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Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

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swans
January 27, 2016 02:36PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,313

This STX Cruise Ship Schedule shows the pending arrival of cruise ships to STX at present through April 2018. It is complete. Is STX prepared for a possible and probable end to its cruise ship tourism business?

[www.cruisetimetables.com]

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

monogram
January 27, 2016 02:52PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 446

Great thread. I look forward to the discussion.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

stxsailor
January 27, 2016 02:57PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 519

It may be possible as the dates/years get closer more will be added. Kind of like airlines, schedules change.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
January 27, 2016 03:21PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Aw shucks, haven't you been following the news? The Governor's got a new buddy at Disney who he's bringing in with a group of others to enable Disney to look into building a mega resort on STX. Once that's all settled the Disney cruise ships will be flocking in and the other cruise lines will follow suit. There really was an adorable little piglet wearing a pink tutu flying across my yard this morning.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

Alana33
January 27, 2016 08:03PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,045

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

AandA2VI
January 27, 2016 08:06PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,285

I am sure that schedule is just because not all lines book so far in advance. I am betting you'll see the same numbers down the road - give up a few to Cuba.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

ms411
January 28, 2016 05:57AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 3,521

The ships plan their itineraries at least a year in advance, but are always subject to change. Cuba doesn't have the infrastructure (taxis, restaurants, excursions) to support mass numbers of additional visitors just yet.

Somebody should push the Celebrity Summit itinerary that includes St Croix and St Thomas. It's the best way to see several US Virgin Islands in a week, IMO.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

Spartygrad95
January 28, 2016 06:03AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,885

Cuba is also only accepting new classes of ships these companies are using. Smaller. There are still restrictions on travel.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
January 28, 2016 08:01AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

The opening of Cuba as a cruise ship destination has been discussed for decades and has never been seen as a threat to the Eastern Caribbean ports. It'll be years before Cuba even has the facilities to accommodate the megaship class of cruisers. Western Caribbean itineraries will be affected with Cuba as an additional port of call for the smaller vessels but these are completely different routes.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

stxsailor
January 28, 2016 08:23AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 519

Yes we will survive, we need to focus on visitor that will stay for a week or more, eat in our restaurants, drink in our bars, go on excursions, our beaches, our culture and experience our big beautiful rock.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

STTsailor
January 28, 2016 09:20AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 496

Do cruis ships really stimulate local islands economy?
I am not really sure about that.
They bring everything with the boat. They drop off a lot of people that at present time are at bottom level of affuency. They don't spend much money anymore as they used to before 2008. They are in by 8 AM and gone by 5PM. Perhaps they benefit local alcohol and tobacco sales but they don't use local restaurants and hotels.
They drive up prices for taxi and tour services.
For 9 hours a day they can double the population of the island challenging infrastructure.
They greatly contribute to pollution.
They contribute to proliferation of petty theft. Traffic congestion.
The cruis ship tourists are a total eyesore. Fat, pale, hangovered, tattooed, often shirtless in public areas.

When cruise cos suddenly pull out the contract they cause huge void as they created dependence on easy money for port authority and local governments leaving behind useless infrastructure created just for them.

The islands that relay more on air travelers to balance cruise industry do much better by creating lots of service jobs.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
January 28, 2016 09:29AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
STTsailor
They don't spend much money anymore as they used to before 2008.

The bonanza of the big cruise ship spenders was gone over two decades before 2008!!!!

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

monogram
January 28, 2016 06:41PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 446

Quote
STTsailor
Do cruis ships really stimulate local islands economy?
I am not really sure about that.
They bring everything with the boat. They drop off a lot of people that at present time are at bottom level of affuency. They don't spend much money anymore as they used to before 2008. They are in by 8 AM and gone by 5PM. Perhaps they benefit local alcohol and tobacco sales but they don't use local restaurants and hotels.
They drive up prices for taxi and tour services.
For 9 hours a day they can double the population of the island challenging infrastructure.
They greatly contribute to pollution.
They contribute to proliferation of petty theft. Traffic congestion.
The cruis ship tourists are a total eyesore. Fat, pale, hangovered, tattooed, often shirtless in public areas.

When cruise cos suddenly pull out the contract they cause huge void as they created dependence on easy money for port authority and local governments leaving behind useless infrastructure created just for them.

The islands that relay more on air travelers to balance cruise industry do much better by creating lots of service jobs.

OMG such a good post!!!

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

AandA2VI
January 28, 2016 09:01PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Wow. I will respectfully disagree with 90% of that. Do you guys work with tourists? Just curious.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2016 09:07PM by AandA2VI.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?
avatar

swans
March 28, 2016 03:24PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,313

'....Kenneth Mapp, governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, led a delegation to the Seatrade conference to explore ways to lure more cruise lines to St. Croix. “I think we’re going to do just fine,” said Mapp, who governs one of the region’s top cruise destinations in St. Thomas. “The itineraries that include Cuba will be mostly in the western Caribbean.”....'

We all know that STT will continue to do fine; but, what about STX?
Comparison of schedules between STT and STX:
[www.cruisetimetables.com]
[www.cruisetimetables.com]

March 18, 2016 — 10:46 AM EDT

If you’re one of the big U.S. cruise lines preparing to steam to Cuba, you’re giddy over a long-forbidden, culturally rich port of call to offer customers.

If you’re one of the Caribbean islands that rely on hordes of American cruisers spending money in your shops and restaurants, you’re probably a little nervous.

Cuba was a hot topic for cruise executives and tourism officials gathered this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference. Several panel discussions focused on the island, others veered to the subject, and many reflected concerns among Cuba’s neighbors about the competition. The cruise companies say there are plenty of ships to go around—although some don’t seem to mind leaving a little doubt out there to motivate the traditional destinations to bolster their offerings.

“In terms of size, [Cuba is] not going to divert that much traffic from other places,” said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., citing port capacity as one major constraint. Cuba will “create a halo of interest” around the region, he said in a comment other executives echoed, by spurring cruise veterans and virgins alike to book a Caribbean outing.

Cuba’s opening will prompt other destinations “to step up their game and improve their offerings,” helping to sell more cruises, Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA, said during a discussion of the North American market. “It’s already forced people to differentiate their story: Here’s what we offer, here’s what we’ve done,” said Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford, who spoke on the same panel as Sasso.

“I’ve got the entire fleet just pouncing around the island,” joked Frank Del Rio, chief executive and president of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Most U.S. travelers who have seen much of the Caribbean have never been to Cuba, which is likely to occupy a day or two on the typical itinerary. Renewed U.S. relations will make Cuba “a great refresher for the Caribbean,” Carnival Corp. Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said Tuesday during a talk with Fain and other executives.

President Barack Obama announced the new diplomatic stance on Cuba in December 2014, rejecting the long-held U.S. policy of isolating the nation. He will visit next week, the first sitting U.S. president to step on Cuban soil in more than eight decades. On Tuesday, the Obama administration authorized individuals to visit Cuba, in so-called “people-to-people” exchanges, and U.S. banks to handle the financial transactions, removing a key obstacle for cruise lines and other travel commerce. Ships will be able to visit other nations after Cuba on their Caribbean itineraries, a change to the law that was critical to make stops in Cuba feasible.

“It’s the new girl in the dance party, so everybody talks about Cuba,” said Jorge Vilches, president and chief executive of Pullmantur, a former Spanish line that ended its Cuba calls in 2006 when Royal Caribbean bought it. “It’s going to be wonderful, it’s going to be beautiful … but it’s going to take a while to enhance its experience. We need to give the Cubans some time to prepare.”

By all accounts, Cuba has vital infrastructure needs and can’t accommodate multiple floating behemoths per day, as destinations like Aruba, Cozumel and St. Maarten do. And Cuban authorities are expected to regulate ships’ calls rigorously, preventing a huge wave of cruisers washing ashore the way they do at other locales.

Still, the math suggests some Caribbean destinations could see a decrease in ships calling at their ports, simply because the cruise lines have become more disciplined in their capacity growth and in balancing deployments by region. A line that serves Jamaica might add two days in Cuba, cut a day in Montego Bay, and just stop in Falmouth for a day before heading to another country.

The Caribbean is the world’s largest cruise market, accounting for 34 percent of all itineraries. Cruise travelers spent nearly $3.2 billion (pdf) last year at 35 destinations, according to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. Much of that spending was concentrated in the western part of the region. The top market was St. Maarten, at $423 million. Cozumel collected $365 million, the Cayman Islands $208 million, and Jamaica $199 million. Cozumel led the region in the number of jobs tied to cruise tourism, with more than 9,700.

Right now, most of the cruises departing from Florida split their Caribbean itineraries between eastern and western locales. The distance of a destination from Cuba seems to be one source of comfort for tourism officials wary of what the Havana rush might hold.

Kenneth Mapp, governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, led a delegation to the Seatrade conference to explore ways to lure more cruise lines to St. Croix. “I think we’re going to do just fine,” said Mapp, who governs one of the region’s top cruise destinations in St. Thomas. “The itineraries that include Cuba will be mostly in the western Caribbean.”

Beyond its novelty, Cuba presents cruise lines with vast coastlines, equivalent to the length of California, that will let them offer multiple ports of call near South Florida. In addition to Havana, Carnival has identified Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba as ports for its new Fathom brand, which begins operating in April with cruises to the Dominican Republic. Farther ahead, eight other Cuban destinations are “ports of promise” for Carnival, Fathom President Tara Russell said last year in an interview with a Miami television station.

Switzerland-based MSC Cruises has one ship, the MSC Opera, based in Havana year-round, and in November will position a second there for the winter season. Carnival plans to begin its first Cuba sailing in May, on Fathom’s Adonia, but is still awaiting Cuban approvals. Others will move in quickly, as permitted.

But the neighboring islands’ concerns are overblown, several cruise executives said, given that the industry plans to deploy 52 new ocean vessels by 2022, including nine this year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, its trade group.

“Where do they go?” said Carlos Torres de Navarra, Carnival’s vice president of commercial port operations. “Over time, there’s going to be more than enough business for everybody.”

[www.cruisetimetables.com]
[www.cruisetimetables.com]

[www.bloomberg.com]

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

caribstx
March 28, 2016 04:23PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 502

It won't make any difference to my business.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
March 28, 2016 04:37PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

The eventual opening of Cuba as a tourist destination has been a discussion point for many decades in the cruise industry. Whatever "threat" was imagined to other cruise ship destinations has always been focused on the Western Caribbean. Even with the opening of Cuba, the draw of the Eastern Caribbean route will remain strong as the Western Caribbean route simply can't compete with it in terms of the multiple factors which go into positioning ships for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.

St Croix has never been a prime positioning option for the cruise ship lines based on all those factors. The lines are in business to make money just like any other business.

Having some knowledge of cruise ship passengers and their habits is a very far cry from having knowledge of how the cruise lines operate and make decisions. St Croix will never be a major cruise ship destination but neither will it be completely devoid of cruise ship visits. And the opening of Cuba is no threat to the Eastern Caribbean ports of call - but some of those Western Caribbean ports of call may have to step up their game.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

East Ender
March 28, 2016 05:31PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 4,967

I always thought that St. Croix, like Anguilla, should advertise that they DON'T have cruise ships. There are still people looking for less traveled islands. wink

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

susan56
March 28, 2016 05:40PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 147

Investigate why stx has not been on the cruise ship schedule.....

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
March 28, 2016 05:55PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
susan56
Investigate why stx has not been on the cruise ship schedule.....

In your opinion why has it not to any great degree? If you're referring to Carnival's pullout several years ago because of incidents of crime against cruise ship visitors, that was unfortunate and a contributory factor but, although significant to STX's economy, a mere blip for Carnival. It's business and STX's location has simply never been a major draw economically where business is concerned.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

daveb722
March 28, 2016 08:35PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 490

STX should focus on small resorts, not cruise ships. My opinion is that it's not a destination for the typical cruise ship patron. I've done a few cruises and landing in Frederiksted would not be my first choice. I love St. Croix and think it needs to differentiate itself from the cruise industry. A couple of all inclusive resorts, with 4-5 start accommodations and treatment and you have long term growth and success. And for STTsailor, I'm not some fat, shirtless tattooed drunk running around town, I usually keep my shirt on silly smiley. I like both cruises and traveling by plane as they have very different offerings, but think that focusing on anything but cruise ships is in St. Croix's best interests.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

susan56
March 28, 2016 08:46PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 147

OT...

Carnivals pullout has to affect the whole industry in regards to stx.

STX is not in a financial position to build big resorts....and there are no investors
.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

Scubadoo
March 28, 2016 09:05PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,092

Quote
susan56

STX is not in a financial position to build big resorts....and there are no investors
.

We need more small resorts, not mega-resorts. And while I'm not a huge fan of brands, a few more of them would help bring in folks looking for a "safe bet" or to use their points. I believe that was one of the key reasons the Marriott flag is flying at Carambola. Some of those brands could easily be associated with some of the existing properties.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

OldTart
March 28, 2016 09:11PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
susan56
OT...

Carnivals pullout has to affect the whole industry in regards to stx.
.

Not sure of the point you're making. Are you at all familiar with the history of cruise ships visiting STX? Are you maybe mistakenly thinking that St Croix was once a bustling cruise ship port of call which all of a sudden wasn't? That's not the case at all.

Re: Will STX Survive without its Cruise Ships...?

susan56
March 28, 2016 11:33PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 147

No OT I am not at all "confused" with the prior bustling cruise ship schedule on STX.....

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