Barbados Charters The Carnival Destiny For 19 Days – US$15 Million
Our friend Adrian Loveridge runs a small hotel called Peach and Quiet on the south coast. Although I have no need of a hotel bed or meal, I have often seen his place from the water and it looks like a nicely maintained, private little resort.
Visit Adrian’s website (link here) and you can see how pretty Peach and Quiet is and how different an experience it is than staying at the huge hotels with tourist buses coming and going.
But Cricket World Cup is almost here, and the Barbados government has taken to renting cruise ships as floating hotels to handle the crowds. All very necessary and probably a wise decision, but I’d rather stay at places like Peach and Quiet, myself. (Good crabbing all along where Peach and Quiet is and good surfing just to the east of the place. Just don’t get caught taking sea eggs or you be in big trouble for sure!)
Adrian has sent out a few “Letters to the Editor” lately, and some have been printed here and at other online venues – but I haven’t seen too many picked up by the local newspapers. Adrian sometimes asks very uncomfortable questions – at least if you are a big government supporter.
Questions like… Who is making the money and who is getting employment from the US$15 million that the Government of Barbados is paying for the Carnival Destiny?
The borrowing of US$15 million by the Barbados Tourism Authority to charter the Carnival Destiny begs a number of important questions.
1) What duration or hire will the US$15 million cover?
Barbados is actually hosting only six super eight matches and the final which take place at during a possible period of the 10th to the 29th of April allowing for bad weather days.
So a maximum of 19 days!
With a maximum cabin capacity of 1,321 spread over the entire 19 days that equates to 25,099 occupied cabin nights.
A simple division of 25,099 into US$15 million means a nightly single cabin cost of US$597.
US$597 is actually more than Carnival normally charges for a full week cruise, so I cannot believe this would be a nightly charter cost.
One media report stated that the ship will also be used for matches held in Guyana. But they are hosting only six super eight matches over a possible 13 day period including the reserve days for possible bad weather.
2) The ICC World Cup Cricket event is, if I understand correctly, meant to benefit Barbados and the region.
Of the Carnival Destiny’s officers and crew, how many are Barbadian or Caribbean nationals?
3) What value is placed on goods and services procured in Barbados or the Caribbean for items consumed on Carnival Destiny over the charter period?
4) Exactly how much in terms of taxes and port charges will Carnival pay for using the services of Bridgetown port?
5) How is the Barbados Tourism Authority recouping the US$15 million loan plus interest and any arrangement fees?
Is it selling on the ship accommodation directly or going through one or more intermediaries?
6) Finally, The Barbados Tourism Authority must be absolutely and totally convinced that every available room across all land-based accommodation providers is now fully booked (and deposited) over the entire island before it uses taxpayers monies to possibly disadvantage committed locally based industry players.
21 November 2006