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Grand Cayman closes its borders until September

09 May 2020

The Caribbean island of Grand Cayman has decided to keep its borders closed until at least September 1, 2020.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell confirmed that Cayman’s borders will remain officially closed until at least 1 Sept., and no cruise ships will be landing here before that date.

Grand Cayman's borders had been closed and set to re-open after May 31, but the new timeline was approved by the cabinet.

The new date is not a guarantee that Grand Cayman's borders will re-open by then, simply it is the new "line in the sand".

Kirkconnell said the cruise business “is extremely fluid” and it may be some time before those ships touch local shores.

“I don’t think that we’re going to see cruise vessels back in Grand Cayman [for the] second, third quarter or fourth quarter, to be quite honest. We will continue to dialogue and see what’s the best for the tourism industry and product,” he said.


Excursion Focus: Royal Palms Beach Club in Grand Cayman

08 Sep 2016

One of the most popular spots to visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach for the clear water, beautiful beach and amazing views.  Across Seven Mile Beach, you will find lots of hotels, beach bars and other establishments that offer different experiences for guests to enjoy while there.  One such location is the Royal Palms Beach Club, which can be a great spot for those looking to spend some time on Seven Mile Beach with some extras included.

The Royal Palms is a quick taxi ride away from where Royal Caribbean's tenders drop guests off.  Simply exit the tendering area, go past the shore excursion area and into the parking lot.  From there, you can take a taxi that will be a short 9 minute ride for $4 per person.

The Royal Palms has a $2 per person entrance fee, and then it is up to you to pick and choose what you want. There is plenty to see and do at Royal Palms, and this means you can customize your day here to suit your needs.

Umbrellas will cost you $15 per day, beach chairs $10 and beach cabanas are $100 for the day.  There are also other optional activities that are available to purchase, such as jet ski rentals, snorkel gear, paddleboards, parasailing and more.

The Royal Palms has a restaurant and bar, which you can order from and enjoy the food on the beach or at the bar.

There is also a pool available for use.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Ken Jarvis for providing these photos and details for anyone interested in checking out the Royal Palms for themselves.

Royal Caribbean looks back on one year in France

21 Jun 2012

July first marks the one year anniversary of Royal Caribbean adding a subsidiary in France.  For months, Royal Caribbean has been marketing to support sales and now they are seeing those efforts taking shape with the first cruises to French ports.

On June 3rd, Liberty of the Seas made her inaugural visit to Marseilles and Toulon harbor.  Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship operating in Europe and this summer will offer 21 cruises from France.

On July 5th, another Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, will make its first stop at Le Havre and head for the Norwegian fjords.  Following her will be the recently refurbished Grandeur of the Seas, which will begin with a stop in Marseilles.

Frederic Martinez, CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises France, is happy with the progress the company has made, "We are very happy because ships arrive, they can be seen and tested by customers."

Overall, this year, the company will offer 27 cruises from French ports for a target of 30 to 35,000 passengers. This is less than the expected 40 to 45,000 customers at the launch of the French subsidiary, but Royal Caribbean was forced to reduce the estimates because of a difficult environment and the impact of the Costa Concordia disaster.

"We had one year in the form of a challenge because of the events he was forced to cash. Our growth has remained strong because we are still small, we have established a subsidiary in France there are less than a year, compared to the previous situation, our offer is much stronger because of departures from French ports. Nevertheless, we still felt a slowdown from February to early April. Also noteworthy is that the economic context is not famous. The crisis in the euro area can be felt in all European markets and, like others, the French are watching their budget. But now the market is very strong, although it has been boosted with blows of promotions, which is good for customers but not so good for owners, whose margins are reduced. This also causes a visibility problem because many customers wait until the last minute to book, hoping to get a better price, "says Frederic Martinez.

Royal Caribbean's boss in France believes, that the very aggressive pricing policy practiced in recent months by different companies, which forces Royal Caribbean's hand, should not last: "It's a real issue. We had an exceptional year and it was therefore necessary to sustain demand by offering very attractive. But we must not repeat this indefinitely and make reference price. Because this approach is not economically viable, at least maintaining a high level of quality, what we want. " 

Bad weather cancels port stop for Royal Caribbean ship

21 Oct 2011

Some bad weather in the Caribbean yesterday forced Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas to miss a port of call.  Freedom of the Seas was scheduled to stop at Grand Cayman yesterday but instead took a sea day.

The main reason for not stopping at Grand Cayman was the waves were too big for tenders to safely transport passengers to and from the ship.

Freedom of the Seas was the only Royal Caribbean ship affected by the foul weather, whereas five Carinval Cruise ships and a Norwegian Cruise Line ship had to alter their itineraries in one way or another.

Cayman Islands concerned over drop in cruises

19 Aug 2010

The Department of Tourism in the Cayman Island is concerned after news that cruise ship calls to Grand Cayman will be cut by twenty five percent next year.  In response to the news, the Department of Tourism has announced plans for an enhanced experience at the port, which will be  based on responses from a survey conducted among visiting passengers earlier this year.

In addition, tourism officials are going ahead with a plan to improve service delivery as well as the port’s physical environment. This six month project will take the rest of the year and is a joint venture between the Department of Tourism, the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Cruise Industry Partners.

With the reduction of calls to Cayman next year by cruise lines there were concerns that problems with visitor experience had been instrumental in the cruise lines’ decision to drop Grand Cayman. CNS has contacted both Royal Caribbean and Carnival to ask them why they are reducing calls to the Cayman Islands and is still awaiting a response.

Local businesses seem most concerned with the conditions at the George Town port and the Spotts terminals.  Their primary concern is the need to begin work on the cruise berthing facilities.

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