On Monday, the Disney Magic became the first ship to visit the famed seven mile beach in two years.
The Cayman News Service reports that Grand Cayman Premier Payton, at a press briefing, has said the return of cruise ships reflects the “balanced and pragmatic approach” the Government has taken to the phased tourism reopening plan and a “conservative reintroduction” of ships.
Others might say the island is not ready for tourists, and according to the news service, 11,500 guests are due to arrive on April 6 when many beach spots that once catered to cruise visitors have closed and before all operators are back in business.
The Premier, when asked, did not have an answer to the likely problem of overcrowding, even with fewer cruise tourists, given the lack of beach space now for all visitors not staying in beachfront hotels. He also did not have an answer when asked where cruise guests who are not on paid excursions will spend their time as the numbers increase amid reports from several Seven Mile Beach resorts that they will be limiting their service, especially on the beach, to guests staying at the facilities.
The article in the news also reported that the Government voted an additional CI$5 million last week to assist small tourism operators in obtaining boats, buses, and other equipment repaired or replaced and on the road to recovery.
The Premier did say that he hoped that those businesses that historically catered to cruise tourism in the past would be offering their services again. According to him, “It’s not going to be a complete return, and we are not going to have 100% of the business operational at the right time,” he said, adding that he felt there would be enough.
I guess he will find out after those 11, 500 guests excited to visit Grand Cayman come and go on April 6.