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Is the VI caught in competition war with cruise liners?

As discussion rages on the latest debacle surrounding the cruise pier development project, talk show host Julio Sam Henry is contending that much of the jostling over berthing agreements with the government is simply about competition between cruise liners. Photo: VINO
Julio Sam Henry said cruise ships have been dominating and manipulating the territories for a long time and expressed that the government of the Virgin Islands has recognised this and has been trying their best not to put the strength into the hands of cruise liners. Photo: VINO/File
Julio Sam Henry said cruise ships have been dominating and manipulating the territories for a long time and expressed that the government of the Virgin Islands has recognised this and has been trying their best not to put the strength into the hands of cruise liners. Photo: VINO/File
He argued that part of the problem with government’s negotiations, reportedly led by Works Minister Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (above),d with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Disney Cruise Line (DCL), and perhaps the reason that no agreement has been signed as yet, is because both companies are also looking for concessions that the territory can’t seem to agree on. Photo: VINO/File
He argued that part of the problem with government’s negotiations, reportedly led by Works Minister Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (above),d with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Disney Cruise Line (DCL), and perhaps the reason that no agreement has been signed as yet, is because both companies are also looking for concessions that the territory can’t seem to agree on. Photo: VINO/File
Co-host Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said the problem that Carnival is having now, is having to go through NCL and DCL. Photo: VINO/File
Co-host Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said the problem that Carnival is having now, is having to go through NCL and DCL. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – As discussion rages on the latest debacle surrounding the cruise pier development project, talk show host Julio Sam Henry is contending that much of the jostling over berthing agreements with the government is simply about competition between cruise liners.

While speaking as a caller on the Speak Out BVI radio show aired last evening, October 22, 2013, Henry said cruise ships have been dominating and manipulating the territories for a long time and expressed that the government of the Virgin Islands has recognised this and has been trying their best not to put the strength into the hands of cruise liners.

He argued that part of the problem with government’s negotiations (reportedly led by Works Minister Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool) with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Disney Cruise Line (DCL), and perhaps the reason that no agreement has been signed as yet, is because both companies are also looking for concessions that the territory can’t seem to agree on. “If we could have agreed, we would have already signed,” he proposed.

“Those cruise ships are also asking for things that people don’t know about and the Minister’s not sharing. They are also asking for rights to control the flow of the berthing, which is what Carnival [Cruise Line] highlighted… and they also would be able to use that right to trade spaces in other territories,” Henry said.

According to Henry, each of the cruise lines, Carnival, NCL and Disney are demons, “that’s what these guys do, they compete… they go out and they compete for market share just like everybody else.”

The commentator said though he is not part of the negotiation process, he simply wished to bring some reasoning to the table, “because I really think that they who are negotiating for us are failures. That’s how I look at it. Every little scheme they have tried so far, failed.”

“Everybody understands if you’re in business or finance you understand exactly what the government is trying to do. They need guarantees in order to secure a loan in order to build the dock. But that isn’t what the government told us. The government told us that they are going to do the dock themselves,” he asserted.

Henry also noted that regardless of which cruise line came, the territory would eventually be guaranteed a $15 head tax because this was the legislation enacted for visitors to the territory.

Meanwhile Co-host Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said the problem that Carnival is having now, is having to go through NCL and DCL, “to ask someone to go through their competitor is somewhat of an undignified situation to be in,” he noted.

He felt that if the intention was to introduce new demographics through NCL and DCL, then the territory shouldn’t be burning its bridges to do so, “and I think an additional pier would allow you to be able to see if you could keep Carnival and Disney. If you want to give those special privileges, have Norwegian and Disney build you a pier in a different location and then you can keep Carnival and some of the other ships,” Wheatley added.

33 Responses to “Is the VI caught in competition war with cruise liners?”

  • No (23/10/2013, 08:50) Like (16) Dislike (6) Reply
    We are caught in a corruption war. The NDP are fighting each other in the government to see who can fill their pockets with our money while we go broke.
    • True Dat (24/10/2013, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Very true the need to stop stealing our $ and sell out the country, to think I supported them like a big stupid. I am sure alot of us saying the same thing
  • my two cents (23/10/2013, 08:52) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    The only fight we are in is one of greed by our present NDP government. No one with sense gives up a bird in their hand for two in the bush unless greed & corruption is involved.
  • People (23/10/2013, 08:55) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    The NDP are bullies. You all got angry when Fraser & FAHIE told us this for the last year but I come to realize that these guys are correct. They went trying to bully Carnival & now we ALL are paying for their regular arrogant behavior that we continue to allow. They do not fight for we the people but rather for their own pockets. Now they want to bully the local media & try to silence them.
  • In a catch 22 (23/10/2013, 08:56) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Premier needs to fire Mark asap but the Premier himself needs to be fired asap. We are in a catch 22.
  • SImple question (23/10/2013, 09:02) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    If Mark says he is not acting in a questionable manner then wouldn't it be wise to ask Royal Caribbean to take a crack at the Port'scruise pier & and base development since they were they only other tenderer to Disney for the development of the cruise dock?
  • Vantage (23/10/2013, 09:21) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    Royal and Carnival are both trying to bully their way into the BVI and we will not have it. To the person saying Government is trying to bully Carnival, if you researched the mammoth of a corporation Carnival is, you won't make such assinine statements. It is a tough choice and the problem in the BVI is no matter who is chosen people will talk about sell out and this and that. The next suggestion from these two loony bins will be for BVI to invest in their own ship, don't put it passed them. They have no clue what they speak of. These cruise liners have done this same thing in the Caribbean Islands and we don't want to end up in that same position. On the other hand I do agree that Mark and Claude need to be lashed and appear to be abject failures. It's either they cannot communicate properly or they're simply out of their league on this one. I know they can't disclose certain information while in negotiations but they're not saying/doing anything to calm this nation while breaking news continue to leak out about what can potentially happen. It seems like a PR nightmare and incompetence all rolled up into one stinking pie.
    • geezumbred (23/10/2013, 09:42) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      You sit in your easy chair spouting you assssiiinine lies. We know it is your JOB to write crop in defense or you dollar cart. You guys are the greatest threat to the continued development of this territory. The $$$$$$$$$$ got you blind. You only talk patriotism when it suits you asking others to sacrifice while you continue filling your pockets and you BELLY. Gway fool with your LIES.
      • Vantage (23/10/2013, 10:24) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        Tell me one lie that I told in my post. Just ONE! And don't throw words, back it up. I have no interests in NDP or the cruise business I am just telling it like it is. If I was what you described I won't be wasting my time blogging. I love my country but hate idiots!
        • fest (23/10/2013, 12:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          Ummmm...what did he get done, again?
          • Vantage (23/10/2013, 19:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            None of you can tell me something wrong in my post you know why? Your aim is to come here with ignorance and cause confusion, nothing to do with fact and reality. You throw your words then run, then come back under a different name and that's Lame!
    • ... (23/10/2013, 22:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Very good points Vantage.
  • ooooo (23/10/2013, 09:35) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    ndp killed the goose that laid the golden eggs
  • To vantage (23/10/2013, 09:36) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Everyone else done see that this NDP ship has sprung a leak except you. People like you help me to understand the mentality of the crew on the Titanic.
    • Vantage (23/10/2013, 10:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Did you even read my post or just the first line? I agree that NDP are not handling this matter properly so please read again and stop chatting nonsense. This is all political BS because all the cruise lines are looking out for themselves and the politicians are doing the same. It's confusing to hear people here lobbying for Carnival as if they're saints. Hmm...
  • pete (23/10/2013, 09:50) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I said from the beginning that the government officials were not sophisticated or experienced enough to handle these kinds of negotiations beginning with TTP/ Disney. Remember everything was "free" because the company was picking up the tab? Who then owns the rights to the dock? Historically, Government hasn't thought deal through or asked big enough compensation to make a difference (think Oil Nut Bay). And now North Sound is influencing the size of the airport for their own.

    I do believe that there is a war going on between the cruise companies using BVI as a pawn and scaring the Government with ultimatums, but we forget that we are in the drivers seat. We have the destination they are all fighting over. So if we get too many ships and thousands a day, do we run the risk of ruining the very thing people come to see? How many is too many?
  • high hope (23/10/2013, 11:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    why is international investors pulling out under this govrnment? shame on the ndp for what they did to the bvi
  • FALL GUY (23/10/2013, 11:23) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    MARK AND MYRON WILL BE THE DOWN FALL OF THE NDP
    • Read (23/10/2013, 12:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Lissen ti me mi preshus lil Tee Tee. I is y friend, unless a na y friend, ok? Jes unnastan dat
  • @@@@@@ (23/10/2013, 12:14) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hold on to your seats, the NDP is just getting started!

  • blow joe. (23/10/2013, 12:23) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply

    well you £$% are the lossers. Carnival bring a lot of money in......ok they should take there money else where......

  • born here (23/10/2013, 13:26) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply

    M & M are sorry excuses of Ministers! because of them, the ndp is at an all time low. i wouldnt be surprise come 2015 and these blind, young idiots vote them back in.

    • blind young idiot (23/10/2013, 14:22) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      I will be one of them. No way VIP getting their hands back on our country NO WAY!
      • vip (23/10/2013, 14:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        We built this country and now the ndp destroying it right before your eyes.
  • ABC (23/10/2013, 14:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let us simplify this whole thing and see if there is a valid reason for the reaction to what Mark, Claud and POW are doing.
    In the pass, Government arranged for berthage at the Cruise Ship Dock. ALL requests were processed by the Port Authority. Departure tax was set by the Government [Port Auth.]. DCL won the tender to carry out the necessary work at the Cruise Ship Dock and apparently is prepared to spend some $12 mil. in carrying out this work. To accommodate DCL, the Port Auth. has agreed to relinquish its rights to process all requests for berthage at the Dooc and allowed DCL to increase the departure tax three fold. Please note, this was done with out the knowledge of the other cruise operators. This injformation was revealed when Canival and others attempted to make bookings for the 2015/16 season, only to be told that on mid week days when most of the visits are made, the dock is all booked up by Who? DCL and NCL.
    The question one must ask is, have Mark and Claud turned over the Port to these two companies for how many years for $12 million?
    What is of interest is Mark's claimed that DCL will deliver some 500,000 pax. per annum to the BVI. BUT the combined figures for DCL and NCL fall well short of the mark. Needless to say, this has been tried else where and in short order the operators walked away from the Agreement using an escape clause in the said Agreement.
    What we have before us is an untidy situation which must be dealt with swiftly less we suffer the consequences. I am uncertain about Mark's ability to champion this cause let alone Claud and or POW. Trust me , doing nothing is not an option.
    • fat hed (24/10/2013, 01:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      These guys must FIRST learn to respect others BEFORE they get ANY kind of support again from the BVI voters!
  • To blind young idiot (23/10/2013, 14:56) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    You don't have to worry carry out your ignorance of ignorantly voting back in the NDP because of how you feel about the VIP because there will be no country to run by the time NDP is finished with us.
  • who he? (23/10/2013, 15:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    who the hell is this sam henry dude?
  • 2015 hurry come (23/10/2013, 17:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP in trouble and the sad part is they do not know it
  • question (23/10/2013, 21:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is Vance Lewis' role in all of this? After all he is the consultant to the Minister. Doesn't he have the Minister's ears, just saying....
  • carnival (23/10/2013, 21:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I love carnival ships they spend the money. Hon Vanterpool please go and swollow your pride and beg them to come back to the table. A bird in your hand worth 10,000 in the Bushes. We have the keep the BVI a float. If the BVI go under we all go under. this is one country let us unite and get our self together. I dont have confident in the NDP any more but we will see how they will respond to this situation. they are there until 2016 so lets work with them. But then again there is no replacemnt Hmmmmmm. We in trouble............... By then are group will get together i hope.
  • Real Talk (23/10/2013, 22:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Captain this ship is sinking. Captain the seas are rough. Shell we abandon ship (like Carnival Cruiseline)or shall we stay on it and perish slow. Captain you tell us what to do!
  • NDP voter (24/10/2013, 07:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, it is poor leadership on Dr. Smith part because our leader refused to operate on our fundamental belief and refused to listen to the people on the ground.


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