Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. welcomes cruise industry executives to St Croix on Thursday. From left to right: Federico Gonzalez-Denton, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line; Larry Stauffer, Disney Cruise Line; Michele Paige, FCCA President; Governor de Jongh; Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Line
ST CROIX, USVI -- A high-level team of cruise industry executives assembled this week in the US Virgin Islands to discuss the myriad opportunities that exist on St Croix for enhancing the Caribbean cruising experience for its millions of customers.
The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council conference is meeting from June 18 to 21 also to look at new infrastructure developments and activities across the territory and how they add to the attraction of the island and cruise passenger experience.
Governor John de Jongh declared the meetings "most productive because they highlight the attraction of St Croix and how it enables cruise companies to remain competitive, which benefits their passengers, while at the same time coordinating schedules to ensure better efficiency in the services they provide to our territory and to the region.”
Convened by the Miami-based FCCA, the team is being led by president Michele Paige, and includes senior executives in charge of shore excursions and port developments from Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Paige stated, "We'd like to thank the people of the Virgin Islands for the warmth they extend to our passengers and a special thanks to St Croix for hosting our conference. Our gratitude also goes out to the territory’s government for recognizing the importance of infrastructure development -- because without infrastructure it would be very tough for us to come here."
Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said stakeholders on St Croix were honored to showcase the history, culture and the unique culinary diversity of the island to the cruise delegates as the territory prepares for increasing numbers of cruise calls this summer.
The executives are being provided tours of St Croix, a dinner at Fort Christiansvaern, a “block party” at the boardwalk in downtown Christiansted, and a tour of Port Authority properties. Meetings will also be held with local stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and expectations of increased cruise ship calls.
The schedule also includes a National Park Service Rangers guided tour of Buck Island followed by swimming, snorkeling and a hike around the island.
The visit culminates with a tour of the Ann E. Abramson Pier Facility, Jazz in the Park and a farewell dinner at Fort Fredrik.