Minister walks back plan to cut cruise numbers

| 23/08/2022 | 164 Comments
Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan

(CNS): The focus of the PACT Government’s cruise policy may have shifted away from cutting back on the number of cruise visitors that were coming to the Cayman Islands by the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic closed the borders. Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said Friday that he wants to spread guests around the island to ease infrastructure pressures at attractions rather than cut the annual headcount. He said it was important that policy changes don’t negatively impact opportunities for Caymanians.

Speaking at last week’s press briefing, where the government announced the removal of the remaining pandemic-related restrictions, Bryan said that since taking up the post of tourism minister, he understood more about the industry.

“I know there is a position to reduce cruise tourism numbers,” he said, noting this was largely to lessen the impact on attractions and infrastructure, but he warned that reducing numbers could have a negative effect on the stakeholders. He said he was assessing whether or not it would be possible to reduce the negative environmental impacts and overcrowded attractions without causing local business owners to lose money.

“One of the problems we have is the disbursement of the numbers that we have,” he said.. But rather than trying to reduce the number of passengers arriving, he said he now wanted to see if tourists could be carried somewhere other than Stingray City or Seven Mile Beach. Explaining his revised thinking on the ‘quality over quantity’ policy, he implied that he wanted both. He said spreading cruise visitors around the island would benefit Caymanian tourism businesses and reduce the pressures.

Bryan said he was hoping to get funding during the next budget to help local stakeholders and entrepreneurs diversify and offer different tourism products. However, since cruise tourism is not yet back to 2019 levels, there is breathing space to find solutions.

“There is going to be a bit of a shift from reduction, still focusing on quality… if we can find a better solution by pushing them into different areas and spreading visitors to have a lesser impact on the environment and traffic,” the minister said.

Bryan denied that he was coming under pressure from the cruise sector over the lack of berthing facilities here, saying he had made it clear to the cruise lines that there would be no docks developed in Grand Cayman.

In light of the minister’s recent enthusiasm to revisit the idea of floating piers for the George Town Harbour, CNS asked him about the dredging that would be involved. Bryan responded that he was only considering the idea and had not discussed it with his Cabinet colleagues, including Premier Wayne Panton, who is the minister for sustainability.

Panton said that when he was in office previously, the issue of floating piers had been examined and it was decided that such a proposal was not suitable for George Town, as he dismissed Bryan’s comments about the piers as mere curiosity. He also noted that the concept had not been discussed because both he and Bryan had been travelling.

“I, at least, have a very good understanding of what’s involved in that. And yes, it’s not as simple as it seems,” Panton said, noting that, from what he had learned, “having that sort of facility in a harbour that is open to the ocean doesn’t work very well”.

In a 2015 report, Proposed Cruise Berthing Facility, AppA-Alternatives Assessment, the consultants looked at the feasibility of floating cruise piers, including the claim that they would require no dredging. “Baird is concerned that the project concept may not be technically feasible without dredging, specifically due to the requirement to robustly anchor the piers in very deep water off ‘The Wall’,” the consultants found.

Baird also questioned “the ability to develop a sufficiently robust mooring system given the significant water depths into which the floating piers would extend. Further, the proposed concept is unique, and without precedent, for a site exposed to hurricane waves.”

Speaking more broadly about the cruise tourism product and the government’s policy on that, Panton said he wanted to get better value from cruise tourism, which may translate into lower numbers than those in 2019. But he stressed that the government was not aiming to grow the number of cruise visitors, as would have been the case with a cruise port, where projections were for more than 2.4 million people per year.

“There is a big difference between saying we could live with 1.7 million visitors a year and get better value from that and offer a better experience than say we are aiming for 2.4 million people. That is absolutely not our objective at all,” Panton added.

The Baird report in the CNS Library.
Section 4.3 (p27) and Appendix A.4 (p46) deals with the floating piers concept.


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Category: Business, Policy, Politics, Tourism

Comments (164)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Some people are just not ready for Primetime!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I blame Wayne for Kenneth’s foolishness! Arden and Ezzard will tell you how much they suffered with him in the Opposition but Wayne just had to become Premier so he took him!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    If we are lucky, Kenny will buy enough wotes to become Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and will be so busy fixing the rest of the Caribbean that he will not have time for us.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The public servant

  5. Anonymous says:

    Strange that there are suggestions for bussing tourists to other places, including the eastern districts. Yes there are attractions of sorts, but are piss-poor, and I wouldn’t want to pay a fee to get in other than loose change. Tourists might look like bums, but they are not stupid. Let them wander around GT, or take the tour to see turtles or dolphins, or even Hell. But why would they choose to waste their limited time travelling east, to see things that are of little interest.

    We just need a smaller number of cruise ships, offloading tourists in numbers we can manage and entertain. Any other govt plan smacks of a whats-in-it-for-me.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t it seem like almost every other day we are hearing some foolishness out of this one. The things that he should be attending to, he isn’t and the things that we didn’t elect him for he wants to do..

    1.We told the PPM “NO” on the Cruise Port…Kenneth to you that answer is still “NO.”

    2.Get your act together with this Ms. Cayman thing and stop leaving it to linger. It is embarrassing enough as it is.

    3.Leave the roads to Jay in his Ministry.

    4.Leave the environmental issues to the Premier and stop undermining him.

    5.Clean up and make a statement on whatever the mess is with Jude resigning at Cayman Airways.

    6.Please try to stay on Cayman because everywhere you go you come back with some foolishness about how you want the same things that those countries do.

    7. Think before you put your mouth in gear and make personal statements as whatever you say is perceived as representative of the entire Government’s position..at the very least qualify your statements as personal opinions.

    8.Stay off Radio Cayman and reduce that to once a week or once a month. Each time you are on it seems like you are always tripping yourself up and saying things that would make anyone scream.

    9.Focus your attention on Tourism, the hotels and airlines and do what is necessary to encourage them to add more flights. Case in point, there are no flights between Canada and Cayman anymore until the winter season. no saying there is enough capacity for both West Jet and AC but at least do something to encourage direct traffic from there.

    10. Explain to the Public why Cayman Airways paid for Kel to be upgraded to Captain over more deserving pilots only to have him retire shortly after at Captain’s pay?

    11. Explain why CDS is still allowed to be operating at the airport when the are in court with some 15- 16 charges of making false reports? Does American and BA know this?

    I could go on but I hope at this point Kenneth is getting the message.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    You can just tell Kenneth is going to linger for a long time being an embarrassment. Scary and sad really. The man is a fry short of a happy meal.

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  8. They need to Pack Up says:

    CLOWN but still 3rd in line after Bush and Saunders ! But still front of Ebanks!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Pretty simple. By law only 2 cruise ships per port.

    2 in gt. 2 in spotts, and make a berth in bodden town and 2 for bodden town.

    Bam……you dont’ have GT tourist congestion.

    Eventually both spotts and bodden town will be developed to entertain cruise tourists.
    aka restaurant and tourist type business’s would develop in those areas.

    I mean, how hard is that to understand? If all the cruise ships are allowed to dock in GT….that’s where the majority of the tourist traffic will be. wow……

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Does Panton even hold a weekly meeting with his ministers , to discuss the business of these islands?
    During the election cycle, it was one of the areas that he mentioned was to be addressed , citing the UDP government was failing on.
    Yet , here we are having to listen to Bryan like he is running the show , on ever topic that surfaces in public media.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Would someone please tell Kenny to go lie down by his dish and shut the F***K up. Kenny had two plus years to figure the cruise ship situation out and didn’t. So apparently it it’s back to the future catering to the over feed and damn near dead crowd on a daily basis. I nominate Kenny for the 2022 Darwin Award. And yes, you can run in this contest with a police record. 😂😂😂

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  12. tom says:

    Is ‘cruise ship minister’ a position? I recall a plan to expand overnight tourism, have we forgotten that?

    Maybe we can disperse 1000’s of cruise passengers to Kenny’s awesome tourism centre in GT?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth Caymanians want and try to support their own people but honestly, it is hard to support first-class fools like you and John John. This is not the job for you, I see you managing a gym or electronics store which in your case would be more suitable. NOT A TOURISM MINISTER!!!!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I need to understand. Cayman is trying (and failing) to reduce its carbon foot print and slow global warming. Cruise ships and cargo ships produce more CO2 emissions than almost anything else. Why would we help that type of industry? Cargo is needed. We cant get away from that. So I get cargo. But cruise ships? Also the pandemic is still here, we chose to go on with our lives, the virus didn’t choose that. So we are still entertaining bringing them here? Why? For money? Ok, take the funds now and squirel them away for your children’s children so they can buy an island when this is under water. Am I wrong here?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Can somebody sit Kenneth down and have a chat with him? There is seriously something wrong with him. Can somebody explain to him that he is not the Premier of this country and he cannot act like he runs every facet of the Government and can speak for every minister?

    Power has gone to his head again. The only thing I see left to do with him is what Alden did with him and give him his marching orders to cross the aisle.

    Seriously, his hair brain schemes and utterances are becoming unbearable now. He is fast becoming a National Embarrassment!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where did we find this fool?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wayne loses Kenny he loses Max, and very probably Chris and Jay too, especially after the recent slap downs on the COA and the wetlands. Then Wayne is not the Premier anymore.

      Wayne made a pact ( pun intended) with the devil to get to be Premier. You think he’s going to get tough with Kenny over his posturing and side huddles and lose it?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fast becoming? He arrived there long ago along with the entire pack of misfits in this government. I am not surprised at anything that’s happening because Wayne’s own greed for power has caused this predicament that this country is in. I put the blame squarely on him. What in the world did he think would happen with enabling these characters to reach where they never dreamt they would? Did he really expect respect from them? Unfortunately we all suffer because of it. Wayne, you had better toughen up, act the leader that you should be and put them all in their place! This is no longer about you but about the good of these islands and our people.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Good time for Wayne to dump those four and walk across to PPM with the rest…for the sake of protecting Cayman from becoming Jamaica..

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        • Anonymous says:

          @9:07am

          Are you serious? PPM again?? Oh hell no! I would rather see a new election!

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          • Anonymous says:

            @10:15am. you nailed it.. I don’t care who the next Government will be but I never want to see the likes of the PPM running the country again.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Needn’t be PPM, but whatever it is, it will not include, Kenneth, Mac, Saunders and Seymour. They can take Jay with them as a bonus for Cayman.

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        • Anonymous says:

          That’s right. Wayne resign and go to the Opposition side of the aisle.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is why Wayne was pleading with the past minister of tourism to join his team less than 48 hours before the current government was named.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely power crazed and just says anything that comes into his head.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I doubt very much that Kenny can walk backwards.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    The headline is wrong.

    Minister accepts requirements of Florida Cruise Ship Association.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Kenny truly operates on a different plane from the rest of us mere mortals, who might think that if the number of attractions remains the same (and they remain in the same place!) spreading visitors around the island doesn’t really help. Or is this going to be another argument for the East West arterial road – making it easier to ship cruisers off to the East End (to do what exactly?)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rum Point is gone now as well; not sure if anyone knows that; it was flattened like the Fish Shack so they can take that attraction out the mix for North Side….

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      • a.m. says:

        Rum Point is merely being rebuilt by its Caymanian owners … while there are few tourists on Island.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not gone, Rum Point still exists the last time I drove by this week.
        Beach facilities & restaurant are being re-vamped & improved for all guests , not just cruise guests.

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      • SJames says:

        What about those beautiful coloured cottages on North Church Street that CIG bought for six million. They should have been preserved. More of our heritage gone. No planning permission either. Cayman gone to the dogs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Tourists love concrete modern structures and not quaint little beach bars and restaurants…I forgot.

    • Anonymous says:

      there is literally nothing to do in cayman. all the land has been sold out to build box condos. what happened to the float parks on 7 mile beach and Eden Rock? Even Margaritaville has shut down. CITA needs to work on finding long term attractions for everyone and tell DART they cant by golf courses and then just shut them.

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  19. Gerry Anderson says:

    Love the picture – you can almost see the strings!

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    • Anonymous says:

      😂🤣

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      • Anonymous says:

        SINCE TAKING UP THE POST HE HAS LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY???WTF SHOULD HE HAVE NOT KNOWN BEFORE TAKING UP THE POST????WE are doomed. Oh wait our health minister don’t know jack all too

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    • Anonymous says:

      Comment of the year!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Plain to see he thinks he is running things. 3 alpha puppies.

      #alphapup

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      • Anonymous says:

        During the Jamaican independence celebrations he actually said words to the effect that he is running things here. He can be seen and heard on a video they did not know was being made. It went viral and exposed them. He Chris and Sabrina proclaimed their Jamacanism so do not expect from them the representation Caymanians deserve.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps we should deport the three mice back home then. How did Cayman end up with these people in power anyway? Oh I just remember, you all voted for them!

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          • Anonymous says:

            The sad part was we didn’t vote this government in. It was all the underhand, back stabbing, cut throat horse trading that went on. Reminds me of the pirate days!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well colour me shocked.

    When do they start building the new cruise port?

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Cayman Islands! You want to go where, Stingray City? No, No Bobo your going to look at trees and plants in East End or get back on the ship”.

    Cry’n Bryan what an embarrassment. Admittedly you have NO tourism experience and are learning on the job. WTF! Is this S&*%! for real?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’d actually prefer trees and plants! Why so narrow minded? Or maybe you are a cattle boat owner? Very sad.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is 0 or very little money in looking at trees. If you have a way to make money, you need to take it or why are the cruise ship passengers here?

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        • Anonymous says:

          All you do is put a trinket shop or two down the road from Botanic Park an voila…the money will start flowing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Go find a forest then as your in the wrong place bobo.

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  22. Gen Z Caymanian says:

    Anytime I think this man cannot get anymore delusional, he sets the bar even lower and lower. He truly has his constituents in a choke-hold. GTC needs to wake up fr, is this really who you want representing the country?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Kenny is GOD to GTC; get used to this fact he will be in Govt until he retires; if he retires.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Jeez, it’s scary this man has any authority. Just another in a long line of unqualified, uneducated, self-serving politicians. Cayman needs some sort of political reform.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know if Wayne still thinks he is the Premier?

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  25. A Caymanian point of view says:

    You see folks, you have to put yourself in the tourist’s shoes. When I travel to a place like Honduras, I first thing that thrills me is a sense of freedom to go to places on my own whether by foot and car. I don’t want to be met by a bus and told I must go here or there, get stuck in Cayman traffic, and stuck with the same crowd of tourists. I want to walk about and meet and see people, culture, and take photos. I think most tourists would want to do the same here. Moreover, I would want to be able to buy something cheap, unique, and cultural to take back with me. Just sharing my view.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize the topic is cruise tourism? Most of those people are there because they have figured out that one week on a cruise ship in the summer is roughly equivalent to what they spend on food for one week at home from fast-food joints. Throw in the midnight buffet and they are in bonus territory.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Long term planning for KB is what he’s going to have for lunch

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  27. Anonymous says:

    There is a consortium that has considerable experience in building railways in Africa that is interested in building multiple cruise docks in Cayman provided that they have exclusive rights. In other countries they pay generously for ‘consulting’, provided the right decisions are made.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the docking facilities they have built for other island states have proven quite useful as naval establishments as well, I seem to recall. Same people would be happy to build us a nice mega casino resort as well -using their own labour – as they have experience with that in the Caribbean also.

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    • Anonymous says:

      NO NO NO NO…..

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    • Anonymous says:

      No thank you, we don’t want the Chinese here. The UK probably wouldn’t allow it anyway I hope? McKeeva’s got his sticky fingers all over this.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    That’s right, Kenny, give the cruise ship passengers the experience “you” want them to have, not what they want to have.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    How has he forgotten our biggest, tallest, most fulsome attraction of all? Mount Trashmore!

    I’ve applied for a business licence to start operating hikes up it, i’ve got 15 Sherpa’s from Everest just waiting permits and i’m also bringing in some Camels and a few huskies just to mix it up a bit.

    Cayman Hiking Explorations will be taking bookings from Nov 1st for the high season as we aim to go higher in Cayman than anyone has ever stood before….do you need a t-shirt? Or maybe one of our ‘Turtle Hiking Claws’ that glow green at night due to something leaking in the Mountain that we won’t mention or talk much about on the tour…

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  30. Cheese Face says:

    Please get rid of this clown!

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Hands up all those who think that Kenny has read any of the reports relevant to his portfolio.

    No one?

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  32. Anonymous says:

    This Government is just like all the rest we have had for the past 50 years. Its all about money.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone else really concerned about the future state of our country in the hands of this government?

    What in reality has this administration accomplished to date?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ashamed to say not much (good).

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    • Anonymous says:

      The one thing they should get a Gold Star in is pissing the entire country off; both PPM, UDP and PACTS supporters are united on that front.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Concerned about any Cayman Govt till I die to be honest cause all we do is recycle the same garbage and expect a different result.

      This place been f**ked from 20yrs ago so too late now Bobo.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    The Minister of Tourism wants to “see if cruise tourists can be carried somewhere other than Stingray City and SMB”. DUH!!
    Doesn’t he know of the attractions on in the Eastern Districts??

    I’ve operated a bespoke tour business for 38 years and my cruise guests consistently prefer Pedro St James, Botanic Park, Rum Point, East End and now Crystal Caves. They intentionally avoid the “cattle runs” of Turtle Centre, SMB and Public Beach.

    I can provide an Eastern districts tour with stops at 2 attractions in the time my cruise guests have on land. The same time that they all have but yet the “system” processes the majority like cattle and buses them to the same over-crowed attractions – over and over!

    Go East and let our visitors enjoy more of Cayman!!

    Kenneth, I wish you luck with that thought because the cattle-herders (taxis and tour buses) are accustomed to ferrying numerous loads of tourists to the Western end of the island for a “quick turn around” instead of satisfying with one load per day to the Eastern Districts. Greed as usual!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with most of what you stated, but a recent swing past Stingray City in mid JUly witnessed snorkels/waders factually shoulder to shoulder in the water! I had not been there in several years and was appalled. The trip out and back saw a constant string of grossly overfilled cattle boats. Many had little shade. A pitiful stain on Cayman.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Where did this guy get the qualification for this position? Did he just run for office and won, then appointed?

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    • Frustrated Caymanian says:

      Yup…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Well, there is the bit about how he got elected, then the other bit about how his vote and that of Mac’s was leveraged in a split election to get PACT into power, but broadly right.

        But Frustrated Caymanian, don’t despair – assemble a modest election fund from “sponsors’ and find 300+ voters willing to sell you their vote and you too can be a government minister on over $200K a year, a personal staff and ample opportunities to solicit work for your spouse and commissions for advisory work. You have to sell your soul and sell out your country, mind you, but that doesn’t seem to be a barrier for many.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty much, and taking advantage of people in GTC by giving hands out in exchange for votes. Something that Archer didn’t do as he thought he was too good to mingle there.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 23 @ 4:51 pm – Perhaps Marco didn’t, not because he thought he was too good to mingle there (Marco grew up in GTC) but because he retained his integrity and didn’t stoke the “hand-out” political culture!

        Sadly, it cost him and cost Cayman a knowledgeable and capable Minister of Finance.

        That tells you everything.

        BTW, I’m not Marco; I’m a WB voter stuck in s**t.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Prison I believe. For dealing drugs.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Businesses that are tooled for the wrong situation should be left to market forces and allowed to fail like any other. Unadaptive private businesses have no right to limitless public subsidy. Sorry, not sorry.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Stingray city- yes. Coral beach- no.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Cruise Kenny. I want a low-cost loan, or preferably one that I don’t have to pay back, to purchase a blimp to pick up passengers from the cruise ship and take them on tours of the central mangroves before we Jay them out. Also a high-speed catamaran for my brother to take them over to Cayman Brac for the day.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Even a high speed cat is going to struggle to get them there and back in a cruise ship day. Ask for a helicopter.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the suggestion. I will ask for a fleet of helicopters and bring my cousins into the business. Dem boy be flying every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      High speed Cat at diesel +$7.80 a gallon at marina fuel stations ? Fuel burn to Sister islands ?
      No Bobo, just No.

  39. Anonymous says:

    So who will be standing on the dock deciding which cruise ship passengers go where? Will they have to wear tracking bracelets to make sure they don’t stray from their designated sightseeing zone?

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  40. Anonymous says:

    #Caymancompetence. Non existent!

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  41. Anonymous says:

    caymanians elect these people so you have no-one else to blame but yourselves.
    and to make things worse, you also prevent the most qualified and successful people on island from being elected…
    welcome to wonderland.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Truth! A world class leading country of uneducated, uninformed, paid-off electorate. Elect clowns, you get a circus. Elect corrupt ministers, expect corruption. Elect a minister who assaults a woman in a drunken rage – expect little respect for women. This is not a surprise, it is a disgrace on every Caymanian who votes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So expats are basically more qualified and successful ? I agree with the successful part but that’s because of the extreme xenophobia in the expat community

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      • Anonymous says:

        Umm – want to look at our education statistics before you disagree with the better qualified part?

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      • Anonymous says:

        YES! Reality sucks huh. Expats are as a group much more educated, professional and qualified. I fully support better education, better economic opportunities for Caymanians, but if you take an unbiased look at the data and results from Caymanian educated professionals (your Ministers, etc)… It just does not meet what is needed — YET! Strive for better, but stop lying about the current mess.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I voted for Andre and have never regretted it.

      Some people literally had to try to “separate the chaff from the chaff” as Consuelo once said.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    what would you expect from pact?
    a bunch of unqualified, inexperienced clowns who came together to get into power with no manifesto or common policies….
    a collection of independents is a recipe for disaster no matter how you spin it…..and for 1000th time…no-one lected pact as a government.

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  43. Anonymous says:

    Another golden opportunity to inprove Cayman squandered. Business as usual.

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  44. Anonymous says:

    God help us. KB just doesn’t get it, the experience for all tourists is better with reduced cruise ship flotsam.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to Wayne.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Minister Bryan/Premier has no experience in Tourism whatsoever! Has he even reached out to local tour operators who know way more than he does on the topic. Going East with cruise ship passengers does not work due to timing. You are not going to convince cruisers to go East and see what! They want Stingray City and 7-mile beach. You want to help us out then tell the cruise lines that they can only charge tour operators a 10% fee for booking tours and not take the lions share. They charge $70 to go to stingray city and give the operator $19! I remember when fuel prices increased some years ago and asked the cruise lines for a small increase and you know what they said…. “Do you want to see our fuel bill”. We the people would much rather have Wayne as the official Govt spokesman. Time to grow a pair Wayne or is Kenny somehow threatening you with something. Time will tell. Kenny can’t help himself!

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  47. CryingKenny says:

    Maybe he can send them into the wetland to build the new bypass?

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  48. Anonymous says:

    The circus rolls on..

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  49. Anonymous says:

    LOL Kenneth got a call in the middle of the night from some rich benefactor and voila!!! policy changes!!!

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