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Disney Cruise Line skips VI for St Maarten until April 2018

- As VI continues to ‘recover from the effects’ of hurricanes Irma & Maria
Disney Cruise Line announced to its pre-reserved customers today, December 4, 2017 that it will be returning to the Eastern Caribbean, but will be skipping Tortola until April 2018. Photo:
The state of parts of the territory's roads is one of the reasons persons support the move by Disney Cruise Line (NCL) to skip calling to the Virgin Islands ports until April 2018. Photo: VINO/File
The state of parts of the territory's roads is one of the reasons persons support the move by Disney Cruise Line (NCL) to skip calling to the Virgin Islands ports until April 2018. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands being “back on its feet and open for business” brand by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is not being bought by everyone, including a major cruise line that will not be heading to these ports until April of next year.

The move by Disney Cruise Line (DCL) is being seen in some quarters as a blow to the already frail economy of the Virgin Islands following the two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria in September.

Disney Cruise Line announced to its booked customers today, December 4, 2017 that they will be returning to the Eastern Caribbean, but with a slightly altered itinerary.

VI continues to recover

“Tortola, British Virgin Islands continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. As a result, DCL will alter the ports of call for the Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean beginning with the December 30th sailing through March to include Philipsburg, St Maarten, instead of Tortola, British Virgin Islands,” the letter to its customers read.

According to, pre-reserved Port Adventures in Tortola will automatically be removed from guests’ cruise activities. DCL encourages guests to explore Port Adventure opportunities in Philipsburg, St Maarten, by visiting DCL’s My Cruise Activities section of the website once the reservation is paid in full and within the Castaway Club level booking window.

As it stands, the next scheduled Disney Cruise to Tortola will be the April 7, 2018 departure of the Disney Fantasy.

While many have expressed concern on social media over the absence of the major cruise line for the next four months, many feel it was a necessary move since some of the roads on Tortola are unsafe and some of the beaches are also in no state to accomodate visitors.

It is also unclear if the cruise line acted following advice from the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Efforts to secure a comment from the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and the Ministry of Communications and Works were not successful up to time of publication.

Below is a copy of the email being sent to guests booked on the impacted cruises:

DCL Letter 20171204 Fantasy Maarten Tortoal

32 Responses to “Disney Cruise Line skips VI for St Maarten until April 2018”

  • JP (04/12/2017, 17:20) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    When will Dr. Smith and the rest learn that the tourists want infrastructure, not big airports?? Disney apparently knows that. The need is roads, retaining walls, sewers, water, electricity etc. Forget the airport, crack down on law enforcement and fix the infrastructure if you ever want the cruise lines back.
    • wize up (05/12/2017, 06:34) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ JP: I have a question(why we always equate a clean BVI with tourism)....don't the people who reside and pay tax in this territory deserving of good infrastructure! The territory should be keep in good condition for all the residents and visitors: money will quickly be spent to enhance a beach than spent on our educational system. Develop the country for the people then we share such development with visitors....
      • pete (05/12/2017, 10:18) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        a quote from former NYC landmarks Commissioner: "If you do it for the local, the visitor will come: if you do it for the visitor, eventually you will lose the local and it is the local that gives a place character".
        visitors don't want to see the same ol' same ol' they can get in the states, Miami, USVI, St Marteen, San Juan etc
        they want to experience real island life and real culture. I am glad Disney is not coming for a while.
        fix the infrastructure for everyone, not just tourists. I agree.
  • hell (04/12/2017, 17:24) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well if 11yr old children are slaughtered in the streets why would tourists flock here
  • ann (04/12/2017, 17:33) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply

    Back on our feet my r@$s

  • What Do You Expect (04/12/2017, 17:35) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do you really think a Cruise Ship is going to visit somewhere where the beaches and roads are in such horrible shape? I am not traveling anywhere where I can go over a cliff or fall into a hole on the messed up roads.
    • wize up (05/12/2017, 13:21) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ what do you expect: this territory also accommodate overnight visitors and not only the day trippers from of the cruise ship: just for some of our information; a substantial number of visitors spend 6-7 days sailing around the British Virgin Islands(they do not use the public highways) the deplorable road ways won't necessarily affect that demographic of visitors
  • SMH (04/12/2017, 17:43) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    well this is sad no money for the taxi drivers
    • wize up (05/12/2017, 17:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ SMH: some of us aught to remember that we live in a hurricane zone and during that season things happens: we were fortunate for many years but 2017 we got our share that serveraly disrupted our economy: no political party caused such disruption the economic disruption was an act of I wonder why all the finger pointing and I think the finger pointing is simply pure politics:
  • ... (04/12/2017, 18:32) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let's hope and pray that they will be back
  • overseas (04/12/2017, 18:48) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wish for you a full and speedy recovery, for the BVI
  • wize up (04/12/2017, 18:51) Like (7) Dislike (15) Reply
    why help to pull down your own country with these articles(I am sure the BVI is not the first place on earth that was hit by a natural disaster and were forced to make alternate plans)......
    • St Marten or St Kitts. (05/12/2017, 03:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Something about this news ain right. St Marten mash up also. How about St kitts getting over a hundred Ships in December, 8 Ships on December 25 alone (a record) and planning a massive cellebtation inviting and paying for the international media to be in SK on that day..
      • pat (05/12/2017, 10:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        think about it. Do you want 100 ships in one month or 8 in one day? bad for infrastructure in general and quality of life in particular. taximen put all their eggs in one basket knowing tourism is moody and then complain. Then they ask for special favors because they have no plan B. diversify work and concentrate on upgrading services for residents first...
      • SK (05/12/2017, 17:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        And another peirce soon
      • SINT MAARTEN (06/12/2017, 22:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        FYI, Sint Maarten is not mash up anymore. They had worked overnight for the last 3 month and fixed all infrastructure. Locals had power and water back on in 20 days.
        Thousands of volunteers have cleaned streets, beaches.
        Tour operators have scuba cleaned the snorkeling zones.
        It has been a impressive table turner...
    • Election by March (05/12/2017, 03:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      They will be back but we need to move forward with a new vision a different style in leadership, a different direction. Here is sad part if the Governor should call election by March only NDP is ready then these fools will blame the Governor. The Bible says " Be ready foe no one knows the day or the hour".
    • @ wize up (05/12/2017, 06:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The truth hurts
  • qc (04/12/2017, 19:03) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    This makes me wonder why Dr Smith and Mark keep running their faces trying to fool the industry that things are back to normal. I know what could have possibly been motivating them since the dawn of the 2011 elections.
    But that is a tangent for another day.
  • Webster (04/12/2017, 21:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Praying for our B.V.I to recover so that the ships can come calling again!!!
  • See (04/12/2017, 22:01) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Professionals know where they can take their clients and where they cant . Fix the damn infrastructure and show a slight interest in reducing crime by the lazy punks
  • True (04/12/2017, 22:07) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good news, perhaps the taxi drivers will learn to be more polite to the local population....
  • the rock (04/12/2017, 22:14) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    u all think its funny for the people of the bvi who depends on the tourist< st martin and stt is back on track< while most of u all here chatting piss about smith and vanterpool this and that< those two islamds were hit hard just like us they are up and running< lets get with the government and move forward< chaw man>
  • economist (04/12/2017, 23:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are 2 ship scheduled this week. One Wednesday and the other on Thursday.
  • Dr Pickering said it dark days ahead (04/12/2017, 23:45) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dark days ahead in deed. Listen ppl overseas help asap dont stop if you sent send more. Otherwise if you dont have a job, lost your business get out dont waste time. BVI far away from recovery with this gov. Can they be taken out before end of term? We need to do something ....
  • OMG (05/12/2017, 03:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sad. Why April. That's long. We should be redy before that. When it Rains it Pours.
    • pat (05/12/2017, 10:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      parts of the island won't even have electricity until February. How many generators do you want to chill drinks and food?
  • Ms Local (05/12/2017, 10:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    But why are fussing now?? When the Premier said we are back on feet, we.. In our disrespectful selves almost had him for lunch. Remember our two main pillars are all international and if we say we are closed for business our clients will surely move on to other JURIDICTIONS. Do we want that?? St. Maarten and St. Thomas were devastated by both storms, but guessed what? They are pushing like hell to get the tourist's dollars. SO WHY CAN'T WE DO THE VERY SAME?? My people please let us stop the complaining, criticisms and the tearing down and lets band together to rebuild these beautiful Virgin Islands.
  • SK (05/12/2017, 17:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    St kitts building new docks
    . Hotel like crazy..up up..yet just like Bvi
    ..them don't like hard them blaming the Spanish and Jamaican. .same old s
  • Nero Lass (06/12/2017, 03:35) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Be on good behaviour for the tourist dollar.

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