Mr. Carey’s Informative Apology to Cruisers in the Bahamas

BNEMr. Eric Carey = Executive Director Bahamas National Trust
His initial remarks Short form = “They come down there they anchor and they pay absolutely nothing and they come fully stocked. Half of the time they don’t even spend $5 in the Bahamas and what do they eat? Our fish,”
His apology Short Form = “The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) top executive yesterday made an “unreserved apology” to international boaters infuriated by his comments that many of them were ‘el cheapo smoochers’, who this nation should not mourn if they “p….. off” when charged minimal anchorage/mooring fees.

Eric Carey told Tribune Business in an exclusive interview that he wanted to “retract” comments made in a posting on this newspaper’s website, which resulted in incensed boaters threatening to take their cruises – and business – away from the Bahamas.

Expressing hope that his comments, and the fiery reaction, would not cost the Bahamian tourism industry and wider economy much-needed dollars, Mr Carey said his remarks – both on The Tribune website and at the Exuma Business Outlook Conference – were “ill advised”.”

Both Quotes from Tribune 242


In the course of my (continuing) evolution as a social being, I have said things for which an apology was appropriate. Some were eventual and some were needed instantly.

I remember one in particular. I insulted a three star general in front of his peers from a position of (great) juniority on my part. His peers fled the room before he said a word in response, and boy did it get cold in that room.

He was carefully calculating what he would say when I blurted an apology. That’s when he got really mad. “What the **** are you apologizing for?”

I must say the question set me back. I thought it was obvious. I thought he meant “why.” He really meant “what” just as he said. He was a very precise man.

He told me I couldn’t apologize for insulting him, because I didn’t have his permission to insult him.

He told me I couldn’t apologize for how I felt about him, because he didn’t care how I felt about him.

He told me I couldn’t apologize because I had my facts wrong because what I had said was largely correct — although seriously lacking tact.

He said I could only apologize for having lost control of my mouth.

His stern look never melted. “Chris,” he said, “an apology is lubricant for the social machine, but just as often it is a passive-aggressive tactic — get your message out there and then pretend the devil made you do it — and you inform the conversation in ways you may not have intended.”

“So, what do we have here?” He said. I immediately apologized for losing control of my mouth. A week later he invited me to lunch and that began a mentoring process and a friendship that lasted for years.


I read Mr. Carey’s message and received it loud and clear. I read his apology, and I believe he is sincerely sorry he voiced his opinion so clearly. He got his message out there — whatever made him do it. We know where he stands on cruisers — that stance didn’t change overnight because of the reaction, and isn’t going to change much over time. We know what will be going on behind the scenes on this issue when he is involved. He has informed us.

4 responses to “Mr. Carey’s Informative Apology to Cruisers in the Bahamas

  1. Pingback: Florida Anchoring: Groundhog Day | Periodically Peregrine

  2. Nice posting.

  3. moondance38

    Great story and good insight into what’s really happening. I was glad to see that he apologized but realized that they probably made him do it and it didn’t really change how he really feels about cruisers.

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