Security to be tightened as Port Royal prepares for first cruise ship on Monday
Nadine Wilson-Harris, Staff Reporter
Senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have collaborated with security personnel from at least two government agencies to create a safety and security plan for Port Royal in Kingston, as the historic town prepares to welcome its first cruise ship on Monday.
Although Discovery 2, operated by Marella Cruises is expected to make its first call, Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal Phillip Paulwell is concerned about how the influx of visitors could affect the community, which currently boasts a very low crime rate.
“I am wondering because whilst I can assist in educating my people in East Kingston not to crowd our visitors, not to crowd the town to allow the people of Port Royal to benefit, what is the plan for public safety?” he asked during today’s sitting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee.
“What is going to happen next week when everybody in Kingston is aware that these people are coming into Port Royal, one way in, one way out?” he continued.
President and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica Professor Gordon Shirley told the meeting that the police have been working with the authority and the Tourism Product Development Company security teams to guarantee the general safety of the cruise ship passengers.
“I know that they have taken into account MP Paulwell that whole issue of controlling the access to Port Royal by persons who are descending on the area, whether those be robot taxis or others, they are working on some plans to control that,” he said.
“Beyond bringing people to Port Royal, there will be a number of excursions and so on that are going out into the greater Kingston. We view this project as being an important way of creating a gateway into Kingston,” he said.
How will cruise ships destined for #PortRoyal arrive? They will take a route similar to the ones taken by vessels that enter the Port of Kingston. However, the Port Royal cruise ships will veer to the right and enter the Port Royal Harbour. pic.twitter.com/CDlCodp0b5
— Port Authority of Jamaica (@PortAuthorityJa) January 15, 2020
The promotion of Port Royal as a cruise destination began in earnest early in 2018 and has seen several agencies collaborating to create a multi-billion dollar development plan for the historic town which is being jointly marketed with Kingston as a new tourist destination.