Even as new markets such as Cuba are opening up to cruise lines, at least one port is fighting to get ships — not to mention their big-bucks-spending passengers — back. But according to Senator Kenneth Giddens of St. Croix (an unincorporated territory of the United States), things aren’t looking too good for the Caribbean isle he represents.
After attending Seatrade, the annual cruise industry gathering recently held in Fort Lauderdale, Giddens reported to his colleagues that he was “disappointed to learn that St. Croix in particular will not have any cruise ships for the summer months” of 2016. He did, however, implore representatives from the various lines to “consider St. Croix as a port of call” should they find themselves having to cancel visits to other ports for whatever reason.
Under Governor Kenneth Mapp, St. Croix has been working to attract a larger piece of pie where cruise-related tourism is concerned. So far, however, the efforts have not panned out. The Governor even reached out to Disney Cruise Line president Karl Holz, asking that he consider bringing the line — which has not visited St. Croix since 2009 — back to the island. And sure enough, in November of 2015, a team from Disney visited St. Croix in order to determine exactly what it would take for the island to become a viable destination spot. And while there has been talk of projects (including a four-star hotel) designed to boost the locale’s appeal, the Virgin Island Consortium reports that “specifics… have yet to be laid bare,” adding that “the government often speaks of new development, but a clear plan that specifically focuses on St. Croix’s beleaguered tourism product has not been introduced.”
Meanwhile, lines are still visiting St. Croix, although in smaller numbers than in the past. Carnival Fascination, for example, will visit in December, while Royal Caribbean’s Adventure and Jewel of the Seas regularly swing by St. Croix.
Is St. Croix an island you have, or would like to visit?