As questions remain as to whether Carnival Cruise Line ships will be visiting Antigua in the future, a government official has accused the tourism minister of using misleading information and scare tactics to force the cruise company’s hand.
Carnival To Meet With Antigua Officials
According to local reports in St. Lucia, things are getting a bit nasty between various divisions of the government in Antigua. The trouble began last week when Nathan Dundas, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, said that Carnival would be canceling visits by numerous ships later this year and had given no reason for the itinerary changes.
This week, however, Tourism and Investment Minister Henry Charles “Max” Fernandez released a statement condemning Dundas’ remarks as being “unequivocally a misleading and scare-mongering statement.” Among other things, Fernandez accused Dundas of making the situation far worse than it actually was, given that “normally, Carnival Cruise Line makes only three or four calls to Antigua and Barbuda annually.”
Additionally, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said that the local government would soon be meeting with representatives from Carnival once they could find a “mutually convenient” time and place. He said that until such a meeting could be arranged, all parties would cease addressing the topic in public forums.
What Cruise Lines Have Complained About
Antigua officials admit that, for several years, various cruise lines have complained about conditions in the port — including the fact that many visitors dislike being swarmed by taxi drivers attempting to land fares. (During a visit earlier this week, this reporter was personally approached over 50 times in less than 10 minutes by would-be taxi drivers, even if they were standing directly next to a fellow driver who’d been told one was not needed.)
“For years, we have received criticism from the cruise lines that there’s a problem in terms of even where some of our [drivers] interface with the cruise passengers,” said Nicholas. “We have not been able to raise the incremental funds to be able to even rebuild the facilities to accommodate the taxi drivers in a way that will be consistent with the expectations [of the cruise lines].”
Placing at least part of the blame at the foot of the cruise lines, the Minister said that, despite benefiting from the port as a destination, “we have not had any interventions” by the companies.
Can An Agreement Be Reached?
Ultimately, Nicholas seemed to remain hopeful that the impasse would be resolved. “Despite the hostilities,” he said, “we have continued to engage. We see them as an important player. Their total brand and all of the ships that are under their control would constitute a significant portion of the existing passengers that come to Antigua under the existing protocol.”
- 180 Day Bucket-List Cruise Setting Sail in 2022
- Weather Delays Impact Two Carnival Cruises
- Cruise Line Sued Over Bed Bug Infestation
- Viking Ocean Cruises is Launching an Expedition Brand
- Viking Ocean Ship Christened in Unique Ceremony
- 10 Scenic Destinations for a Holiday in the Midst of the Deep Blue Sea
- Carnival Ship Skips Two Ports and Makes Unexpected Stop
- The Cruiser’s Guide To Alaskan Train Rides
- Ketchikan Cruise Port Guide and Information
- Visiting Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska
CRUISE NEWS2 days ago
Carnival Ship Skips Two Ports and Makes Unexpected Stop
CRUISE NEWS21 hours ago
Weather Delays Impact Two Carnival Cruises
CRUISE NEWS1 day ago
Cruise Line Sued Over Bed Bug Infestation
BEFORE YOU CRUISE4 days ago
Visiting Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska
BEFORE YOU CRUISE3 days ago
Ketchikan Cruise Port Guide and Information
BEFORE YOU CRUISE2 days ago
The Cruiser’s Guide To Alaskan Train Rides
CRUISE NEWS11 hours ago
180 Day Bucket-List Cruise Setting Sail in 2022
CRUISE NEWS1 day ago
Viking Ocean Cruises is Launching an Expedition Brand