VASCO: Family members and relatives of Goan seafarers, who work on cruise liners, have urged the Mormugao port agents and the ship-handling agencies to exhibit better coordination between them and other authorities in order to allow them to board the cruise liners and meet their loved ones when the vessels visit the Mormugao port.
Hundreds of family members of the crew working on board cruise liner Celebrity Century (Valletta) gathered at the international cruise berth terminal of the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) at Mormugao Harbour on Sunday morning to meet their loved ones when the vessel visited the port and was docked at a berth at around 7 am. The crew members’ relatives were at the berth terminal till late in the afternoon.
President of the Goan Seamen Association of India Dixon Vaz had discussed the issue with South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar and the MPT authorities and urged them to provide an opportunity to the family members of the cruise liner crew to meet their loved ones when the ships visit the port.
Although the MPT authorities on Sunday allowed the relatives to meet their loved ones, many of the family members were, however, disappointed with the lengthy process of the port authorities and were seen running from one place to another to receive the entry passes at gate number 9.
Pales Coelho of Aldona, who had been a crew member working on board the Celebrity Century and completed his contract on March 22, said, due to lack of coordination between the port agents and ship-handling agents, family members of the crew face a lot of difficulty in meeting their loved ones when such vessels visit the state. He said that this is, however, not the case in other countries where relatives can easily meet their near and dear ones and also board the ship without many formalities.
“The process should be streamlined by the port authorities in co-ordination of the port agents and ship-handling agents,” said Coelho adding that the MPT should go in for a single-window system to allocate entry passes to the family members of the crew, outside the international cruise berth terminal of the Mormugao port and not at other far away places.
He said that on an average 75 to 200 crew members are working on various cruise vessels are from Goa, but unfortunately they find it difficult to meet their family members when the cruise liners visit the state.
Executive chef Nelson Mascarenhas from Navelim who works for Celebrity Century raised concern over the hardships faced by the family members in meeting of the Goan crew.
Most of the family members of the crew who were at the international cruise terminal at Mormugao Harbour on Sunday expressed their gratitude to the South Goa MP Sawaikar and even to the Goa Seaman Association of India president Vaz for considering their long pending request.
The luxury cruise liner Celebrity Century Valletta carries 1,800 passengers and 800 crew from 150 countries.
The passengers were welcomed by the Tourism Department of Goa by presenting dances and other live music.
The cruise liner originated from Singapore and came to Goa from Cochin and Mangalore.
The vessel sailed at 3 p.m. to Dubai via Mumbai. Another cruise liner is likely to call at the Mormugao Harbour on April 11.