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reyesj226

Teenage Cruise Passenger Tragically Killed in St. Thomas Shooting

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WE have visited St. Thomas often, both on vacation and on cruises; and, it is one of our favorite destinations. However, from our personal observations we would never again visit Coki or Coral World. Also, when we visited there some time ago, we never ventured out at night. We have three cruises which include this island; and, we will probably still leave the ship, but after these cruises, I am not certain that we will ever again visit this island. I believe that their murder rate (55 per 100,000) in 2009, surpasses even that of Jamaica, and that is bad.

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We had booked 'swimming with the sea lions' at Coral World for our upcoming stop at St Thomas next week, and called today to cancel it. Our family was really looking forward to doing this, so it was a shame to cancel it.....but I don't want to go someplace that I have to worry about the safety of my family.

 

There are other ways to enjoy the island, and we took advantage of the opportunity to do so. I agree w/others that consideration should be given to having St Thomas taken off the cruise ship stop, until something is done to clean things up.

 

I hate the fact that good, hard-working people will suffer financially because of this....but until they get rid of the seediness, they need to take some action and get serious about it.

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I am sorry that you all are turning your back on Coral World, an attraction that has absolutely nothing to do with Coki Point besides having the bad luck of geography to be next door. If you take an excursion to Coral World, you will be dropped off at the door. The sea lions, the sting rays, the baby sharks, the turtles, the seahorses, and the creatures in the touch pond will all thank you!

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I have never felt safe in St. Thomas, and will stay onboard ship when our Grand Princess cruise goes there in December. A few years ago, four us were talking and laughing while we walked in town, and we had not noticed that we turned left instead of right, and were out of the main drag. A concerned local came up to us and told us to go back where the crowds were, as it was not safe for us to be where we were. And, of course, now after the shooting, I am even more determined not to get off the ship.

 

I ONLY WISH PRINCESS AND THE OTHER LINES WOULD DECIDE TO ELIMINATE THIS PORT AND SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER. EVEN AN ADDITIONAL SEA DAY WOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT!

 

Ellie

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I am sorry that you all are turning your back on Coral World, an attraction that has absolutely nothing to do with Coki Point besides having the bad luck of geography to be next door. If you take an excursion to Coral World, you will be dropped off at the door. The sea lions, the sting rays, the baby sharks, the turtles, the seahorses, and the creatures in the touch pond will all thank you!

 

 

It is unfortunate that Coral World is in the bad area, but even the manager has stated that even the parking lot at Coral World is unsafe with these people trying to lure tourist (as I posted above). :(

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Ellie: I am sorry you have such a burr under your saddle for a place where you were treated so well by the locals.

 

Mitsu: The parking lot is not dangerous, but annoying. The bad guys in this recent incident had nothing to do with the Coki Beach vendors.

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Mitsu: The parking lot is not dangerous, but annoying.

 

 

 

I don't go on vacation to be annoyed: If I wanted to be 'annoyed,' I'd just stay at home with my wife.

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I don't go on vacation to be annoyed: If I wanted to be 'annoyed,' I'd just stay at home with my wife.

 

And you are never ever annoyed at any cruise ship destination in the Caribbean??:eek:

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Mitsu: The parking lot is not dangerous, but annoying. The bad guys in this recent incident had nothing to do with the Coki Beach vendors.

 

I'm sorry, but if people are trying to lure away customers, dealing drugs in plain site, the cops are not doing anything about it and not making arrest to keep the area safe, then it's more than just "annoying". I didn't say it had anything "to do with the Coki Beach vendors". They are in the entire area between Coral and Coki.

 

Quoted by the owner of Coral World:

 

Trudie Prior, president and general manager of the tourist attraction Coral World, which is next to to Coki Point beach, said the beach barkers are increasingly aggressive and have threatened her with physical harm when she has told them to leave Coral World’s privately owned parking lot.

 

(That sounds a little more than "annoying".)

 

“Coki Point has become a hangout, in a sense, for really young men who have no serious job, who have no employment except for hustling on the beach,” she said.

 

Prior picked up a stack of slips with police report numbers that local officers give when reports are filed. Thumbing through the stack, she said that she does not bother to pick up the reports anymore “because it’s not going to go anywhere.”

 

Prior said that barkers hang out in Coral World’s parking lot and attempt to lure guests away from the aquarium by saying it is too expensive and has nothing for them to see. They do that to boost sales for the beach businesses they represent, Prior said.

 

In the 13 years she has owned Coral World, she said, the barkers have never been arrested for trespassing or soliciting and the police “tend to defend the rights of the barkers.”

 

I don't go on vacation to be annoyed: If I wanted to be 'annoyed,' I'd just stay at home with my wife.

 

LOL, I chuckled on this. :D

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And you are never ever annoyed at any cruise ship destination in the Caribbean??:eek:

 

Do you work at Coral World?

 

I really do feel bad for the people on the island that aren't causing trouble. It's terrible that a few people can ruin everything, but from a tourist standpoint, it's really hard to justify going to an area a crime just occurred...

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And you are never ever annoyed at any cruise ship destination in the Caribbean??:eek:

 

 

 

Yes. When you get off the ship at some Caribbean ports..... the ships photographer wants a shot of you with the guy dressed in some goofy dolphin suit. I find that annoying.

 

I'd like to punch the dolphin in the neck.

 

But I knew the 'dolphin' wasn't gonna try and sell me weed, or pick my pocket, or try and steal my stuff if I decided to go for a swim (happens quite often at Coki).

 

I have 2 kids and a wife that I love; why even take the chance and go to a place that's even a 'little' sketchy if I don't have to? Whats the point?

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I really do feel bad for the people on the island that aren't causing trouble. It's terrible that a few people can ruin everything, but from a tourist standpoint, it's really hard to justify going to an area a crime just occurred...

 

This is not just an isolated incident, the news article posted on another thread here on this board was full of violent acts, including a child that was on a school bus when he was shot because the bus was caught in the crossfire. So a school bus and a couple of months later a safari tourist bus just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyway or angle that you look at it something needs to be done, now. The biggest impact would be if the ships pullout until the dust settles.

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I have never been to St Thomas. When I go on my cruise in a few months, it will be the first time I've ever been there and WAS looking forward to it. So, with that being said, I don't personally know the area or the geographical location of everything. So, I looked it up on google maps to get a better "view" of the area and how it's laid out. With me doing that, looking at the area, there's actually no way to get to Coral World without going threw the Coki area. I guess I just assumed that you are driving down the road and off to the right is Coral World and then you keep going past that and the next area beside it off to the right is Coki. Um no. So anyone who wants to go to Coral World, will have to pass Coki.

 

Here is a picture:

 

coki.jpg

 

I'm not saying people need to avoid going to Coral, Coki or anywhere. Everyone can research and form their own opinion. However, I think that people need to be as informed as possible about this situation. If I hadn't looked up the area on the map, I would have continued to think of it as an entirely different layout as I first thought.

 

Another heart wrenching fact that I read about is that not only was the family celebrating their daughters 15th birthday, but it was also a celebration of her parents 23 anniversary. :( Double tragedy and so sad.

 

A statement made from the girls father: "We were on a tour, a tour.

We were leaving the aquarium. We were waiting for one person.

There came the riots and the shootout in front of the cemetery that, "he said in a radio interview this morning (WKAQ) Lizmarie's father, who serves as a municipal employee."

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I have never been to St Thomas. When I go on my cruise in a few months, it will be the first time I've ever been there and WAS looking forward to it. So, with that being said, I don't personally know the area or the geographical location of everything. So, I looked it up on google maps to get a better "view" of the area and how it's laid out. With me doing that, looking at the area, there's actually no way to get to Coral World without going threw the Coki area. I guess I just assumed that you are driving down the road and off to the right is Coral World and then you keep going past that and the next area beside it off to the right is Coki. Um no. So anyone who wants to go to Coral World, will have to pass Coki.

 

Here is a picture:

 

coki.jpg

 

I'm not saying people need to avoid going to Coral, Coki or anywhere. Everyone can research and form their own opinion. However, I think that people need to be as informed as possible about this situation. If I hadn't looked up the area on the map, I would have continued to think of it as an entirely different layout as I first thought.

 

Another heart wrenching fact that I read about is that not only was the family celebrating their daughters 15th birthday, but it was also a celebration of her parents 23 anniversary. :( Double tragedy and so sad.

 

A statement made from the girls father: "We were on a tour, a tour. We were leaving the aquarium. We were waiting for one person. There came the riots and the shootout in front of the cemetery that, "he said in a radio interview this morning (WKAQ) Lizmarie's father, who serves as a municipal employee."

 

Yes, Coral World is at Coki Beach. It is at the far right of the beach.

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The latest accident is very tragic but as many have said: it's being at the wrong place at the wrong time and could have happened in our home town BUT I do believe the police/town needs to crack down on their crime so St, Thomas; my favourite island and in all my years of going there as a tourist from cruise ships; I have never seen any crime, but from the latest accident, it has made me aware that is is bad and I've been lucky.

My question: How do we get St. Thomas to know how we feel; (they don't read CC). I know some have said; by not getting off the ship; but I know this is not going to hold true for many so looking for another way. Anyone got an address that we can all write to that might get some action?

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Yes, Coral World is at Coki Beach. It is at the far right of the beach.

 

 

Which is why I posted this map to show others the location and that you had to actually pass Coki to get to Coral World and labeled in the picture. ;)

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The latest accident is very tragic but as many have said: it's being at the wrong place at the wrong time and could have happened in our home town BUT I do believe the police/town needs to crack down on their crime so St, Thomas; my favourite island and in all my years of going there as a tourist from cruise ships; I have never seen any crime, but from the latest accident, it has made me aware that is is bad and I've been lucky.

My question: How do we get St. Thomas to know how we feel; (they don't read CC). I know some have said; by not getting off the ship; but I know this is not going to hold true for many so looking for another way. Anyone got an address that we can all write to that might get some action?

 

First we need to stop calling it an accident. That sugar coats it.

 

I do agree with a petition or writing campaign though.

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Which is why I posted this map to show others the location and that you had to actually pass Coki to get to Coral World and labeled in the picture. ;)

 

Sorry, since you had never been there before I was not sure that you could tell that you could actually walk between the beach and Coral World. The picture actually makes them look farther apart than I remember them to be.

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Sorry, since you had never been there before I was not sure that you could tell that you could actually walk between the beach and Coral World. The picture actually makes them look farther apart than I remember them to be.

 

Yea, this will be my first time at St Thomas and I had originally thought about visiting Coral World to do the Sea Helmet dive and then go over to Coki for some off beach snorkeling. So, I did know it was within walking distance (from what others have said and I've read different places). But, I just didn't realize it was out on a little peninsula that you HAD to go threw Coki to get there. I had just pictured a little straight type road with the water on the right to me, driving along, then you see Coral World, keep driving and see Coki. I never realized that you actually have to go into the entire area on the peninsula and pass Coki to even get to Coral. (I hope that makes sense). lol

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We have visited St. Thomas often, both on vacation and on cruise ships. We have had some mild interaction with the local government; and, we were undeerwhelmed. While, we were there on vacation we never ventured out at night. If you believe that their left wing government will right this terrible problem by reading your correspondence. don't hold your breath. Sadly, it may be that the cruise industry may be forced to abandon this island as a port of call for the next few years.

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First we need to stop calling it an accident. That sugar coats it.

 

I do agree with a petition or writing campaign though.

 

Thanks Karysa; accident was the wrong word; brutal murder/shooting.

Advice still needed on how to write the petition or start the campaign to let St. Thomas and the cruise lines know that we want it cleaned up or cruise lines to skip that port!

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Hadn't read or heard about this one. I'd say the cruise lines paid them off; not to broadcast it or let it make the news. Shameful!Disgraceful on their part to do that.

Just shows; robberies, shootings, killings can and do take place on excursions booked through cruise line as well.

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If the US news makes a big enough stink, CNN and ALL of the others, do a spotlight on St. Thomas, maybe the tourism will drop for a short time (unfortunately for the locals) and their government will get the police to make changes.

The two different cruise lines that go out of Florida that I have been on, RCCI and NCL are MOSTLY Americans on board.

 

How do we get it on all the major news stations like CNN?

terri

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