me.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Some people you just can’t please. Everyone yelling to know what the jobs are and then they yell when you do what they asked for. Jokers

  13. L.D. says:

    The squeeze is just business. Look around every business squeezes all they can out of customers. The cruise ships squeeze the Caymanians, the Caymanians squeeze the Jamaicans and other labor. The big outlets on the island squeeze us all. Don’t take it personal it is just business.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “they said the fair was about engaging with the community to let them know what work was available”

    Errr… Nothing is available because WE THE PEOPLE haven’t decided if we want a cruise pier yet! If enough people vote yes in the referendum please by all means have your job fair. Until then piss off!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Having a fair before the vote shows complete contempt. The arrogance just makes your blood boil. This government and its cronies really do not care about you – at all! Only the toy model of Cayman that they think Cayman actually is that they love to play with.

    • Anonymous says:

      1;25 INFORMATION before referendum !

  15. Anonymous says:

    I understand the desperation that some may have, and be fooled into believing that they may actually get a job from the “job fair”. But if history is any indication, this is just another supply of hot air.

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