Port calls on all Stakeholders to be ready for RCL December return



PORT ST. MAARTEN – Royal Caribbean Line’s (RCL) announced mid-week that they will now be returning to the destination in December instead of November 5.

Port St. Maarten Management encourages the business community and other stakeholders to remain steadfast in rebuilding the nation over the coming weeks in preparation for the first commercial cruise ship visit in December, adding that more can be accomplished since the destination has been given more time to make sure when the first cruise passengers visit, their experience will be a good one leading to a return visit.

RCL said in a statement that they continue to be impressed with the progress the island is making to rebuild, but that the island needs a little more time to recover, and will be returning on December 17 with Grandeur of the Seas.

RCL also said in their statement that the Oasis class vessels will return to the destination after the first of the year as more time is needed to repair the gangways that are specifically designed for these class of ships.

A delegation from RCL recently met with Port St. Maarten Board, Management and Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, about the recovery efforts that are underway since the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Port St. Maarten Management and Board briefed the RCL delegation earlier this month about the current state of affairs at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities. Information was also provided about the Great Bay Beach Promenade, the commercial center of Philipsburg, Front Street and other areas of interest from a tourism perspective.

RCL Executives carried out a site visit as part of their destination readiness assessment to accept cruise passengers, and the availability of tours, shore excursions, shopping, beaches, and other cruise tourism related amenities.

Royal Caribbean International is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture.

Together, these six brands operate a combined total of 43 ships with an additional six under construction contracts, and two on firm order. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents.

RCL is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 46-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line sails 23 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships calling on more than 288 destinations in 77 countries across six continents visiting the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.