CPR call for transparency over cruise port

| 07/05/2021 | 48 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton has stated that the PACT Government has no plans to develop a cruise berthing facility in George Town. He also said that government has not had talks with Michael Bayley, the CEO of Royal Caribbean and does not plan to, despite his recent claims that the cruise port project, which would have involved the cruise line, may not be dead. However, the new tourism minister, Kenneth Bryan, stated Wednesday that the attorney general has advised PACT that there is no need for a referendum on the issue now. In light of this, campaigners are demanding transparency on all aspects of this issue as they remained concerned about the project and the public’s right to vote on this issue.

Answering questions from CNS at Wednesday’s press briefing, Bryan said the legal advice was that unless it was the same plan, “a referendum wouldn’t stand”. However, he stressed that the current administration had no plans to develop such a facility and said that if that changed, the premier would inform the country.

Panton was quick to interject and stated clearly, “There are no such plans.” He also said that the new government has had no conversations and with the cruise lines and there were no plans to entertain such an idea.

The Cruise Port Referendum campaign activists, who secured the necessary number of voters’ signatures to trigger a national vote on the George Town dock proposed by the last government, continue to remain wary of releasing their right to press for a vote.

Responding to CNS this week, a CPR spokesperson welcomed the new premier’s position and the public statement that there are currently no plans to pursue the proposed cruise berthing facility project. However, the activists were concerned by the recent comments by Bayley, as well as by the changes to the marine park regulations that have designated an area of the harbour as an official port and removed its marine protections.

“We feel that in order to draw this matter to a close, the country deserves a comprehensive statement from the Ministry of Tourism which led the negotiations and project under the previous administration,” they said. “CPR would also like clarification of any port enhancements that may have been planned by the previous administration, and what the current situation may be. Especially in light of the of the new Port (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 and the National Conservation (Marine Parks ) Regulations, 2021.”

As concerned citizens, the activist said they will “continue to seek transparency and full disclosure of all pertinent facts about the project and the public’s right to hold Cayman’s first People’s Initiated Referendum under s. 70 of the Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009”.

While the previous project under the consortium group called Verdant Isle was dropped by the last administration, with the likely return of cruising in 2022, Bayley has made it clear that the cruise sector will continue to put pressure on Caribbean ports to build piers to allow them to dock their ships.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, public support for mass cruise has declined further and it is evident that the majority of residents want to see greater emphasis on Cayman’s stay-over guest and the need to significantly reduce the amount and size of ships calling here in future. Many believe the phased reopening of tourism towards the end of this year presents an ideal opportunity for the government to re-set cruise tourism and introduce official legal limits.

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They should build a big cargo terminal and cruise port round the island towards east end. Much better place for it and more protection for ships from rough seas.

    • D. Truth says:

      Anon 5:55 pm; Truthfully, we do not need a big cargo terminal and hopefully will not need a cruise port. And hey!…. haven’t you heard about the traffic problems we already have? Let’s cut back on traffic, not promote more!

    • Anonymous says:

      That was already proposed. Arden McLean led the charge in saying “No Port In East End” because he believed it was just a quarry. Had it been done, the East-West arterial extension to East End would already be finished.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t seem anyone who works in tourism wants a port or any cruise ships back… the fact caymanians are refusing vaccines means they obviously want the borders to stay closed, or they would g9 get a jab if they wanted thin to open up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too busy collecting money for no work.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know about that. I’ve had trouble with an arm socket which started hurting three days after getting my first covid shot. If I had it to do over i would say, “No thanks!”

      • Anonymous says:

        I have had issues with my shoulder since Mid March. There is a condition called Sirva i.e shoulder injury related to vaccine administration which may be responsible for the continued pain. I have spent quite a bit on physical therapy as a result of the continued pain but still no regret in getting the vaccine.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I listened to the press conference. Wayne did not answer the question from CNS/Wendy, regarding money being offered after the election to form a government. He said that he was not offered money then he changed the subject and said the election is behind us and time to move on etc. Typical politician evading uncomfortable questions.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, CPR lost at the Privy Council so there will be no general referendum on the port – its going to be a case specific referendum for any particular proposal. The government has said that the previous proposal is dead, so there is no active proposal to have a referendum about. Case closed unless and until the government announces a new proposal, surely? Cant CPR claim victory and move on to other, more immediate issues?

  5. Anonymous says:

    No port, no vaccine.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anyone anticipating that cruising will be returning to normal post pandemic may be sorely mistaken


    • Anonymous says:

      There is far more demand than you’d think!!! I’m active in several cruise forums and people are chomping at the bit to start sailing again!

      • Anonymous says:

        As Forest Gump once said “you can’t fix stupid”.

        Applies to anyone thinking about getting on a cruise ship.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        I hope we choose to either repel cruise ships, or limit them to very small ships.

      • Anonymous says:

        My prediction is cruising as it is right now has just about reached its duration, soon it’ll take on the abhorrence and disinterest of owning a mink coat.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would say folks sleep with one eye open. I’m certain when the $$$ and the potential of self businesses are known, anything is possible. Give the PACT time to settle in.

  8. Boff Doff says:

    “No plans at present”
    That is not what is required. What he needs to say is: “We do not and will not support a cruise dock in Grand Cayman. The dock plan is dead and will not be resurrected.”
    It is obvious that the dock project will be restarted during this parliament’s lifetime. The CPR is right to be wary.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You can forget about your “transparency” buzzword for the next three and a half years or so.

  10. Anonymous says:

    PPM sold Cayman out. I am glad they got voted out of power. Thank you CPR and the PACT government for stopping the port project we do not need and could never afford it.

    • Anonymous says:

      6.50 pm Cost was not an issue. The real issue was PPM or more to the point..hatred of PPM. It was the same for the McKeeva incident…they were not really upset at Mac but saw it as an opportunity to score points against. As soon as Wayne said PACT needs Mac to get in power the PPM haters said…’Go get him he’s not that bad, it is PPM we hated all along’.

      • Anonymous says:

        The PPM deserves to be hated and the fact that people would rather have a horrible person like McKeeva as speaker than to endure another 4 years of their leadership speaks volumes.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM still in power through the Lodge.

  11. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Thank you Mr. Wayne. That’s what most of us needed to hear. If you ever revive CIG’s desire for the cruise pier, your party will likely suffer in the next election. Where most of us were raised, a person’s word matters. You say it’s not a consideration, we believe you, and let it be forever put to rest.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Quite honestly, it would be good if cruise tourism NEVER returns. It’s bad news in so many ways. Operators who catered specifically to cruise tourism should diversify their products while we work on getting stay over tourism back and growing. It’s pretty amazing how well the economy is faring WITHOUT tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Easily said by someone who did not rely on the cruise passenger for their income. Government subsidies will not last forever. That said I agree that the cruise ship volume should be greatly reduced. But accept that people will have to be supported as they transition to new sources of income. “It takes a village!”

    • Anonymous says:


      Clearly written by someone NOT trying desperately to make ends meet and couldn’t give a rats ass about those who are.

      Damn keyboard warriors sitting in their ivory towers.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if everyone commenting here knows that “tourist” and “overnight tourist” are not the same…… ?

        • Anonymous says:

          1500 $ P M to Tourism worker, plenty of them is still working, that’s fine ? Now what about the old retired civic servants and old seamen, that worked had to build this country, and two old to work now, and getting less than 1,000 dollars per month, shouldn’t they get 1500 dollar’s per month too ?

    • Anonymous says:

      In that case 5.48 don’t moan if port charges are increased to pay for the income shortfall.
      The economy is faring well thanks in large part to import duties for the developments that you also probably wish to cancel.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Kenny better fall in line quickly or else

  14. New Caymanian says:

    Thank God for CPR

  15. Anonymous says:

    Could CPR just give it a rest? More important things to worry about right now. Panton has made his position clear.

    Move on….

    Or are they just missing the limelight?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I think they are trying to cause the new government to positively affirm their desire for NO CRUISE PORT. I would like that affirmation also. Not just, ‘not interested at this time’.

    • Anonymous says:

      you obviously missed the part where Royal Caribbean has been lobbying government’s around the Caribbean to continue to build cruise ports. Try to stay awake dear…or dog eat your dinner.

    • Anonymous says:

      You clearly didn’t read the article and comments from the CEO of RCCL


      If you understand what Mr. Bayley has said you will understand why CPR are asking the questions and stating their position. It is not about limelight. If CPR did not exist and pursue the judicial review, Cayman would be up the creek without a paddle and owned by the cruise lines. Stop being a knob or are the Kirkbots and ppm bots back?

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