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Cruise Line Executive ‘Concerned’ About Crime

Prime Minister Perry Christie alongside Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, at the heads of agreement signing. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Prime Minister Perry Christie alongside Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, at the heads of agreement signing. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

A MAJOR international cruise line executive said yesterday he is “concerned” about crime levels in the country, stressing that “we want our guests to be very safe” in The Bahamas where more than 600 murders have been recorded under the Progressive Liberal Party this term.

Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International (RCI), told The Tribune if customers do not feel safe visiting the country, they will no longer vacation here, adding that these concerns have been communicated to the government through the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).

There have been 32 murders so far in 2017, taking the murder toll in nearly five years under the Christie administration to 601, according to The Tribune’s records.

Mr Bayley’s remarks come two weeks after Baha Mar executive Graeme Davis, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) Bahamas president, suggested that if the Christie administration is unable to control crime, the country’s tourism product could be headed in a negative direction.

Nonetheless, Mr Bayley said the cruise line, which brings around 1.7m visitors to the country each year, is committed to maintaining a concrete relationship with the country and plans to double visitor numbers over the next 10 years.

He made the comments on the sidelines of a heads of agreement signing between RCI and the government for a $40m fixed pier cruise port at Coco Cay, also known as Little Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands.

During the signing, Prime Minister Perry Christie said the installation of the fixed pier will allow for additional safety of cruise ship passengers and employees on the cay, where they will be able to have direct access to the island instead of tendering boats.

He said Royal Caribbean will also carry out an expansion of the services offered at the cay by injecting $150m over a three-phased process. The pier is expected to lead these improvements.

“I think obviously everybody is concerned with regards to crime particularly as it relates to tourism,” Mr Bayley told The Tribune at the Office of the Prime Minister. “We have a very strong relationship with the FCCA, which is the industry association that we’re obviously participants with and the FCCA are constantly in discussion and dialogue with different governmental groups around the Caribbean with regards to any spike or changes that we see in crime trends.

“I think obviously we have been operating for many, many decades and we are kind of familiar with occasional spikes and when we see anything occurring we are in conversation with the governments in regards to actions either they are taking or planning on taking. So we’re concerned.

“Obviously we want our guests and our customers to be very safe otherwise they won’t come on vacation, but we don’t see it as a major issue and we think that the right kind of attention and focus has been put into place.”

He continued: “I always say ‘it’s better in the Bahamas’ but I understand that has changed to ‘it keeps getting better’ and I think that’s true. We bring 1.7m people here to the Bahamas and it’s a highly rated experience. We check and we monitor every single guest feedback on every single destination we go to and obviously we take that very seriously.

“So the Bahamas always scores very well and when it continues to score well we will continue to come here. I think that is proven by our long relationship with the Bahamas and the fact that we have 13 of our ships calling in the Bahamas on a regular basis. That’s quite a lot of ships.”

Mr Christie said RCI has invested $235m in the development of Coco Cay. With the accommodation of the fixed pier, the cay will be able to receive larger cruise ships and will accommodate Oasis-class ships that carry up to 5,400 passengers.

“There will be a new craft market place, shore, excursion building, bike and equipment rentals building, transportation centre, suite guest building, a new active aquatic zone, additional food and beverage facilities and associated infrastructure and landscaping,” Mr Christie said.

“Phase III is slated to have additional guest attractions including a ropes course, zip line, water park, lagoon cabanas, pools and employee accommodations and facilities. Local musicians, entertainers, artists and other professions will also be engaged to help create authentic Bahamian culture,” Mr Christie said.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is a multinational corporation with 17 per cent global passenger market capture and 14 per cent revenue market share of a $40bn industry.

Comments

banker 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So all of the business and profits stays at the private cay and in the pockets of the cruise line, and there is no economic offset for Nassau merchants. More jobs lost.

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Sickened 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I anticipate that in 5 years we will only have 1 or 2 cruise ships a week docking in our harbor

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sealice 8 months, 2 weeks ago

In the pockets of the cruise lines and perry christie.....

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Jack9 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why would cruise lines send ships to ports that the people paying for the cruise don't want to go to? I hope they do stop going to Nassau as we never get off there anymore, so it's a wasted port of call, which are partly what we're paying for in cruise fare.

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TalRussell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Banker, what took you so long discover we now over turned over something like 16 private islands to cruise lines and hotels. Soon the foreign cruise ships ads will read:
"16 plus gorgeous foreign tropical 'all inclusive" private islands you can visit by cruise ship - and not have come into contact with the natives".

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UserOne 8 months, 2 weeks ago

We have brought that on ourselves with our crime.

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Chucky 8 months, 2 weeks ago

given our crime rate, poor attitudes, poor service etc, I can't say that I blame them.

If we had a good product for a fair buck, and it was a nice experience , they wouldn't be inclined to do what they are doing. They are in the cruise business, once you get on their ship your meals are all covered, everything is generally paid for. When they set up an Island, the food facilities are all an additional expense that they don't need.
Notice they give most all the entertainment to the Bahamians- They make their money on ticket sales, not islands. They are doing what is necessary to provide sufficient activity and adventure to keep their customers. Something we , are clearly failing miserably at!

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concernedcitizen 8 months, 2 weeks ago

They can control the experience on a private cay ,Basically Bay street is dirty and our people are loud vulgar and intimidating .

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TalRussell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrades! You've become the apologists for the 16 and growing foreigner owned private colony islands. Tell me, are you planning on scavenging Nassau Town's dump to put rotten crap on our families tables? Do the cruise ships even restock their groceries and supplies from the shelves local merchants and suppliers while in port? I didn't think so.

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Chucky 8 months, 2 weeks ago

TalRussell

why would we expect the cruise ships to re stock their grocery's here?

They get the food from the same place we do.

We need to be thankful they come at all! It's because of tourists that we even survive at all.

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Over 5 million tourists visit the Bahamas every year and less than 50 ok let's say less than 100 are injured harmed or victims of crime. Yet the man is concerned. There are less than 1/2 million Bahamians and over 100 💯 of them are being killed and slaughtered every year but he utters not a word about that, Neither does he raise up of his big fat wallet and offer to help resolve the crime situations in the Bahamas. But that's how they go. They create a crisis take actions against it and pocket millions of the people and resources of the Bahamas. And all our leaders do is get they lil corruption money and stick up dey middle finger at they own people.

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Chucky 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Are you on drugs?

we would have nothing to eat if it were not for the foreign companies who bring the tourists.

It's our lousy work ethic, attitude, government, and just shitty people in general that cause us the problems we have.

Go ahead and blame everyone else. You , like so many, fail to reason honestly, and will never accept responsibility. Keep doing as we're doing and then we can cry when we go broke and can't feed ourselves or our children.

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Chucky why are you trying to sell me an old, tried worn out story? Dem 'yes sir massa days are gone ok." We fed ourselves bettre before tourism became our major industry. Because we fished and farmed and we grew our own food and we knew what was in it..You call my people" lousy" and "shitty' So here's the middle finger the PM held up..this one's for you @ Chucky. Why you'all trying to turn This Bahamas and The Caribbean into another big slave plantation..Because y'alls can't do the work y'all wants us do, but y'all dont wa'an pay us for it. Thumbs up! I soon tell yall where the VAT money gone! Real talks.

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themessenger 8 months, 2 weeks ago

John, I gatta tell you straight my brother, the day you see the white foreigners throw that same finger y'a'll like so much in the Bahamas face an carry dey ass an dey georgie bundle, like so many people like you would obviously love to see, this place ga be another Somalia. I just hope you an alla dem who want whitey gone remember how to fish an farm.

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Cainn 8 months, 2 weeks ago

sometimes i wonder if john has ever been a commited...

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

yes Cainn I have always been very committed. Now what's your excuse ole boy?

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Economist 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why is our government signing a Heads of Agreement? When they say that the cruise line is going to invest $150 million, how much of that is going to stay here.

What it does give the government are less independent Bahamian business persons and more lowly paid workers who will be more reliant on the government.

In other words people who can be intimidated and controlled.

The government is not concerned about bettering the Bahamian economy or the lives of the Bahamian people.

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TalRussell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Economist, are they using the ships crews to operate the events on the islands?

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Chucky 8 months, 2 weeks ago

whether or not the government is concerned about the bettering of our lives is not the question; what are you doing to better your life?

If it were not for the tourists and the investors we'd be a completely failed nation.

I'm sure you're just like the rest of us, scared to go out at night. Maybe it's time you wake up and realize that we don't have all that much to be proud of these days. We have a lot of work to do, and it's going to be a long road trying to turn our society around in something respectable.

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banker 8 months, 2 weeks ago

it's going to be a long road trying to turn our society around in something respectable

It may not be able to be done. If a vote can be bought with a ham or a turkey, then we are doomed. The level of enlightenment among most of the population (present company excluded except birdie), is exceeding low and provides the biggest resistance to moving the Bahamas forward.

One could have the best-possible answer to moving the Bahamas forward, and it would be thwarted with everything from Valentine Grimes' suitcase full of "practice ballots" to the hundreds of stalwarts like the 90-some year old lady who hopes that she doesn't die before casting a ballot for the PLP.

The PLP is a criminal cult, and it will take generations to excise the cancer that they have inflicted upon the Bahamas. Their biggest cancerous legacy is a cultural disrespect, disregard and murder of the Truth. They are really sub-human anti-patriots.

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"If it were not for the tourists and the investors we'd be a completely failed nation"

You sound so ignorant and lame. That is what you want us to believe. If the cruise lines coming here and building their own privet ports, staffing it with their own people and equipment how is that benefitting the people of the Bahamas? May as well sell them the sand and let them build beaches in Florida and call it Bahamas. Your statements lack logic, they lack common sense.

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banker 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The reason that cruise ships visit the Bahamas, is that once they get past the territorial limit of the US, and are in international waters, they can operate a casino, sell duty free and all sorts of stuff not being bound by territorial US federal and state laws.

And it is true, that tourists and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) are the major portion of the economy. Without them, the economy would be less than 1/3 of what it is now. That is common sense.

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Jetflt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

TallRussell - the more you talk, the more stupid and ignorant you sound! You should be thankful for every cruise ship passenger that steps off the ship, and as for the money RCI is investing in Little Stirrup Cay, remember they are a business, and as a business their number 1 priority is to make money. If your Govt approached the affairs of the country like a business, the Bahamas would be light year's ahead of third world status.

By the way - if your Govt could get crime under control, fixed the sucky attitudes and work ethic, and invested in attractions for tourists, maybe the RCI's of the world wouldn't find it so necessary to invest all this money in entertaining their customers on uninhabited islands away.

Wake up and smell the coffee dude!!!

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Cobalt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do you guys waste time reading and answering that mental defective TalRussell???? He's obviously a degenerate fool.

My father always cautioned me never to talk to a fool because if you do, people walking by will see two fools talking.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The fact that so many comment posters to this website give the PLP paid trolls (TalRussel and Birdie) the time of day speaks volumes about the vulnerability of the average Bahamian to intentional disruptive distraction. Sadly we have too many weak minds in our country today - individuals who can be all too easily 'played', to use the local vernacular.

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TalRussell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrades! I don't think anyone is recommending we turn away cruise ships tourism. The economic benefits of the cruise ships tourism industry must be made accessible to a wider cross section of Bahamaland society -not shifted off to 16 remote private islands where they're posting signs on the beaches - "Natives Keep Out".
How can you remain silent when only the crumbs are being dropped from the dining rooms of the cruise ships.
Excuse me but why does a hotel located on the waterfront in Nassau, have to offer a private island as part of their guests stay?
Renumber, some among us don't want us living even near their gated communities.Others don't want our children to mix with their children in the same schools. The elite have padlocked our access to the "peoples" public beaches.
Is this The Bahamaland, you're prepared to tolerate?

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banker 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Too late. All the beaches and hilltops are gone. And if they are seized back like the PLP did to Baha Mar, then Bahamians will be eating pigeons and coconut. And after those "resources" are all gone, the intense de-population of New Providence will create a fresh slate.

And I don't believe in shunning the PLP trolls. The trolls have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape within the walls of their mental prisons. If they know nothing of victory and enlightenment, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. As do the severely mentally retarded. The nice thing about not partaking of the knowledge and enlightenment of the world, is that you have no cognitive dissonance and you are happy with mediocrity.

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TalRussell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Banker, we might have to reactivate the nation's old Forts and cannons and wear our caps of the Bahamaland revolution. Are you ready wear your revolutionary cap?

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sealice 8 months, 2 weeks ago

601 murders is an occasional spike???? WTF is this man on???

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DDK 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Same thing as Perry Christie! I am glad someone else noticed.

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The bottom line is America is now playing her "Trump" card. The game is almost over. The Prince (Obama) went riding off into that (not too silent) good night. The Queen (hillary) got spanked and was sent home to rest. The Kings are realizing that not only are they losing the game, but time is running out. After slavery became illegal, they were told that America cannot stand and continue to be great without slave (forced labor.) So they found another way to do it. They allowed you (Americans) to take home a paycheck, but most of it goes back to the government. Then they dd ithe same here and in the rest of the Caribbean. ANd even in Africa. They (USA) own up everything. And so the money comes to the Bahamas, but have to go back to Uncle Sam Same for other countries. With the introduction of VAT even more money was drawn out of the Bahamas and "America dependent countries. So much so that the economies of these countries are drying up and near to collapsing.Then they turn you against your government and against your people. So now that people are realizing that they have been had, bamboozled, hood winked and economically enslaved. So there is going to be an economic rebellion. Just look on the streets. Bahamians, Jamaicans, and others are no longer buying American cars, they are buying from Japan. The same with electronics and other durable goods. So the Macy's and Wal Marts and J.c.Penny's and Targets and K-Marts are closing down. Gas is now almost back to what it was when oil was over $150.00 a barrel. So the gas stations are mostly empty. People despite having smaller cars are choosing to drive less. So Trump is going to sink America when he goes on his spending binge and finds there is no money coming in. Obama already reduced the unemployment rate to under 5% and the president is kicking out undocumented workers. So where are the workers going to come from? A shortage of workers will mean a jump in wages. Wage increases lead to inflation. Inflation without real growth in the economy leads to stagflation (economy is stagnant but prices still increase. Then when the bubble really bursts you have severe depression. Blacks and poor white Americans are already displaced out of homes and jobs so the affect on them will not be as drastic as it was in 2008. The greatest impact will be on the middle class, who will become America's new working poor.

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themessenger 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Repost @ John. I gatta tell you straight my brother, the day you see the white foreigners throw that same finger y'a'll like so much in the Bahamas face an carry dey ass an dey georgie bundle, like so many people like you would obviously love to see, this place ga be another Somalia. I just hope you an alla dem who want whitey gone remember how to fish an farm.

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John 8 months, 2 weeks ago

If a man calling The Bahamian people 'shitty' and "wurthless, he deserves more than just one finger ok. We have no problem with foreigners.Many of them come here and set up legitimate businesses and respect bahamian people and never have a problem. The problem is with 'dem set' who come here with ideas and no money, or with ideas and little money and expect Bahamians to finance their dreams. They show no respect for Bahamians. Then they pocket millions on the backs of Bahamians. Millions that they bag up and take out of the country. Or if their ideas go bellies up they pack up and leave the country leaving the country leaving millions in unpaid bills and taxes. And they grab headlines about crime and violence in the Bahamas. The story that Bahamians are violent and dangerous people is a big lie. The tale that they are lazy and don't want to work is an even greater lie. But wait! the recent CIA leaks will not only reveal who was behind the crime, and violence and murder in many countries like the Bahamas and who was planting the guns and tainted drugs in poor "ghetto" neighborhoods,drugs that causes people to turn against each other and kill up one another. Drugs that at least two presidents admitted, somewhat unwittingly, was developed in the US, by the CIA, using poor black males in their experiments.but those who leaked the 7,000 plus page document, claims they will also be releasing names of CIA operatives. So you soon see a lot of familiar faces diappearing as they run for cover and hide. The cowards who help cause the deaths of hundreds of Bahamians will run and hide. But they can't run fron God and they cannot hide. There was snow in the desert..remember? Then there will be peace in this country (and many more others) again. God is in control. And he neither slumbers nor sleeps.

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concernedcitizen 8 months, 2 weeks ago

More white people in the US use drugs than blacks , just by the fact there are more white people ,how come their not on murderous rampages .How does the CIA only put the killer agent in the herb coming to the Islands from Jamaica , but the herb going for the white man in the states does not have the killer agent ,,hmmm Theres not enough crackheads in Nassau to be on a killer rampage and they are all by wendys begging dollar ..John make sure your tin foil hat is tight the CIA is sending out micro waves that only mess w/ black Bahamians ,,your a funny dude

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andron 8 months, 2 weeks ago

First of all, yes the crime in this country is ridiculous, but I don't know why anyone blaming government for it. No government is responsible for crimes committed, that's on the lives and hands of the people who decide to take a gun, or knife, or conch shell, and kill someone else. When these things happen, there are many persons whom are witness to these things and know who commit them. They know where to find them, but do the citizens help the police in finding these criminals? No, so let's all just shut the hell up over crime since the majority of us do absolutely nothing to prevent them or solve them. Therefore, we ourselves have allowed it to get to this point.

Secondly, Mr. Bayley expressed his concerns over crime, but yet he continued to say that Royal Caribbean is committed to maintaining a relationship with the Bahamas, and will double the 1.7 million annual visitors they bring to the Bahamas in the coming years. So obviously, the crime numbers have NOT deterred them from doing business here, so what's all the bitching about? This story does not represent a negative fall out over crime, although if we don't get a hold on it soon, it will definitely start to affect the country economic soon.

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andron 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Part 2

Lastly, so what if foreign investors have private islands here and so what if most of their investment dollars do not stay in the country? What exactly, is ANY Bahamian "Investor" or Bahamian millionaire doing with their monies? How many of them are actually stepping up to the plate to even want to invest their monies on a large scale in the Bahamas? Little to none..... AND even when Bahamians do get "contracts" (which is not really the same as multi-million dollar investments), then we ungrateful, envious jealous Bahamians like to cry out that this one or that one only got contracts because of their political affiliation or their family ties. Kmt..... You know what, we need to just shut the hell up because we are the absolute worst group of people when it comes to finding anything positive about anything. ..and NO, I am not talking about crime, there's nothing positive there.... but those of us who have the financial means to invest our monies into the country, DON'T. .. Those of use who can help assist with the fight against crime and criminals, DON'T... BUT we are sooo great and skilled at bitchin and accusing the PLP, and the FNM.. and if the DNA ever got in there, we'd put the blame on them too. We are great complainers and lousy losers at offering anything viable, sensible or positive to the cause of making any kind of headway or change for the Bahamas. I HATE the idea of foreigners buying up everything, BUT our Bahamians who can afford to do so are not interested in spending their monies except on themselves.. and who can blame them.. it's their money. We are small minded people whom deep down inside have absolutely NO desire of helping anyone except ourselves. When we open up a business, we don't give a damn about creating jobs. We only hiring people with the only purpose of them doing the work to help us make money. We don't care about developing anyone else' skills, developing out communities, growing our economies. Ha! Bahamians? My people? I have NEVER seen it in them and have NEVER seen it done. So yes, investors will take most of the monies out of the country because this is NOT their country; but why blame them for doing that when Bahamians whom are able refuse to even put money into their own country? We are too bloody dependent on everyone around us to determine our own successes.

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