Port facilities were up and running, even as recovery efforts continue on the rest of the island. Carnival passengers had the options of relaxing on a private beach, drinking and dining at the Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant, swimming in the on-site pool, or browsing at a variety of portside shops. Many shore excursions were also operational, including the Gibbs Key tour, dune buggy rides, swimming with horses, fishing trips and snorkeling expeditions.
The former hop on/hop off tour has been replaced with a post-hurricane island tour, which allows passengers to see the devastation and recovery efforts on the island. The excursion price covers the cost of the bus; passengers who wish to donate to the United Way's Grand Turk hurricane relief fund are provided with a pledge card during the tour.
While there's no word yet on volunteer opportunities for passengers (as Carnival had hinted in a previous release on Grand Turk), ship staff are participating in beach cleanups on the island.
The next ship to visit Grand Turk is Crown Princess on Friday, October 10.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor