Why Is Barbados Loaning Money To Rent Cruise Ships – If The Ships’ Rooms Are Already 80% Sold?

carnival-destiny-barbados-cricket.jpg

Yet Another Cricket World Cup Mystery

Accordingly to last night’s CBC TV Channel 8 news, among the items that will be debated (or perhaps better described as rubber stamped) in Parliament today (Tuesday, January 16th) will be the loan of almost US$15 million to the Barbados Tourism Authority for the stated intention of chartering the cruise ship, Carnival Destiny as a floating hotel during the ICC Cricket World Cup period.

Already, the Minister of Tourism is on record as stating that 80 per cent of the quoted 1300 plus cabins have been sold. Presumably, these cabins have been sold either individually to cricket fans or as part of a package through tour operators.

So the BIG question, why is there a need for the Barbados Tourism Authority to get involved all at, least of all to borrow US$15 million.

What actually is the money for?

Yes! I could understand Carnival Corporation, the worlds most profitable cruise company, requiring a guarantee to offset possible loss of profits, but if 80 per cent of the cabins have been sold what is the need for the loan?

Also exactly how many days will the Destiny be moored in the port?

Even if you take the entire 19 days from first super eight on 11th April to the final on 28th April and divide 1300 cabins into US$15 million, that still an incredible US$607 per cabin per night.

Plus of course within the 19 days there is only actually going to be seven days of cricket.

If our hotel is in anyway typical the bookings placed by nationals now requiring a Caricom Visa are now started to being cancelled, as the people will not or cannot obtain a visa within the 1st February deadline.

Ok! With some of these bookings we retain a non-refundable deposit, but these people will not hire cars, eat in our restaurants, take taxis or hire cars or visit our attractions.

To date, no Government organisation has systematically checked with land based accommodation providers to ascertain what if any rooms are still available.

Yet the Barbados Government is hell bent of borrowing even more money to hire a cruise ship that cricket fans already appear to have paid for.

Will someone answer the question?

Adrian Loveridge

Barbados Hotelier
Peach & Quiet

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

12 responses to “Why Is Barbados Loaning Money To Rent Cruise Ships – If The Ships’ Rooms Are Already 80% Sold?

  1. Hants

    I have yet to understand why the Government would pay $15 Million dollars to charter a cruise ship when all the guests are supposed to be paying for their rooms.

    There must be a logical explanation for this.

  2. John

    It’s the $15US that will flow and lubricate/grease the economy.

    The rooms are secondary.

    Plus don’t forget that somebody is out of pocket with the visa issue.

  3. reality check

    well it could very well be an interim loan until the monies are all received by the guests but how would you know in a society that has no free press and no accountability for simple accounting of public monies—ministers answer to no one except the person whose name may not be mentioned,
    Lord ????

    if its anything else its more of the same

  4. Rumplestilskin

    I might have a good reason…maybe …am… eh..gosh….

    A good reason, here we go…am..eh..

    Sorry, can’t come up with one, it defies rational explanation.

  5. Fred

    This all seems like utter rubbish to me, who is the one making the money out of this deal?It certainly appears that the Minister must be in bed with the people at Carnival cruise lines since having paid them millions to come to Barbados what has Carnival managed to do with this gift to them they have moved the Destiny departure time from what it use to be at 11.00pm to 6.00pm and more recently it is currently leaving at 4.00pm, when this ship left at 11.00pm many on shore businesses benefitted from the extra hours these guess were left onshore in Barbados but since we have paid them the millions what do they do they move forward the departure time to 4.00 pm for a departure to St.Lucia which is no more than a four hour voyage from Barbados.
    Does any of this make sense to you? it makes no sense to me whatsoever.
    Maybe the Minister in his wisdom can shed some light on the current position, it is more about getting these tourist on shore to get them to spend their cash that as he likes to do state the arrival figures if these arrival figures are purely flow thru people who are being collected at the airport and taken to the sea port without spending a single cent on the island then is it not better to have these ships stay later and get more revenue out of their guess.

  6. Red

    There might be 2 components to the shift in departure times.

    First, if a ship leaves its berth late, the penalties charged are quite substantial, so you don’t want to be leaving at or near 6 and find yourself not clear of the Harbour Pilot.

    Second, moving departure time from 11 to 6 would help free up the berth for a cargo ship to come in since the port is insufficient to handle all marine capacity. I recall Robert Foster making a call for additional space dedicated to cargo vessels.

    By the way, the length of time between destinations has little bearing on departure times. For the same Carnival Destiny, it is only a couple of hour’s sail from San Juan to St. Thomas; the ship actually sails circles at sea overnight until they are ready to head to port.

  7. Fred

    One ship on one day can hardly contribute a lot to the congestion in the port, it appears as if any charges that Carnival incurred because of their later departure where not much of an issue previously but some how it appears that once they have received the goodwill package they have other thoughts.

  8. Jerome Hinds

    A synopsis of what went/going down.

    On March 9th 2006 the Cabinet of Barbados authorised, (1) the BTA to spearhead negotiations with a commercial cruise line company to provide accomodation for CWC 2007 (2) the Minister of Finance to issue a letter of credit/ letter of comfort or some other guarantee and/or payment acceptable to the ship’s owner to secure the vessel for Barbados.

    The BTA considered Carnival Destiny and with the services of negotiating consultants ‘ Landry & Kling Meetings at Sea’ a Florida based company with experience in securing such services for other world events like US Super Bowl and Olympics. It was agreed to Charter Carnival Destiny for the on sea accomodation.

    The capacity of the vessel is 2, 632 passengers double occupancy, but can handle a maximum of 3,400 passengers since some rooms can accomodate triple or even quadruple occupancy, a trend which is common in the cruise industry.

    The cost of the charter from 8th April to May 6th , 2007 is $ 14,068,000.00. The contract is based on standard charter hire provisions and includes round trip transportation on the vessel, four (4) captain’s receptions , all gtratuities, cost of provisioning and staff.

    QUESTION ???

    Who really paying for this lavish CWC 2007 BASH ???

    Passengers or the Government of Barbados ???

    Can we really recoup these expenses ????

    I report – You decide !!!

  9. Jerome Hinds

    A synopsis of what went/going down.

    On March 9th 2006 the Cabinet of Barbados authorised, (1) the BTA to spearhead negotiations with a commercial cruise line company to provide accomodation for CWC 2007 (2) the Minister of Finance to issue a letter of credit/ letter of comfort or some other guarantee and/or payment acceptable to the ship’s owner to secure the vessel for Barbados.

    The BTA considered Carnival Destiny and with the services of negotiating consultants ‘ Landry & Kling Meetings at Sea’ a Florida based company with experience in securing such services for other world events like US Super Bowl and Olympics. It was agreed to Charter Carnival Destiny for the on sea accomodation.

    The capacity of the vessel is 2, 632 passengers double occupancy, but can handle a maximum of 3,400 passengers since some rooms can accomodate triple or even quadruple occupancy, a trend which is common in the cruise industry.

    The cost of the charter from 8th April to May 6th , 2007 is US $ 14,068,000.00. The contract is based on standard charter hire provisions and includes round trip transportation on the vessel, four (4) captain’s receptions , all gtratuities, cost of provisioning and staff.

    QUESTION ???

    Who really paying for this lavish CWC 2007 BASH ???

    Passengers or the Government of Barbados ???

    Can we really recoup these expenses ????

    I report – You decide !!!

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    Thank you Jerome for the information.

    But the question still remains, WHY should the BTA have to borrow any money IF it is for cricket fans.

    Surely, the cricket fans will be paying for their accommodation?

    So lets recap the economics:

    US$14,068,000 (US$14.7 million) for 1,316 cabins over a maximum 27 days.

    Thats still a whopping US$395.92 per cabin per day before any bank or agent arrangement fees or interest.
    So is the BTA subsidising each cabin by US$400 a night?

    I am afraid I am going to keep asking the question until the normally vocal Minister of Tourism reponds.
    Perhaps Tommy Hillfiger knows the answer?

  11. John

    Adrian

    You can’t get blood from a stone.

    The most you will get is Blarney from Barney.

  12. Adrian Loveridge

    The plot thickens…

    According to an article published in the Indian Business Standard (21st January 2007) and written by Ravi Teja Sharma, the Carnival Destiny will offer ‘the option of taking a 12 day cruise from 10-12 April to watch three of India’s Super Eight matches with England, Pakistan and West Indies’.

    ‘On the same cruise liner, SOTC (the tour operator) is offering a 20 night cruise with match tickets for three Super 8 games at Barbados, the semi-final 2 at St. Lucia and the final again at Barbados’.

    So the question again is WHY is our Government through the BTA borrowing this money in the first place and what portion of the loan are the other islands, where this ship will be moored for part of the charter duration paying?