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Ocean Cay~ The Final Countdown


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1 hour ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

I think MSC did a nice job with the alternate itineraries. It seems as though they didn't totally change the next few sailings allowing those with booked excursions keep them.  Using Cozumel in place of Nassau is about an even exchange imo, some may even prefer Cozumel.

 

 

 

Except they did change the 11/24 Meraviglia sailing, if this is the final version of the itinerary.

 

Original Itinerary:

DAY DATE PORT ARRIVAL DEPARTURE ACTIVITY*
1 Sun, Nov 24, 2019 - 5:00 PM Docked
2 Mon, Nov 25, 2019 At Sea - - -
3 Tue, Nov 26, 2019 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked
4 Wed, Nov 27, 2019 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Tender
5 Thu, Nov 28, 2019 9:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked/Tender
6 Fri, Nov 29, 2019 At Sea - - -
7 Sat, Nov 30, 2019 9:00 AM 11:55 PM Docked
8 Sun, Dec 01, 2019 7:00 AM - Docked

 

New Itinerary (from the above @revorednu's post) - Roatan and Costa Maya have swapped places:

11/24

Miami/Florida, United States

 

19:00

11/25

At Sea

---

---

11/26

Isla de Roatan, Honduras

9:00

17:00

11/27

Belize City, Belize

8:00

18:00

11/28

Costa Maya, Mexico

7:00

18:00

11/29

At Sea

---

---

11/30

Ocean Cay, Bahamas

9:00

23:55

12/1

Miami/Florida, United States

7:00

 

NEW ITINERARY

DATE

PORT

ARRIVAL

DEPARTURE

11/24

Miami/Florida, United States

 

19:00

11/25

At Sea

---

---

11/26

Isla de Roatan, Honduras

9:00

19:00

11/27

Belize City, Belize

8:00

19:00

11/28

Costa Maya, Mexico

7:00

19:00

11/29

Cozumel, Mexico

7:00

19:00

11/30

At Sea

---

---

12/1

Miami/Florida, United States

7:00

 

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2 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Yes, due largely to factors outside their control. We agree. :classic_wink:

 

Out of their control or out of their budget lol.

 

Oh wait, maybe you're suggesting three years of weather delays??? hahaha

 

Had msc thrown more money at the project the island would be open right now. 

 

To think otherwise is utterly illogical. 

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23 minutes ago, sidari said:

BB ... I doubt money was a problem given the size of MSC as a company as a whole.

 

Having the money, and putting extra funds it in the budget for Ocean cay are two entirely different things. 

 

Money could have opened Ocean Cay on-time. More staff. More equipment. More hours, etc...

 

I'm not suggesting Ocean Cay should have spent 'whatever it cost' to open the island on-time,(I like this budget conscious line), but I am suggesting that throwing more money at the project would have opened the island sooner,

Edited by BermudaBound2014
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1 minute ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

I am suggesting that throwing more money at the project would have opened the island sooner,

 

Unfortunately, this is a completely incorrect statement. As I mentioned in a post early this year, the reasons for the delays were beyond the control of MSC. When MSC purchased (well, technically leased) the island way back, they thought they were purchasing a nice little island to turn Ocean Cay into a reality within the time frame projected. What they weren't aware, was that they were purchasing to some degree an environmental toxic waste dump from the mining that had been going on. After doing the environmental studies, only then did they discover the mess. Now, as with all toxic clean up, they knew this was going to be a long term project. They had to invest millions of unforeseen dollars into the clean-up and the clean-up alone was nearly a two year project. That doesn't count construction and turning Ocean Cay into what it is today (or will be).

I for one am thankful that a company could be so environmentally conscious as to the take the extra time (and money) to make it a perfectly safe place for their guests even if it did generate bad press for the delays. I can only assume that they thought the announcement of "construction delays" sounded way better than toxic clean-up. I certainly would bet there are other lines that would have thrown extra sand over everything and said they were good to go. Thanks, MSC for actually caring not only about your guests but the environment also.

That's just my two cents. Definitely not trying to put anyone's opinion down and they are certainly entitled to disagree with this assesment.

Bret

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18 minutes ago, cruiseguyinorl said:

 

 

Unfortunately, this is a completely incorrect statement. As I mentioned in a post early this year, the reasons for the delays were beyond the control of MSC. When MSC purchased (well, technically leased) the island way back, they thought they were purchasing a nice little island to turn Ocean Cay into a reality within the time frame projected. What they weren't aware, was that they were purchasing to some degree an environmental toxic waste dump from the mining that had been going on. After doing the environmental studies, only then did they discover the mess. Now, as with all toxic clean up, they knew this was going to be a long term project. They had to invest millions of unforeseen dollars into the clean-up and the clean-up alone....


I respectfully disagree. I’ve been following ocean cay for the entire build. I even have documents from the concrete company and articles that appeared in Miami regarding a pipeline from ocean cay that was in the works, so I’m well aware of the toxic background of this man made island (although I use the term toxic sparingly so as not to scare people). Same with the shark issue surrounding the area but I digress ;).

 

I am also very thankful that MSc cleaned it “right” although there is come hesitation considering this is the Bahamas and most inspections can be purchased for the right price. Without evidence of corruption, I’ll give msc the kudos.

 

However; none of that changes the fact that had they hired twice the crew the job could have been completed in half the time (maybe not exactly half, but you get the theory). This project was VERy labor intensive. Money always speeds up labor (example the sand issue). 

 

Just my opinion of course 🙂 

.

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014
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4 hours ago, cruiseguyinorl said:

 

 

Unfortunately, this is a completely incorrect statement. As I mentioned in a post early this year, the reasons for the delays were beyond the control of MSC. When MSC purchased (well, technically leased) the island way back, they thought they were purchasing a nice little island to turn Ocean Cay into a reality within the time frame projected. What they weren't aware, was that they were purchasing to some degree an environmental toxic waste dump from the mining that had been going on. After doing the environmental studies, only then did they discover the mess. Now, as with all toxic clean up, they knew this was going to be a long term project. They had to invest millions of unforeseen dollars into the clean-up and the clean-up alone was nearly a two year project. That doesn't count construction and turning Ocean Cay into what it is today (or will be).

I for one am thankful that a company could be so environmentally conscious as to the take the extra time (and money) to make it a perfectly safe place for their guests even if it did generate bad press for the delays. I can only assume that they thought the announcement of "construction delays" sounded way better than toxic clean-up. I certainly would bet there are other lines that would have thrown extra sand over everything and said they were good to go. Thanks, MSC for actually caring not only about your guests but the environment also.

That's just my two cents. Definitely not trying to put anyone's opinion down and they are certainly entitled to disagree with this assesment.

Bret

If this is the real reason, someone screwed up big time when doing due diligence prior to signing the lease and should be liable for negligence. May be Bahamian government should also be on the hook for non disclosure. This is totally crazy.

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8 hours ago, cruiseguyinorl said:

 

 

Unfortunately, this is a completely incorrect statement. As I mentioned in a post early this year, the reasons for the delays were beyond the control of MSC. When MSC purchased (well, technically leased) the island way back, they thought they were purchasing a nice little island to turn Ocean Cay into a reality within the time frame projected. What they weren't aware, was that they were purchasing to some degree an environmental toxic waste dump from the mining that had been going on. After doing the environmental studies, only then did they discover the mess. Now, as with all toxic clean up, they knew this was going to be a long term project. They had to invest millions of unforeseen dollars into the clean-up and the clean-up alone was nearly a two year project. That doesn't count construction and turning Ocean Cay into what it is today (or will be).

I for one am thankful that a company could be so environmentally conscious as to the take the extra time (and money) to make it a perfectly safe place for their guests even if it did generate bad press for the delays. I can only assume that they thought the announcement of "construction delays" sounded way better than toxic clean-up. I certainly would bet there are other lines that would have thrown extra sand over everything and said they were good to go. Thanks, MSC for actually caring not only about your guests but the environment also.

That's just my two cents. Definitely not trying to put anyone's opinion down and they are certainly entitled to disagree with this assesment.

Bret

In my opinion the above post raises some correct observations but I also understand what @BermudaBound2014 is saying - yes, I applaud MSC for taking the time to be as safe as possible and there are obviously always 'some' unforeseen circumstances' but overall, for a company the size they are, I would say that there are some due diligence issues there at the start of the project. I'm due there as part of the Jan 05 sailing from Miami and looking forward to it! 🙂

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15 hours ago, cruiseguyinorl said:

 

 

Unfortunately, this is a completely incorrect statement. As I mentioned in a post early this year, the reasons for the delays were beyond the control of MSC. When MSC purchased (well, technically leased) the island way back, they thought they were purchasing a nice little island to turn Ocean Cay into a reality within the time frame projected. What they weren't aware, was that they were purchasing to some degree an environmental toxic waste dump from the mining that had been going on. After doing the environmental studies, only then did they discover the mess. Now, as with all toxic clean up, they knew this was going to be a long term project. They had to invest millions of unforeseen dollars into the clean-up and the clean-up alone was nearly a two year project. That doesn't count construction and turning Ocean Cay into what it is today (or will be).

I for one am thankful that a company could be so environmentally conscious as to the take the extra time (and money) to make it a perfectly safe place for their guests even if it did generate bad press for the delays. I can only assume that they thought the announcement of "construction delays" sounded way better than toxic clean-up. I certainly would bet there are other lines that would have thrown extra sand over everything and said they were good to go. Thanks, MSC for actually caring not only about your guests but the environment also.

That's just my two cents. Definitely not trying to put anyone's opinion down and they are certainly entitled to disagree with this assesment.

Bret

Thank you, Bret. There's a lot of information floating out there from the proverbial armchair quarterbacks who seem to think everything is MSC's fault. It's good to get a better idea of the challenges they've been facing. No company is perfect, but it sounds like they did a pretty decent job playing the hand they were dealt.

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15 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 Same with the shark issue surrounding the area but I digress ;).

I never heard this mentioned before, until on the reposition cruise.  We had several MSC VIP's & family on the Oct 28th sailing and at lunch one afternoon I met some who mentioned one of the big problems MSC still had was incomplete shark netting around the island.  I didn't even know that was something they did, what have you heard?

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4 minutes ago, Boschmann said:

I never heard this mentioned before, until on the reposition cruise.  We had several MSC VIP's & family on the Oct 28th sailing and at lunch one afternoon I met some who mentioned one of the big problems MSC still had was incomplete shark netting around the island.  I didn't even know that was something they did, what have you heard?

 

I'm hesitant to share everything because some people are certain to panic (and others will just make excuses hahah). I've read  discussions from the Bimini Island forums about the necessary netting surrounding the island. Apparently, because of the location of Ocean Cay there is a belief that the netting is needed. Of course, this is all second hand information as I've not been there myself and it all seems pretty hush hush. We will have to wait for the first visitors to see if the island truly is protected by netting.

 

I am not afraid (I did a shark dive in the bahamas before and it was very thrilling), but I would personally heed the advice of the many shark tour operators in the area and stay out of the ocean at night. The most popular shark tours from Bimini specifically go to an area close to Ocean Cay called Bull Run. I'm not sure if Bull Run area is the issue or if it's just the shear number in the area. Bimini (the major island closest to Ocean Cay) is one of the top 5 places in the world to dive with sharks. 

 

Please don't panic. Ocean cay will be lovely once finished and I'm sure MSC will do everything in their power to keep people safe.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Not the same island.

 Indeed, and I did know that, but sharks to the best of my knowledge don't have preferred islands or waters....rather they prefer warm coastal waters!😉

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33 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

I'm hesitant to share everything because some people are certain to panic (and others will just make excuses hahah). I've read  discussions from the Bimini Island forums about the necessary netting surrounding the island. Apparently, because of the location of Ocean Cay there is a belief that the netting is needed. Of course, this is all second hand information as I've not been there myself and it all seems pretty hush hush. We will have to wait for the first visitors to see if the island truly is protected by netting.

 

I am not afraid (I did a shark dive in the bahamas before and it was very thrilling), but I would personally heed the advice of the many shark tour operators in the area and stay out of the ocean at night. The most popular shark tours from Bimini specifically go to an area close to Ocean Cay called Bull Run. I'm not sure if Bull Run area is the issue or if it's just the shear number in the area. Bimini (the major island closest to Ocean Cay) is one of the top 5 places in the world to dive with sharks. 

 

Please don't panic. Ocean cay will be lovely once finished and I'm sure MSC will do everything in their power to keep people safe.

 

 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sea, you cannot get off the beach ... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having followed the build for the last 3 years, and watching 5 promised opening dates come and go, I doubt anyone is more excited for this island to open than me. I’m not even scheduled to visit until April, but so looking forward to the first photos.
 

However; I remain cautiously optimistic. MSC is controlling the photos which are being released. Every photo released this week has been staged. I’m not suggesting it won’t open on Friday as promised, but the only progress that has been documented are a few pics of the ice cream bar and beach. Based on the lack of additional photos my caution flag is still waving.  

 

MSC sent a beautiful colored glossy brochure all about ocean cay this week stating the island is open, so hopefully my caution is unwarranted. 
 

 

 

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