Jamaica's Gleaner newspaper reports that the average amount of money spent by a cruise ship passenger in Jamaica has dropped to just $71.
The hardest hit Jamaican port has been Falmouth where Royal Caribbean convinced the county of Jamaica to spend over $160,000,000 so far to develop the port (at great destruction to the reefs and environment of Jamaica) on the promise that the U.S. passengers would spend hundreds of dollars each upon entering Jamaica.
Now that Jamaica took Royal Caribbean's bait, dug up its fragile coral reefs and bulldozed its mangroves, the island has learned that the mostly American passengers are spending no where near the promised several hundred of dollars while ashore.
I won't say that I told you so, although I will mention that this is exactly what I predicted in my prior articles:
One of the problems I observed when I visited Falmouth last year is that the new port contains essentially two worlds - the new port behind the fence which the cruise line erected where the touristy shops are sponsored by Royal Caribbean which sucks in most of the money, and the original stores outside the fence where few passengers venture.
Compounding the problem is the fact that most of the excursions sold by the cruise line immediately leave the port and take the passengers outside of Falmouth.
But not is all lost, according to the Gleaner. A Margaritaville is going to open on the Royal Caribbean dock in Falmouth, inside the cruise line fence. Per capital spending is suppose to increase from $71 to $120 a passenger.
A Margaritaville bar in the historic port of Falmouth? Ugh.
Will the promised money roll in? Probably not.
But whatever bounty the cruise line passengers bring to the Jimmy Buffet bar in Jamaica will undoubtedly be scooped up by Royal Caribbean and sailed back to Miami.
Photo credit: Jim Walker