The Minister said that various cruise executives have been highly impressed by the progress St. Maarten has made thus far in preparing the island to welcome its first cruise tourists. In a panel discussion including the top executives of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and MSC Cruises, St. Maarten was lauded as being a very resilient island and having made remarkable progress.
“While we were aiming for an early November start, and the island has made remarkable progress in being ready for cruise tourism, our cruise partners have re-evaluated with our stakeholders to push more towards a December start date for cruise. These couple extra weeks will allow us to place the finishing touches necessary to have a cruise product that not only meets but even exceeds the guest expectations. It’s important to safeguard the quality of the experience in St. Maarten, ensuring a strong cruise season in the long-term,” the Minister said.
She added that the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau has always been focused on both Marketing and Product Development. “While the marketing plan has been established last week while at the Media and Marketing Tour in New York with the Chief of Staff Cecil Nicholas. More than ever, the Product Development aspect is at the forefront of exceeding the needs of cruise passengers. We look forward to the month of December for a full reopening, with some other vessels possible in November,” the Minister concluded.