Carribean Cruise? After Irma and Maria, What Ports are Open for Business – AAA

While some islands continue to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, AAA wants travelers to know the majority of the Caribbean is still open for business.

“The Caribbean needs us now more than ever,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “These islands heavily rely on tourism to stimulate their economies. While a small number of islands work to recover, the majority are welcoming travelers right now.

“Cruise lines have identified alternative ports to give affected islands time to recover, and to ensure passengers get the tropical vacation they envisioned,” Evans continued. “As a result, Hawaii has become a popular alternative destination for some travelers. However, there is still incentive to sail the Caribbean. Cruise and tour companies are offering as much as 30-50 percent off the price for select departures to the Caribbean through the end of this year.”

Cruising the Caribbean – Who’s Open / Who’s Closed?

The vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are now operational. Of the 62 ports in the Caribbean, approximately 75 percent (47) are welcoming cruise ships, according to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). AAA experts recommend travelers talk with their travel agent about the popular Caribbean destinations that are listed as ‘open’ for their upcoming travels. Ports listed as ‘closed’ are working quickly to reopen, and many hope to welcome cruise ships back before the end of the year.

OPEN

•Antigua
•Aruba
•Bahamas
•Barbados
•Belize
•Bermuda
•Bonaire
•Curaçao
•Dominican Republic
•Jamaica
•Key West
•Martinique
•St. Kitts & Nevis
•Saint Lucia
•St. Vincent & The Grenadines
•The Cayman Islands
•Trinidad and Tobago

CLOSED

•Anguilla (Road Bay)
•British Virgin Islands (Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, & Virgin Gorda)
•Guadeloupe (Gustavia)
•Dominica (Roseau)
•Puerto Rico (Ponce, San Juan, & Isabel Segunda)
•St. Maarten (Phillipsburg)
•Turks & Caicos (Grand Turk Island)
•U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, & St. Thomas)

In addition, the Florida Keys have reopened to travelers – ahead of schedule – following Hurricane Irma. Also, Mexico saw little impact to its tourism infrastructure following two recent earthquakes and Hurricane Katia, which made landfall in the eastern part of the country. Popular ports of call in Dominica, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan and Tortola hope to be operational by the end of the year.

For anyone planning a trip to a destination recently affected by a storm, AAA Travel experts offer the following tips.
Work with a travel agent, purchase travel insurance, stay informed, be flexible and check for AAA Diamonds.

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