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#399865 - 02/09/11 09:20 AM Carnival is back....
Marty Offline

FECTAB uses banners to “cuss” Carnival

This morning marked the first appearance of Carnival back at Belize’s shores since they cancelled all their calls to Belize two weeks ago due to their demand for lower prices and larger catamarans, and the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association Board, FECTAB, took the opportunity to go to the Fort Street Tourism Village in tour buses armed with banners aimed at transmitting to the cruise line exactly how they felt about their bullying ways. “Carnival, work with our Belizean tenders, or you know what to do, get the %@#& out!” read one banner.

About seventy persons, in support of FECTAB, were out at the zone this morning around 8:00, and they publicly displayed their message for about twenty-five minutes.   The buses were driven through the village and made a stop at Zone One, which is only a few feet away from the Mirab store.

It was neither a protest nor a demonstration, said president of FECTAB, Tom Greenwood, and founding member, Yhonnie Rosado, owner of Cavetubing.com.

Rosado told us, “We had some banners on our bus stating that if Carnival comes into our country that it does so with respect; we are standing up for the people and the country. We are tired of doing press conferences and many meetings, so we are walking now, the talking has stopped; we are walking the walk now”.

Greenwood also spoke to us and said, “What happened today is the next stage that we had said would happen at the last press conference, that we are done with press conferences unless there is a pressing issue that we need the nation to know quickly. We are now beginning a series of protests and it is beginning at the lowest possible level, for which we don’t need a permit, which is putting signs on our buses, telling Carnival to basically stop taking bread out of the mouths of our Belizeans. The next stage will be a protest, for which we will seek a permit.”

Amandala also spoke with the coordinator of the Belize Tourism Board’s Tourism Police, Nigel Martinez, who made an effort to advise FECTAB members on their “code of conduct” in the zoning area.

Martinez maintained that the display was a demonstration, and kept repeating the need for protocol to be followed in such a proceeding. “…You need to write a letter to the committee asking for permission to conduct these kinds of activities,” he said.

But the members of FECTAB appeared to be unswerving in their stance. “We are asking, one, for the ships to continue coming in; we are asking Carnival to stop its blackmailing tactics; they are badmouthing the daylights out of Belizeans outside the village; they tell them inside the village to buy a book tour inside and don’t come outside, because they’ll steal from you, this and that.,” explained Greenwood.


#400064 - 02/11/11 10:01 AM Re: Carnival is back.... [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tourism Minister says his team is meeting with Carnival

Since the crisis involving tendering for cruise tourism broke, we have not heard from the Minister of Tourism. He accompanied the Prime Minister and B.T.B. officials to Miami on January seventh to meet with Carnival Cruise Lines but he has been quiet on that most important issue for the tourism industry. But today, Minister Manuel Heredia said that there may be an agreement in the near future on the price the tenders charge. Over one hundred and twenty persons earn a living from tendering and for them; it is a matter of bread and butter. Heredia is hoping that the conflict over the pricing will be resolved by next week, and he is placing his confidence in a two-member team from the tourism sector who are currently in discussion with Carnival.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“It is not an easy fight with a monster like Carnival in particular, they’re the biggest. Out of all the cruise, about four of them that come to Belize, they make a hundred and twenty-two calls a year, minimum. Royal Caribbean made about fifty-eight, they will just be making about twenty-eight this year, Norwegian does about fifty-eight I think. They will be increasing a little this year and probably if everything is resolved, Princess will be in shortly. But I feel as a government and the Ministry of Tourism in particular and B.T.B. we’re trying to do the best for our small stakeholders. At the same time I have to be realistic that I cannot say that we are blaming Carnival or blaming the other because according to Carnival, their local agent they feel has been getting away for quite a while. They say that they informed these persons for over a year that they should notify the small tenders that at a certain point they needed to have—that was not conveyed to the small tenders. That was very unfortunate, but again it’s our responsibility of our administration to make sure that we protect them and we are willing to go as far as we need to go in order to protect them; that was signaled to Carnival. So we came up with an agreement that up until October, that we’re supposed to still maintain this mix between the big and the small to give time to our local people to see how they can either refinance or see what can be done. But at this point the crucial thing is the price of tendering, not so much the sizes at this point, it is more the prices that have been negotiated. I am hoping that sometime early next week that that should be completed. My director and my C.E.O. are in Miami right now having chats about these prices and the way forward. I’m crossing my fingers to see if by next week if that contract can be signed, but if it can be signed the one closer to making it happen is still Martha, Martha Williams, who is willing to incorporate the small tenders into that up until October that we have the contract. We still have the feeling that at the end of the day people that want to travel, want to come to Belize. And it happened at one time that a group of about fifty approached Carnival and said if you divert, we want to be reimbursed completely. We don’t want to go elsewhere. And up to now there is no notice of cancellations happening.”

Marion Ali

“Ok, so you’re saying Carnival needs us as much as we need them?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Yes, you’re right.”

Channel 5

#401550 - 03/03/11 09:29 AM Re: Carnival is back.... [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Carnival Cruise And Eurocaribe Reach Compromise, Tender-ly

The boat tender crisis dominated the headlines weeks ago, but now it has receded into the background - the victim - most likely - of too much hype and too little progress.
But now, according to an industry website called cruise critic.com - there's been a significant development. Cruise Critic reports that there has been an agreement on the tenders, but warns that it won't put an end to port cancellations by Carnival.

Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher told Cruise Critic that the cruise line had signed a contract with its previous tender provider - which is Eurocaribe, and its tendering subsidiary, Maritime Estates.

As we understand it, Eurocaribe will continue to subcontract the small tender operators - which means that after all these weeks of back and forth, we end as we began on January third.

According to carnival, their ships will now be serviced by larger, more comfortable tenders, and (Eurocaribe) is in the process of acquiring some additional large tenders.

And that's where the cancellations come in: Until those extra tenders are in service, Belize will have a shortage of Carnival-approved tenders on days when Carnival Valor and Carnival Legend are in port alongside Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas.

Carnival Legend has cancelled its Belize call scheduled for March 10, and the next possible cancellation would be Legend's March 24 visit. Carnival says that the new tenders will be in place by the end of March. Eurocaribe could not give us any comment.

Channel 7


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