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Oct 23, 2014

B.T.B. Says Cruise Schedules Back to Normal

Valdemar Andrade

A new measure put in place by local authorities in the wake of an Ebola scare a week ago forced the cancellation of Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas from calling on Belize on Wednesday. The new protocol, which includes a boarding party comprised of several government officials traveling out to the anchored vessel, caused a significant delay in the disembarkation of visitors. It also cost the cruise line thousands of dollars in operating expenses. Following on a threat to cancel port of calls, the B.T.B. has had to change the procedures considerably to accommodate for the inconveniences. This afternoon, Director of Cruise Valdemar Andrade, told News Five they have restored normalcy in cruise arrivals.

 

Valdemar Andrade, Director of Cruise, B.T.B.

“On Wednesday, we did get an indication of a cancellation from Royal Caribbean for the Navigator of the Seas which was to have been one of the first Royal Caribbean to come since the high season is commencing. We’re on the second version of implementing the new policies with respect to precautions on the Ebola issue which is a health issue actually.  And so what we did initially, what we did in implementing it the first time is we took the boarding party out to English Caye Harbor.  We did first the public health officer who would have given the clearance then the pilot and the rest of the boarding party would board once he gave the clearance for all the documentation and everything to be cleared.  However, at that time the public health officer took about twenty-five minutes to clear and so there was a twenty-five minute delay.  Once we boarded then there is another half hour delay because the ship has to get back up to speed and these are huge ships so we are talking about five engines, getting it back up to speed, burning fuel getting through the channel to get here.  So, in total we had an hour and a half delay on tours and the tricky thing about Belize and I think this is important for the media and the public to know that even without an incident in our harbor we have a challenge because we are a tender port.  So it takes half an hour to get the people on shore and then we have to get them onto tours.  Our tours are far distances away compared to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Honduras.  They are small distances that they have to travel to tours which averages between six and six and a half hours on a tour.  And so we have to get people moving, moving, moving because we are really a tour destination.  We have very good marquee tours and that’s what the ships and passengers come here to do.  And so, that is a major challenge for us.  So if we have an hour and a half delay then the ship has to go back an hour and a half later which means they have to speed, they use more fuel and so it’s a major cost to them, you know.”

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2 Responses for “B.T.B. Says Cruise Schedules Back to Normal”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    BTB got their racist @ss kicked by the cruise ship industry again.

    Put their tail between their legs.

    Notice to all tourists Stay Away from Belize.

    They do not want you here.

  2. Ali BaBarrow sez says:

    And so we have to get people moving, moving, moving because we are really a tour destination. 

    And a murder destination.

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