Hurricane Update – 9/30/17

posted by Wayne
September 29, 2017

Irma and Maria devastated the islands visited by cruise ships in the Eastern Caribbean.  The most hard hit and the ones that may take months before they will be able to welcome cruise ships include Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Grand Turk, Guadeloupe and Dominica.

There are two Puerto Ricos: San Juan and the Rest of Puerto Rico.  San Juan is coming back quickly but the Rest of Puerto Rico is completely ravaged and will not come back for months or even years.

St Thomas and St Maarten will take a month or two before they can accept cruise ships.  They are fortunate to have major powers aiding their recovery.

Dominica was devastated, suffered the most deaths and may not come back for at least a year. The cruises lines had no damage to their ships as they stayed out of the path of both hurricanes.  However, they will take a major financial hit since they had to cancel many cruises and change itineraries on many others.

The Western Caribbean ports (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica) will benefit although passengers will experience crowded conditions until San Juan, St. Thomas and St Maarten reopen.

The Southern Caribbean will be the least affected once San Juan is back and that will be soon.  The port where the cruise ships dock is in good condition.  However, the main problem is the airport where a major radar installation was knocked out.  Currently take offs and landings are limited to humanitarian needs.  Getting the San Juan airport fully functional is a very high priority and we believe will be completed within weeks.

Meanwhile, there are some really inexpensive cruises to the Southern Caribbean from Florida.  These are 10 to 14 days.

The cruise lines and land-based travel partners have kept us informed about storm related changes and we pass this information on immediately to clients who are impacted.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line responded quickly to the hurricanes and have used their ships to aid victims of the storms.  We applaud the fast response.

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