Talk less, do more
John Tercek, vice-president of commercial development at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Limited (RCCL), is urging Jamaicans to be more active in the development of the Falmouth cruise-ship pier.
Tercek issued the challenge while reflecting on the delays of ships making calls at the port, which is being developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ). RCCL is developing the port for the PAJ.
"Jamaicans are very good at talking and they are not so good at action," said Tercek as he responded to a comment made from a member of the audience who earlier in the question-and-answer section had asked why Jamaica was not realising its potential in the sector.
Tercek was one of the speakers at the Stocks and Securities Limited investors' forum on Tuesday, on the topic: 'Falmouth and the cruise-ship pier'.
"We try to take the initiative. We try to show up, not as talkers but as doers. We are putting a lot of money into the town. We made a lot of commitments to the town and to Jamaica," he said.
"We have been trying to be a catalyst. We can't do it all - we can't restore, rehabilitate ... all of the town (Falmouth). We can do our project. We can bring our guests. We can make further investments into the town, and we are doing all of that ... but it is going to take a lot of initiative, not only from the Government," Tercek said, pointing out that all parties involved will have to take part.
Ships cancel calls
The first three ships scheduled to dock at the port cancelled their calls. They were Holland America's Ryndham and P&O's Aurora, which were slated to call at the port on November 3 last year. The other vessel, Noordam, was expected to make its maiden call on December 26. Each ship carries an average of between 1,200 and 1,800 pass-engers per call.
Meanwhile, the Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, which was booked to make its maiden call at the port on January 7, also had to cancel. The ship would have carried some 3,000 passengers.
But Tercek pointed out that at the time the port was not ready to receive any ships.
"We have been preaching for the last two years to the Government and to the locals, and to the parish council here, that we need to work at this town. It is not a tourist town and it has good potential," he said.
Tercek said that since the delay, many initiatives have been taking place, some being spearheaded by the PAJ. However, he said there was still a lot left to be done, in terms of cosmetic work, to the town.
"A lot of buildings need to be restored. There is a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs ... . There is going to be lot of work for renovators of buildings. There is a need for service jobs," he said.
Tercek said the first ship will make its first call on February 17. The ship will be the Voyager of the Seas out of Galveston, Texas and, in March, the megaliner Oasis of the Seas, which has a capacity of more than 6,000 passengers, will make its call.
Royal Caribbean, under the deal with the PAJ, has guaranteed 400,000 passenger visits to the new port over 20 years, or 10,000 passengers per year.