Update, 6:25 p.m. EDT: FCCA President Michele Paige tells Cruise Critic this evening that U.S. Virgin Islands officials responded with "compassion and decisive action" at Friday's meet-up; the FCCA will receive weekly updates from the Department of Tourism regarding the continued implemention of the enhanced security measures spelled out below.
(10:45 a.m. EDT) -- On Friday, U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty and Police Commissioner Novelle E. Francis, Jr. met with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which represents 15 member lines sailing in the region, to share information on enhanced safety and security measures and the territory's crisis management plan.
So what's being done in the wake of last week's tragic shooting death of a cruise passenger to minimize risks to visitors moving forward? First and foremost, according to a press statement issued by the Virgin Islands' Department of Tourism, the Virgin Islands Police Department is stepping up foot patrols in tourist areas -- this means you'll see more officers trolling the cruise port, as well as beaches, historical attractions, hotels and popular sightseeing spots. But beyond that, here's a sampling of other efforts you can expect to see ashore:
Increased car patrols (in addition to officers on foot) in above mentioned areas
Upgrades to -- and constant monitoring of -- 24-hour surveillance cameras in town
Careful monitoring of the movement of visitors
Department of Tourism "greeters" at the cruise port to answer visitors' questions
Accelerated cleanup of the Coki Point area in particular
Requests for more detailed information than was found in the prepared statement were not fulfilled by press time; we'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, the U.S. Virgin Islands' Department of Tourism has suggested that visitors monitor its news update site, usviupdate.com, for information as well as its Twitter and Facebook pages.
Have you been to St. Thomas in the last week? Tell us about your experience by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
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Cruise Passenger Safety: What's Being Done on St. Thomas
July 19, 2010