Omicron has been a constant threat to the Caribbean cruise ports for years, yet it was still one of the most popular destinations in 2017. Now, officials are worried about increasing tourism as many visitors make their way to Puerto Rico and other similar islands.
Several Caribbean ports are becoming more worried about the spread of Omicron and its potential impact on the cruise industry and the recent economic rebound.
One of the ports that has voiced its worry is St. Maarten. Following the refusal of cruise ships to enter many Dutch Caribbean ports due to chronic illnesses aboard, St. Maarten is considering new possibilities, claiming that a cruise holiday is still one of the safest choices available.
Omicron’s Impact on St Maarten is a Concern
The island of St. Maarten in the eastern Caribbean is raising worries about the spread of Omicron, with many Caribbean islands still facing the consequences of minimal to no tourist during the previous two years.
Alexander Gumbs, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port St. Maarten Group (PSG), expressed worry about the possible effect the variation may have on the islands. It’s one of the Caribbean’s busiest cruise ports.
“As a result of the procedure modifications, several cruise lines have already canceled or changed itineraries in Europe, which may regrettably flow over to the Caribbean.” Unfortunately, owing to the aforementioned conditions, certain journeys in the area may be canceled, which would be a stumbling block in our rehabilitation. Any changes in public health policy and/or an increase in Omicron at other Caribbean places that fall within our cruise ship route would be detrimental to the area and the region as a whole.”
At Port St. Maarten, a Sunset (Photo Credit: Port St. Maarten)
MSC Cruises canceled many Northern European excursions this week as European governments imposed stringent restrictions and lockdowns. Similar techniques have not yet been seen in the Caribbean basin; nonetheless, numerous Dutch Caribbean islands have turned away ships carrying just a small amount of COVID.
The answer for St. Maarten isn’t to reopen the islands; instead, authorities are focusing on vaccines and boosters as a means of combating Omicron.
Cruising is still the safest way to vacation.
In the last year, the cruise industry has implemented some of the most stringent health and safety regulations in the tourist business. Not only are immunizations and testing required, but there are also severe health and safety procedures aboard, as well as air filtering and treatment. Now the issue is whether these steps will be enough.
“The industry as a whole has improved its procedures significantly in terms of testing, mask wearing, and social separation,” says PSG CEO Gumbs. We hope that this does not have an impact on subsequent booking cycles or existing sailings to St. Maarten. Cruises remain one of the safest holiday alternatives, with travelers taking advantage of the low pricing and excellent service.”
Mark Anthony Ray / Shutterstock.com / Mark Anthony Ray / Shutterstock.com / Mark Anthony Ray / Shutterstock.
The spread of Omicron will determine whether the island remains open. Vaccinations and booster injections are still available, according to PSG CEO Humbs:
“Now that the booster vaccine is ready, I urge those who have been vaccinated to make sure they obtain their booster, since the booster vaccination, according to CPS, provides the greatest protection against the new variation and is more effective than two doses alone.”
The Caribbean islanders’ anxieties are not baseless. Omicron has been found in 89 countries and spreads far more quickly than the Delta version. Up to six cruise ships visit St. Maarten each day, bringing thousands of visitors to the island. Despite the stringent steps taken by cruise companies, the possibility of Omicron spreading faster is always present.
St. Maarten has played a key role in the resurgence of Caribbean cruising. When the Celebrity Millennium resumed trips from the port in June 2021, the island was one of the first to welcome them back. The island has recorded a daily record number of ships visiting, with MSC Seaview residing on the island since December 5.
Watch This Video-
The “cruise cancellations today” is a concern that has been growing over the past few years. Caribbean cruise ports have seen an increase in omicrons which are harmful to humans and animals.
- royal caribbean cruise cancellations 2021
- celebrity cruises
- carnival cruise
- are cruises cancelled for 2022
- cruise cancellations 2021 carnival