0

Cruise Line Drops Nassau, Freeport In Favour Of Cuba

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A major cruise line yesterday announced it was swapping regular calls on Nassau and Freeport for an overnight stay in Havana, a move that underscores the increased competitive threat to Bahamian tourism from warmer US-Cuba relations.

Norwegian Cruise Line, in a statement issued to the media, said 25 four and five-day cruises during the 2017 second half will now enjoy “an overnight stay in Cuba’s historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana”.

However, Tribune Business has obtained additional information showing that all-day calls on Nassau and Freeport have been dropped to make way for Havana, dealing a major blow to all Bahamian industries that depend on cruise passengers.

Those sectors that will be impacted by the potential loss of customers, revenues and profits include Bay Street’s retail and restaurant industries, taxi drivers, straw vendors, hair braiders, tour operators and attraction/excursion providers.

Documents obtained by Tribune Business show that the Norwegian Sky’s four and five-day cruises from Miami to the Bahamas typically spend Tuesday’s docked in Freeport from 8am to 5pm, followed by a Wednesday call in Nassau that lasts from 8am to 6pm.

However, the revised itineraries show the Norwegian Sky as arriving in Havana at 8am on Tuesday and not leaving until 3pm the following day, with both Nassau and Freeport dropped from the schedule.

The only ‘Bahamas portion’ retained is the Thursday call on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Berry Island, before the Norwegian Sky returns to Miami.

Obie Wilchcombe, minister of tourism, could not be reached for comment before press time last night. And Norwegian Cruise Line’s media spokespersons did not respond to this newspaper’s request for comment.

However, the cruise line did little to hide its enthusiasm for its new Havana call, with the 25 cruises referenced in its press release added to five earlier sailings in May 2017. The Norwegian Sky was described as the “largest vessel sailing to Cuba”.

“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line able to offer weekly sailings from Miami to Cuba through the fall of 2017, all with overnights in the beautiful city of Havana,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive.

“We have seen great demand from our guests for sailings to Cuba, and we look forward to providing more opportunities for them to experience this incredibly culture-rich destination on a weekly basis.”

Lauding Havana’s many assets, the cruise line’s statement added: “The ship will dock right in the heart of Havana, offering guests the opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; view incredible art and listen to the vibrant local music scene; and visit with Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges.

“Norwegian will offer a selection of 15 half and full- day shore excursions, where guests aboard Norwegian Sky will have the opportunity to have a farm to table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, see modern Havana in an American classic car and much more.”

While the Norwegian Sky is just one vessel, its shift to Cuba underlines that the Bahamas can no longer count on its dominance in the three, four and five-day cruise markets as a result of the ‘thaw’ in relations between the US and Havana.

The Jones Act, which refers to section 27 of the US Merchant Marine Act 1920, requires that foreign-flagged cruise ships (many of which are flagged by the Bahamas) have to call on a foreign port before they can return to their home base in the US.

With Cuba previously off limits, the Bahamas was the only nation that could allow the cruise industry to satisfy the Jones Act requirements with its variety of island destinations.

While it remains to be seen whether the new Trump administration will reverse the openings created by Barack Obama, the Norwegian Cruise Line move emphasises that the Bahamas no longer has a monopoly on the competitive advantages flowing from the Jones Act, as there is a new player in the game.

Should other cruise lines divert more of their ships to Cuba, the Bahamian tourism industry, its entrepreneurs and employees, will certainly feel an increasing pinch to their bottom lines and incomes.

Cuba will also be seen as a new, exciting destination with a rich history and culture, attributes that the Bahamas often neglects to play up in its tourism product.

Per capita cruise passenger and crew spending is relatively low in Nassau and Freeport compared to other destinations, given that these cities often feature towards the ‘tail end’ of sailing schedules and are ‘familiar’ locations to many.

And, while the Norwegian Sky will still continue to call on Great Stirrup Cay, the economic benefits from cruise tourism on private islands tend to be weighted more to the cruise lines themselves, rather than local entrepreneurs.

Norwegian Cruise Line described Great Stirrup Cay as “recently enhanced to offer guests exciting new ways to enjoy the island, with additional features to be added through summer 2017”.

Comments

reverendrichlkemp 2 years, 5 months ago

where have all the Bahamian floor shows gone?

0

Publius 2 years, 5 months ago

Wondered how long it would take for the media to become aware of this.

2

ThisIsOurs 2 years, 5 months ago

"#Lauding Havana’s many assets, the cruise line’s statement added: “The ship will dock right in the heart of Havana, offering guests the..."

1.opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, 2.a UNESCO World Heritage Site; 3.view incredible art and 4.listen to the vibrant local music scene; 5.and visit with Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges.

How did they come up with those great ideas for indigenous entertainment???

1

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

And it's all bullsheet. It's more like see starving Cubans and their disease-riddled, crumbling ruin of a formerly beautiful nation.

Del Rio and his NCL just lost the good faith of the American people.

0

Stapedius 2 years, 5 months ago

We are a day late and a dollar short. The government is never ahead of the game. A shabby city, with no tours and no entertainment. What do we expect?

2

OMG 2 years, 5 months ago

Try a jaded Bay street with East Bay looking like a deserted dump What is there to see on Bay Street apart from cheap tee shirts, jewellery and liquor stores. Havana maybe run down but is rich with History, vibrant and entertaining Just the museum in Havana beats anything on offer here. Years of easy drug money that flowed through the Bahamas could have been used to dramatically improve the infrastructure but was wasted.

1

Economist 2 years, 5 months ago

Nothing surprising here. We knew that this was coming. The question is what does the government have planned to continue a flow of tourists or an industry to take the place of tourism. Over the last thirty years Cuba has been restoring its historical buildings while we tear ours down.

3

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Cuba's crumbling, the only buildings being restored are the old soviet eavesdropping site at Lourdes, and new prisons for all the newly arrested Cubans.

0

OMG 2 years, 5 months ago

Funny, friends of mine went last year and had all hell to get accommodation as everything is booked up

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh sure, everything's all booked up. Sure.

0

Clamshell 2 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the government will rethink its decision to rob tourists and expats rather than welcome them. Nahhh ... that'd be too much to ask.

1

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

Last year in the September timeframe, a Florida-based cruise analyst/consultant told me that on one cruise line that he was not at liberty to disclose, only 23% of their passengers got off at the first point of call in Nassau. The cruise line in this case, deals with an older demographic of people who have already been on several cruises. The consultant was hired to conduct a survey of people boarding the ship, asking them to rate ports of call, intent to disembark, and intent to shop at the ports of call.

The results for Cuba were staggering. Almost 100% of cruisers indicated that not only would they disembark in Cuba, but they were prepared to spend between $250 and $500 on average with cigars and rum topping the list. Souvenirs, indigenous foodstuffs, and music were high on the list of shopping intents. Whereas almost three-quarters of the passengers said that they were either indifferent to Nassau or were content to stay on the ship. I think that the average spend in Nassau is around $64.

Other ports of call that rated highly were St. Martin, Cayman Islands, Jamaica -- especially Falmouth, which is a relatively new port, Gustavia in Saint Baarts and St. Kitts.

Poorly rated ports of call, other than Nassau, included St. Thomas, Tortola, Cozumel and Puerto Rico.

1

bandit 2 years, 5 months ago

I am not suprise by the list of poorly rated ports. Most of the list are ports that has been in the cruise business for decades and has done little to nothing to improve the destinations. Most cruisers probably has visited those port multiple times. Those port has become very stale and unless something is done to improve there attractiveness, they will be on a steady decline.

0

Alex_Charles 2 years, 5 months ago

Why is anyone bothered? You guys haven't heard Perry aye? We have 32,000 jobs man, we will be straight.

TheseHands

1

OMG 2 years, 5 months ago

I want what your smoking !!

1

Honestman 2 years, 5 months ago

We better start learning to farm 'cause very soon that's all there will be.

2

sheeprunner12 2 years, 5 months ago

Why do we waste time with cruise ships/visitors?????? ......... 80% of the passengers do not come off the ships ........... the average spend per passenger is $70.00 ........ the government has to absorb tens of millions of costs beyond the tens of millions of concessions per year ...... so, in the end, is this sector really worth the investment in the infrastructure (water, electricity, ports, roads), and personnel (police, marines and immigration) to police these cheap visitors???????

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

We spend surely more than seventy dollars when in Nassau as do our friends.

There is nothing to buy in Cuba other than cigars - are people that vapid? - along with sex with minors.

There's a few small businesses here and there and if one sticks around after paying them, they can see Raul's thugs arrive to shake down the proprietor.

Yeah, there's lots to see in Cuba.

0

ashley14 2 years, 5 months ago

sheeprunner12 how did you come up with that figure. First off the cruise passengers are each paying for a excursion cost 80 - 200 dollars each person. Then they tip the host and the driver. Then they eat and drink. At least half of the guests. Then they shop and spend their money on souvenirs. I don't know my last bag was 160.00. Even at 70.00 for t-shirts. That adds up fast. A couple are going to spend a minimum of 300.00 per port. A family of 4, a minimum of 550.00 per port. I don't know in your budget how that ranks but in mine its a lot, but we save and treat ourselves on vacation. Some Americans are rich, but most of us live pay check to pay check and save for our one nice vacation per year. Which we blessed to get that. I'm thankful for everything I have in life.

0

sheeprunner12 2 years, 5 months ago

Ministry Of Tourism & Finance statistics ........... that is the average spend for the total number of cruise tourists per year, not a handful of spenders on shore

0

TheMadHatter 2 years, 5 months ago

Remember our unattractiveness did not just start 4 years ago. So remember that when u think about marking x next to crab or torch.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Goodbye Norwegian Cruise lines.

Frank DelRio, the 'minnow who swallowed the whale' when his little cruise company was acquired by Norwegian and he strangely then took over that formerly beautiful cruise line, has been hinting around about this very stupid, greedy move.

He'd like to make this all your fault, Bahamians. It isn't. It wouldn't be surprising to discover that DelRio is a castroite operative who is working for Cuba's rotten, corrupt enterprises run by the castro crime syndicate.

Very few people availed themselves of the first cruises to Habana last year on a Carnival subsidiary, very few. Mostly the curious and a few Cuban-Americans who wished to reunite with family.

There was much fanfare and ballyhoo when the first cruises to Cuba were promoted, as if the whole world couldn't wait to visit a dying, fetid, crumbling, formerly beautiful city destroyed by communist gangsters.

Turns out most people upon returning from their Habana cruise said it was 'nice' to see Cuba, but they would not be returning and would cruise elsewhere.

DelRio has been jacking cruise prices on all his ships and 'grinding and extra four and five dollars' out of his passengers - in his own words according to reports.

He's a very small man with big, stupid ideas.

Carnival visits the Bahamas. Look for Carnival to add more ships to the Bahamas runs, as very few Americans want to visit a corrupt, ruined communist nation filled with suffering people.

Americans and others who value liberty and destest tyrants have long been aware that travel to Cuba does not benefit the Cuban people one iota. Every penny spent on a cruise to Cuba or a visit to that nation benefits only one group of supposed 'human beings': psycho-butcher Raul Castro and his gang of communist thugs.

Americans are in no mood to support bloodthirsty tyrants with their hard earned money.

Very stupid move, most unwelcome news albeit not at all unexpected given what one reads about this delRio.

As

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

It was obvious something was up when that DelRio banned passengers from bringing their own water or soda aboard, and instead selling them water and drinks packages at wildly inflated prices.

Now he drops the other smelly sweatsock: cruise faires are going up across the board.

Do tell, is the difference in the fees perchance going to the castro crime syndicate? Because from what one reads and hears, the castros, for all their egalitarian blather are about one thing: getting money any way they can.

Many of us will always visit the Bahamas. When acquaintances and friends we've met over the many years call us and our friends, 'adopted Bahamians' we're honored.

Cuba has nothing, absolutely nothing to offer other than derelict buildings, stooge tours, secret police, the 'sex trade' in minor children at Varadero beach, and the chance to see good people suffering, starving, and being rounded up merely for asking for their rights.

The Bahamas has it all over Cuba, don't believe the propaganda. Perhaps DelRio was a crony of the prior, recently departed stateside regime which pushed the 'new understanding with Cuba'.

For all the hype, very little trade opened up with Cuba and what little that nation buys from America, it's bought on credit.

Long time observers of the castro crime syndicate and their stateside stooges know full and well that the castros, in time-honored tradition, will never make good on their debts.

And the Cuban people continue to suffer in ways which would impress even the worst off of Americans and Bahamians.

DelRio may think this is a big move and the 'beginning of the end' for the Bahamas.

On contrary, Cuba may yet prove to be his undoing and an new beginning for the Bahamas.

When considering trade with Cuba and the castro thugocracy, always good to bear this in mind:

"Yanqui businessmen are all fools, adventurers, and piratical idiots. Of course we shall trade with them. Then take what belongs to them. And then kill them." 'Dr.' Fidel Castro-Ruz, 1995

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

You say that Carnival Cruise Lines will add more ships to Nassau. Nope. As a matter of fact, since last August, under their Fathom brand, they were the first company to have Cuban tours. And a French cruise company called Ponant is running cruises from American ports.

Starwoods Hotels is expanding. Havana has only 61,000 rooms, and it is difficult to book them, because 7 airlines are now offering flights to Cuba. The demand is insatiable.

However in the past few months the demand has flattened a bit, because hotel room prices have doubled due to the demand, and it is getting quite expensive. Also, tourists are worried that Donald Drumpf, whack-job president will shut down the travel to Cuba.

But all in all, the demand is still quite healthy, especially for cruise lines, since they do not put a burden on the old hotel rooms that need to be updated. There is still an insatiable curiosity about Cuba, and it is exotic compared to the Bahamas.

1

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Havana has sixty one thousand hotel rooms, all booked? Really?

Where? Do they all have electricity? Ceilings?

It's well reported that one either brings one's own toilet paper or one brings the money to buy it because rooms lack it.

Insatiable demand? Where?

Seven airlines can offer flights to Cuba all they wish, what is the occupancy rate of those flights? Sold out? Tend to doubt it or we'd be hearing of it.

Starwoods Hotels expanding? Where? Guanabacoa? Cienfuegos? Moa?

Your pre-pubescent invective against President Trump says it all.

Tourist are worried President Trump will shut down Cuban travel? On what evidence? Leftist balloon ascensions of their fevered so-called brains?

Trump, a whack job? Explain. Please. Americans are overwhelmingly delighted with his performance thus far, the only ones throwing tantrums and name-calling are the usual leftist suspects and their jihado-marxist fellow travelers who see them as gullible prey.

Insatiable curiosity about Cuba compared with the Bahamas? Where is it?

Cigars, staged 'tours' run by DI operatives, and the minor-child sex trade only appeal to a certain clientele.

Back up your wild claims with facts and sources.

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

I stand corrected, CUBA has 63,000 hotel rooms. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2016...">http://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2016.... Adding 100,000 more -- same article.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I'm well aware Carnival was first to send a ship on another cruise line name to Cuba. You surely read my remarks about it in my post.

The leftist pressniks treated Americans to a great deal of hype, hoopla, and tiresome Hollywood showstopper bullshale prior to the cruise, then silence.

Citizens wondered, what happened? How'd it all go?

The reports back were lackluster, as you read in my post yet deflected into another unrelated topic: people gave lukewarm reviews, stated their pleasure at visiting family, and in general stated they'd not be going again.

So much for Cuba's supposed exotic appeal.

There is nothing exotic about a nation destroyed by Marxist killers.

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

LOL. I suppose that when you were young, rainbows were black & white. It is instructive to see the workings of an unenlightened American mind. Gotta love the supporter of a president who is a sexual predator, a serial liar, and a narcissist with a Grade 4 vocabulary. But I suppose that is a sign of the decline of the American way. Even KFC made a new party bucket for these Republicans -- it consists entirely of right wings and azzholes.

0

stoner 2 years, 5 months ago

The problem with the Bahamian people is that they forget very quickly.They have a high rate of crime and it is getting worst. Guns and drugs and mostly criminals who control the streets give the tourist a hard time. They must not forget Cuba is a beautiful country with no Crime at all and willing to assist and not demand to spend.I have live in both countries and no first well that Bahamas will lose BIG TIME unless the Police bring the Crime under control.I have been to many islands in the Bahamas and it is beautiful by nature like they say in the T & C Provinciales and that small little piece of rock is slowly losing their tourists also due to CRIME. Just this week the former Prime Minister was shot on the beach in Grace Bay and robbed. They are criminals and getting control of everyone.Who in hell wants to go to place like this. Yes, GO TO CUBA WHERE IT IS SAFE.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Cuba's safe, is it? Tell that to the young Canadian high school student who was driving legally with his family when their car was rammed by castroite goons who were working one of the castro's traditional scams.

The young many was held prisoner for months, and when finally released and allowed to return home, he kissed the Canadian ground at the airport.

Cuba's safe, huh? Sure. Tell that to the American who made the mistake of distributing a few shortwave radios to the long suffering, totally oppressed Cuban people whom tourists will not be allowed to meet on these BS 'people to people exhanges', i.e.: stooge tours conducted by Cuban intelligence operatives.

The American is still imprisoned, if recall correctly, all for the high crime of giving radios to Cubans so that they might hear something other than your castroite lies.

I can do this all day long, so let me know how you wanna play it.

Not until the last of the castroite monsters is gone will any right thinking American visit your beautiful country filled with suffering souls.

Cigars and sex-trade might attract the vapid, but they do nothing for the majority of us.

And you can take that to the bank. Oh, that's right, that psychopathic coward Guevara destroyed Cuba's banks in a record three month's time.

0

OMG 2 years, 5 months ago

And yet our distinguished Director of Education send his lacky to Cuba to recruit Cuban teachers whose command of English or heavy accent makes them difficult to understand and often are not even trained in the subject they come here to teach. Oh and also the Cuban government gets a large proportion of the Cuban teachers Bahamian salary, so in effect you could argue that the Bahamian Government is helping support this regime ?

1

OMG 2 years, 5 months ago

On a past visit many years ago an American in our party was mugged. It was reported to the police and on our return to the hotel about 4 hours later she got all her belongings back. No Cuba is not perfect but people travel because they are curious and the Bahamas will loose many tourists who will on a whim go to see Cuba. Lets face it Bay street has nothing to offer and what a joke when one sees "duty free liquor" when the liquor is actually cheaper in the USA even after tax. Tourists are not fools and word spreads

0

SP 2 years, 5 months ago

................................ Cuba Rising As Bahamas Continue To Fail ..................................

Successive brain dead governments sat on their hands for decades doing nothing to improve Bahamas as a fun resort destination.

Dominican Republic is another classic example of a successful tourist destination that came from behind and surpassed Bahamas in tourism.

Jamaica is also steadily capturing more tourism market share as is Haiti.

These resort destinations also have high crime rates, however, they all have two things in common. They all have added multiple attractions and fun activities to their destination and they all have higher GDP than Bahamas.

What attractions and activities has the Bahamas added in 40 years? There was more to do here 40 years ago than there is today!

Worthless POS Obie Wilchcombe photo ops standing around making bullshit statements about the "strength" of our tourism product is pathetic.

"PLP All The Way" - To Nowhere!

3

TalRussell 2 years, 5 months ago

Comrades! Why didn't the country being the leader in the areas tourism for the past 60 years while Cuba was behind the iron curtain - not have invested/partnered in its own Bahamaland Cruise Ships to establish our country's tourism into the 6 important niche markets,
We know for a fact that the PLP Cabinet have since 2012, chiefly focused on starting and restarting Baha Mar - not much else.

1

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

Because all of the money was being sunk into the Hotel Corporation where it was being drained off by the political cronies in a corruption scheme that rivals Mugabe/Putin/Castro and company.

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 5 months ago

@paul_vincent_zecchino: You my friend are obviously a distressed Bahamian dependent on the tourist industry for your dwindling livelihood, or possibly employed by our Ministry of Tourism under the failed leadership of the most incompetent Fat Headed Wilchcombe and Crooked Christie as our doofas PM. Your overly critical and harsh view of Cuba's thriving and rapidly growing tourist industry, while what's left of the Bahamas tourist industry continues to decline, only comes across as crying on your part over sour grapes, or possibly even shades of much envy.

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

Naw, he is an American senior citizen living in Florida with nothing better to do than to post on various fora around the internet.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

And I notice you can't reply to my posts with anything other than insults, moralistic scoldings, and fanciful tales about sixty one thousand rooms in Habana.

That means there's a thousand hotels in Habana with sixty one rooms each?

You must have counted manholes, caves, and treestumps.

When you steer your snide ship of fools close to some facts, give me a call.

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

I apologise for the snideness. I have a tool in the internet that gives me access to the entire body of knowledge of man, and I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.

I do value facts, enlightenment and truth. That is why Trump raises my ire. He is a detestable human being. If Hilary stood on a stage with 5 children with 3 men, America would slut-shame her. When Trump does the same thing ( 5 kids with 3 women ), he is making America great again. God Bless America. She needs it now more than ever.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for following my posts on the Net. Many of we Americans, including our President whom you ham-handedly insulted with some juvenile taunt, have taken to the Net because we can.

Because the First Amendment says it's our God given right to speak freely.

Because for the first time in one hundred years, Americans are able to speak back to the slurry of leftist media lies.

You don't like what I say? So put your knowledge where your mouth is, lose the insults, slogans, scoldings, and propaganda and refute my factual points with hard facts.

And don't gimme no jackshxx shine about sixty one thousand hotel rooms in Habana.

Half the city is literally falling down, never mind sixty one thousand rooms all sold out.

You can hide behind your moniker all you want, but that whopper betrayed you.

0

paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 5 months ago

How do you know Cuba's so-called tourist industry is thriving?

Do you believe every bit of PC BS thrown at you by the leftist idiot media?

Very few people want to visit Cuba other than the idle curious, and once their curiosity is satisfied, they don't return.

People dislike visiting places which are falling apart, filled with friendly albeit hungry, oppressed peoples, run by bloodthirsty thugs.

And here you go again with the silly leftist rhetorical gag of trying to scold and moralistically guilt trip me into silence by foolishly claiming I'm crying, sour grapes, envy, etc. blah blah bullshxx.

I'm pointing out that the Bahamas has it all over Cuba. The only reason anyone is talking about Cuba is the leftists who wangled their way into power over the decades are pimping Cuba to channel money into the dying castro crime syndicate.

Had Obama not opened this 'new understanding' with cuba a couple years ago, the castro regime would have collapsed and Cubans would be free.

Instead, castro remains in power and Cubans are more oppressed than ever. Arrests have increased since this phony 'new understanding'.

The Damas en Blancas women are being routinely beaten and locked up, you call that an incentive for tourists.

Don't try the old leftist trick of making this about your fake analysis of my supposed character flaws, that's an old commie trick and no one in America falls for it.

Many of us would love to see Cuba and we will indeed visit there: when the last of the rats is gone.

Here's a tidbit for you: Americans are sick of tyrants and we do not hand our money to killers like the castro crime syndicate.

When they're gone, we'll gladly visit Cuba. Until then, you're stuck with us.

And with your attitude, it's no surprise people are quitting the Bahamas.

Being down on your own country isn't exactly alluring, is it?

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually I understand what you are saying about the Bahamas. But even 5 years ago, it was a different place. And it is a drastically different place from where it was 10 years ago. From a tourist point of view, Las Vegas has it all figured out. That is why the Michael Jordan Invitational moved there a few years ago from the One & Only Ocean Club. They have created what the modern tourist wants -- an experiential visit, where not only can one gamble, but see glitzy shows, superstars and visit a Venice canal and France's Eiffel Tower without the misery of a 9 hour flight,

From a Bahamian patriot's point of view, which I am, pointing out the shortcomings of a drastically dysfunctional country is not being down. The first step to solving a problem is identifying it and owning it.

There is only so much lipstick that one can put on a pig, and it still is a pig. Tourists are recognising that, and that is why we are in a decline. Just by saying something doesn't make it true.

Good luck with your worldview.

1

OrdinaryMan 2 years, 5 months ago

banker - your - restraint - in this reply to commentator paul_vincent_zecchino is impressive in it's maturity.

Sigh....i have yet to reach that stage of development, but it is nice to see demonstrated somewhere, by someone. Points to you.

0

Economist 2 years, 5 months ago

I have been to Cuba and agree that it has much more to offer than The Bahamas. They have done a good job on retaining their history, both the good and the bad.

We have not.

Are you a Cuban refugee living in Florida? you sure sound like one.

0

Porcupine 2 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Zeccino, You sound like a worn out record from the last century. You are wrong on most every count you've mentioned. I have been to Cuba many times. I have lived in The Bahamas for over a decade. You are being paid by someone to spout your foolish rhetoric. And, by the way, as an American citizen, sit back and watch the comedy/horror show that is becoming the USA.

0

TalRussell 2 years, 5 months ago

Comrade Banker, do your magic search thing then shock yourself when you discover who it is operating locally that owns a third of the shares in Norwegian Cruise Line?

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

I know him. It's actually 28%. But close enough.

0

PKMShack 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's start with this, DOWNTOWN is DIRTY AND NASTY LOOKING. After the first visit and if you take a second WHY EVER COME BACK. Ask yourself What has changed in the last 30 years and what do you recommend one visit and return to see? I will wait and see what you all come up with. And let me take the first shot the flea market and Junkanoo off the list.

0

sealice 2 years, 5 months ago

Way to go PLP - you said you were gonna kill tourism and this is the first major notch in your kill tourism belt - congrats - doing nothing paid off just like you thought it would...

1

TalRussell 2 years, 5 months ago

Comrades! Most of us have either forgotten or were not yet born - when before the steady flow of year-round tourists arrivals - it was easy to tell who was poor and who was not in our Bahamaland.
Shi@, how we in the hell we is goin manage sort this out now that we have become so at par USD spoiled? You tell me!
You do understand that neither the current or previous spend, spend and more spending governments, have given this scary aspect - much serious forward thought?

0

banker 2 years, 5 months ago

My father (God rest his soul) used to say that the poor folk ate conch and fire engine, and the rich folk ate wax bologna on Purity White Bread from that store that was when Rupert Roberts was just a stock boy. After the financial armageddon, you be po' if there is coconut in your diet.

0

SP 2 years, 5 months ago

Blah, Blah, Cuba Is On The Mend, Growing In Leaps & Bounds While Bahamas Wilts!

As a frequent vacationer to Cuba for 2 weeks at a time with wife & family, they are indeed quickly moving in a positive direction as a resort destination. Let's not forget while the travel embargo impacts Americans, Cuba actually maintains a thriving tourism business with Canada, EU and Latin America.

Yes, Cuban resorts have many shortcomings, however, they ARE functional and tolerable as long as you don't equate them with accommodations of other countries. People tend to understand the effects of the embargo and simply accept that "it's just Cuba".

Varadero Cuba all inclusive resorts, for example, is a wonderful, relaxing vacation destination 2 hours out of the hustle of Havana where one can roam the streets anytime day or night and "feel" safe.

Yes, Bahamas offers a better quality product overall, however, who travel just to sit in a hotel all day? The truth is there is more entertainment in one square mile of Havana than exists in the entire Bahamas, more options for day long excursions albeit very expensive and over priced.

Cuba also has a serious dilemma with seriously crooked taxi's, restaurants, craft market vendors, and hotel staff all trying to extort an extra $CUC (kook) out of your pocket at every turn or "literally" beg the clothes off your back. (very annoying)

Ultimately, Cuba will inevitably return to its former position of number one Caribbean resort destination simply because they still have the old basic infrastructure, tonnes of culture and the intrigue of so many potential travellers.

Alternatively, Bahamas continue missing opportunities to develop into a fun, sun destination primarily due to ignorant, pig-headed politicians with no understanding of tourism and too damn stupid to simply "LOOK" at what works in competitive regional resort destinations and copy them as they copied the Bahamas 30 years ago!

"PLP All The Way" to Nowhere!

0

truetruebahamian 2 years, 5 months ago

Unless the cruise lines visit a major Bahamian city, they should be denied landing at the private islands which only benefit the cruise lines themselves rather than any benefit to the Bahamas.

0

ashley14 2 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree truetruebahamian.

0

sheeprunner12 2 years, 5 months ago

That is how desperate the Bahamian government has become to collect the drivel from cruise tourism ......... it is down to departure taxes now

0

reverendrichlkemp 2 years, 5 months ago

The government should have been ahead of the tourist game. They had many warning signs. First the should have clean up and restore Bay Street to its former glory....there's so much more they coulda, woulda and shoulda do...perhaps it's not to late to remedy the tourists situation...perhaps it is...perhaps...perhaps

0

bverne 2 years, 5 months ago

I have just returned from a two week vacation in Cuba - At the moment its an exciting destination for people particularly Americans.. Right now Americans would probably chose Cuba over the Bahamas to visit. Cuba has incredible (albeit crumbling) architecture, fascinating history and many things like beautiful beaches that the bahamas does too. What is also has is in my experience there very rude people, appalling food, so so hotels , and is expensive so i would be surprised if it would get repeat custom as many people I know who have also recently been are all saying the same thing - i.e. glad i went but wouldn't go back. You should see the queue at wendys in nassau airport after the cuba flight comes in ! I ran for it as hadn't eaten in days and normally I hate wendys but it was like a gift from the gods upon my return compared the awful food in Cuba. So my point here is that the interest in cuba should be an opportunity for the bahamas and not a negative if the bahamas plays its cards right. the hotels are all full there so people may chose the bahamas instead where the food is better, hotels are better and for the most service is better too. People may try Cuba out but judging by what i experienced won't return. Bahamas therefore should up its game - double efforts to make every tourist feel welcome and leave them with a good impression so they tell their friends how wonderful the place is.

0

concernedcitizen 2 years, 5 months ago

Cuba can not be all bad it has been averaging 3 million stop over visitors a year w/ out the US tourist , the Bahamas does about 1.3 million stopover and it has not increased since the late 1990,s

0

SP 2 years, 5 months ago

.............. When Has The Bahamas Ever "Played Its Cards Right" In 40 Years? ..................

The country has been ruled by corrupt, idiot trolls for decades that took us BACKWARDS instead of forward and you expect this to suddenly change because Cuba is back in the game?

0

Sign in to comment