Port Status Update
Island was hit hard from Hurricane Maria and communications have been limited, making it difficult to ascertain damage and relief needs. It is unknown how long it will take for the island to recover.
Cruise operations temporarily halted but resumed last Sunday, Sep. 24th, with Empress. Reports positive from the first call, but tours continue to operate on a limited basis.
Both piers in Frederiksted, St. Croix are operational and damage assessments around the island are ongoing. Its geography is challenging as the cruise pier is located 40 miles from Christiansted where most of the key attractions are. A team is visiting the shorex venues for an assessment.
Significant damage across the island, with 90% of buildings with various levels of damage. Despite the damage, communications, power, and water is gradually being restored on the Dutch side. Cleanup is underway at the cruise terminal area, as well as in the Philipsburg area. Of the two primary cruise piers, Pier 1, which RCCL has preference, is operational. The south side is not operable due to visible debris. Pier 2, which has 4 berths, has visible damage and likely out of service approximately 3-4 months. The port is eager to resume cruise operations and are confident that they will begin with one berth operations, Nov. 11th, coinciding with St. Maarten’s Day. They plan to have a second berth ready in December. A RCCL team is expected to arrive next week to conduct assessments.
The port and island are expecting to be operational by mid to late October and ready to accept cruise calls. The cruise piers were largely undamaged and assessments of the tourism venues are ongoing. The government has put reopening Magen’s Bay as a priority.
Evolving situation as Puerto Rico recovers. Initial reports of devastated cruise terminals were not as bad as initially thought, however challenges remain. Port engineers have been working this week to evaluate all of the terminals. In the process of restoring power to the facility via generators. Initially, the ships will use pier side gangways until the overhead gangways are back in service. Assessments of the touristic venues are ongoing.
Initial assessments from the port indicate minimal damage to the cruise pier, but are awaiting a more comprehensive evaluation. Of the 11 buildings on the pier, only 3 suffered damage to their roof, while the tour dispatch station suffered only minor damage. The port aims to have 50% of retail and F/B venues within the port area open by Nov. 1st. Road cleanup is 60% complete, water 40%, and telecommunications mostly restored. Government aims to have a full report of the beaches and tourist attractions next week. Their goal is to begin accepting cruise ships by end of October.