Adrian Loveridge Column – Contribution of the Cruise Industry During and Post Covid 19

Will it be about the quantity or the quality, both in terms of numbers and beneficial contribution when cruise ships finally return to Barbados?

Traditionally of course, we usually only see one or maybe two cruise ships arrive weekly during the long summer months, but come November under post pandemic conditions the Bridgetown Port is thriving with a multitude of cruise ships docking with passenger capacities ranging from 150 up to 6,000 persons plus crew.

Last week the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Corporation reported a net loss of a staggering US$2.2 billion for the fourth quarter of their 2020 financial year. Their website boasts ‘the cruise lines within our portfolio include the most recognised brands in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Australia – areas that account for 85 percent of the world’s cruise passengers’.

Among those brands is Princess, which had no less than seven* of its ships (Grand, Diamond, Coral, Sun, Ruby, Pacific and Regal) involved in serious Covid-19 outbreaks and another two (Emerald and Royal) with suspected cases or given no-sail orders. *source: Wikipedia. Overall, as a consequence of the pandemic, so far Carnival has ‘accelerated the removal of 19, older less efficient ships, 15 of which have already left the fleet’.

To put that in overall perspective, those retired 19 ships represent approximately 13 per cent of pre-pause capacity and three per cent of operating income in 2019. Despite the groups astronomical losses, its chief executive (CEO), Arnold Donald, remains remarkably upbeat , stating ‘2020 has proven to be a true testament to the resilience of our company’.

Adding ‘We took aggressive actions to implement and optimize a complete pause in our guest cruise operations across all brands globally and developed protocols to begin our staggered resumption, first in Italy for our Costa brand, then followed by Germany for our Aida brand’.

‘We are now working diligently towards resuming operations in Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and United States over the course of 2021’.

‘We are well positioned to capitalize on pent-up demand and to emerge a leaner, more efficient company, reinforcing our industry-leading position’.

At this stage no specific mention of the Caribbean has been made, which for decades has produced their single largest source for sales and passenger numbers, but Mr. Donald is quoted as stating ‘we are working toward having all our ships back in service by the end of the year’.

Clearly, this may encourage our tourism policymakers to plan for the upcoming winter 2021/22 season and to finally evaluate exactly how ‘we’ as a country can justify the massive taxpayer subsidies already spent on our local cruise infrastructure over the past decades, to ensure this ‘investment’ becomes truly cost-effective?

Will the cruise companies remember the overwhelming support given to repatriate passengers and crew during the most challenging times of their entire history, or will this be lost in the wind or stormy seas?

To ensure accuracy, I submitted this column to the media department at Carnival and Princess for any corrections and/or comments prior to submission.

Roger Frizzell, Carnival Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, was gracious enough to respond personally with the following message:

‘We are extremely thankful and greatly appreciative of the assistance and support provided to our cruise lines and crew members during this difficult time’.

119 comments

  • Lawson

    PTL trained the woman ! He is 100% Bajan

    Canadá rubbing off on you

    Like

  • @ Donna
    I was speaking directly to Hal. It was a different time. I am not carrying water for anybody and I am not responsible for Hal Austin or anybody else. Hal has a formidable intellect and is more than capable of representing himself.
    Hal complimented me and I reflected on how we were as youngsters. I have not seen or heard Hal , outside of BU , for over forty years.
    Not once did I mention or implied anything about BU in my post.
    Respectfully, I will make personal notes to people but I will not be drawn into any more back and forth.
    Amazingly, my comment was really in reference to the decline of public discourse and not any discourse on BU. BU was not around in the late 60s or early 70s and that was the context in which I communicated with Comrade Austin.
    Like you and anybody else he can write whatever he likes. So can I !

    Like

  • @ William

    You must remain focused. I sometimes say people fabricate all kinds of things, I now realise that many of us do not even realise when we are manufacturing myths.
    What is important is that whatever personal demons are destroying some of us, we must keep the liberation of ordinary working class Barbadian in our sight.
    I was told a story years ago by a guy from the Ivy who worked at the MCW in the Pine. He said there was a mentally disturbed guy who would stand on Two Mile Hill and shout at Tom Adams every morning as he was driven down on his way to work, until one morning Tom got so angry he stopped the driver, got out and followed the man in to the MCW yard where he worked. Tom sacked him on the spot.
    Here was the prime minister of a great country, who allowed a mentally disturbed man to get to him; so the man lost his job, but he won the confrontation with Adams.
    Sometimes you have to be careful of the outright fabrications of people on BU; the risk of that is that once repeated often people begin to believe them, that is why I have said to you on a number of occasions do not believe everything you read on BU, especially personal details. Just do not repeat them as truths.
    The reality is there was a time when we as a nation had a collective sense of purpose as a nation, as families (extended and nuclear) and as individuals.
    Those of us who were not academic went off and tried to learn a trade or craft, you may remember the old Evening Institute, it was a moment in our history when we shared certain values in common.
    Others of us, who felt we had come to a fork in the road, jumped on ships and plans to go to the UK, US and Canada in search of a future.
    Those were the old days. Now we cannot even have a proper conversation in which we bring our varied experiences. Some people come on BU to have a fight, most of whom I am sure you are aware of. They want to settle imagined scores with people they do not know and have never met, while others come on to learn and be informed. Some even hear voices.
    You must stay focused. Ignore the background noise. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Like

  • @ Hal
    Thanks for the advice Bro’.

    Like

  • No better than many on BU. Sometimes he makes a lot of sense. Other times he offers rubbish!

    This is because he does not know if he is fish or fowl. If he could just figure that out then he would be very useful

    Like

  • @ Hal
    My major focus is to remain committed to a New Caribbean Nation and the eradication of poverty wherever it exists. Two goals that after 60 or more decades of Independence, we in the Caribbean are not thinking of our strengths but remain zoomed in on petty squabbles.
    I read about the need to connect with Africa. I noticed that the Nation newspaper now has a small column: Eye on Africa.
    I recall a million years ago, when Africa was in the forefront of the independence movement. We had literature about the Organization of African Unity. We read of Nyerere and Nkrumah.
    I remember when General Gowon visited Barbados. He was overthrown before he got back to Africa. It is said that the big American car that N.E. Wilson drove was actually ordered for Gowon but was bought by Wilson while he was in America You are correct. We were a different people then. We are being more decimated now by cultural penetration than at any other period in our post independence era. And when I say we , I mean the entire region.
    We have to break this one step forward two steps backward approach to development.
    @ WURA understands this and she daily displays an impressive stamina in brining information to BU.@ Pacha also understands this but we apparently are waiting fir some divine intervention.
    We press on ……… we press on in honor of those freedom fighters who have gone before us. You and I know where the bodies are buried. And we know who murdered them. We press on………

    Like

  • @ William

    Your observations and analyses are so correct they should be compulsory for young school children. Living in the UK, I have a different idea of Caribbean unity because we were forced to support each other because of the hostility of the host nation.
    But, observing CARICOM from thousands of miles away, it is a total disaster. Let us start with the most immediate crisis facing the regional body: CoVid.
    Where is the CARICOM approach? What have we done collectively to combat this plague? We are all in our little silos battling like midgets against a giant.
    There have been 200 candidate vaccines looking for global approval, not a single one from the Caribbean. We do not have any generic pharmaceutical firms, so we cannot even buy in to the manufacture of the approved vaccines.
    We do not have the scientists (apart from individuals working in Canada, the US and UK), to provide expert advice to our governments and people; in Barbados we have to ‘promote’ the acting CMO and the other hangers-on with a bogus expertise. We have failed our people at this crucial time.
    I would make one simple suggestion that CARICOM should have done: put a ring of steel around the union, and treat all member states as part of the bubble, allowing free movement, etc. and banning all travel in or out of that bubble.
    Where there were outbreaks of the virus, lockdown down that area and mass test everyone within the border. A lockdown, for example, for a month to six weeks, would deal with any existing infections, including asymptomatic carriers, giving us breathing space to kick-start the economy.
    CoVid aside, we want to drill down our regional unity, with direct elections to a CARICOM parliament, a CARICOM single currency (the Caribe), a CARICOM central bank, regulatory equivalence, a single detective agency, military etc. In other words, going from one CARICOM nation should be like walking from Brittons Hill to Collymore Rock.
    We seem to be happy with the poorly functioning institution we have and there is no pressure to from our political leaders to improve matters.
    Years ago, I suggested to a Jamaican publisher that he should bring out a Caribbean-wide English language paper, he looked at me as if I was from Mars. If I was in Paris, in the morning I would get up, go downstairs and buy an English-language paper as if I was in London. Why can’t we do that in CARICOM?
    I will end on this. When the world-class president was chairman of CARICOM, it was a brilliant six-month period during which she could have published a future plan, a vision, for the union. She did not.
    All it takes is sound regional unity for CARICOM to punch the weight, genuinely, of the Nordic countries, and thst is without any radical economic reforms. We cannot even agree simple policies among ourselves.
    Some of us recognise China, and others Taiwan, we allowed Trump to invite some of us to the White House, and ignored the others. We need a single foreign policy and to speak with one voice.

    Like

  • @ Hal
    There are some flickers of hope but we are immersed in a perverse political ignorance.

    Like

  • The Official Gazette has still not been published, since Jan 30 2020. As we approach the 1 year anniversary, one notes the official website
    https://www.barbadosparliament.com/gazette
    continues to show that Bills before the house have, as an example, “First appeared in the Official Gazette: 14/12/2020”. Yet, no Official Gazette shows for that period.
    With digital printing, why has the GoB CEASED production of this vital document?

    Like

  • Because a little birdie just sent me a note, I am aware the GIS is digitally publishing SELECT sections of the Gazette
    https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/the-official-gazette/
    BUT….it is available via the government printer at
    http://governmentprintery.gov.bb/portal/publications.php
    why they haven’t merged the printery and the parliament sites is beyond my explanation. The Gazette is seems is now published daily, you just have to know how to find it. My bad.

    Like

  • @Blogmaster
    further to a comment/observation from Walter Blackman some months ago, it would appear from the Gazette dated Dec 28/2020, the following now fall under
    MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND INVESTMENT
    WITH EFFECT FROM 23RD JULY, 2020
    (b) Social Security
    Severance Payments
    National Insurance, including Old Age Pensions
    National Insurance Department
    National Insurance Board

    Subsequently, we now have the MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP RELATIONS

    Like

  • @Northern Observer

    Thanks.

    Like

  • The Caribbean region is viewed by outsiders as low hanging fruit vulnerable to being absorbed by an entity irrespective of their size. For example how was it possible that an insignificant figure such as Mrs Ram was able to have had such an influence on the island. There are many Mrs Rams throughout our region.

    The failure of our region can be measured, absolutely, by the fact that we have “never” waged war against each other, that we have never experienced famines, pestilences, tsunamis and a whole host of other great levellers. Some of you may argue, correctly, that each year our region experiences hurricanes. Hurricanes are predictable, we know when they will visit us and should be able to plan for their arrival.

    Our infrastructure should be designed and planned to mitigate against this know threat.

    The aspirational views of the Caribbean region of Hal and William Skinner are naive. Logic and common sense are not Caribbean traits. For example, Caricom failed to integrate Haiti within the region. Where was Haiti’s Marshall plan from Caricom whilst Haitian citizens lived in squalor?

    Yes, the region has had a terrible slave legacy. However compared to so many other nations since the sixties we have enjoyed so many comparative advantages. From Vietnam to Rwanda we have never experienced war. Those two countries have left us far behind.

    Who would believe that after 54 years of independence with no great leveller to undermine our country’s future; that we still look towards the tourist industry to rescue our economy from the abyss.

    Our leaders have failed us and the citizens of the country are simply not up to par.

    I am not certain where the region goes from here. Sadly, too many Bajans are in a state of denial over the future of their country. It’s going to end very badly for large numbers of their off-spring and their descendants.

    Like

  • @ TLSN
    Fair comment. However how others see us is not the problem; it’s how we see ourselves.
    Dreamer maybe I am , but naive I am not. Let me share some facts we need to remember:
    Slavery was abolished 1835/1838; by 1954 we had adult suffrage, by the 1960s we were all seeking independence. That is less than 150 years. That means we went from slaves to self government in a very short historical period.
    I am putting it to you and anybody else that we can become one Caribbean nation within 50 years or less if we so choose.
    All we lack is progressive visionary leadership.
    Another fact:
    In the 60s Black Americans were experiencing devastating racism in every area of their lives. Within less than sixty years they have had a Black President and the first female Black Vice President.
    History is on my side.
    Venceremos !

    Like

  • David

    You need to do like Facebook and flag inaccurate posts. The post by the Hal Austin at 8:30am is riddled with disinformation and misinformation, which is quite shocking given his background. He refers to the covid response group of doctors as “hangers-on with a bogus expertise.” Both Dr.Best and Dr.Forde are trained specialists.🤣🤣🤣

    Like

  • @enuff

    Tired.

    Like you stated it is 2021.

    Like

  • @TLSN

    I 100% with your assessment of where we are and why we are there but we can NEVER give up. We always have to keep striving to improve the region and there is creativity, hope and talent especially with our youngsters. The are avenues that can be explored despite the awfully clueless politicians who can’t implement or manage one damn thing and are useless tools

    Like

  • We do not have the scientists (apart from individuals working in Canada, the US and UK), to provide expert advice to our governments and people; in Barbados we have to ‘promote’ the acting CMO and the other hangers-on with a bogus expertise. We have failed our people at this crucial time…….(Quote)

    David

    You need to do like Facebook and flag inaccurate posts. The post by the Hal Austin at 8:30am is riddled with disinformation and misinformation, which is quite shocking given his background. He refers to the covid response group of doctors as “hangers-on with a bogus expertise.” Both Dr.Best and Dr.Forde are trained specialists.🤣🤣🤣….(Quote)

    ??????????

    Like

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