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Saw that Carnival corp is pulling out of stopping in Antigua.  I assume princess will follow.  Anyone know specifically why ? Or already have their Antigua stop cancelled ?

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1 hour ago, Denmal said:

Saw that Carnival corp is pulling out of stopping in Antigua.  I assume princess will follow.  Anyone know specifically why ? Or already have their Antigua stop cancelled ?

I believe there was a thread about Antigua in the last month or so.  Reportedly, crime has gotten worse (don't remember what kinds of crimes).  We were there in 2016 and encountered no problems, but then we just went on a ship excursion to places outside the port city (St. John's) and didn't walk around town after that.  

 

We're not beach people, but there are many lovely white sand beaches on the west coast from what I hear.  Don't know if safety has become a problem in that area or not.

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29 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

I believe there was a thread about Antigua in the last month or so.  Reportedly, crime has gotten worse (don't remember what kinds of crimes).  We were there in 2016 and encountered no problems, but then we just went on a ship excursion to places outside the port city (St. John's) and didn't walk around town after that.  

 

We're not beach people, but there are many lovely white sand beaches on the west coast from what I hear.  Don't know if safety has become a problem in that area or not.

Carnival said they were pulling out due to the comments from the prime minister with regards to the exploitation of the country by the cruise line. Comments made back late February.  

No other cruise lines has pulled out and in fact a corp with ties to RCI is investing  around $80 million to build and improve the port area to be a level to accommodate their larger ships, enhance the end, etc   Likely Carnival was ticked that they didn't get the contract instead or something to that effect 

Antigua is a Level 1 country according to the USa. Deemed safer than Turks and Caicos, England, France and so on.  Carnival didn't pull out due to crime. 

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I read this morning that Holland America and Seaborn are pulling out as well.

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1 minute ago, 1emerald1 said:

I read this morning that Holland America and Seaborn are pulling out as well.

Part of Carnival Corporation.

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3 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Part of Carnival Corporation.

Yes, so I imagine Princess will probably follow suit.  I was there 2 years ago and just stayed in the shopping/vendor area off the ship.  When I got to the edge of the tourist area it looked too sketchy so I did not venture further.

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5 minutes ago, 1emerald1 said:

Yes, so I imagine Princess will probably follow suit.  I was there 2 years ago and just stayed in the shopping/vendor area off the ship.  When I got to the edge of the tourist area it looked too sketchy so I did not venture further.

I was there in November and headed to the beach about 10 plus miles away.

Never had any problems then or the 15 plus other times we were there before on Princess cruises.

I think most islands "look" sketchy outside the tourists areas.

That does not necessarily make them bad. 

This all sounds more like a business deal not worked out as stated.

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4 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

I was there in November and headed to the beach about 10 plus miles away.

Never had any problems then or the 15 plus other times we were there before on Princess cruises.

I think most islands "look" sketchy outside the tourists areas.

That does not necessarily make them bad. 

This all sounds more like a business deal not worked out as stated.

The problem I had was that I was on the Royal, and one of Carnival's huge ships was docked next to us so there was such an influx of people you could barely see where you were going.  What I had wanted to do was take a water taxi to a beach but I missed the sign due to the crowds.  I understand your point about the islands being safer than they look, but as I am a female traveling solo I always err on the side of caution.  

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Well, guess we won't be able to shop again at the Radio Shack there ... likely the very last RS anywhere.

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33 minutes ago, 1emerald1 said:

The problem I had was that I was on the Royal, and one of Carnival's huge ships was docked next to us so there was such an influx of people you could barely see where you were going.  What I had wanted to do was take a water taxi to a beach but I missed the sign due to the crowds.  I understand your point about the islands being safer than they look, but as I am a female traveling solo I always err on the side of caution.  

 

 

Please realize that Royal is larger than any Carnival ship currently in the fleet.  When Mardi Gras launches next year, she will be larger.  But the Vista class of Carnival do have 185 more cabins...  EM

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45 minutes ago, reedprincess said:

Carnival said they were pulling out due to the comments from the prime minister with regards to the exploitation of the country by the cruise line. Comments made back late February.  

. . .

Antigua is a Level 1 country according to the USa. Deemed safer than Turks and Caicos, England, France and so on.  Carnival didn't pull out due to crime. 

Thank you for giving the real reason for the pull-out.  I looked at the crime stats you refer to and was flabbergasted that Turks & Caicos was so "bad".  We were in T & C in 2010 and 2014 on cruises and really liked it there:  went snorkeling the first time and did an island tour the second time.  The first time we visited St. Johns was in 1994 and we had no hesitation or problem doing our own walking tour back then.

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7 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

Thank you for giving the real reason for the pull-out.  I looked at the crime stats you refer to and was flabbergasted that Turks & Caicos was so "bad".  We were in T & C in 2010 and 2014 on cruises and really liked it there:  went snorkeling the first time and did an island tour the second time.  The first time we visited St. Johns was in 1994 and we had no hesitation or problem doing our own walking tour back then.

I saw T&C crime/travel warnings were on the news over the last week or 2.

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6 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

 

 

Please realize that Royal is larger than any Carnival ship currently in the fleet.  When Mardi Gras launches next year, she will be larger.  But the Vista class of Carnival do have 185 more cabins...  EM

Depends on how you define size:  the capacity of the Royal P is 3,600 (dbl occupancy) while the capacity of the Carnival Vista is 3,934 (also dbl occupancy) per wikipedia.org.  The Royal P is 143,000 GT and Carnival Vista is 133,500 GT.

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2 minutes ago, john_galt said:

I recall this incident last month. Many years ago, several cruises line quit St. Croix after some off-duty crew got rolled. 

 

https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2019/02/articles/caribbean-islands/three-cruise-passengers-antigua-attacked-robbed/

I don't doubt the crime issue there however......

 

That web site is biased big time and sues cruise lines regularly.

 

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Difficult to analyze what is happening since differing parties tend to "spin" things.  Crime on Antigua is really not any more of a problem then on many other islands (St Thomas has a big crime problem but nobody talks about it).  While Carnival says that Antigua does not want cruise ship passengers, the reality is that they are currently building a new cruise ship pier and will be able to handle MORE ships.   And also consider that the cruise industry continues to expand with more new players in the business.  MSC is adding 2 new ships (mostly huge) a year and continues to expand its presence in the Caribbean.  Virgin is soon entering the market and we are seeing more and more European cruise lines with ships in the waters.  With so many lines cruising in the Caribbean with very large ships, docking facilities are often full.  

 

IMHO it comes down to money although we are not sure why this is an issue with Antigua.  But its always about money.  RCI pulled out of the winter West Coast market (Mexican Riviera) because they could make more money operating those same ships in the Caribbean.  Carnival likes to visit ports where CCL actually builds and owns part of the facility (i.e. Turks and Caicos, Colon 2000, Panama, etc).   Also consider that CCL ships often stop at Ocho Rios, Jamaica which is among the worst port facilities in the region...not to mention an island with a big crime/drug problem where cruisers are routinely harassed by islanders.

 

Just a word about Antigua.  DW and I have been traveling in the Caribbean for decades and are generally in Antigua at least once or twice a year.  IMHO the island is no better or worse then most Caribbean islands when it comes to crime, beaches, etc.  We always "do our own thing" on the islands including the use of public transportation, visiting restaurants, browsing the towns, etc.  In Antigua we have always felt welcomed and have found most of the islanders we have met to be very friendly.  We routinely would use the local buses (like large vans) to move around the island and would often be the only tourists on these van buses.  We have been treated with nothing but respect and locals have often given us tips about the best beaches, the characters that operate the beach bars, etc.  We most recently visited Antigua in both November and December and everything was fine.  Would we miss Antigua if we never returned?  No more or less then any other Caribbean island (we often do not bother getting off the ship on some islands).  

 

Hank

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We were in Antigua last November on the Crown Princess. Lovely island.  The color of the water at Nelson's Dockyard was beautiful.  I would go back in a minute.  From what we saw, all Caribbean islands need tourists dollars so for Carnival and other cruise lines to stop going there because of a verbal spat, would be an injustice to their people.

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3 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

I believe there was a thread about Antigua in the last month or so.  Reportedly, crime has gotten worse (don't remember what kinds of crimes).  We were there in 2016 and encountered no problems, but then we just went on a ship excursion to places outside the port city (St. John's) and didn't walk around town after that.  

 

We're not beach people, but there are many lovely white sand beaches on the west coast from what I hear.  Don't know if safety has become a problem in that area or not.

I believe that it has more to due to the port.  Antigua recently picked Global Port Holdings to construct a new port facility over a consortium of cruiselines companies, including NCLH, CCL, and RCL.

 

A CCL spokesman stated that they were concerned over the direction that Antigua was going with its port.  The port expansion means that the priority of docking may change, favoring larger ships, larger than CCL uses in any of its lines. (Royal and MSC for example. 

 

Basically the Prime Minister of Antigua was critical about cruise lines and the lack of revenue, including per passenger payments not even keeping up with infrastructure costs.

 

It appears that the 600 lb Gorilla is throwing its weight around and telling the island that if they don't give CCL what they want they will take their ball and go home.

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

Difficult to analyze what is happening since differing parties tend to "spin" things.  Crime on Antigua is really not any more of a problem then on many other islands (St Thomas has a big crime problem but nobody talks about it).  While Carnival says that Antigua does not want cruise ship passengers, the reality is that they are currently building a new cruise ship pier and will be able to handle MORE ships.   And also consider that the cruise industry continues to expand with more new players in the business.  MSC is adding 2 new ships (mostly huge) a year and continues to expand its presence in the Caribbean.  Virgin is soon entering the market and we are seeing more and more European cruise lines with ships in the waters.  With so many lines cruising in the Caribbean with very large ships, docking facilities are often full.  

 

IMHO it comes down to money although we are not sure why this is an issue with Antigua.  But its always about money.  RCI pulled out of the winter West Coast market (Mexican Riviera) because they could make more money operating those same ships in the Caribbean.  Carnival likes to visit ports where CCL actually builds and owns part of the facility (i.e. Turks and Caicos, Colon 2000, Panama, etc).   Also consider that CCL ships often stop at Ocho Rios, Jamaica which is among the worst port facilities in the region...not to mention an island with a big crime/drug problem where cruisers are routinely harassed by islanders.

 

Just a word about Antigua.  DW and I have been traveling in the Caribbean for decades and are generally in Antigua at least once or twice a year.  IMHO the island is no better or worse then most Caribbean islands when it comes to crime, beaches, etc.  We always "do our own thing" on the islands including the use of public transportation, visiting restaurants, browsing the towns, etc.  In Antigua we have always felt welcomed and have found most of the islanders we have met to be very friendly.  We routinely would use the local buses (like large vans) to move around the island and would often be the only tourists on these van buses.  We have been treated with nothing but respect and locals have often given us tips about the best beaches, the characters that operate the beach bars, etc.  We most recently visited Antigua in both November and December and everything was fine.  Would we miss Antigua if we never returned?  No more or less then any other Caribbean island (we often do not bother getting off the ship on some islands).  

 

Hank

Global Holdings won the cruise port contract over Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.

Port expansion will handle the very large ships of Royal and MSC

The cruise lines will not get the control over the associated port villiage and the bid from Global was much more friendly to locals, including taxi and locally operated, non-cruise line tours and business.  Also made for more local access.

 

I can see where CCL would consider all of that to be moving in the wrong direction.  So they are making an example of them

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1 hour ago, RDC1 said:

Global Holdings won the cruise port contract over Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.

Port expansion will handle the very large ships of Royal and MSC

The cruise lines will not get the control over the associated port villiage and the bid from Global was much more friendly to locals, including taxi and locally operated, non-cruise line tours and business.  Also made for more local access.

 

I can see where CCL would consider all of that to be moving in the wrong direction.  So they are making an example of them

This is why.  And also exactly why the PM and other government official would both use the language they have, and take the actions they've taken.  While yes, the country needs tourism, it doesn't need tourism where the tourists aren't connected to the country, and the vast, vast majority of the money stays in the company's hands versus in the local population.  Carnival is essentially punishing Antigua because they didn't get what they wanted.  Whether they will be back - if their customers pish for Antigua in the future or complain enough about the changes, remains to be seen 

 

1 hour ago, RDC1 said:

I believe that it has more to due to the port.  Antigua recently picked Global Port Holdings to construct a new port facility over a consortium of cruiselines companies, including NCLH, CCL, and RCL.

 

A CCL spokesman stated that they were concerned over the direction that Antigua was going with its port.  The port expansion means that the priority of docking may change, favoring larger ships, larger than CCL uses in any of its lines. (Royal and MSC for example. 

 

Basically the Prime Minister of Antigua was critical about cruise lines and the lack of revenue, including per passenger payments not even keeping up with infrastructure costs.

 

It appears that the 600 lb Gorilla is throwing its weight around and telling the island that if they don't give CCL what they want they will take their ball and go home.

Of course Carnival is "concerned" about the direction of the port - they didn't get the contract, and thus don't get to keep their passengers secluded in their port village!   So, they'll use economic boycott as protest.  

Whether that will expand to Princess also, who knows.  If we don't want it to, we have to make sure our voices are heard - keep telling Princess we want to visit Antigua, etc. 

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5 hours ago, john_galt said:

I recall this incident last month. Many years ago, several cruises line quit St. Croix after some off-duty crew got rolled. 

 

https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2019/02/articles/caribbean-islands/three-cruise-passengers-antigua-attacked-robbed/

 

Ahhhhhhhh...... the infamous Mr. Walker. He freaking hates the cruise industry. If you ever want any kind of "bad news" or "bad press" regarding the cruise industry you can always count on his web site to provide it for you.

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Mr Walker seems to make a nice living suing the cruise industry -- I imagine he is very fond of them  😀

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It would not be a shock to me to get the news that ALL cruise lines under the Carnival Corp. umbrella will pull out of Antigua.

At this point it seems likely!  :classic_wink:

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If you've been following the Antigua story even before this, you'll know the current Prime Minister keeps speaking of a "partnership" with folks in tourism.  He threatened Sandals when they balked at making him a "partner" (wonder what "partner" means?)in their desired expansion. They said they could expand elsewhere.

One wonders if Carnival is calling his bluff for similar reasons.  I like Antigua, and the loss of tourism would hurt many local folks. In the local press you read both about "standing up to corporations" and also his "folly of driving tourists away." (You can Google the Antigua Press) But, other islands may be friendlier if he pushes too hard. There are lots of nice ones.  Passengers want to keep prices low and ships want to fill cabins. 

Maybe the PM is short on change for the reparations he proposes to the Rastafari for previous prohibitions against drugs?

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Just looked at the ship schedule for Antigua in Nov 2018 and Nov 2019.  Here are the results: 

                                      2018        2019

Days with ships            18            13

Number of pax          68,550    45,247

 

So there is a decline in both the number of days with ships in port and in the number of pax in November (picked that month arbitrarily).  Don't know if it's because of the new dock construction or the PM's remarks.  I would assume the former rather than the latter.  I think the island has been popular with pax, especially those who like to have a beach day.

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