Royal Caribbean announced on Tuesday that the line will increase its calls to St. Maarten in 2020.
The extra 15 visits will bring an extra 68,000 cruise passengers to the island. Beginning in May 2020 and running through December 2020, the soon-to-be amplified Freedom of the Seas will call to St. Maarten.
“With many of our first-time visitors, the cruise experience to St. Maarten is the window through which they are introduced to the wonders of our island with its dynamic Dutch/French Caribbean culture, its idyllic beaches and engaging tour options,” said Lawrence.
St. Maarten’s port area is 100 percent operational, but outside the port area still shows some aftermath of the 2017’s Hurricane Irma.
“Since Hurricane Irma, we have made tremendous progress with our tourism infrastructure and we welcome Royal Caribbean’s renewed focus and commitment to increase the number of visits to our port. With the thousands of additional Royal Caribbean guests now projected to visit, the potential is there for them to become St. Maarten’s greatest vacation champions.”
In March, the 154,400-ton Freedom of the Seas is set to undergo a massive dry dock that will add new waterslides, a three-level Lime and Coconut rooftop bar, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, the addition of Izumi Hibachi & Sushi restaurant, and refreshing the Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen concept.
Freedom is homeported in year-round in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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