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Old January 17th, 2011, 10:41 PM
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Default Belize cruise

Well, my Belize cruise was absolutely fabs. No complaints. Decided to snorkel with the rest of the gang, and took an independent to the marine reserve near Amergris - swam with the sharks and sting rays. Gotta see it and experience it to Believe it.

Now - new developments along the lines I wrote about earlier. Carnival Cruises seem to have dropped themselves into some real problems by apparently reneging on some agreement they made in Miami a week ago with none other than the Prime Minister of Belize and a tourism team he took there to sort out some problems, among them the business of tendering from the ships to shore. Looks like some dude named Rick O'Shea showed up in Belize with two or three large tenders brought from Hawaii to knock out the local tender guys, and all hell broke loose. Looks like Carnival cancelled the visit of its large boat the TRIUMPH for tomorrow, Tuesday, due to the latest debacle. The Belize media is very vocal and very well informed and is knocking Carnival on the head, yelling all sorts of heavy stuff. Word is that the government of Belize is about to tell Carnival to march out and stay out, and is looking around allready for other lines to take their spots in Belize. WOW. Heavy. Real !!!! Good for little Belize - the mouse that roared?
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Old January 18th, 2011, 08:03 AM
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The local tenders in Belize can only handle 140 passengers at a time. Given the length of the tender ride and the amount of time to come alongside; that could be a big bottleneck for the larger ships. It wasn't an issue when we were there last week since we had only 700 pax. Of course, one tender did blow up an engine and was dead in the water until rescued.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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I was also there last week on the Voyager. Weather was cloudy and cool so we tendered over a little late. Not a good day for the Cayes so we went over and saw Yhony and he caught us up to his last tour bus. We had a good time they have a very good operation. Our tender held more than 140 by far. It took as long to load as it did to tender. I did look at some of the new tourist areas 'outside' the fence. Interesting.

I'll be back next month on Carnival. I prefer the larger tender boats and I think Carnival is correct in this little controversy. The local tour operators will be unhappy with the local tender companies if they drive off the ships.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Ray I think larger tenders are wonderful. My issue is how Carnival went about trying to get the larger tenders. You know I respect you and your opinion, I think you're a pretty smart guy. So don't smack me on the head if I go off on a little rant.

I am really sick and tired of Carnival portraying itself as a victim in this whole Belize tendering debacle. The news articles I have read report that Carnival came in a few weeks ago and demanded the tender owners start using larger tenders to offload passengers with no less than 150 passenger capacity. Of course Belize being Belize, it's a pretty poor country and I know Carnival claims they are currently paying $5 pp, I wouldn't be surprised if a good percentage of that $5 goes to the Belizian Government in one form or another, gas prices have not gone down, so Carnival expects the tender owners to go out and buy new, large capacity tenders, pay rising fuel costs and continue to charge the same $5 pp. I don't really think that's a reasonable request. Not to mention does anyone know where they can pick up a 150 person tender in just a couple of weeks time? Carnival then brings in a guy named Rick O'Shea who is from Florida to bring in his own tenders to cut the Belize Tender owners out completely. Don't get me wrong I like Carnival, and I like John Heald, but I have lost so much respect for Carnival for the Hardball tactics and public mudslinging they have employed in this situation. They claim the existing tenders are unsafe and are comparing the tender owners to the mafia...

Go into a third world country and try to cut off the livelyhood of people who are hardworking folks and who want to earn a living... yes, you are going to see the ugly side of them. I understand that tendering could be so much easier, faster and more streamlined if they had larger capacity tenders. Do I think the existing tenders are unsafe? No I don't. Of the many times I traveled to Belize on Cruise Ships, I would never step on to a tender (or any boat for that matter) if I felt was unsafe. Do I think the tender owners are trying to hurt the tourism revenue of Belize? No, I think they are simply fighting to survive. I really feel all of this could have been avoided had Carnival attempted to make reasonable demands and set reasonable time lines rather than throwing their weight around with people who barely have two sticks to rub together. I feel that Carnival is attempting to win in the court of public opinion by character assassination and it disgusts me. They are far from victims in this mess, they have the luxury of bringing in Mr. O'Shea to run the tenders, or to sail away from Belize and go to Costa Maya or Calica or some other port. Sorry I had to get that off my chest. Carnival has all the power and portrays themselves as being held hostage.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Love you Beenie, always will.

I think the actual bottom line (I don't see mentioned anywhere) is that there has been a change in the government. The amount of payoff is the issue. The stories on BOTH sides are all just a smokescreen to the real underlining issue.

The reason I say I favor CCL in this is because they should never get involved in an agreement that includes a payoff deal with anyone.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
Love you Beenie, always will.

I think the actual bottom line (I don't see mentioned anywhere) is that there has been a change in the government. The amount of payoff is the issue. The stories on BOTH sides are all just a smokescreen to the real underlining issue.

The reason I say I favor CCL in this is because they should never get involved in an agreement that includes a payoff deal with anyone.
Aww shucks Ray, that was sweet!
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Old February 6th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Being a first time cruiser I asumed the tendering was handled by the cruise line Not done by an outside contracter
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Old February 6th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhill View Post
Being a first time cruiser I asumed the tendering was handled by the cruise line Not done by an outside contracter
That's the norm. You will discover that a lot of on board activities are also done by outside contractors: the Spa, the on board shopping, and the art auctions. Sometimes even the: infirmary, internet services, and more.
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