It’s hard to believe! It’s been more than three years since I had the pleasure of being on a cruise. There’s just something magical about cruising. Maybe it was the beautiful beaches we stopped at each day, or maybe it was the way a person feels when being shut-in for long periods of time and not being in control of any aspect of their day. Maybe it was the way you could escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just slow it all down.

Caribbean cruises are back, and there’s lots of new options to choose from for your final Caribbean cruise of the year. Whether you’re looking to unwind for a few days before the new year, or you’re considering a short getaway after the holidays, there are a number of new Caribbean cruise lines to consider in 2017. The Caribbean luxury cruise line P&O Cruises recently announced an 8-day cruise from Boston to the Bahamas, and Blue Water Cruises has added a new 15-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica and Grand Cayman to its itinerary this year.

On March 24, the “Crown Princess” arrived at the Port of Hamilton in the Bahamas. The Princess of Wales II is the first cruise ship to call on Hamilton after the end of the hurricane season in the Caribbean. Some 160,000 passengers are expected to call on the cruise port during the eight-day cruise. The Princess of Wales II is one of four cruise ships, along with the “Pride of America”, “Pride of Bermuda”, and “Sun Princess” that will visit the Port of Hamilton in 2012.. Read more about royal caribbean blog and let us know what you think.

The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s Return to Sail Summit in Miami this week proved to be a harbinger of good news for the cruise industry and stakeholders involved. After the summit, the chief executive officer of the St Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Beverly Nicholson-Doty, announced the famous and beautiful Port Castries in St Lucia would see the return of the first cruise ship this week.

The arrival of Celebrity Millennium will mark the first of many cruise ships that have scheduled port calls. It is an important milestone for the small island nation that depends for a large part on tourism.

St Lucia aiming for gradual reintroduction of cruise tourism

Celebrity Millennium will call in St Lucia on Tuesday with around 400 passengers onboard. While it is certainly not the numbers yet that the island will be used to, it is an important start. The island plans to gradually ease into cruise tourism, much like the cruise industry itself.

That being said, Royal Caribbean Group has cruises scheduled for July 13 and August 10, while other cruise lines have also signaled their intent for cruises in the near future.

Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee, had this to say:

“It’s a great day for vendors, taxi drivers, workers of the duty-free stores at Pointe Seraphine, and the general economy. This is another step towards the successful reopening of our economy and returning to our normal lives.”

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, St Lucia has many businesses that depend on cruise ships to call in the port. As many as 1000 people depend on the cruise lines directly for their employment, while the cruise industry accounted for a total economic contribution of $59 million in the 2017/2018 season.

In 2019 this grew even further with 786,703 cruise visitors, a 3.5 percent increase over 2018. Although it will be essential to restart the economy again, it will need to happen safely.

Photo Courtesy: Celebrity Cruises

Caribbean Cruise Port to Welcome Back First Cruise Ships

Safety of the Population is of Paramount Importance

Cruise ships, despite the vaccinations and testing measures, do bring some risk with them. St Lucia has been involved with regular meetings with the cruise lines, handling agencies, and the local cruise committee. According to the Ministry of Health, the safety of the local population is and will remain an important factor:

“Keeping the health and safety of the population is of paramount importance. There continues to be engagement with all stakeholders including simulation exercises to continuously evaluate the destination’s capacity to safely execute cruise tourism and guard the response during the various stages of reintroduction,”

Also Read: Top Things to Do in St. Lucia While on a Cruise

There will be significant advantages for cruise ship guests that have been vaccinated. Those that have not been vaccinated will be restricted to organized tours:

“Vaccinated adults accompanying unvaccinated minors, as well as all unvaccinated passengers who wish to disembark the vessel, will be accommodated within a bubble. These passengers will be transferred to designated certified sites and attractions only, and back to the cruise terminal for boarding to their next port of call.”

Guests who have been vaccinated will enjoy expanded access to the island, including shopping, dining, beaches, and more.

Caribbean Cruise Port to Welcome Back First Cruise ShipsIt’s that time of year when the first of the Caribbean Cruise itineraries return to the port. The season has been a slow one, and the numbers are down on the planned departures. But for those that have made it to this point, there is a sense of relief. A few more days and you will be on a ship, away from the normal routine, and the holidays will have passed.. Read more about cruise ship restart and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cruise line for first time cruisers?

The best cruise line for first time cruisers is Carnival Cruise Line.

What is a good first cruise to go on?

A good first cruise is one that has a lot of activities and is not too long.

When cruise ships will start again?

The cruise industry is still trying to figure out how to resume operations.

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