Successful day despite cruise delay
A TWO-hour delay failed to dampen the spirits of passengers and market goers when the Pacific Eden cruised into Gladstone on Thursday.
Pacific Eden was scheduled to arrive at 8am but didn't dock until 10am, with a further 20 minutes needed before passengers could disembark into the East Shores precinct.
A spokesperson from P&O Cruises said the delay happened at Mooloolaba due to a medical issue involving a passenger.
"Pacific Eden was late arriving due to a medical transfer that became necessary close to her scheduled departure time from the previous destination, Mooloolaba,” they said.
"To give guests the full experience of the Gladstone visit, arrangements were made to extend Pacific Eden's time alongside there.”
GAPDL Feast on East Markets and cruise co-ordinator Brigitte James said the delay didn't have an adverse effect on trade at the markets.
"We only found out quite late on Wednesday night that the ship was running late and were told it would be at least an hour late,” she said.
"At that point in time there was no way we could change the message we put out to the community about the opening time and also get the message to every single stallholder.
"The stallholders came in to set up at 6am and I spoke to every single one of them... I reckon 90 per cent of stallholders said they were grateful for that because they were running late, too.”
Ms James said the Feast on East Markets, which ran 8am-4pm, were quiet until 8.30am when the locals flooded in.
"The locals still came out in force and supported the markets. Nobody really thought it was a slow start, only just that first half-hour, and then it was business as usual,” she said.
Feedback from cruise passengers was very positive according to Ms James, with many passengers impressed beyond expectations.
"One piece of feedback that was repetitive throughout the day was people said they expected more from Mooloolaba and less from Gladstone,” she said.
"They were a little disappointed with Mooloolaba and extremely happy with Gladstone... They had a great day out, the weather was beautiful and a lot of people said they loved it so much that they'll come back.”