What about ports/islands that are damaged/devastated by hurricane Irma?

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#1
Carlisle, PA
77 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
This hurricane seems to be completely devastating the Bahamas and other islands. Certainly after the damage, it will be a while before ships are going to those islands, right? I mean, looking at St. Martin....I can only imagine it will take months to get the island close to inhabitable for those who live there, much less try to cater to cruises! Or will the cruises go there to bring in much needed income to the islands? It just seems to me that Irma is going to put this area "off limits" as a vacation stop. Am I off base on this?
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kris
#2
Maine
8,139 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Just too early to tell. Once the port itself is accessible for berth, basic infrastructure, and there are activities for people to do, they cruise line will start visiting again.

The good thing about most of these ports, is they are financially better off so will likely bounce back quicker. When you talk about some of the western carrib ports with less resources, they take longer to come back from disasters like this.
#3
North Georgia
392 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
And I've read from peoples past experiences that these islands get cleaned up quickly and bring cruisers in by tendering if necessary to get the tourism dollars flowing again.
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#4
Summerville, SC
6,841 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
They will begin allowing ships to return the minute the port area is repaired sufficiently to do so, and the island has basic infrastructure. We called on Freeport two weeks after taking a direct hit last year from Matthew. Resorts were closed, many beaches were closed, but the port area was open, the island had electric etc. Our private guide showed us a lot of the most heavily damaged areas. Homes either badly damaged or completely destroyed. Businesses just gone. Downed trees everywhere. Scary stuff. But they want to re-open ASAP to start generating revenue.
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#5
463 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Same in St Maarten years ago. believe ports opened about 6-8 weeks out. Damage was brutal but glad ships got in and $ was able to start again
#7
Texas
1,746 Posts
Joined May 2014
I am no expert but I believe these islands depend on their ports for much more than tourism. Cargo ships are literally lifelines for many of them.

There are many reasons they will try to get them ready for ship traffic as soon as life threatening issues are behind them.
#8
U.S.
5,902 Posts
Joined May 2006
As an experienced Caribbean cruiser, I agree with the others. Some ports will be off limits until it is safe to allow ships to dock and until they can offer a safe experience for cruise visitors. Also keep in mind Carnival Corporation has a history of dropping off supplies to weather-affected islands when it is safe to do so. And historically, those donations were greatly appreciated. I've also personally witnessed Carnival allowing ship employees to debark the ship to contribute labor to clean up efforts in the first calls to an affected port as appropriate while allowing passengers to debark to enjoy their port day (or pitch in if they feel so inclined).

IMHO, the important thing to remember, to enjoy and appreciate Caribbean cruising, as long as you can safely make your way to your embarkation port and the ship is sailing, you will usually be able to embark your ship and enjoy your cruise. That being said, itineraries may be altered.

That being said, I've been surprised by some of Carnival's recent storm-related decisions to try to sail, knowing future conditions may be questionable. That's unfortunate, and some of those decisions seem to be profit-oriented rather than common-sense oriented from the perspective of their customers. This seems to be new territory for Carnival IMHO where profits are emphasized over empathy for passengers.

I'm sure others may disagree with me, but that is my perspective as an experienced Carnival passenger.

I just hope everyone stays safe.
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#9
Connecticut
21,356 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by sonicbuffalo
I'll just about guarantee that St. Marten and St. Thomas won't open for cruisers for a year.


So sad but everything I have seen would give credence to your comments. Cozumel was longer than that after Wilma. It really will depend on critical infrastructure.


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#10
Connecticut
21,356 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by winddawn

That being said, I've been surprised by some of Carnival's recent storm-related decisions to try to sail, knowing future conditions may be questionable. That's unfortunate, and some of those decisions seem to be profit-oriented rather than common-sense oriented from the perspective of their customers. This seems to be new territory for Carnival IMHO where profits are emphasized over empathy for passengers.

I'm sure others may disagree with me, but that is my perspective as an experienced Carnival passenger.

I just hope everyone stays safe.


Without degrading the thread, I have seen nothing that suggests what you imply. Galveston was totally different circumstances, where the infrastructure was basically intact. It is a home port that has the highest home based travel in the Caribbean. If anything, I can site examples where there empathy is more towards passengers than other cruise lines. That said, there is nothing wrong with different opinions.

I hope I am wrong, but I think when this storm is all done, the impact on cruising may be more wide spread than any other Hurricane. The sheer number of ports (some of which may be home ports BTW) and the effect that could have on a highly ship saturated Caribbean. We will see....


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#11
Colorado
3,799 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by nhsails
Same in St Maarten years ago. believe ports opened about 6-8 weeks out. Damage was brutal but glad ships got in and $ was able to start again
i used to keep my boat in St.Martin, sold it in January. There was never a storm like this in SXM. The airport is gone. The marinas are gone. hopefully they have electricity and running water in 6-8 weeks. The 4 biggest and "structurally sound" gov't buildings did not make it. You can pretty much say STT, BVI, and SXM will not be cruise ports for some time to come.
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#12
Florence, New Jersey
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Joined Jan 2013
This whole thing just sucks...we've been to grand turk and San Juan so many times over the past few years. I hope everyone is OK
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#13
South Carolina
28,307 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Damaged ports try to get back to normal ASAP but sometimes it takes many months.
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#14
Florence, New Jersey
366 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I would assume that Grand Turk will be up pretty quickly since Carnival owns that port.
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#15
435 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
We have been to all of these ports several times and I think of the wonderful people we have met there. In St Marten we took a bus excursion and our guide was so wonderful!! He truly enjoyed meeting us and showing us his home. My heart just breaks for these people who have lost so much!!!


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#16
Forest, Va
412 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by jimbo5544
Without degrading the thread, I have seen nothing that suggests what you imply. Galveston was totally different circumstances, where the infrastructure was basically intact. It is a home port that has the highest home based travel in the Caribbean. If anything, I can site examples where there empathy is more towards passengers than other cruise lines. That said, there is nothing wrong with different opinions.

I hope I am wrong, but I think when this storm is all done, the impact on cruising may be more wide spread than any other Hurricane. The sheer number of ports (some of which may be home ports BTW) and the effect that could have on a highly ship saturated Caribbean. We will see....


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Said this in another thread and was immediately bashed. I am a realist and I would not be surprised one bit if the cruise industry is turned upside down Monday morning. I am hoping for the best but the sheer reality is the industry could be sent into turmoil by Irma. 3-5 Carib ports may be out of business for weeks, months up to a year. Miami and FFL may be out of business for weeks or months. Even when they get Port back up and running hotels will be limited. I wish all the best of luck.
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#17
Forest, Va
412 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by sonicbuffalo
I'll just about guarantee that St. Marten and St. Thomas won't open for cruisers for a year.
Agree on st Maarten 100%. St Thomas not sure as I have not seen much video or pics just heard it's not good. I think St Thomas has infrastructure in most or portions of island. What people don't understand with St Maarten is they have nothing infrastructure wise and will have to rebuild the entire island. The next 2-3 months will be dire in St Maarten as they have no economy as they have no business.
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Carnival Breeze April 26th 2014 Grand Turk, La Romana Dominican Republic, Curaçao, Aruba
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#18
Florida
20 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
It's just not going to devistate the Caribbean islands. The entire eastern ports of Florida are going to take a direct hit! I live here and have a cruise planned for Sept 16th out of Miami. I'm not expecting at this time to go. Please just pray for everyone's safety at this time.
#19
18,240 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by pal2pluto
This hurricane seems to be completely devastating the Bahamas and other islands. Certainly after the damage, it will be a while before ships are going to those islands, right? I mean, looking at St. Martin....I can only imagine it will take months to get the island close to inhabitable for those who live there, much less try to cater to cruises! Or will the cruises go there to bring in much needed income to the islands? It just seems to me that Irma is going to put this area "off limits" as a vacation stop. Am I off base on this?
To early to tell.
#20
OK
508 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Our very first cruise was the 1st one to return to the islands 5 weeks after Hugo hit in 1989. The USVI received much damage and they were back in business but some areas had no electricity or water. They were very happy to to see us come and spend a little much needed $$.
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Nancy