By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MARITIME lawyer renewed his criticism of the Bahamas’ cruise-ship industry over the weekend following the release of a satirical video criticising the country’s tourist attractions and cleanliness.
“I picked Nassau last year to be the most dangerous cruise destination in the world,” Jim Walker wrote in an online blog post. “The most common comment that I receive from cruise passengers is that Nassau is the one port where they don’t get off the cruise ship. There is high crime and an out-of-control murder rate. The sight of heavily armed police with automatic weapons causes the cruise tourists, I am told, to experience more stress than the security that the police are supposed to provide.
“Cruise passengers also routinely state that they are offered drugs as soon as they get off the cruise ship. The service/tourist industry is often surly. I have been travelling to The Bahamas since the 1970s. The good, old ‘It’s better in The Bahamas’ days are long gone.
“Bahamian government officials and some local newspapers reacted to the video in a juvenile manner. Bahamian Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe reportedly called the president of Disney Cruises and protested the video. Some called for a boycott of Disney and asked that the two young crew members be sacked.”
“The Bahamas’ overblown reaction to the video controversy reflects poorly on Nassau. The truth of the matter is that Nassau, circa 2015, is a dangerous dump.”
The veracity of some of Mr Walker’s claims is debatable, but he has been quoted by news organisations such as CNN and the New York Times.
The controversial video in question, made by two Disney Cruise Line employees, went viral on social media about a week ago.
The video, a spoof styled as an infomercial, showed the pair acting as a couple on vacation, experiencing the worst that Nassau has to offer.
Last week, Mr Wilchcombe said he found the video disappointing but conceded that work must be done to improve the country’s tourism product.