Unless the Cayman Islands build a way for cruise ships to dock, it’s possible they may be stricken from the itinerary of several major cruises, according to a Cayman newspaper. Currently, cruise ships have to drop anchor offshore and ferry passengers to the islands with smaller boats.
Having to wait for a tender boat is never fun; especially when you’re time in port is typically limited anyway. Royal Caribbean is hearing that from their passengers, and is already leaning towards destinations with berthing docks that allow ships to dock with direct land access. In fact, Royal Caribbean has already told the Cayman Islands that they will not bring their new Oasis of the Seas if the dock isn’t built.
With 6000 passengers and 2000 crew, Royal Caribbean says it’s just not feasible to use tenders for a ship so large.
The economic impact per cruise ship stop is estimated at around $300,000. Without a dock, cruise ships often have to cancel a stop in the Caymans because of weather concerns.
The Cayman government has been looking for investors, and has tried to avoid paying for the dock itself. However as more and more cruise ships opt for ports where they can dock, delaying investment could be more costly in the long run.