It’s a busy few weeks for Grand Turk in Turks & Caicos as the island slowly but surely gets ready for the first cruise ships since the pause in operations in March last year. The islands waited for almost two years to welcome the first guests back; soon enough, they will be able to welcome more than 6,000.
Preparations are focused mainly on the health and safety protocols that will need to be in place and training for vendors, and beautifying and cleaning up the islands after such a long time of economic inactivity.
Grand Turk Works on Comeback
Grand Turk is hard at work to mount the comeback the island group of Turks & Caicos has been waiting for. Cruise ships will be arriving at the Grand Turk Cruise Center starting December 7, with Carnival’s newest cruise ship, Mardi Gras, the first in early December.
Health Minister Jamell Robinson said his Ministry is drafting a set of protocols to guide the industry to make sure both residents and guests are protected against the Coronavirus, which includes making sure everyone is fully vaccinated, besides the local government tried and tested requirements for travelers:
“All of the 6000 persons who will become will be fully vaccinated. “That’s the requirement for them to be able to cruise again, right. So there’s a measure of safety, even before we get to the portion of the actual health protocols that will enhance and ensure that we have enough layers of safety to ensure that given that there are 6000 persons, additional persons coming on the island, that we minimize those risks overall.”
Shore Excursions, Vendors, and Fun
While everyone wants to be safe when going ashore and keep locals healthy, the main reason for the guests onboard to step ashore is to have fun. And that part is also being looked at, with Carnival’s management team planning a visit within the next weeks for a final inspection and meet & greet with local vendors and tour operators who will also receive extra training and workshops on how to deliver the ultimate fun during a guests’ visit.
Minister of Tourism Hon.Josephine Connolly:
“At the end of the month, I am going to have a meet and greet with all the carnival directors, they’re all coming in, we’re gonna have a meet and greet with all the vendors. And the next day, we’re gonna have a workshop and that workshop will go on for a day, and might go into a third day, so that we can get all our vendors up to speed.”
Carnival Cruise Line Back to Grand Turk
Carnival Cruise Line will be the first to visit the island group next month, according to the Minister of Tourism:
“So I’m excited, I met with Carnival last week in Miami and they are all excited and ready to go somewhere between the 7th and 8th of December. And at this time, they are going to be bringing the biggest ship ever called Mardi Gras, over 6000 passengers”.
At this time, Carnival Cruise Line has six ships scheduled in December to visit the Grand Turk Cruise Center. These ships include Mardi Gras, Carnival Magic, Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Sunrise, and Carnival Horizon.
Here, guests will enjoy a wide variety of activities, including swimming in the blue waters of the Caribbean or the swimming pool in the complex. Guests can also rent a cabana, visit the Caribbean’s largest Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville bar, or try out the surfing simulator “Grand Turk FlowRider.”