Jamaica Labor Party blasts Falmouth for slow development


Senator Dennis Meadows of Jamaica's Labor Party lashed out over the lack of development in Falmouth, Jamaica since the port opened to cruises in February 2011.  Falmouth's cruise port is a $7.5 billion endeavor that is a partnership between Jamaica and Royal Caribbean.

"The apparent abandonment of the town since the opening of the cruise ship pier demonstrates the perceived lack of commitment on the part of various government agencies in sustaining the focus on the development of Falmouth."

According to Meadows, businesses in Falmouth have experienced up to a 50 percent fall-off in their revenues since the implementation of the traffic management system in February.

When Falmouth was being planned, there were several projects that were to be included in the finished product including an artisan village, municipal market, and a transport center.

Meadows went on to claim that the people of Falmouth were feeling a sense of abandonment and urged the government agencies in the area to make plans to finish development of the area.

"There is a pervasive sense that the people are subjects of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines which seem to be the primary focus and the sole beneficiary of the development that has so far taken place, and this is unsustainable."

Falmouth helps propel Jamaica into top 10 fastest-growing cruise destination


Jamaica is back in the top-10 fastest-growing cruise destinations in the region after not making the list for the last five years.  Jamaica posted double-digit growth between January and May 2011, growth that has coincided with the opening of the Falmouth cruise port in February of this year.

Since February, Falmouth has seen nearly 181,650 passengers and 65,400 crew arrive which translates to generating $15.8 million in passenger expenditure.  

Falmouth was developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited (RCCL), whose investments were estimated at $167 million and $102 million, respectively.  Royal Caribbean has promised to send eight million cruise passengers over the next 8 years into Falmouth.

Ahead of Jamaica is St Maarten with 21.5% growth, followed by the Bahamas at 16% and Jamaica in third with 12.6%.

Falmouth Jamaica Photo Update


Many of our readers are eager to know the state of construction at Falmouth, Jamaica.  Being one of Royal Caribbean's newest ports of call, it's a common stop for many Royal Caribbean Western Caribbean cruises.  If you're curious what the state of affairs are, here are some photos of the port that Otterman34 posted on CruiseCritic recently.

Falmouth now busiest pier in Jamaica


The newly opened cruise port of Falmouth (developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica in partnership with Royal Caribbean) is so busy with ships stopping there now that it has overtaken Ocho Rios as the busiest on the island, according to data from the PAJ and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

Much of the crowds coming to Falmouth is thanks to Royal Caribbean's massive Oasis class ships that visit each week, carrying some 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew.

Falmouth's effect is being felt all over the island as this month alone has seen a 41% rise in total cruise passengers at Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ochio Rios and Port Antonio compared to a year ago.

From February to April 2011, the Falmouth pier has had almost 100,000 passengers and 34,650 crew pass through which in turn has generated roughly US$8.7 million in passenger expenditure.

The Jamaica Public Bodies 2011-12 doesn't want to forget about Ochio Rios and plans to keep the former leader competitive, "To further capitalize on developments in the cruise industry and maintain a secured position in this area, plans are also in place to upgrade the Ocho Rios cruise ship pier".

Vendor applications in Falmouth spike on cruise days


The brand new port of Falmouth, Jamaica is bustling with new cruise ship passengers who are visiting the port every week and that has local businesses excited.  So much so that the Trelawny Parish Council is overwhelmed with applications for vendor licenses on days when ships are in port.

Last month the Trelawny Parish Council started encouraging vendors to register after reports of some locals harassing cruise guests.  The council reports that in just four days, over 1000 applications have been submitted.

Falmouth Mayor Colin Gager isn't sure how to proceed, "We are overwhelmed by the number of venders who want to sell craft items and at this point we are not sure how we are going to accommodate all of them".

The original plans by the council called for between 20 and 25 vendors in Water square to be allowed on a rotating basis.  In addition, there would be another 50 allowed on the pier during a day when a cruise ship was docked.

Video of the Day: History comes to life in Falmouth, Jamaica


Some complain effects of cruises to Falmouth not felt yet


There's been about seven cruise ships to stop in the brand new Falmouth, Jamaica port so far and while the port's opening has been the subject of much praise and celebration, some locals in the port town are complaining that the economic benefit they were expecting has not been felt yet.

Trelawny Chamber of Commerce President Richard Bourke says some people in the business community have complained about the cruise ship effects, "I am getting both positive and negative reactions. The craft vendors are reporting increased business, while the wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and law offices in Water Square are complaining that the traffic restrictions in the square have severely disrupted their businesses."

In addition, Bourke is critical of how basic services in Falmouth have been prioritized. Specifically, the transportation center that hasn't been bult yet, the unfinished police station, and the new market that were supposed to be completed from last year are all areas that need to be addressed.

In response to these complaints, Godfrey Dyer, Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, said improvements in Water Square should be finished by the end of this month.

Falmouth port officially opens with ribbon cutting ceremony


With the docking of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas on March 22, the brand new Falmouth port in Jamaica is officially opened after a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by Jamaican officials and Royal Caribbean represenatives.

Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain was on hand for the ceremony along with Jamaica Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett,  Member of Parliament Dr Patrick Harris and chairman and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton. 

Henry, in his opening remarks, said, "I am happy to be part of this official opening ceremony for the new cruise ship port here in Falmouth. It is certainly good to be no longer hearing about one cruise port being poised to stifle the others, but about the very exciting times that are here and ahead for the local cruise sector.

"... Whether the cruise liners dock in Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios or Port Antonio, it is important to remember that we are one country, from Negril to Morant Point, as we collectively search for a better life and more opportunities for each and every one of us".

The Falmouth project was developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Thousands come out to greet Oasis of the Seas in Falmouth


Local officials in Falmouth, Jamaica estimate thousands of locals descended upon the new cruise port to witness Royal Caribbean's mega-ship Oasis of the Seas dock for the first time there on Tuesday.

Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain described the scene in conjunction with Oasis' arrival as "Wow".

Seaboard Street (the street adjacent to the wharf) and Market Street were jam-packed with onlookers who wanted to catch a glimpse of the enormous ship and perhaps the promise of a better future with added tourist dollars streaming into the area.

The excitement lasted through Oasis' departure, when she blew her horn a half hour before leaving and many returned to the pier to watch her leave.  Oasis of the Seas will return to Falmouth in two weeks.

Falmouth port officially opens with ceremony


The Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. officially opened Historic Falmouth Port today with the maiden call of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s two largest and most innovative cruise ships. Situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Historic Falmouth is the first-ever thematic cruise port that provides a convenient gateway for guests to embark on more than 60 exhilarating land experiences along the north coast of Jamaica. Additionally, ongoing revitalizations throughout the town of Falmouth will offer guests an extensive array of cultural and historic experiences for an adventurous Jamaican port call on their cruise vacation. At a grand ribbon cutting ceremony, Hon. Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Hon. Michael Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, welcomed cruise guests to Jamaica and Historic Falmouth Port.

“It is especially rewarding for the Port Authority of Jamaica to help bring our country’s cultural history to a new generation of cruise guests,” said Minister Henry, who has portfolio responsibility for cruise shipping. “Our sights have always been to create the best-in-class berthing facilities at the Historic Falmouth Port and establishing the preeminent cruise destination in the region. The arrival of the world’s largest ship, Oasis of the Seas, at Historic Falmouth Port is a milestone for our ongoing success in fostering Jamaica’s tourism industry.

The revitalization of Historic Falmouth is a multi-phased development project, with the first phase offering a two-berth pier, retail and restaurant services, and a transportation center. Subsequent phases will include onsite attractions and experiences, hotel and residential developments, as well as additional retail and restaurant options.

“It is my honor to re-inaugurate Historic Falmouth Port alongside Prime Minister Golding and the people of Falmouth,” said Fain. “Royal Caribbean is delighted to have partnered with the Port Authority of Jamaica to create the Caribbean’s premier cruise port. Together, we are working to deliver our shared vision of the region’s first themed port of call to offer our guests all the best experiences along Jamaica’s north coast.”

The town of Falmouth also has many original prominent houses, shops and public buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries that are still standing and are true historic gems. The restoration and preservation of several buildings in Falmouth is currently underway.