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‘Will Govt sell out to save RC cruise calls?’

– asks Hon Julian Fraser, RA as Royal Caribbean cancels calls to the VI for the December 2014 season; says Govt. needs to come clean and tell the truth
“You must watch the government very closely to see what kind of heavy handed tactic they are going to use to try to get Royal Caribbean to try to come back. You check it out... some kind of heavy hand tactic they are going to use, they are going to victimize somebody in the process,” Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) said as he keeps close eyes on the NDP government in relation to the cancellation of the December calls to the VI by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Photo: VINO/File
Royal Caribbean has cancelled their calls to the VI for the December season and there is no doubt that there are on the top of the Government’s team’s list for ‘One on One’ discussion at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Cruise Conference & Trade Show in St. Maarten which starts today. Photo: VINO/File
Royal Caribbean has cancelled their calls to the VI for the December season and there is no doubt that there are on the top of the Government’s team’s list for ‘One on One’ discussion at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Cruise Conference & Trade Show in St. Maarten which starts today. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Fraser, RA expressed his feeling that the government of the VI is hoping that the cruise lines are going to accept the tendering of passengers to and from the ships without complaints. “Had they not have this experience that they have with Royal Caribbean I am sure that a better arrangement could have been met...” Photo: GIS
Hon Fraser, RA expressed his feeling that the government of the VI is hoping that the cruise lines are going to accept the tendering of passengers to and from the ships without complaints. “Had they not have this experience that they have with Royal Caribbean I am sure that a better arrangement could have been met...” Photo: GIS
Former Governor Mr. William Boyd McCleary was said to have failed to step up to the task as Governor during his term. Photo: GIS
Former Governor Mr. William Boyd McCleary was said to have failed to step up to the task as Governor during his term. Photo: GIS
SEA COW’S BAY, Tortola, VI - “The government needs to come clean and tell the public exactly what’s going on with this cruise line,” said Chairman of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Honourable Julian Fraser, RA alluding to Royal Caribbean (RC) Cruise Line’s cancellation of all calls to the Territory for the December season.

“You must watch the Government very closely to see what kind of heavy handed tactic they are going to use to try to get Royal Caribbean to try to come back. You check it out... some kind of heavy hand tactic they are going to use, they are going to victimize somebody in the process,” he said.

Royal Caribbean has cancelled their calls to the Virgin Islands (VI) for the December season and there is no doubt that they are on the top of the Government’s team’s list for ‘One on One’ discussion at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Cruise Conference & Trade Show in St. Maarten which starts today October 6, 2014.

There is a history between the Government of the Virgin Islands and Royal Caribbean which all stemmed from the inception of negotiations which date back to the tendering of the original Cruise Pier Expansion Project.

“Between the Government of the Virgin Islands and Royal Caribbean there has been no attempt to correct what Royal Caribbean found to be some form of infraction or mistreatment,” said Hon Fraser.

He recalled that Royal Caribbean had written to the Governor of the VI who was at the time Mr William Boyd McCleary and copied to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking for the money they had put out in the tender and he has seen no attempts by the Government to fix that.

McCleary has been accused on countless instances by various sections of the public of being very tardy in handling the affairs of the VI in the best interest of the Territory’s development.

“What the government is doing is basically exercising one of their basic practices which is to coerce people to do things which they do not want to do and victimize them when they don’t do it,” said Hon Fraser.

“I think it’s rather unfortunate that this whole thing is happening with the Cruise Tourism Industry. The people who rely on it heavily particularly the taxi drivers and the tour operators are going to suffer. They are the ones who are going to suffer more than anyone else,” a concerned Hon Fraser said.

He expressed that it might be a situation where Royal Caribbean having cancelled their calls for the December Cruise season might not be aware that the Cruise Pier will not be available for the January season as well. He stated that when that comes to light there will be another set of cancellations.

“There is no question in my mind as to whether or not they knew that this couldn’t have happened, this couldn’t be ready and that they needed to tell the cruise lines long in advance what the consequences are going to be,” Hon Fraser said.

He candidly expressed his feeling that the government of the VI is hoping that the cruise lines are going to accept the tendering of passengers to and from the ships without complaints. “Had they not have this experience that they have with Royal Caribbean I am sure that a better arrangement could have been met...”

Hon Fraser’s biggest fear in this whole scenario is that this NDP government is going to sell someone out in their ‘so called’ negotiations to get the cruise line back in business with the VI.

“They are going to go down there and cut some kind of deal with Royal Caribbean. Get them to come here and someone on the ground here would be suffering one way or the other whether it’s the tour operators or the taxi cabs themselves where they would give the cruise line the right to move their passengers along on the ground or something to that effect, you never know. So I fear the worst where that is concerned,” said the Opposition VIP Chairman.

In a recent release from the BVI Ports Authority it was stated that the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and Government of the Virgin Islands continue to affirm a combined vision for an enhanced cruise tourism product with the BVI Cruise Pier Expansion Project.

It had also announced that in pursuing that vision, a delegation will showcase the VI at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Cruise Conference & Trade Show in St. Maarten from October 6 – 10.

The release stated that as for the landside development, BVIPA Managing Director Mr. Claude O. Skelton Cline said Tortola Pier Park should be at substantive completion by next April. With regards to the upcoming season, Mr. Skelton Cline said there were some cancellations and explained, “To date, there are five berths of Royal Caribbean that are cancelled during the period October to December 2014. The cancellations were as a result of the cruise lines not opting to anchor in Road Harbour and have guests tendered into shore.”

The Managing Director added, “The Authority understands the cruise line’s position and looks forward to furthering its relations with all cruise lines for the season that is upon us. As an incentive, the Authority is absorbing costs associated with the tendering service.”

In addition to the tendering service, the BVIPA is also acquiring golf carts to transport the elderly and/or differently abled passengers from the arrival point to taxis/tour operators at no additional cost to cruise lines/passengers for the entire period the pier won’t be operational. Both sides of the pier are undergoing construction and will not be operational until January 2015.

Mr. Skelton Cline is part of a delegation comprised of government officials from the Ministry of Communications and Works, BVI Tourist Board and other representatives of the BVIPA.

20 Responses to “‘Will Govt sell out to save RC cruise calls?’”

  • benn ur nees n buble (06/10/2014, 08:48) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    my people look trouble......benn ur nees n buble...do eggy n burnie while we at it. couse is blows in the place
  • pat (06/10/2014, 09:06) Like (11) Dislike (19) Reply
    Hope when he becomes premier he does something!
  • lmao (06/10/2014, 09:15) Like (43) Dislike (24) Reply
    This is truly laughable. If the line cancels, it's NDP fault. If the Government tries to get them back, it's a bad thing. Fraser go back in your hole you hear. Nobody want to hear your rubbish. You need to come clean about sea cows bay harbor. Where are the documents? Where are the files? That poor shredder in November 2011.
    • @ lmao (06/10/2014, 21:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I could be mistaken, in which case I beg your forgiveness, but I rather get the impression that you are not a huge fan of the incoming premier
    • war (07/10/2014, 14:58) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
      Yep, ithat shredder thing was always a plan to discredit our next Premiere, but teen goin wok. You could shred 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch (letter and legal size) paper, but you carrn shred 22 inch x 32 inch sheets (drafting sheets), so NDP need to tell us what them did with the darm DRAWINGS
  • ooooo (06/10/2014, 10:06) Like (27) Dislike (13) Reply
    the ndp killed the goose that laid the golden eggs....CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
  • qc (06/10/2014, 10:10) Like (18) Dislike (7) Reply
    this elections needs to hurry come
  • mark my words (06/10/2014, 10:16) Like (8) Dislike (10) Reply
    Them going to throw poor claude under the bus.
    • @ mark my words (06/10/2014, 21:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I know mark derm stop Biwater form doing the swerage project but is there somewhere to take raw sewage? Because you are talking about a pile of crap here.

  • @ Lmao aka mw (06/10/2014, 10:24) Like (33) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ball head dude go sit down your desperate self…where are the reports on your many trips on the tax payers dime? Who was in the room with you in Asia? What about the mole contract? When will you refund the tax payers? What about the conflict of interest in the HoA?

    When will you stop victimizing and threaten your staff? Bouy do not get me started you better hide yourself when election come around?
  • Yes (06/10/2014, 11:20) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    This is the time when mark suppose to be shouting, how come he is so quiet now??????
  • better (06/10/2014, 13:25) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
    i think that Fraser would of done a better job than Mark with the cruise ship project
  • qc (06/10/2014, 15:37) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Another reason why ndp must go!
  • @ qc (06/10/2014, 18:08) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Qc must????? they will go trust us!
  • Yo (06/10/2014, 18:30) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Fraser is on to something
  • open wide (06/10/2014, 20:12) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Sir Fraser just remember the shoe will be on the other foot next election when you are chief. So stop accusing the NDP of making lots of mistakes that’s why pencils have erasers.
  • my wish (09/10/2014, 23:05) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I trust that Mr Julian Fraser will be knighted by Her Majesty
  • concerned citizen #1 (12/10/2014, 09:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Knighted! Are you crazy or what?
  • rcclpassenger (11/12/2014, 12:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So . . . is the pier going to be open Jan. 1?


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