Cruise sector receives another serious blow

| 09/03/2020 | 28 Comments
Cayman Neww Service
Cruise ship visits Grand Cayman (file photo)

(CNS): As the cruise tourism business becomes increasingly associated with the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the sector has sustained another blow likely to effect its bottom line. The United States government has issued a travel warning advising American citizens not to travel on cruise ships, especially if they have underlying health conditions. The warning is based on what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said is an increased risk of people getting the virus on board a ship.

“In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking,” the advisory stated. “In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.”

The US State Department warned that while the US has been able to evacuated some passengers, repatriation cannot be relied upon as a way out for US citizens on ships under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.  

“This is a fluid situation,” the officials said. “CDC notes that older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.”

US citizens with cruise trips booked are advised to contact their cruise line companies directly for further information.

Meanwhile, here in Cayman, some ships have relocated further south in George Town Harbour because of the continuing think plumes of smoke from the burning dump. The ships are, however, remaining in the port as scheduled because Spotts cannot be used today due to the weather.

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, with more than 107,000 people known to be infected and around 3,800 people having died, the virus is also causing markets to tumble, fuelling panic and placing huge numbers of people in quarantine, including entire regions in some countries, with Italy being the worst hit western country.

Against this backdrop, the cruise industry is suffering particularly and many believe it may be hard for it to truly recover. With shares plummeting, ports refusing entry, passengers cancelling and cruise lines’ already dubious reputation over many issues worsened, the sector has at the very least passed its peak and appears set for serious and possibly irreversible decline.

For Cayman, with the premier already admitting that the pier project here is likely lost, the tourism sector can take comfort that our exceptional marine environment has been saved. When the overnight tourism business bounces back, as it too will be affected in the short term, we will have retained one of the jurisdiction’s unique selling points, keeping us well placed for the recovery.

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Category: Business, Health, Medical, Tourism

Comments (28)

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  1. WhataboutCarnival says:

    Can someone tell me if CayMas or Botabano will be cancelled now?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Still want that port???

  3. Anonymous says:

    I almost hate to admit it but I’m very impressed by the State Department’s response here. It seems that for once the vested interests involved couldn’t dumb this down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    KARMA – They threaten they will stop coming / Now, U.S. government threatens their numbers…

    Meanwhile all this time, we should have been building trade relationship with neighboring countries in the event they stop coming.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am so sick of people in their ivory towers, nice homes and SUV’s gloating about the demise of an industry that many families rely on for their livelihood. we are taking a direct hit from this, those guys – nothing changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cruise business is one of the most destructive and polluting businesses on this planet. We have seen the videos of them dumping garbage at sea, of their tactics to induce people to spend more, little of which ends up in local pockets, be it here or elsewhere.We should have nothing to do with it. Find a more sustainable business to become involved in, instead of defending the undefendable.

      • Grammatikos says:


      • Anonymous says:

        So have you given up driving your SUV or truck and flying off on vacations? And have you ensured that wherever your house is located that no mangroves were destroyed or ocean reclaimed or canals dug for your boat? If you are in financial services how do you feel about Tax Justice Network saying you are helping to steal money from the mouths of starving children to make rich people richer. I suspect you are very loose in talking about other people but could nothing about the work that you do or your impact on the environment. Shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      Relying on highly vulnerable industry, and it was and is vulnerable not just to epidemics, is not wise. I understand for some it is all you can do at this time, whatever you’re doing. But if you are healthy and willing, getting new skills is never too late.
      In times if crisis your country mus have reserves to assist people who want to re qualify to meet current market demands.

      Your country would soon need public bus drivers and mechanics; apply for education and training assistance and get certification.
      Your country would need experienced workforce in waste manage and recycling; get ready by going oversea for experience.
      Aging population would require many caregivers, transportation etc. . Here is you opportunity to qualify and or start your own business by providing such services.

      Someone I know just passed the Bar. She is 80 years old.
      Another got CPA license and she is 55.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s your stupidity that relied on an industry which relies on one of the most polluting and destructive operations on the planet. You did this because of a mentality that promotes self entitlement over what is good for the environment and sustainable tourism product.
      The numbers of total idiots that run Sandbar operations is a prime example of how you have allowed any fool to set up a boat tour product, manned largely by the uneducated, ill informed and many foreigners whose motivation is based on commercial greed or simple gratuities to boost appallingly low wages.
      Almost every store in GT is staffed by work permit holders, as are the hotels, restaurants and bars. Basically, you abrogated your responsibility to these islands in order to line your own pockets, and don’t give me the old ‘Caymanian jobs for Caymanian people’ because you don’t have the population, the education or the motivation to change a corrupt and broken system which is now going to go through a serious period of correction.
      This has nothing to do with SUV’s or any other blinkered bigotry you care to quote, it has everything to do with self interest, corrupt and incompetent politicians focusing on the wrong target. God knows there are enough Caymanians who drive SUV’s and live in a world of ivory towers and little regard for their fellow citizens.
      Perhaps you should direct your anger against those who deliberately designed this selfish atmosphere of greed and demand a total re-think on your tourism product. The vast amount of disposable wealth, willingness to spend and travel is held by the middle classes, not the super rich or the wife beater shirt wearing working classes on cruise ships from middle America.
      The United Kingdom and Europe have a combined population of 500 million plus, many of whom travel extensively, but CIG has failed to encourage airlines to break BA’s monopoly and reduce fares.
      Stop whining about an industry based on the wrong product and work harder to implement lasting and sustainable change for all.

      • Anonymous says:

        We come from the UK to holiday in Cayman every year for 2 or 3 weeks, although the increasing amount of rubbish and destruction of the natural environment is making us re-think this as prices aren’t being justified by the experience any more. Other Brits generally look at the cost of a holiday in Cayman (plus 12 hour flight from London) and immediately decide to book an all-inclusive on another island!

    • Anonymous says:

      Better stop reading CNS then

  6. Anonymous says:

    people have such short memories, After Ivan the island was celebrating when the first ship arrived, providing much need work and income for suffering families.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and 50 years ago you could not move here for mosquitoes, should we also go back to that? Ivan was 16 years ago…time moves on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds to me that those who are opposed to the cruise business or cruise piers are the ones living in the past. Drag yourself into the 21st century where there are different types of jobs for all kinds of abilities.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that many of the suffering families relying on the industry are from elsewhere. Indeed the overwhelming majority are from places like Jamaica and India. Caymanians hardly benefit and the costs to Cayman (and Caymanians), and to our much more lucrative stay over Tourism, are enormous.

      • Anonymous says:

        More Caymanians benefit directly from cruise tourism than have jobs in stayover. Its in the hotels that you see the Indians and Jamaicans and more – certainly more so than in cruise. You need to get out more and walk with regular people.

        • Anonymous says:

          Simply untrue. Walk around the jewelry and other stores in GT. Deal with the taxi drivers and tour and water sports operators. A large percentage sure as hell ain’t from here. Mac might have given some of them status – but that is not enough for me to support an industry that frequently does Cayman more harm than good.

  7. Anonymous says:

    greed going make this place infested with coronavirus😨

  8. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer industry. Let’s all hope this entire business is economically crushed and forced to restructure. Smaller ships, fewer passengers with emphasis on quality of vacation rather than the cattle-car experience, respect for environment, follow laws, work to enrich destinations as true partners rather than third-world fools to exploit and destroy.


    • Anonymous says:

      If the industry is crushed, we have so many people on island that will be laid off. I worry about my friends in tourist-related jobs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I personally think that the Universe was just sick and tired of the way we have been treating its gift of earth and that it is sending clear messages that we better get it together once and for all!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Canadians are also officially advised by their Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Teresa Tam, to avoid all cruise travel for the foreseeable.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is China up to?
    When they released the Coronavirus, the Rioting against Communism in Hong Kong stopped abruptly. And that video shown snapping the lady’s neck when they pulled her out of a vehicle??? Are they angered about their bad publicity in building ports?

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