Cruise tourism won’t be back before 2022

| 08/01/2021 | 91 Comments

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has stated that the return of cruise ships to the Cayman Islands is not on the government radar “at all” and that the entire cruise sector is unlikely to be back in business until 2022. Responding to CNS at a press briefing on Thursday, McLaughlin said, “The world would have to be a very different place relating to the coronavirus” before the government here would give any consideration to the return of ships to local waters.

“As they have demonstrated, they really are crucibles for the virus because of the way people have to live in such confined spaces and close contact with each other,” the premier said.

“I don’t see cruise tourism resuming… on any sort of significant level before next year,” he said, indicating that he felt that was a worldwide, not just a Cayman, issue. “The cruise ship business is not really within our contemplation at this stage.”

Despite this confirmation, as well as the fact that most ships are not expected to sail until at least March, several of the leading cruise lines continue to sell ‘fake’ cruises that include the Cayman Islands.

At last month’s Cruise Planner conference, industry stakeholders were unable to say when ships will set sail again and when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will approve health protocols that the industry is rolling out on test cruises.

Adolfo Perez, senior vice president of global sales and trade marketing at Carnival Cruises, said the cruise line would start as soon as possible. “Our plan is to start phased-in approach, starting with Miami on Horizon, and then from Port Canaveral and Galveston. Right now, we’re hoping March is the date, but there’s no definitive answer,” he said.

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Comments (91)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    yawn…with proper safety protocols the cruises will back sooner than you think.
    no difference between people stepping off planes or stepping off ships.

  2. Anonymous says:

    News story today –

    Carnival said earlier this month it won’t restart US operations until at least April.

    Today the cruise company said it ended the fiscal year with $9.5bn in cash and has the liquidity to sustain itself through 2021, even if cash coming in remained at near-zero.

    The company said its cash burn rate in the fourth quarter to 30 November was slightly better than it had expected.

    In the third quarter, Carnival had reported a loss of $2.86bn.

    ‘$9.5bn in cash’? Now you know how hard they’ve been screwing us!

  3. CPR saved the PPM... sadly says:

    Over the next year I hope we rethink our relationship with mass cruise tourism and I am certainly not the first to say this but imagine the hot mess we would have been in right now if we had signed onto the Cruise port project in 2019 as was originally intended by the CIG…

    Alden Mclaughlin, Joey Hew, Moses Kirkconnell and Roy Mctaggart have probably spent all of the last year thanking CPR under their collective breath
    I almost wish they had signed the deal against the people’s will and forced it through as they originally intended because 2020 would have been the death of the PPM as a political entity… almost

  4. Anonymous says:

    Holland America, a division of Carnival, is today promoting 7 and 8 day Western Caribbean cruise package itineraries aboard Nieuw Amersterdam, Nieuw Statenham, and Rotterdam, starting at $699pp, with “Georgetown (their misspelling), Grand Cayman” a featured port of call, beginning in October 2021. The COVID pariah death-ship MS Zaandam will also be back in action for Southern Caribbean tours, like nobody will be remembering what happened on that one.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I liked your comment. I don’t like what it portends. I don’t think there is anything good for us in or on the cruise ships. I think if we weighed the small benefit against the cost of dealing with it, we would shake our heads in wonder that we’d ever have allowed it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Legalize gambling. Alden are you glad now Shirley saved your butt? Imagine the dog do do you and Cayman would be in now if you had built the cruise. You owe Shirley & Co. a huge thank you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So glad you didn’t destroy a reef to have this happen

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well hopefully a seat in government isn’t on Alden the Destroyer’s radar either.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If we upgrade to small ships and yachts, why wouldn’t we build docks and piers for them? I hope you don’t think 100 yachts are going to anchor in a marine park off George Town, do you? How many cafes do we need to facilitate 100 plus yachts? Who’s going to pay for making George Town new and different? People are living in a fantasy world. How many jobs will that offer young people? The people who love socialism in the USA want US$15 per hour as a minimum wage. Our cost of living is at least 30% higher, so we should get at least CI$18 per hour unless work permits. Rent is going up during this pandemic. Houses in Cayman no longer are less, cause everyone wants to be a millionaire. When do the workers start pitching their tents like in Los Angeles and San Francisco?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did your head explode at the end of that babbling nonsense?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, no need for such comments. Constructive criticism is always welcome. 7 bil. People have 7 bil. Opinions. Not everyone attended Harvard University or at least Cayman International school.
        Acceptance is the key word here.

    • Anonymous says:


  9. Concerned says:

    I have perviously been a cruise tourist. While I really enjoyed it, I have to say from my personal perspective, I hardly spent anything in the places we visited. The food onboard is really good, plentiful and free. You can take a picnic ashore and on the cruise we were on alcohol was also free. So I would only allow the ships back if they pay a levy. If they don’t I would never have them to the island, they don’t raise enough revenue and are monopolising even the excursions. On a wider point, I would imagine there is a Caribbean tourism ‘group’ amongst the islands/nations? If so, why don’t they enforce this collectively against the cruise industry?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right of course, but Caribbean leadership and businesses are not sophisticated, nimble-thinkers. They have been conditioned to doing it backwards from the earliest days of 1972 – jockeying corruptly between themselves, undermining each other for a buck. Many perennially duped paying-for-influence, via “exclusive VIP” $25,000/yr memberships, to a private south-florida-based lobby group called the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (or at least they think that’s the arrangement). The FCCA is operated by a nepotistic millionaire horse enthusiast, who, for a considerable annual fee, will peddle their newsletter and events featuring close association, or VIP access, to the leadership cabal of surviving (and mostly non-USA domiciled) cruise conglomerates. It’s basically a unidirectional relationship going in the other direction with port destinations, and attractions palming this mafia-like group cash, for their product placements, only to hear back extortive demands to give more or “loose it forever”, in relation to some phantom geographical destination, or liner-owned fairyland private island competitor. There would probably be years of very serious criminal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations if the DoJ were ever interested in giving these arrangements a sniff. Not surprisingly, there are no whistle-blowers among those willingly paying this facilitation “access money”, or there would be a lot of people in jail, and a much more honest game.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That’s the problem with cayman now, they have too much bull is in the pen, I say no cruise ship no airplane keep cayman close forever

    • Sunshine says:

      Forever? Do you know how long forever is? That’s too long! How about just keeping all the air and sea polluters out forever?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can we have a cannabis industry here already !!! Our economy needs a boost and these are the times where thinking out side the box will provide results. 1. Persons can grow 6 plants on their property for a yearly fee for personal use. 2. If someone wants to grow for sale they pay a higher fee and will be subject to inspections. Sale can only be to registered entities. I sure there is a lot more to it that just that but it’s something that can get more money in the hands of the government. But I guess this idea won’t give Clifford the chance to brag about his weed busts

    • Anonymous says:

      Like there’s not enough drink/drug driving already. Look at the separate article on recent road collisions!

      • Anonymous says:

        But Bars can still serve alcohol, and a new liquor store opens every week. What are your ideas for new industries for Cayman since you are obviously smarter than a lot of different countries that have legalized Cannabis and are reaping benefits?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dozens of people in Cayman grow it themselves already, might as well capitalize on it and generate some revenue. Or leave the profits in the black market.. I personally prefer buying local homegrown over the Jamaican stuff that comes in every week.

      6 plants for personal use is too low, considering that the males don’t produce buds that contain most of the medical compounds so they’re uprooted asap.

      I say allow personal growing for personal use for free. All sales besides from a registered, licensed dispensary prohibited. Generate revenue through sales tax and license fees as we do with alcohol and tobacco, except instead of duty tax it’s sales tax.

      • Mr. Clean says:

        Doing drugs is not the way to get ahead. Humans do most everything better when they are not under the influence of drugs. I’m not a do-gooder…. I’m just someone who learned the hard way that all the “popular” drugs will eventually ruin all your plans…..if it hasn’t already. When it does, don’t say, “nobody told me!”

  12. Calos says:

    Can we have the rest of our money that is In our pension.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, cause you’ll have your hand out when you are older and need it. But will probably anyway.

      • Anonymous says:

        We might all need more public handouts if our private assets remain in non-performing, fee-intensive, mis-allocated, illogical and/or mismanaged pension schemes. Let the grownups decide. I’d even sign an indemnity agreement to get the assets moving in the right direction, and at the pace necessary to provide any kind of reliable retirement support. Even with monthly payout maximums, nobody is going to be living comfortably on their private Cayman Islands pension plans. The way the law is designed, one could have funded theirs to $10,000,000 and still be eating the same tins and brands of cat food as their neighbours during their golden years.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Not all of us. I could not have frittered my pension away to the degree it was. Not everybody saves, but I could be much further ahead right now had I not been forced to contribute to this scheme.

  13. Jeff says:

    As a frequent cruise traveller to Grand Cayman I am glad the ships will not visit. Overpriced and unfriendly local people have made it a “throwaway” stop. In other words…stay on the ship. Its common knowledge among frequent cruisers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, true, we cater to a much higher bar of visitors. Not those that throw their trash on the ground and only buy $2 beer.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL 12:47 You were clearly never at Rum Point when the cruise ships were in were you? Trash on the ground, trash doing the tours, trash everywhere and all of it cruise-related.

      • Anonymous says:

        OK, a ‘much higher bar of visitors’ who you also do not want back. And condo owners who you don’t want back – who spend $$$ to support your jobs.

        Be careful of who you tell to stay away, they may just do that.

      • Anonymous says:

        $2 beer wasn’t in Cayman

      • Say it like it is says:

        12.47pm The old adage relating to our cruise sheep is as true today as it was when they first appeared. They only indulge in the 3 “P’s” whilst ashore – a Pepsi, a postcard and a pee.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jeff, it’s no so much that the ships WON’T visit….they’ll be clamoring to get here. It’ll be a case of the ships CAN’T visit….even if Cayman said they could return. They can’t even get protocols figured out to get cleared by CDC. They did some test cruises recently and had lots of positive cases.

      If you think that the VAST majority of cruisers don’t come ashore in Cayman, that is a giveaway that you’ve never even cruised!

    • Anonymous says:

      All of the Caribbean islands once you get away from the cruise ship ports the nativesthrow trash everywhere, I believe they just open their front or back doors and throw the trash in the street or their yards disgusting

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, that’s a cultural thing. A lot of the government’s in the Caribbean keep their constituents dumb on purpose. But that’s a different news story to comment on. Cruise ships are a thing of the past.

      • Anonymous says:

        6.47 am have you ever been to Cayman? That is certainly not what happens here.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Y’all are blabbering like cruises are even operating right now! None, yes NONE, of the cruiselines in the US (where our cruises come from) are operating and have already announced total cancellations through AT LEAST the end of Feb for some and the end of March for others. It’s a long time yet before the CDC is going to clear them to resume sailing!

    It is easy for Alden to say he’s not considering cruises as the decision is basically out if his hands for a while yet! He sounds likes taking a tough stance when it literally is a moot point!

  15. Anonymous says:

    We have no cruise ships coming but we still have the virus it’s coming every day by plane, so what you all suggest we do keep the island locked forever, we are all not rich a lot of people depend on the cruise industry but it seems like some don’t care if others live or not, well guess what we are all going to die at some given time with or without Covid 19 so if the planes can come they are rules for arriving guest they have to be tested the same should apply for cruise tourism

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no cruise industry. Therefore no one can depend on it. Find something else to do. That is the reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess you’ve forgotten all the other reason, pre Covid, why many had issue with the cruise ships here? You’re argument on bringing in virus is only one negative thing.

  16. anon says:

    At last we have stopped the Carnival! Three cheers for the P.M.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As a “regular” tourist I understand that cruises bring in revenue but it’s been so depressing to see the state of places like Rum Point over the past few years after a cruise excursion. Cans and plastic cups everywhere – being on holiday doesn’t mean you can’t clear up after yourself!

    • Anonymous says:

      Rum point doesnt get trashed by tourists. The trash is from Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well… residents. It’s not just Caymanians who trash Rum Point, though some Caymanians are also to blame. But point taken – it’s not cruise tourists who are the problem.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s cruisers when they are in town and the local ignoramus that occupy Sunday funday.

          • Anonymous says:

            We’ve been visiting since 2001 and it’s definitely been a lot worse the past 4/5 years. I can’t see how residents would suddenly have got messier but I do see far more cruise excursions. Also, I’m sorry to have to say after 3 August visits, the “summer season” stay over tourists do seem to be worse offenders for some reason!

  18. Kman says:

    Time to reshape our tourism product by allowing only high end cruise ships and private yachts. Make Central GT car free with hop on hop off trolleys, install more covered areas to have bistros & cafes, bike lanes, more sidewalks green areas with native shade trees and wind sails. Build a large bus depot with only 100 parking(paid)spaces, a jogging park and children’s playground, electric rechargeable & solar stations. Side road parking to be limited to card parking and with meter parking.

    Start a ferry service from GT Dock to West Bay, Camana Bay to Grand Harbour to encourage less traffic on our roads.
    We can either go back to the old days of ram packed or choose to use COVID-19 as a positive reason to change things in the future for the better. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2021

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally someone with sense! Add legalization of cannabis and cayman will be booming

    • anon says:

      Kman – Have you seen what happens when even only two of our roads in central GT are closed for special events- total gridlock.Your ideas sound nice but are impractical. Our current hop on/off bus services carry only one person – the driver, I have never seen any passengers, they prefer to walk.

    • Rick says:

      I like. We should introduce a public transport service such as a monorail or similar, which is electric and runs above the main roads (not new road spaces). You could have a few park&ride points so communities are served without expensive diversions. Miami has one and it works very well. Other cities have such solutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be so beautiful and unique. A great way to revitalize GT. Sadly it will never happen. There is just no vision and even less coordination in Ministries to even pull off a quarter of this plan.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So $1000 monthly stipend to tourism workers for another year? Guess 400M loan that we will all be paying via increased duties across the board come July were calculated to cover civil servant salaries, tourism stipends and of course whatever the new MP salaries and benefits packages will be.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Being in small cruise ships in future. They will fit well with the island’s high end vacation model. It’ll also get rid of the crappy/unsafe fly by night tour operations.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Can’t say I’ve missed them.

  22. Anonymous says:

    CPR took my vote away. The Piers could have been under construction now providing much needed employment.

  23. Anonymous says:

    he don’t care…he is out of a job in may.

  24. Anonymous says:

    what an idiot….and as usual makes zero sense. if safety protocols let air travel tourists in…the same logic should be applied to cruise tourists.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      OK. That would mean they would need to quarantine here for 14 days. (Even if it is a ‘virtual’ quarantine with testing and tracking for those with inoculations.) So I guess they get off the first cruise ship and back on the next one a couple of weeks later?

      The sad reality is that cruises are not coming back soon and individually and collectively we need to adapt to that immediately.

  25. A. Caymanian says:

    This country owes a great debt of gratitude to Shirley Roulstone and CPR for exposing the lies told by Alden and company which contributed greatly to stopping the cruise berth port. Imag8ne the bigger mess the country would be in if these brave Caymanians didn’t stand up and fight this unity government.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good riddance till then

  27. Anonymous says:

    Is that a picture of what might have been had they been able to ram the dock down our throats?!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Great news! Those mega cruise ships have been an inferior product for Cayman and they bring little to the Islands. Streamline it to better high end quality ships and we might stand a better chance. Better customer and less hardship to our environment.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Please keep them away. We are much better off without them.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they never bring those environment damaging petri dishes back.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully cruises will never return. Of course special interests will force the cruises down our throats.If they do, then limit of no more than 2 ship per day should be enforced.

  32. Anonymous says:

    So they’ve now dumped cruise tourism and are going to turn these islands over to the condo builders? Guess you have to follow the money and grab what you can get while you can?

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