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Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Takes Away Six More Calls To U.S. Virgin Islands

MIAMI — Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is canceling three port calls to St. Thomas and three port calls to St. Croix in retaliation for Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte’s firing of WICO Executive Director Clifford Graham in June, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

More cruise lines are likely to follow in lockstep, high-placed sources in Virgin Islands Tourism and the Virgin Islands Port Authority confirmed to the V.I. Free Press today, citing their disappointment in the re-hiring of embattled VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe June 26.

“This news is the biggest blow yet to Gov. Albert Bryan Jr’s fledgling first term in office as VIPA is currently promoting ‘progress’ on its website while at the same time it is losing port calls for the territory,” one source said. “It is the ultimate in hypocrisy — even by rudimentary governmental standards.”

Bryan’s predecessor, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp, was a one-term governor.

According to our sources, Disney Cruise Lines is most likely to jump off the USVI tourism bandwagon next. Disney Cruise Lines currently calls on St. Thomas only.

Some sources said that St. Croix was only losing two ports of call from RCCL.

Well-placed sources in the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) say it is also disappointed in Bryan’s tourism choices so far.

“When other cruises lines join Royal Caribbean, the message will become known to Boschulte and Bryan — if it isn’t already known to their deaf ears,” the source said. “The cruise ship industry is going to ‘change course now’ when it comes to U.S. Virgin Islands tourism. They feel Boschulte and Bryan are going in the wrong direction.”

Cruise lines sent 28 cruise ships to St. Thomas in June.

Royal Caribbean canceled eight scheduled cruise ship calls to the Austin “Babe” Monsanto Marine Terminal in Crown Bay in May.

At the time, RCCL blamed issues with the cruise ship Allure of the Seas’ propulsion system.

The following scheduled calls to Crown Bay by the Allure of the Seas were canceled:

  • May 16, 2019
  • June 6, 2019
  • June 27, 2019
  • July 18, 2019
  • August 8, 2019
  • August 29, 2019
  • September 19, 2019
  • October 10, 2019

VIPA said in May that the Oasis-class vessel is sailing at reduced speeds with only one of three “propulsion pods” working properly.

The cruise line said it has had to adjust its itineraries to eliminate destinations throughout the Caribbean that require high travel speeds.

RCCL has reportedly adjusted a total of 25 cruises – impacting eastern and western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale from May 5 through October 27.

Dowe was re-hired by VIPA after being fired by Governor Mapp.

Kenneth Mapp hired his brother David Mapp to replace Dowe as the VIPA executive director in 2015.

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VI Free Press

VI Free Press


  1. Anna Mae Grout
    July 13, 2019 at 11:19 AM — Reply

    That will be missed ST. THOMAS BUT ??? well u have to do what u have to do I guess? I think since I started cruising the cruising has totally changed and not so great as it use too be. I have done 28 in my time but now it is not so

    July 13, 2019 at 6:49 PM — Reply

    Its a shame.for any cruise line to cancel any ports of call. They only hurts the islanders that rely on there jobs . Plus the tour gides and workers slso suffer. So lets not and try to get even.

  3. Snarf Gagger
    July 13, 2019 at 7:44 PM — Reply

    Since the election of tRump incompetence reigns globally with political appointments. Can’t say much about the Comish, he is just taking cues from the moron in the US.

    • fRanS RegGaG
      July 13, 2019 at 10:21 PM — Reply

      You must be a fruit cake

      • Angela
        July 14, 2019 at 9:32 PM — Reply

        To fRanS RegGaG – stop drinking the cool aid. Trump changed the world to the worse – lies, immorality, perversions, crime and total lack of skill and complete incompetence is what rules the word now. Fish spoils from the head and the head of this country is a f.cking criminal lying stupid moron.

    • Cindy L
      July 14, 2019 at 3:19 AM — Reply

      Wow…Blame it on President Trump 🙄
      With people like you it wouldn’t matter what he did…it would be wrong. Look at all the democratically controlled large cities in the US. How are most of them doing? Detroit, L.A., Seattle, Chicago…that will tell you what political side has no clue how to govern. And it’s not Republicans.

    • arebee
      July 14, 2019 at 6:46 AM — Reply

      Yeah, like you. Way to blame YOUR president Trump for something else.

    • Angela
      July 14, 2019 at 9:32 PM — Reply

      To Snarf Gagger – you are absolutely correct!

  4. Theo
    July 14, 2019 at 2:44 AM — Reply

    They wanted to take over. St.Thomas,St.Croix and St.John (THE WHITE MEN. They are up to no good and also they are doing their Damn best to
    Disrupt our Tourist Economy. So you Leaders of the Virgin Islands better wake up and see. Because the things we who are in the main Land hear ,don’t sound good at blame yourself ,it was never Like this in the 60 nor 70s

  5. Nicola Richards
    July 14, 2019 at 8:09 AM — Reply

    Who are talking about Theo?How do you know WHITE MEN are taking over the VI Government and have ANYTHING to do with WICO’s decision?and seriously, I guess you DON’T live in the Virgin Islands is you think Trump has anything to do with government here, lol!!!

  6. N Richards
    July 14, 2019 at 8:20 AM — Reply

    Theo, what WHITE MEN are controlling WICO and the VI government? This has all to do with people within the VI Government playing games and fighting WITHIN the local government. Mapp’s team is like Hillary’s team, they can’t get over they lost the election!

  7. July 14, 2019 at 2:17 PM — Reply

    THEO is what scares us “white men” not to get off the ship. Ever since 2008, the stares at me because of my skin color, they want to kill me. I am Italian. I am green, but to the islanders, I am “white man”. They will starve because I will NOT allow my family to exit the ship at their ports.

  8. July 15, 2019 at 11:41 PM — Reply

    Royal Caribbean RCCL just contacted us, because we emailed them, and they said this article is FAKE NEWS. They said the contract goes until 2021, so this website needs to update this article with real factual information and stop putting fear into cruise travelers and the island people.

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