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GerryBarker

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About GerryBarker

Personal Info

  • First Name
    Gerry
  • State
    Florida
  • Country
    United States

Cruising

  • Cruises Sailed
    20+
  • Favorite Cruise Line
    Undecided
  1. Posted by Gerry Barker Related Story: Virgin Islands 'Open for Business' Photo: Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. addresses cruise industry stakeholders in Miami. (USVI Tourism) (PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI (April 17, 2019) - The U.S. Virgin Islands is determined to position itself as the number one tourism destination in the Caribbean by employing robust public-private partnerships. Recently installed U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, Jr., who led the Territory's delegation to Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami last week, made the declaration during discussions with leaders of the cruise line industry when he also shared news of the Territory's tourism developments. Speaking at a welcome reception hosted by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Governor Bryan said "as we build this new Virgin Islands product and we recover from two hurricanes, our main push is to make St. Thomas the premier port in the Virgin Islands, to (solidify) an identity for St. Croix, whether it's in Christiansted with our small cruise ship industry or in Frederiksted with the expansion of our port and what we are doing in (the) town." The Governor said positioning the U.S. Virgin Islands as the premier destination in the Caribbean requires continued investment in the Territory's infrastructure and its people. He said it was important that Virgin Islanders understand the importance of tourism, explaining that the industry's continued contribution to GDP is dependent on high levels of customer service. To remain competitive, the U.S. Virgin Islands has embraced public-private partnerships, is looking at creative ways of securing financing, and is examining the addition of new ports of call to the Territory's harbors. "We cannot do that without the support of the FCCA and all our tourism partners, whether they're in aviation or the cruise (sector)," Governor Bryan said. "Working with the cruise industry is a commitment. It's a partnership. But together, the economic impact that we deliver to the destinations is unparalleled," said FCCA President Michele Paige. "We are not only your friend ... we're your partner," she told Governor Bryan and Commissioner of Tourism Designee Joseph Boschulte during the reception. Developing "win-win situations", she declared, was critical to the partnership. While in Miami, Commissioner Designee Boschulte, who is Chairman of The West Indian Company Limited and a board member of the Virgin Islands Port Authority, held several meetings with cruise ship executives on plans to upgrade the Territory's ports and to enhance the visitor experience. He also held strategic partnership talks with representatives from the British Virgin Islands, Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of Tourism, and Shereen Flax-Charles, the newly-appointed Junior Minister of Tourism. At a travel industry luncheon - attended by members of the media, travel agents and meeting planners - the commissioner shared positive developments taking place across the sector, from airlift and accommodations to cruise port developments and arrivals, which have now returned to pre-storm levels. The tourism leader, who appeared on NBC's "6 in the Mix" during his visit, also had media appointments with representatives of Caribbean Journal, x, Food & Wine, Prevue, Recommend, Skift, The New York Times, Thrillist, and Travel + Leisure. In Miami, the USVI delegation displayed the culture of the Territory through a live performance by Virgin Islands musician Pressure Busspipe, vibrant steel pan music, a mocko jumbie, carnival dancers and authentic Virgin Islands products, ranging from candies and guavaberry to bush tea and pepper sauce. Commissioner Designee Boschulte declared: "The cruise industry is vital to the U.S. Virgin Islands' economy and our future as a tourism destination. Our attendance at Seatrade has increased cruise interest in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we look forward to positive developments in the future." (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  2. Posted by Gerry Barker Related Story: Virgin Islands 'Open for Business' Photo: Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. addresses cruise industry stakeholders in Miami. (USVI Tourism) (PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI (April 17, 2019) - The U.S. Virgin Islands is determined to position itself as the number one tourism destination in the Caribbean by employing robust public-private partnerships. Recently installed U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, Jr., who led the Territory's delegation to Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami last week, made the declaration during discussions with leaders of the cruise line industry when he also shared news of the Territory's tourism developments. Speaking at a welcome reception hosted by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Governor Bryan said "as we build this new Virgin Islands product and we recover from two hurricanes, our main push is to make St. Thomas the premier port in the Virgin Islands, to (solidify) an identity for St. Croix, whether it's in Christiansted with our small cruise ship industry or in Frederiksted with the expansion of our port and what we are doing in (the) town." The Governor said positioning the U.S. Virgin Islands as the premier destination in the Caribbean requires continued investment in the Territory's infrastructure and its people. He said it was important that Virgin Islanders understand the importance of tourism, explaining that the industry's continued contribution to GDP is dependent on high levels of customer service. To remain competitive, the U.S. Virgin Islands has embraced public-private partnerships, is looking at creative ways of securing financing, and is examining the addition of new ports of call to the Territory's harbors. "We cannot do that without the support of the FCCA and all our tourism partners, whether they're in aviation or the cruise (sector)," Governor Bryan said. "Working with the cruise industry is a commitment. It's a partnership. But together, the economic impact that we deliver to the destinations is unparalleled," said FCCA President Michele Paige. "We are not only your friend ... we're your partner," she told Governor Bryan and Commissioner of Tourism Designee Joseph Boschulte during the reception. Developing "win-win situations", she declared, was critical to the partnership. While in Miami, Commissioner Designee Boschulte, who is Chairman of The West Indian Company Limited and a board member of the Virgin Islands Port Authority, held several meetings with cruise ship executives on plans to upgrade the Territory's ports and to enhance the visitor experience. He also held strategic partnership talks with representatives from the British Virgin Islands, Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of Tourism, and Shereen Flax-Charles, the newly-appointed Junior Minister of Tourism. At a travel industry luncheon - attended by members of the media, travel agents and meeting planners - the commissioner shared positive developments taking place across the sector, from airlift and accommodations to cruise port developments and arrivals, which have now returned to pre-storm levels. The tourism leader, who appeared on NBC's "6 in the Mix" during his visit, also had media appointments with representatives of Caribbean Journal, x, Food & Wine, Prevue, Recommend, Skift, The New York Times, Thrillist, and Travel + Leisure. In Miami, the USVI delegation displayed the culture of the Territory through a live performance by Virgin Islands musician Pressure Busspipe, vibrant steel pan music, a mocko jumbie, carnival dancers and authentic Virgin Islands products, ranging from candies and guavaberry to bush tea and pepper sauce. Commissioner Designee Boschulte declared: "The cruise industry is vital to the U.S. Virgin Islands' economy and our future as a tourism destination. Our attendance at Seatrade has increased cruise interest in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we look forward to positive developments in the future." (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  3. By Gerry Barker SEATRADE MIAMI_ Now Arizona has its own cruise port. Or at least, the closest thing to it. Officials and media gathered at the Mexico booth to learn about Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)'s planned cruises from Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) into the Sea of Cortez, described by famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as the "world's aquarium." Set to debut in December, the 12-day "Treasures of the Sea of Cortez" will sail round-trip from Puerto Peñasco to ports of call in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California Sur, including: Puerto Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Santa Rosalia, and Guaymas. Rocky Point is 60 miles from the Arizona border and only a few hours drive from both Phoeniz and Tucson. Mexican officials at the event made a special point of saying travel to Rocky Point is safe. A “Safety Corridor” program between Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco is maintained by authorities in Arizona and Sonora. “This is an exciting project that we have been very much looking forward to announcing together with the Mexican states of Baja California Sur and Sonora and the state of Arizona – the first opportunity to cruise from Puerto Peñasco – Rocky Point! Our new Treasures of the Sea of Cortez voyage takes travelers to discover some of the best kept secret destinations of Mexico from a beautiful seaside town conveniently located just outside Arizona,” said John Dennis, VP, Sales and Marketing for CMV USA in the press release. Guests will be traveling on the historic ship, Astoria, originally launched in 1948 and restored to accomodate 550 passengers on eight decks. The "Treasures of the Sea of Cortez" cruise includes: ⦁ The cruise program and accommodations category selected ⦁ All shipboard gratuities ⦁ Immersive and enriching lecture series throughout the cruise ⦁ House beer and wine included with lunches and dinner CMV also announed they will offer packages that will include hotel and transportation options to the Port of Peñasco, featuring stays in Phoenix, Tucson, and Peñasco. Scheduled to debut this December, fares will start at $1,599 per person. Established in 2010, CMV provides diverse cruises departing from ports in the UK, Europe, and Mexico, operating small to mid-sized classic cruise ships carrying between 500 to 1,500 guests. CMV carries approximately 150,000 passengers annually and is headquartered in the UK with offices in the United States, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Greece. Featured in the Photo: CMV and Mexican officials gather at SeaTrade Miami to announce the Sea of Cortez cruise (Photo by Gerry Barker) View full article
  4. By Gerry Barker SEATRADE MIAMI_ Now Arizona has its own cruise port. Or at least, the closest thing to it. Officials and media gathered at the Mexico booth to learn about Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)'s planned cruises from Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) into the Sea of Cortez, described by famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as the "world's aquarium." Set to debut in December, the 12-day "Treasures of the Sea of Cortez" will sail round-trip from Puerto Peñasco to ports of call in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California Sur, including: Puerto Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Santa Rosalia, and Guaymas. Rocky Point is 60 miles from the Arizona border and only a few hours drive from both Phoeniz and Tucson. Mexican officials at the event made a special point of saying travel to Rocky Point is safe. A “Safety Corridor” program between Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco is maintained by authorities in Arizona and Sonora. “This is an exciting project that we have been very much looking forward to announcing together with the Mexican states of Baja California Sur and Sonora and the state of Arizona – the first opportunity to cruise from Puerto Peñasco – Rocky Point! Our new Treasures of the Sea of Cortez voyage takes travelers to discover some of the best kept secret destinations of Mexico from a beautiful seaside town conveniently located just outside Arizona,” said John Dennis, VP, Sales and Marketing for CMV USA in the press release. Guests will be traveling on the historic ship, Astoria, originally launched in 1948 and restored to accomodate 550 passengers on eight decks. The "Treasures of the Sea of Cortez" cruise includes: ⦁ The cruise program and accommodations category selected ⦁ All shipboard gratuities ⦁ Immersive and enriching lecture series throughout the cruise ⦁ House beer and wine included with lunches and dinner CMV also announed they will offer packages that will include hotel and transportation options to the Port of Peñasco, featuring stays in Phoenix, Tucson, and Peñasco. Scheduled to debut this December, fares will start at $1,599 per person. Established in 2010, CMV provides diverse cruises departing from ports in the UK, Europe, and Mexico, operating small to mid-sized classic cruise ships carrying between 500 to 1,500 guests. CMV carries approximately 150,000 passengers annually and is headquartered in the UK with offices in the United States, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Greece. Featured in the Photo: CMV and Mexican officials gather at SeaTrade Miami to announce the Sea of Cortez cruise (Photo by Gerry Barker)
  5. Welcome, GerryBarker!  See you around!

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