Jewel visit presents businesses with a mixed bag
MOOLOOLABA businesses had a mixed bag of experiences as hundreds of Pacific Jewel passengers came ashore.
The majestic P&O cruise liner became an attraction for holidaymakers and residents as it anchored off Mooloolaba beach and tendered passengers ashore in the early hours of the morning.
While the first to disembark were whisked away to various organised tours, the rest were left to wander around The Wharf and the Mooloolaba Esplanade.
Isla and Me boutique owner Amy Brookes said the wharf had been abuzz with anticipation as business owners threw out the welcome mats for the third time for Jewel passengers.
The visit was even more highly anticipated after 1500 passengers from the Pacific Aria were unable to be ferried to shore on June 15 due to rough sea conditions, forcing the cancellation of their bookings and activities.
Fudgees on the Wharf owner Jackie Lawson said they had been "flat out" helping sweet-toothed visitors with travelling snacks.
"We see this every time a cruise ship visits, it's amazing for Mooloolaba," she said.
Hot Pipis Restaurant owner Peter Nipperess said less than 10% of his day's trade had come from Jewel passengers.
"We're used to it now and it is what it is," he said.
"This is an opportunity for (passengers) to get a feel for the area and come back another time."
However, just a few doors down, Via Italia caught a wave of passengers, with more than 50 people enjoying a meal in the restaurant.
Chef Garth Bexon said the Monday trade had "seemed like a Friday" it had been so busy.
Mayor Mark Jamieson, who was at the wharf this morning to greet disembarking Pacific Jewel passengers, said the ship was one of 17 with Coast stopovers between now and the end of next year.