UPDATED: Can Barbados Cope With The New Mega Cruise Ships’ 5000+ Passengers?

UPDATED: Adrian Loveridge Replies At Bottom Of Article

The increasing size of cruise ships and the tendency for the ship itself to be the destination has already produced profound changes in our tourism industry. There is no doubt that Barbados will have to continually adapt to capitalise from these changes.

The next generation of Royal Caribbean mega-cruise ships will carry 5,400+ passengers, 1200 crew and be almost 1200 feet long – and that is only one of many types of huge liners that will be coming into service in the next ten years.

I was reading somewhere (can’t find it now) that cruise passengers are becoming less interested in leaving their ships than they used to be. With so much to do on the ships and the attitude of “If you’ve seen one tropical island, you’ve seen ’em all”, in the future each one of us (and I mean every citizen) will have to work harder to differentiate Barbados and keep those tourist dollars rolling in.

We haven’t heard much from Adrian Loveridge lately and I wonder if he and our readers have any thoughts as to where our tourism industry is heading in the next ten and twenty years. The previous Tourism Minister Noel “Instant Millionaire” Lynch used to brag about the number of cruise ship passengers who returned to Barbados as tourists and winter-season retirees, but I was always skeptical about Lynch and his claimed statistics.

How about it, Adrian? How do you foresee the mega-cruise ships impacting Barbados, and is there anything we should be doing as a nation to predict, read and capialize upon changes in tourist patterns?

Further Reading

World Cruise Network – Genesis Class Cruiseliners

UPDATE: Adrian Loveridge Talks About Barbados Having No Tourism Master Plan for 14 Years

First, perhaps someone can confirm that these new Genesis Class ships can actually berth in Bridgetown Port. I know the port was dredged for QM2, but is the draft deep enough?

I watched a very interesting UTube video interviewing Edmund Bartlett, the Jamaican Minister of Tourism, late last year. (YouTube video of Jamaican Tourism Minister HERE)

2008 will see 2,000 new hotel rooms, 2 million long stay visitors spending US$2.5 billion and a new port at Falmouth to take the Genesis Class ships by 2009.

During the 14 years of the BLP Government there seemingly was NO tourism masterplan. As Ambassador Kellman so accurately described it yesterday, referring to the CONCRETE COAST.

The loss of 28 hotels, the conversion to condominiums is going to have a profound effective on the long term viability of the industry. This has to be addressed. Having half your entire hotel room stock empty for 365 nights of the year too, is a challenge, especially with diminishing airlift.

And from recent analysis of the statistics, 39% of our long stay visitor arrivals do not stay in registered accommodation.

A lot is going on in the background to change exactly how we do business and I sincerely hope that it is going to be enough to bring about positive improvement.

Adrian Loveridge (posted in comments section of this article.)

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

16 responses to “UPDATED: Can Barbados Cope With The New Mega Cruise Ships’ 5000+ Passengers?

  1. Adrian Loveridge

    First, perhaps someone can confirm that these new Genesis Class ships can actually berth in Bridgetown Port. I know the port was dredged for QM2, but is the draft deep enough?

    I watched a very interesting UTube video interviewing Edmund Bartlett, the Jamaican Minister of Tourism, late last year.

    2008 will see 2,000 new hotel rooms, 2 million long stay visitors spending US$2.5 billion and a new port at Falmouth to take the Genesis Class ships by 2009.

    During the 14 years of the BLP Government there seemingly was NO tourism masterplan. As Ambassador Kellman so accurately described it yesterday, referring to the CONCRETE COAST.

    The loss of 28 hotels, the conversion to condominiums is going to have a profound effective on the long term viability of the industry.
    This has to be addressed. Having half your entire hotel room stock empty for 365 nights of the year too, is a challenge, especially with diminishing airlift.

    And from recent analysis of the statistics, 39% of our long stay visitor arrivals do not stay in registered accommodation.

    A lot is going on in the background to change exactly how we do business and I sincerely hope that it is going to be enough to bring about positive improvement.

  2. HELP! WHAT's WRONG?

    The font is really small on BFP. I cannot even read some of the longer threads . I don’t have this problem on BU. Any ideas?

  3. Straight talk

    A good idea is to press Ctrl and +.+

  4. HELP! WHAT's WRONG?

    Straight talk

    does the script size look normal to you (i.e on your computer)? On the BFP home page everthing looks ok but when I click on a comment, the comment comes up so small that even at 400% zoom I can’t read it. The font reduces in relation to the length of the thread. I wonder if I picked up some malicious software. The problem only seems to be with BFP pages. Other sites appear as before normal. As I have said BU pages do not appear affected.

  5. HELP! WHAT's WRONG?

    Last night about 3 am (working late) I noticed that there was an update (I thought it was the usual windows update). I wonder if it was something else. It required that the computer be shut down etc…

  6. BFP

    Hello Help!

    Everyone on the BFP team is seeing a normal presentation on their home and work computers – and no other BFP readers have complained. It looks like the problem is specific to your PC.

    Please let us know if you discover the cause.

    thanks!

    Cliverton

  7. 13

    Hello BFP, is there a problem with your site? The words appear so small that they cannot be read.

    **********************

    BFP says,

    Hello there,

    We’ve made a few calls and no one else in a sampling of 20 persons has this problem. Perhaps you have the same problem as the other person? What operating system and browser versions are you using?

    thanks!

  8. 13

    I am using a different computer at work and I am getting the same problem. (I am not Help! but I am anoymous above).

  9. Straight talk

    HELP! WHAT’s WRONG?:

    No, everything is as normal here, and I was also working at 3am and no problem occurred.

    I am not a computer engineer, but I have always got around niggly problems such as yours by restoring the computer to a date previous to the apparent problem.

    For what is is worth click: Control Panel>System>System Restore and follow the on screen menu.

    Good luck.

  10. Deep Midwicket

    BFP wrote: “(I)s there anything we should be doing as a nation to predict, read and capi(t)alize upon changes in tourist patterns?”

    That’s the key. Let’s face it — having thousands more tourists visit our shores shouldn’t be a problem, but an opportunity! And most cruise tourists would like to spend a few days exploring at least one port, as opposed to the “if today is Tuesday, this must be Grenada” aspect of a typical cruise.

    The first step should be to do whatever is necessary to ensure that cruise lines want to make Barbados a terminus port for cruises. Then a deal should be worked out for the cruise line to offer coupons for discounts on an extended Barbados stay — for hotels, but also restaurants, 4×4 safari, submarine, catamaran tours, etc.

    The simplest way would be for our government to offer such coupons to the ships (it’s in the best position to negotiate a satisfactory deal with the cruise lines), and local businesses to sign on to accept them in lieu of payment, then redeeming them from the government. Such coupons should be attractive to the cruise lines, and the negotiated deal should include prominently featuring this valuable add-on with all the cruise line’s ads for the cruise.

    One has to give in order to get, and I know that cruise lines are often frustrated with the bureaucratic bother and delays that their passengers have to tolerate upon arrival in terminus ports. This will only get worse with the larger ships!

    Assurances that their passengers’ journey through our customs and immigration will be greatly eased and accelerated would be very persuasive in getting the cruise lines to agree to Barbados being a terminus. This would require investing in new equipment, personnel and training. But the cruise lines would almost certainly be willing to subsidize that effort in return for a cadre of efficient resources dedicated to their customers’ arrivals.

    In summary, the cruise lines would get:

    1. Efficient and rapid movement for customers and their luggage through the airport.
    2. Valuable coupons to offer passengers who’d like an extended stay in Barbados.

    Barbados would get:

    1. The prestige/allure of being a terminus port.
    2. Cruise line assistance in advertising Barbados tourism, hotels, restaurants, etc.
    3. Greatly increased tourism in terms of numbers of passengers and hotel rooms, and dollars entering our economy.
    4. Perhaps, subsidized government employees and equipment to facilitate airport processes, at least for the cruise lines.

    These larger ships are a great opportunity, and if Barbados can’t take advantage, someone else will!

  11. Anonymous

    The problem seems to have resolved itself. Everything is back to normal.

  12. HELP!

    Things are back to normal with me too! I didn’t do anything. Weird.

  13. Jerome Hinds

    Hello BFP,

    Did you guys notice that classy photo of PM Thompson and his wife on a jet ski on a West Coast beach ?

  14. 168

    what you did was to touch the zoom button on your mouse

    you did it without thinking and you will do it again
    so zoom in or zoom out as appropriate next time

    cheers!

  15. Factors

    How do we know that Genesis will come to Barbados?
    Many cruise ships plying the Caribbean(in winter) don’t make it this far South/East.
    Many coming out of E.Coast ports go as far as St.Maarten
    and then loop back North from there.
    ………….

    Although the tonnage on Genesis(220,000 GRT)
    is considerably larger that the current Biggies(around 158,000 GRT) it’s length overall is not appreciably more.
    Genesis is 1,181 ft.long, and yes that’s long but not that much longer than Liberty and Freedom at 1,122 ft.
    Length is probably the biggest factor for the Pilots who berth her.
    ……………

    Anyone needing depth stats re. Bridgetown Port may visit
    http://www.barbadosport.com/aboutus.html
    to see that Genesis’ 9+ metres draught should be accommodated
    since the shallowest depth I see stated is 11 metres.
    …………

    5,000 ship tourists in one day is not insurmountable.
    We already cope with 10,000 pax
    on days when 4 and 5 ships are in Port.
    Of course if IF Genesis docks on a day with (for example) QM2 and another biggie like Explorer of the Seas,
    Bridgetown could be bursting at the seams!
    …………….

    Anchoring in Carlisle Bay is an easy possibility
    but not one that RCI would want to consider
    due to the headaches assoc. with tendering ashore 5,000 pax!
    ………………

    Cruiser sentiment re. Barbados and other island destinations may be found at
    http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5
    Tell you one thing…Swimming/Snorkelling with the Turtles is a BIG attraction for cruisers!
    – turtles and Harrison’s Cave!
    ……………

    Click on
    http://www.royalcaribbean-genesis.com/main.html
    for updates on the Genesis Project
    complete with Aker shipyard construction pics at
    http://www.royalcaribbean-genesis.com/gallery.html
    Genesis is gigantic!

  16. Pingback: Barbados Not Prepared For New Mega Cruise Ships « Barbados Free Press