The month of January was an exceptionally busy month for tourism in the Grand Cayman Islands– and the cruise industry accounted for a major part of it, according to recent figures from the Department of Tourism. It is reported that a total of 271,111 tourists from cruises alone visited Grand Cayman in January 2019. This number is a 24 percent jump from the same time last year. It also represents the strongest month ever recorded for cruise ship arrivals in the area.

The fact that the cruise industry is booming and bringing so much tourism business to the Cayman Islands is significant in light of recent protests over plans for a new cruise berthing facility in the area. Those protesting the construction of this new facility have said that it was not necessary and was not backed by tourism figures.

However, those advocating for the construction have consistently argued that the area was experiencing a notable increase in arrivals. They believe that the piers are needed due to a boost the Cayman Islands have experienced because of hurricane damage sustained in other eastern Caribbean islands. These additional piers are also argued to be needed to accommodate arrivals of larger ships.

The increased numbers only further support the argument made by local government and tourism authorities that the Caymans need additional piers. The minister of tourism also argued that the increase numbers of tourists arriving by air in January shows even more that the construction is needed. Air arrivals were said to be up five percent from last year with over 40,000 tourists arriving at Owen Roberts International Airport. New flights to the Caymans have been added to many different airports, including a recent Cayman Airways flight from Denver to the Cayman Islands.

Officials from the tourism industry also believe recent renovations to Owen Roberts International Airport are leading to more tourists coming. The new facility is significantly larger than the previous airport, and the new design is said to have led to a more efficient and smoother air travel experience.

Overall, arrivals from the United States went up as of January 2019 by eight percent while those from Canada were up five percent. Of the airports in the U.S., flights from New York and Fort Lauderdale increased the most. West coast arrivals were down in January; however, they are expected to potentially go back up with the recent flight addition for Denver. This new flight is expected to boost numbers even further, especially with the upcoming spring and summer cruise seasons. Traditionally, with the month of March being the driest month for the Caymans, cruise numbers are already up for the month. Spring break travel in both March and April also add to tourism for the season.

Three cruise lines have agreed to invest in the new berthing facility in Georgetown, the most recent of these being Disney Cruise Line. Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival have already thrown their hats in the ring. They are currently in the tender process, which is when the final bidders submit proposals with respect to the design, build and finance parts of the projects. The winning bidder who will be chosen will be the one financing the project.

Opponents of the project argue that the government needs to focus on improving basic infrastructure, public transportation and waste management before focusing on increasing numbers to an already overcrowded tourist destination. They believe government efforts and this money would be best utilized in other ways that could equally benefit the tourism industry.

Many cruise lines utilize tender boats, which are used like a floating city bus to transport passengers from cruise ships to ports. Most commonly this occurs when a port, such as George Town, Grand Cayman is not sufficiently large enough to accommodate today’s mega sized cruise ships. Sometimes, even when a ship arrives at a port-a tender may be used to re-board the ship if the weather or other things change during the course of the day.

Cruise lines frequently try to deny any responsibility when a passenger is injured in a tender boat accident. They will point their fingers at the tender company or the port facility. There is however, a clear legal obligation on the cruise lines to provide passengers with a high degree of care in transporting passengers to and from the cruise ships.

We have filed a number of cases on behalf of passengers injured getting on and off tender boats. Recently we filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Nevada woman who was severely injured reboarding her Celebrity Cruise ship in Alaska. Pursuant to Celebrity’s passenger ticket, the claim had to be filed in Miami’s Federal Court, even though the accident occurred thousands of miles away.


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991. We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety. We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits. You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering. Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.

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