Fans of Grand Turk will be relieved to know the port will reopen for business on October 8. The port area, as well as much of the island, was damaged when Hurricane Ike plowed through the Caribbean.
As we reported earlier, the cruise ship pier did not suffer any damage. Repairs are needed to the port's restaurant and retail complex, but those should be completed within 30 days. We've heard that the rest of the island has experienced extensive damage, but could not get further information about how long the recovery effort will take.
In addition to repairing its own port area, Carnival will also offer financial and logistical assistance to shore excursion operators on the island, helping them to restore their businesses. When the cruise ships return to Grand Turk, Carnival will run volunteer-oriented shore excursions so passengers and crewmembers can help with the rebuilding efforts around the island.
The first cruise ship scheduled to arrive in Grand Turk is Carnival Destiny on October 8. Carnival is currently working out the details for itinerary changes to cruises scheduled to call in Grand Turk prior to that date. The first ships affected are Carnival Triumph and Carnival Miracle, which obviously won't make their September 19 call to the island. Carnival expects to have revised itineraries soon.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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Grand Turk Will Reopen in Early October
September 12, 2008