A few months after a series of hurricanes battered the Caribbean, cruise ships are planning to return to many of the islands.
Most recently, some of the hardest hit islands, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico, will welcome back cruise ships to their ports.
Royal Caribbean announced it will return to both Caribbean gems before the end of the year. On November 30, Freedom of the Seas will be the first ship in the fleet to call on San Juan, Puerto Rico. On December 17, the Grandeur of the Seas will be the first cruise ship to sail into St. Maarten since Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas arrived with humanitarian aid.
"Royal Caribbean is encouraged by the commendable progress that has been made by the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten towards the recovery of these destinations and it means a lot to us that we are heading back home,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
“We have been part of the Caribbean community for almost 50 years and for all of us, it has been paramount that we focus on supporting our long-standing partners–who feel more like family after so many years," added Bayley. "Supporting these destinations that are so reliant on tourism is key to the future of the islands and the best thing we–as travelers and businesses–can do for the islands."
The cruise line has worked with the local governments in both destinations to be able to offer destination experiences that highlight the beauty and culture of the islands.
In San Juan, guests will be able to tour the city by foot, bike, Segway or bus and explore the epic fortresses of El Morro and San Cristobal in Old San Juan. They will also be able to spend the day on the beach at VIVO Beach Club or admire the countryside through Cueva Ventana – the Window Cave – which sits atop an 800-foot limestone cliff.
In St. Maarten, shops, restaurants and bars in and around the port city of Philipsburg will be fully operational and offer an extensive array of dining, shopping and activities in the area.
Starting November 30, calls in St. Thomas and San Juan will operate as normal across the fleet and beginning December 17, calls to St. Maarten will operate as scheduled on all itineraries with the exception of Oasis of the Seas, which will make her return to St. Maarten on January 1, during her New Year’s Eve cruise.
Edited by sunluva7