The writing is on the wall says Antigua. A Daily Observer in Antigua editorial is centered on fear that Royal Caribbean , Celebrity Cruises and other cruise lines may leave the destination for friendlier ports, because if you “harass our passengers, we will leave.”
The newspaper outlines the writing on the wall, “Apparently, the cruise ship operators have cited security concerns as the reason for pulling-out of Falmouth. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, the mayor of Falmouth expressed three reasons for the decision: (1) “visitor harassment,” (2) the “conduct of tour bus operators,” and (3) “craft vendors leaving much to be desired.”
The problem cruise ports face with cruise customer satisfaction is a growing concern for all cruise lines not just in Jamaica and Antigua, but in the Caribbean has a whole. The same issue had been taking place in the Turks and Caicos and Carnival Cruise Lines voiced their concerns about cruise ship passengers being harassed while in port.
The focus seems to be not only on vendors harassing passengers while they are in port strolling the streets, docks and piers, but more disturbingly while they are relaxing on the beach, as they are approached by pushy vendors hawking their wares.
Concerns also included port problems with overly aggressive licensed vendors, unlicensed vendors, undocumented islanders, trespassing on cruise line property and other issues well within the control and responsibility of local legislation and law enforcement.
The end result is cruise customers “having a bad customer experience” and not booking cruises, as well as warning others not to book a cruise through a certain cruise line or not to cruise to these ports.
Customer word of mouth about bad cruise port experiences, as well as bad press in long established cruise origination regions of the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom are damaging to individual cruise line brands, as they are held responsible for customer satisfaction. But, ultimately the port economies suffer, as cruise lines replace ports on their itineraries.
Between Royal Caribbean and Carnival they jointly control about 150 cruise ships. Carnival controls 100 vessels across 10 cruise line brands and Royal Caribbean controls three brands 100% which include 49 ships and has joint ventures partnerships with several other cruise lines. Together, they can make or break the economy of a single cruise port city or an entire Caribbean island.
Video: Turks and Caicos SUN – Cruise Ship Passengers Complain About Harassment