Royal Caribbean Returning to San Juan, St Maarten

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

Cruise line Royal Caribbean International is officially returning to the ports of San Juan and St Maarten.

The company announced that its Freedom of the Seas ship would call on San Juan on Nov. 30, bringing 3,782 visitors to Puerto Rico.

It will also be the first cruise line to return to St Maarten, when the Grandeur of the Seas calls on St Maarten on Dec. 17.

Royal Caribbean had already announced plans to return to St Thomas with its Adventure of the Seas ship on Nov. 10.

“Royal Caribbean is encouraged by the commendable progress that has been made by the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten towards the recovery of these destinations and it means a lot to us that we are heading back home. We have been part of the Caribbean community for almost 50 years, and for all of us it has been paramount that we focus on supporting our long-standing partners – who feel more like family after so many years,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Supporting these destinations that are so reliant on tourism is key to the future of the islands and the best thing we – as travelers and businesses – can do for the islands.”

All three ports were hit hard by last month’s hurricanes.

So what will the shore excursions be like on islands that are still recovering from the impact of the storms?

Royal Caribbean said it would be offering destination experiences “that will allow guests to enjoy the natural beauty, historic landmarks and culture of these idyllic islands.”

In San Juan, for example, Royal Caribbean guests can tour Old San Juan by foot, bike, Segway or bus, spend the day at the VIVO Beach Club or explore caves in the countryside.

The company said that guests on St Maarten cruises would be able to visit Great Bay Beach and Kimshaw Beach and that a “majority of the shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators around Philipsburg would be fully operational.”