Cayman Net News: Cruisers frustrated over closed shops on SundaysCruisers frustrated over closed shops on Sundays
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Cruisers walk though the deserted streets of George Town
The visit of the Crown Princess on a Sunday left many visitors dissatisfied and disappointed.
In George Town, passengers complained about the fact that so many of the attractions were closed and cruise shippers said they came ashore unaware that there would be a problem.
Although the Island's Sunday trading laws prevent major food stores opening and prohibit the retail sale of alcohol, stores catering for the needs of cruise shippers can open on Sundays.
In the capital, major attractions like the Kirk Freeport and the Craft Market were closed but other stores were open, adding to the confusion.
A number of bars and restaurants were open but others were closed.
In Margaritaville, the town's newest attraction, they were open for business and, although the entertainment was suitably subdued, customers were clearly enjoying the facilities.
The Crown Princess arrived around 7:00 am with a scheduled departure time of 5:00 pm, but at 11:00 am many passengers had exhausted the limited attractions in George Town and were heading back onboard.
Several returning passengers, some of them repeat visitors, expressed disappointment about the fact they had not been able to do as much shopping as they had hoped.
Woody Foster of Foster's Food Fair has long been campaigning for changes to the Sunday trading laws.
When contacted he made the point that after Hurricane Ivan 7500 people had signed petitions asking the Government to relax the laws.
Talking specifically about the problems caused when cruise ships arrive on a Sunday he said, "Why have cruise ships here if you know the stores will not be open? Everyone cannot go to Stingray City." In his opinion, "The Government has to decide whether the Island is open for cruise shippers or not. You should not bring people ashore knowing that much of the town will be closed."