Grandeur of the Seas, sailing from Barbados on 7-night Southern Caribbean island cruises, has had its itinerary shuffled for a cruise departing on March 13, as the Islands of Trinidad & Tobago remain closed for cruise ship traffic.
Besides not calling in Trinidad and Tobago in March, the vessel also canceled its call to St. Kitts this week. It shows once again there is still much uncertainty for cruises and destinations, something guests will need to keep in mind when sailing in the coming weeks and months.
Grandeur of the Seas Forced to Make Changes
There will have been much disappointment for guests booked onboard Grandeur of the Seas for the March 13 sailing. Trinidad and Tobago remains closed for cruise ships despite air travel to the islands opening up again. Then again, it will not have been a great surprise to guests given the recent flood of cruise cancelations and port changes.
In a letter to guests, the cruise line said the following: “The ports of Trinidad and Tobago remain closed to cruise guests. As a result, we’ve moved up our visit to Castries, St. Lucia on Monday, and we’ll now visit Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis on Tuesday and St. Johns, Antigua on Wednesday instead. Unfortunately, due to the distance from Antigua, this also means We’ll arrive to St. George’s, Grenada a little later than originally planned.“
“We know how much time and effort go into planning your vacation, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. Nevertheless, we’re excited to take you to new ports and know you’ll have an excellent time!“
- March 13: Bridgetown, Barbados
- March 14: Castries, St. Lucia
- March 15: Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis
- March 16: St. Johns, Antigua
- March 17: St. George’s, Grenada
- March 18: Roseau, Dominica
- March 19: Kingstown, St. Vincent
- March 20: Bridgetown, Barbados
Grandeur of the Seas has more calls scheduled to Trinidad and Tobago in March. It is likely these calls will also have been affected by the decision from the Trinidad and Tobago government to keep the cruise ban in place.
Numerous Itinerary Changes
Despite some positive news coming from Trinidad and Tobago recently, the ban for cruise ships to visit the islands, which has been in place since March 12, 2020, remains. That is not necessarily to do with the cruise industry, but relatively low vaccination rates in Trinidad and Tobago, according to Chief Secretary Farley Augustine:
“Here is the reality that Tobagonians have to face: these entities, they are coming with people who are all 100 per cent vaccinated. When they get here, they want to only be served by vaccinated service providers; they want to interact with vaccinated tour guides, bus drivers, shopkeepers, artisans, and so on.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s situation again illustrates the situation the cruise industry is finding itself in. And that is on top of the other changes that are happening. Grandeur of the Seas’ call to St. Kitts has been canceled for this week and replaced by St. Maarten. And of course, she is not the only cruise ship that is affected by changes.
In the past weeks, there have been daily reports on itinerary changes. These many changes will be both confusing and disappointing for guests, especially on a voyage where they look forward to visiting specific ports of call, such as Trinidad and Tobago, two islands that do not feature on many itineraries.
Guests onboard cruise ships will need to be prepared for changes to come in the coming weeks and months. Sadly enough, there isn’t much the cruise lines can do about it; they are forced to make changes because destinations change policies, guests become infected, or due to COVID-19 vaccination levels which are too low locally.