Carnival Corp Ends Cruise Ship Calls Antigua and Barbuda (see video below) – On March 12, 2019, Nathan Dundas, who is the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association (ABCTA), says the island could lose a significant amount of money as a result of the decision of the Florida-based Carnival Cruise Lines to cancel several schedule calls. (due to a Facebook and Instagram outage is morning, the post hasn’t been social shared) [March 13, 2019 – 7:00 to 2:30pm, pst]
Dundas said that the cruise line did not give a reason for the cancellation adding “so all four ships booked commencing next season November 2019 to 2020 – Breeze, Magic, Legend and Pride will be going to other ports.”
“I am afraid that we may see more cancellations and it is indeed cause for concern as these cancellations will impact everyone business from store owners to tour operators and bars and restaurants etc.”
Last month, the Antigua and Barbuda government defended its decision to enter into a multi–million dollar agreement with the London-based Global Ports Holdings (GPH) for the development of the cruise port in the capital. With the writing on the wall, since at least September 6, 2017, this should come as no surprise to Antigua and Barbuda.
Writing On The Wall
As we reported on July 13, 2018 in our article, Caribbean Cruise Port Cities Put on Notice By Cruise Lines, the Caribbean ports were warned. “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 problems have included vendors harassing passengers while they are in port strolling the streets, docks and piers, 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.
On January 10 2019 and January 15, 2019, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Antigua and Barbuda stating specifically, “Review the Crime and Safety Report for Barbados, which covers Antigua and Barbuda.”
There is also a U.S. State Department note for Barbuda specifically, “While Antigua received little damage during the 2017 hurricane season, Barbuda was seriously damaged. Infrastructure on Barbuda is still being rebuilt and there is power to fewer than half of the residences on the island.”
Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage when it made landfall on Barbuda on September 6,2017 with 160 mph winds (Category 5). Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated that the Category 5 hurricane had destroyed 95% of the structures and vehicles on the island. Initial estimates showed that at least 60% of the island’s residents were homeless because of the disaster.
After Hurricane Irma hit the island nation, Ronald Sanders, Ambassador to the US, described the situation on Barbuda, “There is no electricity there, there is no potable water anymore, there is no structure in which people can survive. We have a mammoth task on our hands.” He also stated this is the first time in 300 years that the island has not had a single living person on it.
Later September 6, Prime Minister Gaston Browne “surveyed the territory by helicopter, revealing an effectively uninhabitable island. Irma damaged or destroyed 95% of the structures on Barbuda, including its hospital, schools, and both of its hotels; it completely flattened some residential blocks while submerging others. The destruction rendered the island’s sole airport and much of its infrastructure inoperative—including water and telecommunication services—which further hampered relief efforts. Property damage on Barbuda ranged from $150 million to $300 million. A total of three storm-related deaths have been reported on the island.”
Sanders said, “We are a small island community — the gross domestic product of Antigua is $1 billion a year. We cannot afford to take on this responsibility by ourselves. Barbuda is not just a disaster, it’s a humanitarian crisis. We are hopeful that the international community will come to our aid, not because we’re begging for something we want, but because we’re begging for something that is needed.”
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 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 nation.
- Cruise Port Views Antigua
- Caribbean Cruise Ship Tracker
- Cruise Ship Weather – Caribbean Satellite
- Wikipedia: Hurricane Irma – Barbuda
- Cruise Bruise Blog Hurricane Irma Live Updates– (August 28 to Sept 09)
Recent Antigua Cruise Articles:
- State Department Travel Advisories Bahamas Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda
- MSC Preziosa Passengers Robbed During St John’s Antigua Violent Attack
- P&O Cruises Britannia Passenger Robbed St John’s Antigua
- Caribbean Cruise Port Cities Put on Notice By Cruise Lines
- Caribbean CDC Travel Alert Zika Virus Outbreaks
Video:Carnival Cancels Cruises To Antigua and Barbuda For Breeze Magic Legend Pride Ships