Cruise ships are officially back in the Cayman Islands, after two years without passengers.
On Monday, March 21, Disney Magic arrived in Grand Cayman during a five-night western Caribbean voyage. The roundtrip cruise from Miami will also include a stop at Disney Cruise Line’s private Bahamian island Castaway Cay tomorrow.
The ship is carrying 1,493 guests on this sailing, according to the Cayman Compass. It arrived in the morning, and passengers began tendering to the island around 8 am.
Visitors were welcomed ashore with live music and dance performances from locals, as well as pirates who were on hand to take photos.
Leading the festivities was Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan, who told the Cayman Compass “We’re all excited. It’s not about me and my ministry or my government, it’s about the people in the Cayman Islands. It’s about our second pillar of our economy getting back on its feet. This is the first step. Just think about a baby trying to get back to walking, and traveling again and that’s what today is about.”
His Excellency Martyn Roper, the governor of the Cayman Islands, posted on his Facebook page, “Congratulations to Minister Bryan and the Ministry of Tourism for their hard work in traversing the complexities of the return of cruise tourism. I am grateful for the opportunities and return of livelihood for many tourism workers who are dependent on this aspect of our tourism as we continue to gradually ease regulations and open our borders whilst living with Covid-19.”
Other cruise ships scheduled to call on Grand Cayman later this week include Carnival Paradise, Sunrise, Glory, Celebrity Apex, and Emerald Princess.
Grand Cayman has had some of the stricter restart protocols and is one of the last islands in the western Caribbean to welcome back cruise ships. During the restart, they will only be accepting a limited number of ships, and increase visitors over time.