A message from the Caribbean…
Tuesday 10th October 2017, 12:15am
A Message from the Caribbean Islands: We’re Open for Cruise Vacations
More than 40 islands visited by cruise ships on Caribbean itineraries have a message they want to share: They are open, fully operational, welcoming ships full of cruise passengers and hoping more will follow. Included are places that saw some damage from the September hurricanes but have already recovered.
“In Key West, we are looking good and open for business,” said Mayor Craig Cates. “Water sports and cruise ship excursions are open and ready. The trolleys are running.”
“We are open and welcoming visitors,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
She said cruise passengers are back to doing such activities as playing golf, going scuba diving, relaxing on the beach, visiting historic Brimstone Hill, riding on the Scenic Railway and getting adventuresome on zipline and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) excursions.
While thoughts, prayers and aid are being sent to six islands in particular, including Puerto Rico, the fact is that at most ports of call, people are currently enjoying exceptional and memorable cruise experiences – while at the same time helping to keep the tourism economy alive.
“Let’s face it: We didn’t all get As in geography,” said Doug Parker, host of Cruise Radio. “So for a lot of people, when they hear that the Caribbean was hit by hurricanes, they don’t realize that it doesn’t mean every island in that region. The reality is the Caribbean is far from down.”
“We’ve found that many travelers don’t realize how vast a region is the Caribbean – its islands are spread out over one million square miles,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown, chief content strategist for the popular cruise website Cruise Critic.
The majority of the estimated 48 Caribbean cruise ports were not impacted at all by the storms. Cruisers still have plenty of wonderful vacation options in the region, Spencer Brown said.
As examples, in places such as Jamaica, Belize and Cozumel in the Western Caribbean, and Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Southern Caribbean, and Antigua and St. Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean, it’s business as usual.
Added Spencer Brown: “Travelers will see the Caribbean they love – the beautiful beaches, gorgeous terrain, vibrant and thriving towns and villages they’re expecting to see.”
Ports in the Bahamas, including Nassau and the popular private islands of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, are also open for business, providing cruise passengers a fun beach experience.
The cruise lines, given that their ships are mobile, were able to update itineraries where needed before, during and after the storms. Most cruise itineraries in the Caribbean are unchanged.
Several destinations were able to reopen within days after the storms, including Amber Cove (in the Dominican Republic), Havana, Martinique, Nassau, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Guadeloupe.
It’s business a usual in the Caribbean!
Credit ‘Holland America Cruises’