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#1 Oct 31, 2019 11:40 am

New Historian
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My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

I make no excuses for posting this again - let it go viral, I'm on a crusade!

1.             Passenger spends are minimal – and overstated. The bi-annual economic impact report put out by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is highly unscientific, based on a visitor expenditure survey filled in by less than 3% of passengers, and has questions skewed to produce inflated results. Few passengers will take the 20 minutes needed to fill out a survey that reveals who they are, where they live and how much income they make, just to say that they only bought one T-shirt.

2.             The industry is highly united; the Caribbean is not. The FCCA is the umbrella organization for the industry and they do an excellent job of promoting the interests of their members. On the other hand, there is no organization of Caribbean governments to speak with a unified voice to the industry, not CARICOM nor the OECS. Result: We get played off, one country against the other, like crabs in a barrel: all fighting to get up at the expense of the rest.

3.             The ship is the destination. Cruise ships are very good at keeping their passengers on board, where they spend the money they would have spent ashore. In Grenada, 25% of passengers stay on board, according to port estimates. “Activities such as dining and entertainment are all done on the cruise ship, leaving little to be spent in the local economies.” – Caribbean Development Bank

4.             They squeeze local small businesses. In my short career as a small boat operator in Grenada, I experienced first-hand how difficult it is to make money from cruise ships. They add 100% commission on the prices charged by local vendors, and they insist that operators carry hugely expensive third party liability insurance for their passengers. During the summer season, small operators “suck wind”. The hotel and yachting sectors decline in the summer; whereas cruise ships almost completely disappear.

5.             Host countries are in a race to the bottom. In 1999, when Grenada imposed a US$1.50 per head Environmental Levy on cruise ship passengers to help meet the rising cost of solid waste disposal (a large part of which came from the cruise ships themselves), Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest in the world and supplier of 50% of passengers to Grenada, boycotted the island for 5 years. Neighboring islands were happy to take up the slack.

6.             Infrastructure consumption by cruise ship passengers is not priced. A large cruise ship can produce 95,000 liters of sewage, 500,000 liters of wastewater, 7 tons of garbage, 56 liters of toxic chemicals and 26,000 liters of oily bilge water per day – where does this end up? When you add road usage and congestion in urban areas into the equation, it is evident that cruise ships are huge consumers of infrastructure services onshore – do they pay their fair share?

7.             Never the twain shall meet. There are two distinct types of tourist: stayovers and cruise ship passengers, and cruise ship passengers rarely come back for an extended stay. Conversion drives that give out expensive brochures simply do not work, and there is no data to suggest that they do.

8.             They turn away real tourists. On cruise ship days, Grand Anse beach in Grenada becomes overcrowded with noisy rambunctious day trippers. This is diametrically opposed to what most stayover tourists and yacht visitors come to Grenada for: tranquility, natural beauty, peace and quiet. The Tobago Cays, the Eastern Caribbean’s sailing gem, becomes overcrowded with cruise ship excursions during the winter season, often resembling “Coney Island on the Fourth of July”. Average spend per stayover tourist in Grenada is US$950, versus a paltry US$40 per cruise ship passenger, and yet we are sacrificing the former for the latter: this makes zero economic sense.

9.             Head taxes are minimal and inadequate. The average head tax in the Caribbean is $8.92 per passenger, a derisory sum when compared to the real cost of cruise ships to the host countries. Land-based tourism has to pay a multiplicity of taxes: room tax, departure tax, Customs duties, VAT, property tax, income tax, corporate tax, stamp duties, environmental levies plus a whole barrage of new and inventive ways of extracting tax revenues out of the overtaxed land-based tourist. And what do cruise ship passengers pay? A paltry US$8.92 per head. A highly uneven playing field.

And by no means least:

10.         They pollute OUR Caribbean. In May 2019, Carnival Cruise Lines was fined US$20 million for dumping plastic waste into the sea and falsifying waste disposal records. Carnival have a long history of dumping at sea and it is obvious that the occasions when they have been found out are only a small percentage of their illegal dumping. According to Friends of the Earth, the worldwide cruise ship industry dumps around one billion gallons of sewage into the oceans every year. Given that the Caribbean accounts for one third of the global industry, then we can assume that one third of that sewage is dumped into OUR precious, fragile Caribbean Sea.

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#2 Oct 31, 2019 7:46 pm

Expat
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Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

Yeah keep the town and beaches clear of these dawdlers.

They do seem to keep the train busy. More money to the white folks. The original local owner messed it up so the Frenchies took it over.

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#3 Oct 31, 2019 9:00 pm

New Historian
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Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

"The original local owner messed it up so the Frenchies took it over."

The exact opposite happened with the dinghies in Port Louis.

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#4 Nov 03, 2019 5:42 pm

Expat
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Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

New Historian wrote:

"The original local owner messed it up so the Frenchies took it over."

The exact opposite happened with the dinghies in Port Louis.

Equilibrium then  smile

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#5 Nov 06, 2019 2:29 pm

Dancer
Active

Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

" GETTING AROUND TO MY  10 BEEFS WITH THE CRUISE SHIP INDUSTRY ''
talk, talk , talk. Grumble , grumble ,grumble.

Missing the BIG SHIP.  smh...   sad , sad , lol

MSC Meraviglia  LARGEST cruise ship to visit Grenada.
ON Monday 4 November 2019   ( Pure Grenada , the Spice of the Caribbean )  Lord ! Welcomed its first inaugural cruise  ship from the MSC cruises. MERAVIGLIA.

Instead of all the moaning and groaning . A picture of the ship with all the people streaming from it . Govt officials welcoming the ship , would have made an impression on TS.  .......

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BUT  I am with you on  some of  the beefs. lo.  Hotels encroaching on the natives private beaches , bringing a lot of beach chairs come cruise days.
Can't have a good bath. lmao.

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#6 Nov 06, 2019 6:39 pm

Expat
Active

Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

Biggest cruise ship inaugural landing in Grenada welcomed by the motley crew recently.

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#7 Nov 06, 2019 8:21 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

Stay faaaar from Grannanse!!

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#8 Nov 07, 2019 8:41 pm

Expat
Active

Re: My top 10 beefs with the cruise ship industry

New Historian wrote:

Stay faaaar from Grannanse!!


They tick me off when Rhum Runner anchors in BBC.

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