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Carnival Cruise says it sails in Aug. Cayman Islands says that’s too soon – don’t come.

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PortandTerminal.com, May 10, 2020

Carnival Cruise says that it intends to restart cruises again in August. Already one popular destination in the Caribbean says that it will not be allowing cruise ship visits at that time.

MIAMI, FL – Addressing questions regarding when the Cayman Islands will reopen to cruise ships, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said that the Cayman’s borders will remain closed until at least September 1st, and that this date might be pushed back further. Originally, the Cayman Islands had said that they would be re-opening on June 1st.

The Cayman Compass reported that while the new order to extend the closure had not yet been officially issued, it would soon be on the books. The media outlet reported Deputy Premier Alden McLaughlin, in addressing the question last week, said, “Cabinet has passed a policy that the port will not be open to cruise lines until September 1, 2020.” He also made clear that this was a tentative date as opposed to a guarantee, and that the matter would be reviewed down the line.

He added that they were not consulted before cruise lines announced plans to return.

August booking surge?

Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Line — which has announced plans to sail a limited number of ships beginning on August 1 — is listing several sailings which include stops at Grand Cayman. For example, the August 2 and August 16th sailings of the Carnival Horizon, sailing out of Miami, include stops at Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

I don’t think that we’re going to see cruise vessels back in Grand Cayman [for the] second, third quarter or fourth quarter, to be quite honest,” said Kirkconnell. “We will continue to dialogue and see what’s the best for the tourism industry and product.” While he believed that the tourism industry will soon begin to bounce back, he made it clear that the Caymans intend to proceed with the utmost of caution where opening their borders are concerned.

Further up the Atlantic seaboard,  Holland America and Princess cruise lines announced this week they are cancelling trips in Atlantic Canada for the rest of 2020.

Other popular Carnival destinations may be at risk too. Cozumel is also listed as a destination for several of Carnival’s cruises being advertised for August. Mexico though is the grips of the coronavirus pandemic with over 34,000 infections and 3,353 deaths as it medical system groans under the strain. How eager they will be to accept cruise ships in August, 11 weeks from now, remains a question.

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