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.

St. Kitts added to Navigator of the Seas' itinerary


After Royal Caribbean decided to move Navigator of the Seas from Europe to the Caribbean, St Kitts has been added to her itinerary for the 2011-2012 cruise season.

Navigator of the Seas' new winter schedule will have her sailing out of Fort Lauderale, Florida on a series of five and nine-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries starting on November 20.

Harry Liu, Royal Caribbean Spokesman, says the last minute deployment is about demand, “We are responding to vacationers’ demand for more Caribbean options this coming winter (and) spring".

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.

Falmouth ready and excited for arrival of Oasis of the Seas


The residents of Falmouth, Jamaica are ready to welcome Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas today as she makes her inaugural visit to the port.

Port Authority of Jamaica Public Relations Officer Andrea White indicated that all systems are in place to accommodate the mega-ship.  Furthermore, the berthing facility atFalmouth port is 100 percent ready and everyone is raring to witness this historic moment.

Work crews have been working hard to ensure that Water Square looks perfect for Tuesday’s arrival of the ship. Colin Gager, Mayor of Falmouth, said cleaning efforts would continue right up to the arrival of the ship.

The townspeople are excited for the arrival too.  Many residents have been flooding the Mayor's office to seek more information on her arrival and the Mayor has announced big screen televisions will be placed at strategic points in Water Square so that residents can see what is happening on the port.

Jamaica's Consul General greets Oasis of the Seas passengers


Sandra Grant Griffiths, Jamaica's Consul General, greeted Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas' passengers this past Saturday to commemorate the mega-ship's first stop at the brand new Falmouth cruise port in Jamaica.

The moment took place in Port Everglades, Florida as Griffiths wished the ship a great vacation as it would begin a journey to bring its passengers to Jamaica.  Oasis will dock at Falmouth today, March 22, which coincides with the celebration of the official opening of the Falmouth Port.

Mrs. Grant Griffiths was accompanied on tour by officials of Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited, officials of Broward County Commission, and the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Royal Caribbean cancels all stops in Japan due to earthquake


Royal Caribbean has decided to  cancel all stops in Japan due to the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the country last week.

Its Legend of the Seas ship will forgo stops at Fukuoka, Japan and will instead skip ahead in its itinerary to Busan, South Korea.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean explained the motivation behind the change, "We are aware that several countries have issued advisories discouraging travel to Japan, and many of our guests have expressed concern about whether it is safe to call there. Although the areas of concern are far from Fukuoka, Japan, there is no doubt that the situation remains fluid and continues to deteriorate. Therefore, we have decided to cancel Legend of the Seas' port call."

Caribbean worried about more ships going to Europe


With another Royal Caribbean ship moving from the Caribbean to Europe in the summer of 2012, the Caribbean Tourism Organization has expressed concern over the growing momentum to take business away from their region of the world.

Royal Caribbean announced earlier than Serenade of the Seas would be leaving the Caribbean in favor of a European itinerary and the CTO is taking steps to develop alternative strategies, with the goal of becoming more competitive in the cruise line business during the summer period.

The Caribbean is still an in-demand place to visit and remains highly rather and Caribbean cruises form a significant part of tourism in general.  Supporting this data is the fact that arrivals increased by 6% in 2010, which continues to build upon strong tourist figures that have been steadily accumulating over the past four decades.

Of particular concern is the Southern Caribbean, which experiences good demand in the winter but the summer season is disadvantaged by the geographic factor and the high cost of fuel.

Royal Caribbean leaving Barbados


Royal Caribbean has decided to end port of calls in Barbados after moving Serenade of the Seas to Europe for the Summer 2012 cruise season.

The move has upset Caribbean officials, namely the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which has expressed concern about the loss.  CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said they are aware that repositioning is a normal course of business within the cruise sector, particularly during the summer months.

St. Kitts added to Allure of the Seas' itinerary


St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism Richard “Ricky” Skerritt announced that Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, will make a stop to St. Kitts in December 2011.

Allure will make a stop at the island's Port Zante cruise pier on December 30.

Royal Caribbean's vice president of Government Relations, Michael Ronan, is excited about the news of bringing Allure to St. Kitts for the first time, "Royal Caribbean International is delighted to bring the world-renowned Allure of the Seas to St. Kitts. While Allure of the Seas is the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, the ship’s ports of call are also very important to our guests. We look forward to bringing more of them to beautiful and vibrant St. Kitts."

Royal Caribbean now expects 45 ports of call to St. Kitts in the 2011-2012 season by its ships, doubling the 2010-2011 season when just 20 calls were made there.

Falmouth is ready for Oasis of the Seas and other mega ships


The Port Authority of Jamaica announced today that its brand new Falmouth port that opened to cruise ships yesterday is now ready for mega ships like Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas now that all navigational requirements have been met.

When Voyager of the Seas docked yesterday in Falmouth, she was able to confirm that the berthing facilities "met and surpassed global standards".

Falmouth is a joint venture between the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean that cost $170 million.

Mike Henry, Minister of Transport & Works for the Port Authority was excited to welcome even bigger ships to Falmouth, “We are elated with the successful completion of this project which now creates an opportunity for Jamaica to receive Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise ship, and we will do so at a time, when there is a high level of competition in the cruise industry. In addition, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our main partners, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited, for forming this strategic partnership."