Ports such as St Maarten are now reopening for business (Image: Benjamin Photography)
The Caribbean is open for cruise business, according to Florida Caribbean Cruise Association president Michele Paige, Carnival Corporation’s president and CEO Arnold Donald, and Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Speaking to the media during a conference call, the three executives discussed recovery efforts, the reopening of the damaged Caribbean ports, and the economic significance of the cruise industry on the Caribbean’s economy.
Despite public perception that the vast majority of the Caribbean was damaged by the recent hurricanes, there were only four ports that were significantly damaged and these are due to reopen by late November.
“Recovery is happening very quickly in the affected areas and that’s thanks to widespread support efforts,” said Donald.
Cruises have already been resumed to/from the majority of ports that were unaffected by the weather conditions.
“Every year millions of our customers get the experience the beauty of the Caribbean, and we really don’t expect this year to be any different,” said Goldstein. “People wonder if it is a good time to go – it is a great time – most of it was untouched by storms, destinations are open and welcoming visitors. Recovery can be encouraged by visiting, and every destination will be up and running in the next few weeks.”
Paige also encouraged cruise travellers to visit the Caribbean, saying: “One of the very the best ways to support the Caribbean is to actually cruise to the Caribbean.”
The FCCA has also launched a new website so cruise tourists and operators can check the status of each Caribbean cruise destination.
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