| Date Published: July 14, 2010 |
Latest Cruise News Headlines|
|Will Cruise Lines Pull Out of St. Thomas Due to Crime?|
(11:05 a.m. EDT) -- This week's tragic death of a teenaged cruise passenger, caught in gang crossfire while traveling on a safari taxi vehicle near Coki Beach on St. Thomas, has prompted Carnival to cancel tours in the area -- even though the victim was traveling independently and not on a ship-sponsored excursion -- because of the threat of violence.
At this point, cruise lines have not indicated that they'll stop visiting the U.S. Virgin Island. However, will other cruise lines follow Carnival's lead in ditching excursions to the Coki Beach area?
Here's what we've learned so far from cruise lines that are calling on St. Thomas in the near future:
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Celebrity Solstice is in town today. A spokeswoman tells us that while no tours are offered to Coki Beach, the "Coral Land and Coral Sea" shore excursion, which passes through the area where the incident took place, has been canceled. Guests with independently planned activities are being advised to avoid Coki Point Beach and the Coral World area. Furthermore, guests who booked a shore excursion in St. Thomas, through Celebrity Cruises, but would prefer to stay onboard, may cancel without penalty for a full refund.
Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian Epic makes its inaugural call on St. Thomas today. NCL spokeswoman Courtney Recht did tell us this morning that all tours to the Coki Beach area have been canceled today, because "the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance."
Princess Cruises. A spokeswoman tells Cruise Critic that the line has canceled tours that visit the Coki Point area pending further investigation by the local authorities. Emerald Princess is due in the port on Thursday; Caribbean Princess will visit on Friday.
Editor's note: Other lines, like Disney and Holland America, do call on St. Thomas but do not have any ships on the schedule until the fall, and so are not impacted at this time. It's important to note that summer is not terribly busy for St. Thomas; the port, one of the most-visited by cruise ships in the Caribbean, really starts to gear up in late autumn.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
Image of Coki Beach appears courtesy of member cruisersfrompa.
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