With just over 2 months left until we hit the end of 2017, and the Cruise ship season on the doorsteps of the Caribbean islands, the industry is spinning, as preparations are made to enter it with a bang. The horrid Atlantic hurricane season is coming to an end while the Caribbean islands brace itself for the additional thousands that will pass through this route.
This year’s hurricane season has been one of the deadliest ever, with hurricanes Maria, Jose and Irma causing great devastation in the Caribbean area, especially Puerto Rico, who still has not recovered from these disasters. Some crew ship ports were severely damaged and are shut until further notice.
However, the ports on the Western and Southern parts are fired up and ready for action, as the damaged ports have had to reroute the ships to the outlying areas that were not affected by the devastation. The Bahamas was one that managed to escape damage, and several that were forced to close, managed to reopen quickly, including those in Martinique, Havana, Trinidad, Tobago, St. Lucia, and Grenada. The island of Martinique is excited about the estimation of 115 additional sailings that they will be receiving.
Additional visitors mean a huge boost to the economy, which is welcomed with open arms. It is important to the luxury shipping companies that the tourists stay in the Caribbean areas and not move to another destination, as it will cause havoc for years to come.
The big question on everyone’s lips is “how will small islands be able to take on thousands of tourists?”. The October/November period is known as the “shoulder period”, which makes loads of space available for unplanned tourists.
Grenada was very fortunate as they buffed up their cruise industry and prepared for the cruise season before the hurricane season. Luckily that area was not affected by the disastrous storms and is able to accommodate the overflow shipments. This news came as a blessing in disguise for this Island, as they have been working around the clock to increase their interest in the cruise industry.
Grenada is also working on a master plan to entice cruise passengers back to the island for an overnight stay and end up staying for a week or two. Cruise ships only dock for one day at a time, which is not enough to explore the island and experience all it has to offer.
Needless to say, the islands in the Caribbean aim to boom the cruise ship industry in this area. They wish to lure regular tourists to the various islands where they are now “forced” to visit because of the devastations on the more popular islands where they are rerouted from.