Cruise ship arrivals signal Puerto Rico's continued recovery

Bands and musicians entertained cruise passengers who arrived in San Juan on Nov. 30.
Bands and musicians entertained cruise passengers who arrived in San Juan on Nov. 30.

As a sign of recovery from the hurricanes, more than 7,500 cruise passengers arrived in San Juan this week, marking the return of cruise ships to the island.

Viking Cruises' 930-passenger Viking Sea was the first cruise ship to arrive on Nov. 27.

On Nov. 30, Royal Caribbean's 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas and Carnival Cruise Line's 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest were greeted with a Puerto Rican-style welcome from BatuPlena percussion bands and street performers.

Activities for the passengers during their cruise calls included salsa classes, rum and coquet tastings, artisan markets, children' s fairs and excursions to nearby attractions.

More than 58 cruise calls are scheduled in December, bringing an estimated 110,000 passengers and an economic impact of approximately $25 million.

More than 100 hotels are now open and operating in the San Juan area. First responders currently lodged at hotels will begin departing to the rest of the island or abroad by mid-December when more inventory will become available for travelers.

Currently, 51% of Puerto Rico has electricity, much of it in the San Juan area. Gov. Ricardo Russello's goal is to have 95% of the island back on the electric grid by Dec. 15.

Hotels plan to kick off the winter season on Dec. 20.


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