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Cruise cays hit by Sandy

Although things are returning to normal on the major islands of The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, according to government officials, some cruise lines' private islands still require substantial clean-up efforts before they can re-open for business. 

Cruise Critic UK
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

30 October, 2012 (Cruise Critic UK) — As areas on the U.S. east coast prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism says things are nearly back to normal in Nassau and Freeport, where minimal damage was sustained.

Despite the positive outlook for those two mainstream destinations, some of the cruise line’s private islands weren’t so lucky. Read on for a list of the damage.

CocoCay: Royal Caribbean tells us “The impact to the island of CocoCay from Hurricane Sandy was not severe, but requires a significant cleanup effort ahead of guest arrival. Guests will be able to enjoy most of the island, however due to significant beach erosion in one area of the island, that area will unfortunately not be accessible to guests. The majority of our shore excursions will be available.”

Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian says the island “sustained some minor damage to structures and landscaping, as well as beach erosion from Hurricane Sandy. We expect the island will re-open by the middle of next week.”

Half Moon Cay: Holland America reports that “as a result of Hurricane Sandy passing over Half Moon Cay on Oct. 25., the island has sustained some minor damage which is limited and can be easily addressed. The island staff are well, as are the horses that are kept on the island for popular beach excursions. Repairs will be made to some structures, some vegetation will be replanted and the main guest beach will be renewed in those areas impacted by erosion. We expect to make repairs quickly with only minimal impact to normal operations anticipated.”

Princess Cays: Princess’ private island received the most extensive damage. Line representatives tell us it “has experienced extensive beach erosion, some downed trees and roof damage. The end of the observation pier was also lost. The area is still experiencing high winds, surf and swells so we’re still waiting to survey the marina and entrance channel. Power is renewed, as well as telecommunications and e-mail. As soon as conditions permit we’ll begin clean up and we hope to have everything, except the observation deck, operational for the next call on Nov. 11.”

A representative from the Grand Turk Cruise Center told Cruise Critic in an e-mail that there’s “no damage here in Grand Turk.”

The storm also passed through Jamaica over the weekend. We’re still awaiting word on the status of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth. We’ll update this article accordingly as more information becomes available.

To see how your cruise may be affected and what the cruise lines are offering as compensation for canceled or altered sailings, check out our other Hurricane Sandy coverage.

–by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor

This is an excerpt from Cruise Critic UK as it appeared on October 30, 2012. For updates or to read the current version of this post in its entirety, please click here.

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Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder held discussions with the director general of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, October 24 in Brussels. Pictured: (left-right) Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder; director general of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy; acting director of trade and industry in the Ministry of Financial Services Viana Gardiner; and Charges d’Affaires in The Bahamas High Commission in London Frank Davis in Belgium October 24, 2012.

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