More Cruise Lines Cancel San Juan Stops Over Protests

by Jessica Montevago
More Cruise Lines Cancel San Juan Stops Over Protests

Planned protests in Puerto Rico have caused some cruise lines to alter sailing schedules. Photo: Shutterstock.com


Tens of thousands protesters are expected to take to the streets of Puerto Rico Monday, calling for the territory’s embattled governor to step down.

Due to the planned protests, two cruise lines have canceled stops in San Juan scheduled for today.

Celebrity Equinox will no longer make its a charter cruise stop at San Juan and will now sail to the next scheduled port of call, St. Thomas, Owen Torres Corporate Communications manager for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told Travel Market Report.

MSC Cruises also canceled MSC Seaside’s call for San Juan, according to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (CTPR).

Last week, Royal Caribbean rerouted Harmony of the Seas and Empress of the Seas, due to the intensifying protests. Allure of the Seas returned to San Juan on Thursday.

“During the past two weeks we have remained attentive and in constant conversation with the cruise lines to coordinate the scheduled stops,” Carla Campos, CTPR executive director, said in a statement.  “Both the cruise lines and the Tourism Company seek to maintain as many stops as possible while at the same time ensuring the safety and experience of the visitor in the destination.”

The CTPR said it offered cruise lines alternatives in an attempt to maintain itineraries to the island, including docking at the Pan-American Wharf instead of ship piers in Old San Juan. However, the depth of the pier extends to approximately 32 feet, and large vessels that dock at docks 3 and 4 require approximately 34 feet of depth.

"No cancellations have yet been reported for transit stops scheduled for the rest of the week. The CTPR keeps in constant contact with the lines evaluating case by case and trying to safeguard all aspects related to the visitor's experience,” Campos added.

Monday’s massive demonstration is expected to shut down the main highway that links the capital with the rest of the island. It follows a week of protests targeting Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, after hundreds of pages of leaked text messages revealed misogynistic and homophobic language. Rosselló has refused to resign but said Sunday he would not seek reelection in 2020. He also said he would step down as head of his pro-statehood party.

Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization, also said it is closely monitoring the protests in select locations in the San Juan metro area and is in touch with local hotels and businesses.

“Tourist attractions and hotels are operating normally, however, travelers should check with area businesses and travel providers regarding operations and should allow additional time for travel, as there may be delays, including to and from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).”

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