Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Race against time for Port Royal cruise pier

Published:Saturday | January 18, 2020 | 12:28 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
Labourers are seen at the Old Coal Wharf worksite that houses the Port Royal pier on Friday ahead of the arrival of the Marella Discover 2 cruise ship scheduled to visit the town on Monday, January 20.
Labourers are seen at the Old Coal Wharf worksite that houses the Port Royal pier on Friday ahead of the arrival of the Marella Discover 2 cruise ship scheduled to visit the town on Monday, January 20.

Workmen and women are in a race against time to meet the completion deadline for the inaugural call at the Port Royal Cruise Port Terminal on Monday for the Marella Discovery 2, which is slated to dock at 8 o’clock in the morning.

During yesterday’s media sensitisation tour of the port facility, journalists were given a demonstration of the seawalk – a motorised floating berth with electronic controls that will unfold to meet the cruise ship, which will be anchored offshore. Passengers, crew members, baggage and trolleys will be transferred easily from the ship’s gangway on to the pier and then to shore.

However, the terminal building where the passengers and crew will be processed by immigration, customs, and health authorities was still without furniture and other fixtures, and workmen were busy on the job ignoring watchful eyes.

Project Manager Devon Sterling described what was happening as a very targeted delivery, since work would be ongoing, with construction set to continue for some months.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

“In terms of our readiness, what we are doing is preparing all the areas that visitors are going to interact with to ensure that their experience is safe, comfortable, and efficient,” he said.

The installation of furniture, paving of the central courtyard, and construction of one of two bus loading terminals were yet to completed, but Sterling was optimistic that the job would be finished by tomorrow evening.

“Activities continue tonight all the way through to ensure that it will be ready in time. The entrance and exits are being worked on now and our targets are that they will be completed,” he insisted.

A promenade leading from the pier into Port Royal for passengers who want to walk into town was also nearing completion.

Sterling also explained that the entire site would not be opened up – only the port facility for the time being – with work set to intensify by Tuesday morning, hours after the ship is scheduled to leave port.

The media party also toured Fort Charles, which will be included in the tour package for passengers who want to get up close and personal with the historical former city, exploring the Giddy House and tuning in to storytellers who will regale them with tales of Jack Rackam’s and Captain Henry Morgan’s exploits. During this time, it will be transformed into a craft village with artisans showcasing arts and crafts.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com