I agree. Unfortunately island government, TCB, and BONHATA all apparently have their greedy heads up each other's collective rears. All they seem to care about is lining each others pockets today and tomorrow. There's no vision, concern or honest actions towards building economically and environmentally sustainable tourism before releasing the hordes of cruisers upon the unprepared island and its infrastructure.
It's only a matter of time before something happens on Bonaire similar to the cruise ship that ran aground in Roatan recently. In the meantime the island's "cruise industry" (fancy words for mass tour operators and souvenir vendors) seems content to see the island's population ebb and flow 35% to 40% daily as the big smoke-belching cruise ships disgorge thousands of passenger daily to meander about the island's narrow roads, small beaches, and fragile shallow-water ecosystem.
It's really sad. And it's getting worse. Anyone who doesn't believe me should check out the human impact at No Name Beach on Klein Bonaire on big cruise days or volunteer for one of Dive Friends Bonaire's quarterly underwater cleanup dives near the cruise piers in town. It's not pretty. But it used to be.
We went for arepas at the stand on coco beach and it happened to be a cruise ship day. The passengers were lined up in the chairs lounging and drinking. They left all their garbage just laying there and an employee was going row by row, chair by chair, picking up their crap after they left. I couldn't believe what total pigs they were.
They have a skeleton of a whale killed by a cruise ship at the entrance to the National Park.
Wonder when they will build the inevitable dolphin prison for the amusement of the decrepit cruisers like they have everywhere else......
I think change might come to Bonaire and they'll eventually do away with Cruise Ships.
With the exception of those who are able to cash in on the Cruise Ship passengers, the local population seems to see the writing on the wall. Most local businesses see far less business when a cruise ship is in because all the tourists who actually stay on the island (and spend far more money there) stay away from downtown on cruise ship days.
Personally, I have a whole list of places I won't bother trying to visit on Bonaire when a cruise ship is in.
Never happen !!
As a way of credibility, I am a divemaster who has come to Bonaire for more than 30 years. I have also been blessed to have visited 145 countries. They will NEVER do away with cruise ships. And the ship in Roatan did NOT run aground; it ran into the pier because of bad seamanship. But I digress :)
Cruise ships started coming to Bonaire when the market dictated there was money to be made by the cruise lines and the island. There was and is some eco price to be paid, but that trade-off occurs same as Al Gore spouting eco responsibility and yet having one of the largest carbon footprints on the planet. Some locals hate having the cruise ships, but the passengers like yesterday's dump of 3000 off the Crown pours alot of money into the non-dinner economy that the dive and snorkel population tourists do not.
Even the Faroe, Falkland and Shetland Islands have cruise ships now. Cruise ships bring money. When they cease to do so, or the eco scale tips too far, all of these quaint little places will stop absorbing these behemoths. FTR, there will be 25+ cruise ships here in December alone :)
Bon Bini Bonaire
The cruise ship in Roatan DID run aground on the beach near the pier, as clearly shown at 1:54 in the video at the bottom of the news article linked below. (The second of the two videos in that page.) Fortunately it was able to back off under it's own power.
No doubt that the cruise ship industry creates a significant revenue stream for some. That's the source of the impact problem, not a justification or viable excuse for the risk and challenges it creates. At least not for me anyway. I've enjoyed almost a full year of my life on dushi Bonaire spread over the past 21 years. I'd really hate to stop returning for the same reasons that I stopped frequenting Cozumel and Roatan. "But other places are doing it too" doesn't justify the increase in cruise tourism on Bonaire. It merely explains it.
I suppose if one runs into a wall, one eventually finds its bottom stuck to something :)
We first found Bonaire captured our hearts on our first visit 5 years ago. Were snorklers. We have scene the increase of cruise ships and it breaks our hearts. The beauty of the island is being destroyed.
Am I the only person who worries about the damage the giant propellers are doing to the reefs?
Why would you imagine that these "giant propellers" are on the reefs? Is it your opinion that, by accident or design, cruise ships ride into these living structures as if they don't know or don't care where they are?
Strong waves run into reefs...like those from a hurricane. Sunscreen damages reefs. Careless divers or snorkelers damage reefs by manhandling them. Even water temperature will degrade their health. And recreational small boat operators are often a menace.
Any damage to reefs caused by cruise ships would be caused by the frequent thoughtless tourists belching out of them.