As part of the resumption of cruise operations, Carnival Cruise Line continues to return to ports for the first time since suspensions first started in March 2020. This includes the Carnival Vista making a visit to Belize for the first time in 16 months and passengers enjoying the port to boost the local economy.
Carnival Vista is First Cruise Ship to Visit Belize
Carnival Vista is currently sailing its first voyage back after departing the Port of Galveston in Texas on July 3. The ship arrived just off the coast of Belize City at around 8:00 AM on Wednesday, and guests were able to enjoy a lot of the day on tours or just experiencing the Fort Street Tourism Village.
Cruise ships have to tender when calling at Belize, and that was the case for the Carnival Vista with tender boats operating between the ship and land. Noriko Gamera, who is the Director of Cruise Tourism in Belize, already visited the tourism village to make sure it was ready to welcome the first cruise visitors in more than a year.
In a statement on local news, Gamero said:
“It feels so unreal after being shut down for so long, the preparations that have come into place just to make tomorrow a reality. Just seeing the excitement in all the operators, the vendors…it just goes across the board to say that all eyes are on us to make sure we do it safely, but at the same time very excited to be making some money again.“
“We’ve done our gold standards across the board when we started the reopening for the airport. So we implemented the same protocols, a nine-point checklist for all the operators, all the vendors, all the gift shops within the port, the port itself, the tender operators. So at any point of contact throughout the cruise experience, we have implemented gold standards.”
Belize is taking the return of cruise visitors seriously by ensuring that those people within the village are vaccinated and that local vendors are ready to cater to thousands of cruise passengers safely. The Ministry of Health also engaged in testing all the workers in the Tourism Village with all negative results.
Over the coming months, even more, cruise ships will be making a return to Belize as well as many other Caribbean cruise destinations. Carnival Vista also visited Mahogany Bay at Isla Roatan for the first time on July 6 and will visit Cozumel on July 8 before returning to Galveston, Texas, on July 10.
Carnival Vista became the first ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line to restart operations. The ship is 133,500 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 3,934 at double occupancy. However, the vessel is not currently sailing at full capacity.