You probably haven’t. The damage to beaches and roads leading to some of those properties seems too significant to overcome concerns about them. While such major Caribbean islands as Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, and others have suffered no damage at all from the recent hurricanes, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (as well as St. Martin) were obviously hurt.
Not so the Caribbean cruise industry, apparently. The presidents of major cruise lines are going all out to claim that their Caribbean operations have been left largely unscathed. They have actually created a new website called The Caribbean Is Open to claim that high-season winter cruises in the region will be almost entirely unaffected by the recent hurricanes.
According to these companies, four major, previously damaged Caribbean ports receiving large cruise ships (San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Martin) will be back in action long before the start of the Christmas season, and in fact some have already welcomed behemoths of the sea since the storms.
One executive went on to say that if you went today to the city of Old San Juan, from which a great many cruises depart, you would see that the place “looks fine.” He emphasized that a cruise passenger leaving from this port will continue to enjoy the pleasures of that “core city” but will not be able to tour several outlying attractions like the El Yunque rainforest, which experienced considerable damage.
He went on to emphasize that if some passengers flew into San Juan on the day when their ship was to depart (and thus needed no hotel room), they would experience no inconvenience at all.
If only to refute the criticism that they were making these arguments to protect the considerable profits they enjoy from Caribbean tourism, the ship executives also point to the fact that continued cruising through the Caribbean contributed to the eventual economic recovery of those islands—an ethical outcome.
To repeat: The cruise lines have now promised that four major and slightly damaged port cities of the Caribbean will be up and running in the very near future—as will a great many more unaffected ones—long before the winter high season begins.