Guests onboard Oasis Of the Seas have been advised to stay away from the French side of St. Maarten during their cruise this week. The island has seen a fair share of political unrest recently, with roads blocked and protests all week. Oasis of the Seas is currently based in Miami, Florida, sailing 7-day cruises from the world’s cruise capital.
Guests’ Safety is the Priority
According to a letter distributed onboard the Oasis of the Seas, the Island of St. Martin is suffering from political unrest to the point where the guests are advised to avoid the French part of the island. The vessel is making a call to the island on November 11 as part of a seven-day cruise that departed Miami on November 7.
St. Martin is the French part of the dual country island, also known as Collectivité de Saint-Martin, whereas the Dutch part of the island is called Sint Maarten.
The letter guests received onboard Oasis of the Seas said the following:
“Our guests’ health and safety is always our first priority and as we make our way into port. We wanted to inform you that the French side of St. Maarten is currently experiencing political protests causing some disruptions and roadblocks. During tomorrow’s visit. We strongly recommend that all guests stay on the Dutch side of the island to ensure everyone is able to make it back to the ship safely and on time. Guests with shore excursions booked to the French side will be receiving additional tour specific details from our Shorex Team.”
Protestors on the French side of the island, in particular the area around the working-class neighborhoods of Sandy Ground and Quartier d’Orléans, have thrown up roadblocks in the area after infrastructure rebuilding has gone much slower than expected after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
In Sandy Ground, the protestors demanded the reopening of a post office, installing sidewalks, repairing the sewage system, constructing a fruit and vegetable and fish market, installing a garbage room, and broadband Internet.
Tension eased on Wednesday, November 10, after life on the island was shaken for eight days by a social movement whose spokesmen were received by the government, after the restoration of traffic on a major road blocked by the protesters.
While guests onboard the 5,592-passenger Oasis of the Seas would have been perfectly safe to visit the French side of the island, the roadblocks during the protests could have meant that guests returned to the ship with major delays.
It’s only the first month of Caribbean cruises for the 226,838 gross ton Oasis of the Seas. The former largest cruise ship in the world restarted this year on September 6 from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey. She sailed on a series of Bahamas Cruises and just finished her repositioning from New Jersey to Miami.
On November 3, the cruise ship sailed on her first cruise from Miami, a 4-day cruise to Nassau and Perfect Day At CocoCay. The 7-day voyage that sailed on November 7 included ports of call to CocoCay, Saint Thomas Island, and now Philipsburg, St Maarten.
Oasis of the Seas will have Miami as its homeport until the end of April 2022. The ship will be sailing various cruises that include 3- and 4-day Perfect Day and Bahamas cruises, and 7-day Western- and Eastern Caribbean cruises. The Western Caribbean cruises will call in Cozumel, Roatan Island, Costa Maya, and a call at Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay.