CCL-Carnival Cruise Line restarted calls to St Maarten Island on Tuesday, October 12, when its Carnival Freedom arrived at Port Philipsburg (St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles) with 1700 guests as the first destination of call on the itinerary.
Carnival Freedom departed PortMiami Florida on October 9. Other ports of call include Basseterre, Port Zante, St Kitts Island (Oct 13), San Juan, Puerto Rico (Oct 14), and Amber Cove Dominicana (Oct 15). The ship is scheduled to arrive back in Miami on October 17.
The last CCL vessel on a regular ship call in St Maarten was in March 2020.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication Roger Lawrence said that after 19 months they had received the first transit visit to the island from Carnival Cruise Line.
"As we continue to move our country forward, it is a milestone like this that we need to acknowledge and celebrate. It is a pleasure to welcome the fun ships back to our shores.”
Port St Maarten Management and team members met Carnival Freedom's Capt. Roberti Costi and other representatives. Tokens of appreciation were exchanged on behalf of the cruise port and the destination.
Costi told port officials he had visited St Maarten many times during the 1980s and they were all "extremely happy to be back.” He added that was a great destination.
The crew was not allowed to disembark during the port call in line with United States' CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance and cruise line protocols.