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Old 05-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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Jamaica actively pursuing Disney Cruise Line

Do you see DCL going to Jamaica?

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/2...business2.html

Quote:
Port Authority Woos Disney Cruise

The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is wooing Disney Cruise Line, arguing that it would raise the country's profile as a family vacation destination.

Disney executives were recently invited to Jamaica by the PAJ in an attempt to secure docking for its ships.

"We hope it translates to business," William Tatham, vice-president of cruise shipping and marina operations at the PAJ, said Tuesday. "The discussions are very encouraging."

Disney, which previously avoided docking in Jamaica, now appears interested based on the new Falmouth Pier and attractions.

"We brought in three executives and showed them Falmouth, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay," said Tatham. "We also highlighted the marquee attractions. The discussions were very encouraging. ... They were impressed by Falmouth and Jamaica."

The PAJ is on a campaign to woo major cruise lines. Disney is the second cruise line following the Norwegian Cruise Line to be given the pitch.

Cruise lines require up to two years to plan their itineraries but PAJ remains hopeful about Disney, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, famous for its animation and theme parks.

"Our position is that we don't count our eggs before they are hatched, but we are encouraged," Tatham said. "Disney is positive in that it means that we are being endorsed by the Walt Disney company which places Jamaica as a family-friendly destination."

Disney operates a fleet of four ships. Its Caribbean coast docking include Cartagena, Colombia; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Key West, Florida; Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Maarten; St Thomas/St John, US Virgin Islands; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Jamaica now ranks as the fastest-growing cruise destination in the Caribbean based on the pull of the Falmouth Pier, launched a year ago.

Jamaica received its highest number of cruise visitors in four years at some 1.14 million passengers for 2011, or one-quarter more than 2010, according to PAJ data. Nearly half of those visitors docked at the Falmouth Pier with one-third at Ocho Rios and the balance at Montego Bay and Port Antonio.

The pier was developed by PAJ in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited (RCCL), whose investments were estimated at US$167 million and US$102 million, respectively.

The new growth puts Jamaica, previously one of the worst performers in the region, above the formidable cruise destinations of St Maarten and Antigua & Barbuda which grew by double digits in 2011, based on travel data from Caribbean Tourism Organisation, which tracks regional cruise statistics.

Over the previous five years, Jamaica placed closer to the bottom of the region, ranking 12th in 2010; 19th in 2009; 16th in 2008; and 21st in 2007.

The island's rise, however, comes at a period when 11 of the 24 territories recorded declines year-to-date, including Martinique down 69 per cent, Dominica down 39 per cent, St Vincent & the Grenadines down 24 per cent and Cayman Islands down 12.7 per cent.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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Saw this story over on the DCL board and had to laugh. Sorry, I'm not impressed with Jamaica as a cruise port. Of course I'm not impressed with Nassau either so perhaps the same strategy would be appropriate - stay onboard.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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I agree with you Jeff.
I'll be in the spa!
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Sorry, this is OT...but if you guys had never been to the Bahamas would you stay on the ship? We are on the Dream stopping at Nassau and my first reaction was "I'm staying on the ship!" but no one else listens to the podcast and all want to make plans for Nassau. My brother wants to check out Atlantis, my two nieces want to do the Dolphin Experience at some island (not the Atlantis Dolphin experience) my sister and SIL want to go shopping and my BIL wants to scuba dive (he is certified) I would like to see my nieces do the dolphin thing, but I keep hearing Pete in my head "Nassau's a slum, stay on the ship!"
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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On PCC 1.0 one of our tablemates went to Atlantis and his report was actually very good. Good enough that we seriously considered it the next 4-5 times we stopped there. But not quite good enough for us to actually do it.

Does that help? Didn't think so.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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We have been there 3 times and never gotten off the ship. We have also talked about going to Atlantis, but, alas, it has never gone any further than talk.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #7
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I was just on the 3 night Dream a couple weeks ago. I stayed on the ship.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltD4Me View Post
Sorry, this is OT...but if you guys had never been to the Bahamas would you stay on the ship? We are on the Dream stopping at Nassau and my first reaction was "I'm staying on the ship!" but no one else listens to the podcast and all want to make plans for Nassau. My brother wants to check out Atlantis, my two nieces want to do the Dolphin Experience at some island (not the Atlantis Dolphin experience) my sister and SIL want to go shopping and my BIL wants to scuba dive (he is certified) I would like to see my nieces do the dolphin thing, but I keep hearing Pete in my head "Nassau's a slum, stay on the ship!"
We have been a few times and gotten off the ship twice. The first time because we had never been there and once more just to purchase something we missed the first time. Don't stay on the ship just because everyone says stay on the ship. Do what you want to do. Everyone is different. I know people that love Nassau and people that hate Nassau. You might be doing yourself an injustice if you stay on the ship and miss Nassau because some people told you not to get off the ship. Who knows you might get off it and love it. Atlantis is amazing, and there are some other nice areas also. And as for the slums.....what city doesn't have a slum area?
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #9
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If all you're planning to do is get off the ship and walk around then don't bother. If you're thinking about a planned activity such as Atlantis or swimming with the dolphins I would say go for it. Especially if members of your party have never been to the Caribbean,
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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We got off on r first cruise, but just to walk around and get our passports stamoed (THAT was an experience!). Also, one of my sons collected Hard Rock t-shirts, so we stopped by the HR and gpt some stuff. We did not go to Atlantis since one of the kids was not 21 yet and couldn't gamble. We thought about the City Tour or going up to the fort to see the view, but ended up just shopping a little on the main drag and heading back to the ship. Haven't felt a need to get off since.

I think we might feel the same about Jamaica (Couples Resort in Ocho Rios) although we did honeymoon there waaayyy back in 1983, so it might be fun to check it out "for old times' sake"!!

I'll wait to see if this actually happens. I kind of doubt it will.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sshaw10060 View Post
If all you're planning to do is get off the ship and walk around then don't bother. If you're thinking about a planned activity such as Atlantis or swimming with the dolphins I would say go for it. Especially if members of your party have never been to the Caribbean,
You make a good point, Scott. I have been on various Caribbean cruises pre-DCL, so I knew what my expectations were going in. I haven't been to Atlantis since it was built, but I did go to the Paradise Island side of the island for water activities before. It's fun, but I've been to the port of Nassau enough times that staying on the ship is actually my own preference.

I've also done the Jamaica port a few times, and each time, the experience was progressively sadder, as the country has a wider economic gap, and it shows. Even 20 years ago, the street vendors accosting ship booked tours were seriously aggressive. I walked a gauntlet of people trying to sell us stuff as we were heading into Dunn's River Falls. I bet a lot of cruise passengers were extremely intimidated by the experience, which probably cut Jamaica off as a cruise port over the years.

I wish I did buy one of the intricately carved walking sticks I saw some selling. Those were worth the artistic value of buying, rather than the cheap tshirts and other junk crap being sold back then.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:47 PM   #12
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I rarely weigh in on these sorts of topics, but speaking personally, I would NEVER go on a cruise that stopped in Jamaica. Not because of a lack of port activites or general economic conditions, but because of their official stance on gay rights.

Jamaica has official policies and an overall anti-gay culture that make some Mideast countries look downright progressive. Stories of brutal rape and murder of people even just suspected of being gay are legion. Jamaican politicians run on platforms of strong anti-gay bigotry. Jamaican musicians have invented an entire genre of music the celebrates the murder of gay people. In addition, because being gay in Jamaica is actually illegal, crime against gays goes largely unchecked and in some cases is even encouraged by the authorities.

Time magazine has called Jamaica "the most homophibic place on Earth" (also noting it has the world's highest murder rate too). Pretty much sums it up for me. So, sorry Jamaica, I won't be getting off the boat. Moreover, I won't be getting ON the boat if I know some chunk of my fare is going to the Jamaican government (even just for port fees). Personally, I hope Disney does not do business with this country.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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Chris, I hadn't realized just how bad gays are oppressed in Jamaica. I thought I had read some similar comments about Nassau. Knowing that you do get off the ship there I'm guessing its not as bad. Can you enlighten me about that?
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columnwest View Post
I rarely weigh in on these sorts of topics, but speaking personally, I would NEVER go on a cruise that stopped in Jamaica. Not because of a lack of port activites or general economic conditions, but because of their official stance on gay rights.

Jamaica has official policies and an overall anti-gay culture that make some Mideast countries look downright progressive. Stories of brutal rape and murder of people even just suspected of being gay are legion. Jamaican politicians run on platforms of strong anti-gay bigotry. Jamaican musicians have invented an entire genre of music the celebrates the murder of gay people. In addition, because being gay in Jamaica is actually illegal, crime against gays goes largely unchecked and in some cases is even encouraged by the authorities.

Time magazine has called Jamaica "the most homophibic place on Earth" (also noting it has the world's highest murder rate too). Pretty much sums it up for me. So, sorry Jamaica, I won't be getting off the boat. Moreover, I won't be getting ON the boat if I know some chunk of my fare is going to the Jamaican government (even just for port fees). Personally, I hope Disney does not do business with this country.
While their stance on homosexuality is enough of a reason not to go there, I just wanted to state that Jamaica does NOT have the world's highest murder rate. The city that I live in(New Orleans) has a higher murder rate than Jamaica. Jamaica's is not good, just not the worst.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columnwest View Post
Jamaica has official policies and an overall anti-gay culture that make some Mideast countries look downright progressive. Stories of brutal rape and murder of people even just suspected of being gay are legion. Jamaican politicians run on platforms of strong anti-gay bigotry. Jamaican musicians have invented an entire genre of music the celebrates the murder of gay people. In addition, because being gay in Jamaica is actually illegal, crime against gays goes largely unchecked and in some cases is even encouraged by the authorities.

Time magazine has called Jamaica "the most homophobic place on Earth" (also noting it has the world's highest murder rate too). Pretty much sums it up for me. So, sorry Jamaica, I won't be getting off the boat..
^ This fairly accurately describes how we feel as well.

I'm not saying that we would NEVER get on a cruse ship that docked in Jamaica, (DCL or otherwise) but I will never step foot in that country again.

Back in 2008, Keith and I spent 5 nights in a Sandal's resort, and even encapsulated under that corporate umbrella I felt the hatred for "our kind".

I hated and resented each and every dollar that were obligated to leave there, and make NO mistake - that will NEVER happen again.

Am I obsessed, in the larger sense, that Disney might make it a port of call in the future ? meh. Not really. It IS a fascinating place to explore and experience for families.

But, will they get another red cent of our money ?

Not bloody likely.

It's a personal call. I realize that families save for years to afford a Disney cruise, and objectively speaking, Jamaica is a fascinating place to explore.

Just don't expect me to be a part of it.

There's something to be said for "down days" on the ship and drinking and sunning by the pool, followed by a spa visit and just some relaxation, in general.

I will, however, at the risk of being deleted ask you to ask yourself THIS question: It's NO secret that the Disney culture everyone that is reading this loves and adores was created by no shortage of gay and lesbian men and women.

Do you really want to contribute to a culture that has musicians that have created a music and a culture that celebrates the murders of homosexuals, while the rest of the inhabitants seem to take that horrible notion in stride ?

I'm just throwing that out there.

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