Friday, December 2, 2022

Grand Cayman Cruise Port Closed 2022

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Cayman Islands 2022| Best Places to Visit in Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands, which first extended the ban on cruise ship travel in August, prohibiting ships through the end of 2021, has been one of the most cautious of the Caribbean islands to reopen to tourism as the pandemic gradually comes under better control. Unlike other islands that are more heavily dependent on cruise tourism, however, the Cayman Islands has other economic options.

In addition to tourist travel, which also includes hundreds of thousands of land-based visitors each year, the Cayman Islands supports thriving financial and construction industries.

Furthermore, the Cayman Islands has been reluctant to move forward with large pier construction projects that could damage its delicate marine ecosystem. Without large pier facilities to accommodate ever-larger cruise ships, the nations cruise-based tourism sector is becoming more limited.

Also Read: Things to Do in Grand Cayman During a Cruise

Activists in the Cayman Islands have also expressed concern about emissions from cruise ships and the damage they may do to air quality and other parts of the Caribbean ecosystem. At this time, the nations government has no plans to expand port facilities, but may be considering policy changes about the size of ships permitted to visit as well as the frequency of ships visits.

While cruise travel continues to be banned, the urgency to address environmental concerns is lessened, but still a concern to many in this beautiful Caribbean nation.

Galveston Cruise Terminal Progress

Royal Caribbean’s new cruise terminal in Galveston is under construction, and we have a new photo update of what it looked like this week.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader twangster shared photos of the progress as Adventure of the Seas departed Galveston.

Terminal 3 is where Royal Caribbean’s new $125 million home for Allure of the Seas will be located, and it’s set to open in fall 2022.

Royal Caribbean says it will be a state-of-the-art building that will measure 161,300 square feet.

The new terminal is located at Pier 10 for exclusive use by Royal Caribbean.

Cruise Ships Are Officially Back In Grand Cayman

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 Lines 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 Were all excited. Its not about me and my ministry or my government, its about the people in the Cayman Islands. Its 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 thats what today is about.

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Other cruise ships scheduled to call on Grand Cayman later this week include Carnival Paradise, Sunrise, Glory,Celebrity Apex, and Emerald Princess.

Also Check: How To Find Last Minute Cruise Deals

Top Things To Do In Grand Cayman

Become Pals with a Local Stingray

In Grand Cayman you dont just get the chance to see a stingray on a snorkeling excursion. Instead, we can take you to visit Stingray City during Grand Cayman cruises, where you will see stingrays all around you and get the chance to mingle with them in the shallow waters of Grand Caymans North Sound. Decades ago, stingrays started coming to this bay after they figured out they could get the leftover fish trimmings from local fishermen boats and theyve stuck around, though these days it’s mostly because they get treats from tourists. You can only get to Stingray City with a guide, who will teach you how to interact with the stingray and what is ok to feed them. This is the top attraction on the Cayman Islands and the most popular shore excursions for it will fill up fast so be sure to reserve your spot on one right after booking a cruise to Grand Cayman

Exploring Under the Sea in Grand Cayman

Cayman Turtle Centre: Baby Turtles, Snorkel Adventures, and More

Go to Rum Point for a Laid-back Drink

Things To Know Before You Go

Peloton Grand Cayman : Grand Tour Bus Moving Fast On The Highway At ...
  • Shore excursions are efficient ways to make the most of your time on Grand Cayman.

  • Dont forget your bathing suit and towel youll likely want to spend some time in the water.

  • Many Grand Cayman tours spend significant time outdoors remember to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • Cruise terminals in Grand Cayman are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

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Another Top Caribbean Cruise Port Drops All Restrictions

Grand Cayman is the latest Caribbean nation to drop all travel restrictions, clearing the way for all cruise travelers to visit.

Following a similar move made recently by the popular Caribbean destination of St. Kitts, the Cayman Islands have now dropped all pandemic-related restrictions for travelers.

This continues the trend of more destinations opening fully for cruise ship visits, and allows greater itinerary options for cruise travel planning.

Cayman Islands Still Hopeful For 2022 Return Of Cruise Ships Mystery Remains For Upcoming Scheduled Calls To Grand Cayman

As we near the end of 2021, we begin to turn our focus to 2022, the year which the Cayman Islands government targeted the return of cruise tourism at the popular Western Caribbean tender port of Grand Cayman. In to bring the Nieuw Statendam in on December 28, 2021.

The Nieuw Statendam would have been the first cruise ship to bring passengers to the island since the March 2020 industry shutdown. However, on December 22nd this plan was scuttled according to a press release due to a recently implemented policy requiring all travelers to be tested the day prior to their departure to the Cayman Islands. While strict embarkation protocols are in place for passengers prior to boarding the ship, the day prior testing requirement for disembarkation in Grand Cayman unfortunately could not be accommodated.

The Nieuw Statendams scheduled call was set up to stress test the safety protocols and policies that are in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism and Transport worked in collaboration with representatives from the Holland America Line and its parent company Carnival Corporation, to ensure that passenger capacity was reduced to a maximum of 1,600, and that Grand Cayman was the first port of call on the ships itinerary. Additionally, all passengers and crew disembarking in Grand Cayman had to be fully vaccinated.

The following is a list of upcoming calls for the first 6-months of 2022.

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What This Means For Cruise Travel

This new relaxation, particularly permitting non-vaccinated cruise guests to debark in the Cayman Islands and enjoy all the tropical paradise the country has to offer, is great news not only for eager travelers, but for cruise lines as well.

With the ability to include unvaccinated guests in visits to the popular port of call, more cruise lines may be willing to develop Caribbean itineraries that include Grand Cayman.

Prior to the pandemic and how radically cruise travel was changed, Grand Cayman was one of the top five most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean, with more than 1.7 million cruise passengers visiting annually. This also makes the destination of the top 15 busiest cruise ports in the world by passenger visits.

Throughout the pandemic, the Cayman Islands have been very cautious about their response to tourism, particularly cruise ships, and the port was one of the last to reopen to regular visits.

While cruising restarted in the Caribbean in July 2021, it wasnt until March 31, 2022 less than five months ago that Grand Cayman welcomed cruise ships again, when Disney Magic became the first cruise ship to call on the port in more than two years.

A number of earlier visits in late 2021 and early 2021 had been canceled as the country continued to uphold stricter travel guidelines.

Border Reopening Dates Changed

Grand Cayman Cruise Port

According to Cayman News Service, increased community transmission of COVID-19, including rising breakthrough cases on cruise ships, has caused the Border Reopening Plan to be slightly delayed, with Phase 4 beginning November 20 but dates for Phases 5 and 6 not yet announced.

Phase 4 includes a lifting of quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers from countries with a minimum 60% vaccination rate for the first dose of an approved vaccine.

Phase 3, which began September 9, permitted limited resumption of tourist travel, but cruise passengers are not permitted entry under either Phase 3 or Phase 4. Cruise travel will still be banned under Phase 5, but is projected to resume under Phase 6, subject to further assessment of the situation at that time.

For now, there is no date set for either Phase 5 or Phase 6 to begin, though Phase 5 is expected in January 2022. With no date for Phase 6, however, it could be several months before cruise travel is permitted to resume to the island nation.

During the final phase assessment continues of COVID-19 in the local and international contexts to determine when and how to proceed with further relaxation of restrictions, including for cruise tourism, the government of the Cayman Islands states on its border reopening website.

That final assessment had been slated for January 27, but that is now likely to be pushed back.

Also Check: What Cruise Lines Sail Around The Hawaiian Islands

The Cayman Islands Plans To Reopen For Cruises In Late January 2022

Cayman Islands plans to reopen for cruise travel towards end of January 2022 following a five phase plan to open international travel.

The Cayman Islands has announced its plan to reopen international travel, including the much-anticipated return of cruise ships. However, the return of cruising to Grand Cayman may have to wait until the end of January 2022.

Shopping Near The Grand Cayman Cruise Port

The Caymans are known for being the jewelry capital of the Caribbean, with watches and diamonds among the most popular purchases, and we can help you find the best stores. Just go to the port shopping informational session at the beginning of your Celebrity Grand Cayman cruise and learn all about the most reputable shops and what types of jewelry to look for. Plus, your Celebrity Today for the day in port in Grand Cayman will have a map with shopping locations highlighted on it to make it even easier for you.

Grand Cayman isnt only about the luxury goods, though. You can find handcrafted jewelry, antiques, old maps, and much more in the artisan shops located throughout town.

For the main shopping area, head to Cardinal Avenue or Galleria Plaza. In addition to jewelry and souvenirs, both are home to duty-free shops where you can get deals on perfume, cosmetics, crystal, and more.

Also, if you want to shop til you drop, but still get some beach time at one of Grand Caymans gorgeous stretches of coastline, head to Governors Square Mall, which is right by Governors Beach. Maybe one of your shopping bags will make for a good pillow while you lounge on the sand!

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Cruise Ships Return To The Cayman Islands After 2

As of 21st March 2022, cruise ships will be returning to the Cayman Islands pending formal Cabinet approval. This is a significant step forward for the Cayman Islands tourism industry. The return of cruise tourism will follow a phased approach, similar to the one used for reintroducing as recommended by the Ministry of Tourism in a series of different protocols.

Phase 1 is set to continue for four weeks so that safety protocols can be evaluated and any necessary adjustments determined. The number of cruise passengers arriving on cruise ships will be limited to 40% of passenger capacity.

There will also be a maximum of 75,000 passengers during this time frame. If Phase 1 is successful and local Public Health authorities approve, the 40% capacity limit will be lifted.

The Cayman Islands Minister of Tourism, Honorary Kenneth Bryan, said the following:

The PACT Administration does not take the decision to reintroduce cruise tourism lightly the fact remains that while the pandemic persists, all travel, whether by air or sea, presents a certain degree of risk. However, as we are seeing with stayover arrivals, our Islands high vaccination rate, coupled with having the right safety protocols in place, is allowing our tourism industry to recover.

How Likely Is A Return

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While the government now says it will be opening for cruise ships, it seems unlikely cruise companies will be willing to decrease occupancy rates and sacrifice their profits for a port of call. A move that will not sit well with shareholders.

During talks earlier this month between representatives of the cruise industry and the Cayman Islands, Michele Paige, president of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association , said:

The cruise industry has to respect what the Cayman Islands wants in terms of the cruise industry product. So, its a respect back-and-forth, and thats where we are right now, is discussing that respect.

The return of cruising to the Cayman Islands comes after many months of fierce resistancefrom several local organizations, confusing messages from different government entities, and a failed restart late last year due to the emergence of Omicron. Whether this attempt to bring cruising back to the Cayman Islands will finally be successful remains to be seen.

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Cayman Islands Ends All Travel Restrictions

In an announcement to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism webpage, the nation has announced the ending of all pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Effective August 24, 2022, all travelersvaccinated and unvaccinatedare permitted to enter the Cayman Islands without the need of any additional documents or health-related steps due to the COVID-19 pandemic,the announcement reads.

The statement goes on to clarify that travelers will no longer need to apply for any sort of travel declaration or other visit request, present any sort of negative COVID-19 test result, provide proof of any sort of vaccination, or wear masks.

For the last few days before August 24, travelers will need to follow existing protocols. It should be noted, however, that the protocols for cruise travelers are somewhat different than for visitors arriving in the Cayman Islands in other ways, such as on private boats or via airlines.

Cruise travelers prior to August 24, 2022, must be fully vaccinated to visit the Cayman Islands, though a booster shot is not required.

Unvaccinated guests are not permitted to disembark at the port, with the exception of children under the age of 12 accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. Pre-arrival testing for cruise passengers is no longer required to visit the country.

Grand Cayman Covid Protocols

Under the current protocols, only unvaccinated people 12 and older who are permitted are those with citizenship, residency, and work permits. Unvaccinated visitors who have other close ties to the country are also allowed.

The current rule for unvaccinated guests 12 and older who are on a cruise that stops in the Cayman Islands is that they can sail but must stay on the ship.

The Cayman Islands were the last Caribbean cruise destination that still did not allow unvaccinated passengers to visit. The complete reopening of the territory to all is just another sign that the world is returning to normal.

Last week, another British overseas territory Bermuda announced it is dropping its vaccine mandate for visitors starting today.

Before booking a cruise to Grand Cayman, check with your cruise line to ensure its policy is aligned with the island.

More details can be found on the Cayman Islands Travel Restrictions page.

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One Million Guests And Counting

Royal Caribbean’s restart is hitting all sorts of important milestones.

In the year since Royal Caribbean restarted operations, their 21 cruise ships have carried more than one million passengers.

In a post on social media, Royal Caribbean celebrated this achievement, “On the anniversary of The Royal Comeback, were excited to celebrate welcoming one million guests onboard our ships since our return to sea.”

“Thank you for navigating new challenges with us, creating new memories, and remaining loyal to Royal.”

Transportation In Grand Cayman

Virtual Grand Cayman Walking Tour – George Town, Cayman Islands & cruise port Virtual Vacation

The bus depot is located across from Heroes Square Fountain next to the town library. It will deliver you to most of the main sights of Grand Cayman, but make sure you know how long the route will take, particularly on the way back, to ensure you get back to the port and your ship before it departs. If youre not by the library, you can hail the bus by waving after the driver honks his horn. Taxis are also available outside the port.

Also, remember that in Grand Cayman they drive on the left hand side of the road.

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Local Currency & Tipping Customs

The local currency in George Town and the rest of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Island dollar. However, youll find that U.S. dollars are widely accepted, though its good to double check and not just assume before accepting a service or dining in a restaurant. If you do need Cayman Island dollars during your Grand Cayman cruise, youll find ATMs located throughout downtown George Town.

A tip of 10% to 15% is expected when dining at restaurants in Grand Cayman and for other service-based businesses. Restaurants typically include the tip in the bill, but if not, adding a tip to the bill is standard protocol.

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