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Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten #250495
03/19/2021 10:46 AM
03/19/2021 10:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,205
Newtown , PA
bettenan Offline OP
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I just got this email from the CEO of Celebrity Cruises . I thought it was interesting (this is the main portion of the email, the rest is more of an advertisement.)

"For the last twelve months, I have been eagerly awaiting the day when I would be able to share the news of our return to service with you. And that day is finally here.

I am beyond thrilled to announce our long-anticipated return to cruising! Starting June 5th, our newly revolutionized Celebrity Millennium will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten and begin offering two seven-night cruise itineraries in the Caribbean.

I am forever grateful for a lot of things today. I am grateful for the loyalty and support you, our most loyal guests, have shown us over the past year. Your words of encouragement, concern for our crew and willingness to work through these challenging times with us means more than you will ever know. I am grateful for the leadership and collaboration of the St. Maarten Government for working with us to welcome our guests back to their beautiful island safely. And I am grateful for the entire team at Celebrity Cruises for working day and night to make this a reality. "

SXM Sponsors
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250500
03/19/2021 10:57 AM
03/19/2021 10:57 AM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Wow. Really??????? That is somewhat shocking to me. Are they going to fully open up SXM by then?? If it was April 1, I would say this was an April Fool's Day joke.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250501
03/19/2021 11:03 AM
03/19/2021 11:03 AM
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Posts: 3,205
Newtown , PA
bettenan Offline OP
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Carol, I was kind of surprised myself. But it appears to be true. My travel agent is reporting this too and he expects the cruises to book up fast.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250502
03/19/2021 11:08 AM
03/19/2021 11:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,548
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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So "Homeport in SXM" meaning eliminating the USA departure port and starting in SXM

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250503
03/19/2021 11:09 AM
03/19/2021 11:09 AM
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I actually wasn't aware that the 'no sail' orders had been lifted.. And this is less than two months away?? Wow. Double wow.

It starts June 5, so I guess that means Saturday to Saturday. Unless they are going to do charter air for it, you timeshare folks are going to have big competition for your Saturday to Saturday air!!!

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 03/19/2021 11:23 AM.

Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: boucharda] #250505
03/19/2021 11:10 AM
03/19/2021 11:10 AM
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boucharda--Yes. Shocking. No large ship has EVER home ported in SXM in the past. The biggest has been around 600-700 pax. I just find this weird.. .....says a person who has lived through the weirdest, saddest year that one could ever imagine...


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250507
03/19/2021 11:19 AM
03/19/2021 11:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,548
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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Hmmm...looks like things recently changed (March 16th) and the no cruise suspension ends on May31st for most

Cruise guidelines link


Last edited by boucharda; 03/19/2021 11:20 AM.
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250508
03/19/2021 11:21 AM
03/19/2021 11:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 246
Rhode Island
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The U.S. lifted the no sail order on Oct 30, but then implemented a framework for conditional sailing. But if they aren't going in to US ports then does the CDC have any jurisdictions?

Anyway - https://cruiseradio.net/celebrity-cruises-to-sail-from-st-maarten/
* vaccines required for adult guests and crew
* negative tests required for under 18 years old

"The first of the two itineraries being operated will call at Aruba, Barbados, and Curaçao, with the second itinerary visiting St. Lucia, Barbados, and Tortola."

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: boucharda] #250509
03/19/2021 11:21 AM
03/19/2021 11:21 AM
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Apparently the 'no sail' order only applies to cruises from US ports,


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: eightzerobits] #250510
03/19/2021 11:25 AM
03/19/2021 11:25 AM
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thanks for the link. Wow, big news for the island!! Good news for taxi drivers and others that depend on tourists!!!!!!!!!!


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250513
03/19/2021 11:46 AM
03/19/2021 11:46 AM
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Got the same email. Here is the link to the message if anyone wants to read the entire email:

http://bit.ly/3c2cYtt

More info is to come on March 25. All passengers and crew must be vaccinated. Looking forward to learning more.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250514
03/19/2021 11:54 AM
03/19/2021 11:54 AM
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Posts: 3,205
Newtown , PA
bettenan Offline OP
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They are offering "deals" which include "Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare taxes." We always drive to the port, so I have no idea what that is. The Millennium holds 2,138 passengers.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250515
03/19/2021 11:58 AM
03/19/2021 11:58 AM
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Posts: 18,136
St Maarten
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Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: BillandElaine] #250517
03/19/2021 12:07 PM
03/19/2021 12:07 PM
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Of course, that story is incorrect about the timing of the PCR test, if a person is from the US.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250522
03/19/2021 12:36 PM
03/19/2021 12:36 PM
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According to this story passengers will NOT be limited to ship shore excursions. St. Maarten/St. Martin locals better get onboard to be vaccinated.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250530
03/19/2021 01:22 PM
03/19/2021 01:22 PM
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Getting potentially over 2,000 people flying in to cruise out on a Saturday along with the normal number of people flying in to the island will require many more flights I would think.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Dutchman] #250535
03/19/2021 01:59 PM
03/19/2021 01:59 PM
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Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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...or charter flights arranged by Celebrity ...otherwise not a good idea for low prices for the other SXM arrivals on a Saturday

Last edited by boucharda; 03/19/2021 02:00 PM.
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250543
03/19/2021 02:53 PM
03/19/2021 02:53 PM
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Auburn, WA
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Better get PJIA done real quick.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250544
03/19/2021 02:57 PM
03/19/2021 02:57 PM
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Hearls Article.LINK

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250547
03/19/2021 03:15 PM
03/19/2021 03:15 PM
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Niagara Region Ontario Canada
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"Better get PJIA done real quick"
Now that's funny laugh

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: boucharda] #250550
03/19/2021 04:00 PM
03/19/2021 04:00 PM
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Prices include air, so perhaps they are going to do some charters.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250561
03/19/2021 05:40 PM
03/19/2021 05:40 PM
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I got the same e-mail and it did surprise me a bit. We have cruised with Celebrity in the past and it has already been a first class experience. The Millennium is kind of medium-sized ocean ship with a capacity of 2,200 passengers. So, good for them that they are targeting St. Maarten as a starting point for cruises involving a ship of this size. This is also good news for hotels in the Philipsburg area (such as Holland House), because people will likely arrive a day or two before their cruise and need a place to stay for a few nights. One caveat, however that presently exists for those wishing to cruise is that most (if not all) the cruise lines are prohibiting 'free-lance' explorations when the ship makes port. This means that to get off the ship at the ports-of-call you must be signed up with an 'official' shore excursion offered by the cruise line. These are often too expensive and too restrictive in my opinion, and my wife and I have always preferred arranging our own transportation when discovering places on a cruise. This will hopefully change soon if the COVID numbers continue to improve, or if they eventually allow vaccinated people off the ship to do as they please.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250562
03/19/2021 05:41 PM
03/19/2021 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Of course, that story is incorrect about the timing of the PCR test, if a person is from the US.


I think the 72 hours is a Celebrity thing, not a St Maarten thing

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250563
03/19/2021 05:49 PM
03/19/2021 05:49 PM
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Posts: 13,685
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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Not a major cruise fan myself but happy for the various SXM industries that rely on cruise passengers for their livelihood, particularly the cab drivers usually based at the cruise port. I would imagine there will be a lot of pre and post sail offers coming down the pike, too. Anything to help the locals recover after what Irma and Covid dumped on them.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250565
03/19/2021 05:51 PM
03/19/2021 05:51 PM
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MILford,CT.
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bonsie Offline
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Got the same email. The good news for us is that we are spending two weeks in Sxm and do to fly home on June 12. Now we are going to return
our rental car to Lesley and then get on the Celebrity Millennium and the fly home at the end of the cruise. What a unexpected surprise. Also Lesley from Kenny car rental will help us return the car and get to the cruise port. We are so excited.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bonsie] #250568
03/19/2021 06:18 PM
03/19/2021 06:18 PM
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MILford,CT.
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bonsie Offline
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Also, the Millennlium will sailing out of SXM at 40% and everyone will have to have proof of being vaccinated

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250572
03/19/2021 06:39 PM
03/19/2021 06:39 PM
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Isn't it interesting that Celebrity cruise lines is home porting in SXM for 3 months. Wasn't it Royal Caribbean cruise lines that wanted to build some
some kind of adventure park by the cruise port....HMMMM.. guess who owns Celebrity cruise lines. Your right ROYAL Caribbean CRISE LINES. Anyway, if all goes well we will be on the second sailing out of SXM.

Last edited by bonsie; 03/19/2021 06:42 PM.
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250573
03/19/2021 06:44 PM
03/19/2021 06:44 PM
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What I would love to see in the future is this Celebrity cruise ship include itineraries that would include St. Barth's, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. A true cruise of the French West Indies. I'd sign up for that (after spending a few days on St. Maarten first). Cruising to the 'ABC' islands from SXM is a much longer haul.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: SammyM] #250574
03/19/2021 06:49 PM
03/19/2021 06:49 PM
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MILford,CT.
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If all goes with the 3 months test period then it might be possible. BUT, you would probably have to do a tender at ST. Bart"s. Also, this may be the beginning of telling the CDC and the U.S, that we can sail out of other ports because your restrictions are to strict.

Last edited by bonsie; 03/19/2021 06:52 PM.
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bonsie] #250575
03/19/2021 06:54 PM
03/19/2021 06:54 PM
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Great idea. Hopefully the thinking is you are healthy enough to enter Sint Maarten and therefore they can arrange aruba, curacao as fellow dutch stops llus barbados. At least your dealing mostly with similar entities and might oull a cruise off. We want to go but we will wait to see a cruise actually occur with some of the advertised stops. We would go on a cruise to nowhere if guranteed reentry to the port of embarkation. I should late that “cruise to nowhere”.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: SammyM] #250576
03/19/2021 06:59 PM
03/19/2021 06:59 PM
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Sammy--I posted a link above in this thread that said that they are NOT going to prohibit free lance excursions, that people will be able to venture out on their own.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: PelicanPirate] #250577
03/19/2021 07:04 PM
03/19/2021 07:04 PM
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MILford,CT.
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WE are both vaccinated completely. We would be going on the second cruise out of SXM. All I have to do is change the return flight home to JFK .

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250578
03/19/2021 07:11 PM
03/19/2021 07:11 PM
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Carol.
Thanks for your post. I did not see that before. That makes me happy and I think that's because everyone has to show documents of being vaccinated
before boarding

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: SammyM] #250585
03/19/2021 09:21 PM
03/19/2021 09:21 PM
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there are cruise lines that do cruise like that, Windstar went out of Philipsburg and hit many smaller islands, and on the French side I think Regent had a small ship that left from Marigot and hit the small islands

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250595
03/20/2021 07:29 AM
03/20/2021 07:29 AM
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boucharda Online content
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Interesting....presently all visitors to Aruba and Barbados for instance need a neg PCR test within 3 days of entry. Aruba, like SXM, needs their insurance purchased. Is all this being waived because all passengers are immunized? ...if so why aren't the arrivals by air to any Caribbean Island also allowed entry if immunized? I can understand waiving the insurance requirement but testing? Also persons returning to SXM after the cruise....do they again need tests?

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bonsie] #250596
03/20/2021 07:35 AM
03/20/2021 07:35 AM
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Actually cool , just saw this posing and decided to read the details. Once their is proper procedure , this will be great for the Island.

Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: boucharda] #250598
03/20/2021 08:15 AM
03/20/2021 08:15 AM
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boucharda - If you would read any of the links that I posted, a) YES a negative PCR test is required before the person is allowed onboard and b) YES people are required to do a Covid test before re-entering the US, as that is a US requirement and could not be waived by a cruise line, even if they wanted to. So, in short, in addition to everyone having been vaccinated, they have to do all the protocols that are required of land visitors, except the insurance, which is kind of illogical in this circumstance anyway.

With regard to the SXM insurance, to me, it's only practicality is for the cost of quarantine. There would be no need to quarantine anyone on land in SXM because on arrival, they would be coming in and going directly to the ship anyway. The vaunted medical evac supposedly provided would NOT be sufficient to evac someone off the island, at $20,000 for the evac. And if the person was that sick, that they needed evac, they would never be able to arrive on the plane to SXM to begin with. At the end of the cruise, the person could be sick, yes, but I assume, without knowing, that SXM has an agreement in place that the cruise line would get the person off the island. Those that are fully vaccinated should not be getting deathly ill anyway, so hopefully that shouldn't be an issue.

It could be also that the cruise line will require everyone to purchase insurance from THEM to cover Covid. Frankly, I would put a LOT more confidence in insurance through the cruise line, versus through SXM.


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: kim] #250599
03/20/2021 08:25 AM
03/20/2021 08:25 AM
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Kim--respectfully, this is a whole NOTHER ball game than the cruises that have left out of SXM before. The largest ships to ever home port in SXM were roughly one QUARTER the size of this ship, at around 500-600 pax. And the ones like Wind Star, which have been home porting in SXM for quite a while, average around 200 pax.

My only concern in the whole deal is air, but they are pricing the cruises with air and thinking about it, they HAVE to be doing charter air, based on the numbers. The ship holds about 2,000, at full capacity. I doubt very much they will be running at full capacity, probably around 3/4, which would be 1500 people. It's likely that at least 10% of those will do their own air, so they could spend a few more days on either end of the cruise on land. That would leave 1350 people all trying to arrive on a Saturday at Juliana. Since your average 737 holds about 169 pax, fully loaded, you are talking approximately NINE 737's extra of people on a Saturday. So, my feeling is that there is no way those people are even going to go inside Juliana, or at least, not in the regular c & i lines. I figure they will be bussed directly from the plane to the cruise port. OR there will be some tents set up outside Juliana to process them in, and then they are bussed from there to the cruise port.

The cruise lines have had nothing much else to plan for the past year, so I think that they will figure these things out, to make the most sense for their passengers. And putting them all through the regular lines at Juliana would make ZERO sense.

Kind of exciting for ME personally is that we will get to see all this kind of up close and personal, from Beachside Villas, come June!! circle


Carol Hill
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #250613
03/20/2021 08:50 AM
03/20/2021 08:50 AM
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boucharda Online content
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That was not what I asked. I read and am very aware of the requirements to get ON the ship and the requirements to re-enter the USA,,,,not the issue. I

If the cruise is only a three day cruise then getting of the ship at any port would not be an issue...but...I will go out on a limb here and assume the cruises will exceed the three day limit for testing....so on day four you get off in Aruba..no PCR test? On day five you get to Barbados...no PCR test? Day seven you return to SXM....no PCR test?

THAT was my question

Edit: this does not even consider the permission to enter form (EHAS or similar) that is needed for arrivals by air

Last edited by boucharda; 03/20/2021 08:56 AM.
Re: Celebrity Cruises and St Maarten [Re: bettenan] #250614
03/20/2021 08:51 AM
03/20/2021 08:51 AM
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Carole said “ The cruise lines have had nothing much else to plan for the past year, so I think that they will figure these things out, to make the most sense for their passengers.”

Yup, and they are tired of the CDC continuing to change the goalposts! Looks like they have decided to take the US government tyrants out of the equation.

Royal Caribbean also just announced seven night cruses originating from Nassau. Adventure of the Seas

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