Royal Caribbean challenges Jamaicans to finish Falmouth port


Royal Caribbean Vice President of Commercial Development John Tercek is encouraging Jamaicans to work harder in the development of the new cruise port at Falmouth in Jamaica.

Falmouth is a joint venture between Royal Caribbean and the Port Authority of Jamaica, but the project has been delayed quite a bit from it's initial plans.  Tercek's call to action is a response to Royal Caribbean's desire to complete the project.

Speaking at the Stocks and Securities Limited investors forum on Tuesday, Tercek was giving a speech on the topic: 'Falmouth and the cruise-ship pier'.  When asked why Jamaica was not realizing its potential in the sector, Tercek responded , "Jamaicans are very good at talking and they are not so good at action. We try to take the initiative. We try to show up, not as talkers but as doers. We are putting a lot of money into the town. We made a lot of commitments to the town and to Jamaica."

"We have been trying to be a catalyst. We can't do it all - we can't restore, rehabilitate ... all of the town (Falmouth). We can do our project. We can bring our guests. We can make further investments into the town, and we are doing all of that ... but it is going to take a lot of initiative, not only from the Government," Tercek said, pointing out that all parties involved will have to take part.

Delays at Falmouth have caused cruise ships to cancel calls to the port.  Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas had been scheduled to make its maiden call at the port back on January 7 burt was forced to cancel. 

The updated schedule has Voyager of the Seas arriving on February 17, followed by Oasis of the Seas in March.

Jamaican Ministers respond to Falmouth delays


Despite construction delays and worker issues, Jamaican officials are confident that the brand new Falmouth port will be ready for cruisers starting on February 17.

Minister of Transport and Works,  Mike Henry says work stoppage issues at historic Falmouth Cruise Port Development have been settled.  Furthermore, the new port facility will be ready for its revised opening in February.

Originally, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas was set to dock in Falmouth on January 7th but the project goals were not met and therefore, Navigator was rerouted to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Royal Caribbean pushes back first cruise stop at Falmouth


The Jamaica Observer is reporting that Royal Caribbean is pushing back the first cruise ship stop at it's soon-to-be-opened cruise port facility at Falmouth, Jamaica.  Originally Navigator of the Seas was scheduled to stop here on January 7th but now Navigator of the Seas has been rescheduled to arrive on February 17th.

The new date was selected to "ensure that both the port and the town were ready to offer the ship's approximately 4,000 passengers and 1,200 crew a positive experience".

Falmouth Jamaica port not ready?


A brand new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica is set to open this month, which has been a major project for Royal Caribbean but reports are coming in that the billion dollar port isn't quite ready yet.

A visit by a reporter for the Jamaica Observer newspaper reports the port looks "more like a bomb went off on the site than a high-class tourist trap".

Massive cranes were still dumping debris scraped from the sea-bottom along the shoreline at the foot of the giant double pier. Heavy earth-movers slipped deftly between scurrying hard-hatted workers, some drilling, some tamping down earth, some disappearing into the catacombs of maintenance access points beneath the earth, like hundreds of worker ants.

Royal Caribbean's first ship, Navigator of the Seas, is set to dock at Falmouth on January 7th,

Falmouth cruise port in Jamaica to open in January 2011


The brand new 32-acre Falmouth port in Jamaica will finally open next month.  The construction of the port has been a $220-million project developed by Royal Caribbean in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica.  

The first ship to dock will be Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, and her guests will have access to walking tours of the 240-year-old town, as well as access to 60 attractions in the surrounding area and in Ocho Rio and Montego Bay.

Falmouth, Jamaica port still not ready


Unfortunately the brand new port at Falmouth, Jamaica is still not ready for cruise business yet, a fact that cannot sit well with Royal Caribbean.  Royal Caribbean has tried infusing the project with millions of dollars to get things going and the port is still not ready for cruises due to a number of construction delays.

All was expected to be ready in time to welcome 1,800 passengers from P&O's Aurora and another 1,250 from Holland America's Ryndam on November 3, but those visits have now been cancelled and the ships will divert to Ocho Rios.

The new plan is to have Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas make the inaugural visit to the port on January 7, with Oasis and Allure following in March.  A Royal Caribbean spokesperson had this to say about the progress and future of the port.

"The revitalisation of Historic Falmouth Port is moving forward as scheduled and we look forward to beginning ship calls at what will be a great cruise port.
By mutual agreement between the Jamaica Port Authority and Holland America, initial ship calls to Falmouth that were scheduled during November and December 2010 will now anchor at Ocho Rios. This modification will minimize interference with the ongoing construction efforts that include more than 300 workers on site.
Royal Caribbean looks forward to the cruise port's successful completion and readiness by January 2011."

Proposal for Falmouth to eliminate cars on cruise days


The Trelawny Parish Council is in favor of the Jamaican state-run Urban Development Corporation (UDC's) proposal to pedestrianise Falmouth's town center area on days when cruise ships would dock there.  In the proposal, the entire business-centric Water Square will be isolated from vehicular traffic on days when cruise ships making calls at the soon to be developed Falmouth pier.

The Falmouth business community are largely against the idea, citing that the proposal would impact negatively on their businesses.

"It will kill the commerce of the town...all the stores in the centre of the town including Courts (furniture store), the pharmacies, the Trelwany Co-operative Credit Union, NCB (National Commercial Bank) the lawyer office, myself, supermarkets as well as all the stores along Seaboard Street will be affected," said Richard Shirley, a gas station operator, whose businessplace is located on the periphery of the small town centre in a recent interview with the Observer West.

Mayor of Falmouth Colin Gager disagrees with the businesses, claiming that "It will not affect them because Market Street would still be opened to vehicular traffic so motorists could still have access to Mr Shirley's gas station, for instance".  Gager added that it would be necessary to pedestrianise the town on ship days because of the expected large number of cruise ship visitors.

Starting in November, cruise ships will start making calls at the Falmouth pier, which is being developed at a cost of $7.5 billion by the Port Authority of Jamaica in collaboration with the Royal Caribbean.

New Falmouth port in Jamaica to open by November


The new cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica now has a tentative opening date of November 2 according to E Pihl & Son Project Manager Jes Olsen. Olsen says the first two ships to use the historic port will be arriving on November 2.

Despite the port welcoming in ships by then, construction work will not be complete by then yet and at that time, "it will be a construction site", Olsen said.  Visitors who do dock in November will be taking buses to nearby Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

The goal is to have the port fully operational by March 13, 2011 when Oasis of the Seas will dock there.

Olsen would not say how much of a dent the overrun will put in the budget, but he noted that the longer the work takes, the more costly the project becomes.   According to Olsen, the delaying factors include soft soil at a spot where all the utilities are to be run, as well as coral which has had to be removed.

Royal Caribbean has a vested interest in the port opening, as The Port Authority of Jamaica is responsible for the port infrastructure, while Royal Caribbean committed $102 million to the land structures, such as the shops and restaurants.

In addition to Oasis of the Seas, other Royal Caribbean ships are scheduled to stop at the port.  Navigator of the Seas has a visit scheduled as well as Freedom of the Seas a bit later.