Expected protests in San Juan have led two cruise lines to cancel scheduled calls on July 22, even as two other lines affirmed plans to continue with turnarounds on July 21 in the Puerto Rican capital.

The cancellations are from the Celebrity Equinox and the MSC Seaside, according to a statement from the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. The loss of the call from the Celebrity ship will cost the Puerto Rican economy $311,000 while the larger MSC Cruises ship will cost an estimated $439,000, the statement said.

Calls have been made for a general strike in San Juan on July 22 as part of ongoing protests of the conduct of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello.

On July 15 and 16, Royal Caribbean International canceled calls by the Empress of the Seas and the Harmony of the Seas after protests occurred outside the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan. 

However, both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line were expected to carry out boarding for seven-day cruises departing on Sunday, July 21, on the Freedom of the Seas and the Carnival Fascination, respectively. The statement from the PRTC attributed a $1.3 million economic impact to those operations.

The main cruise ship piers are in Old San Juan, near the governor’s headquarters. PRTC said it tried to find alternative berths for ships during the protest. It said the Pan American Wharf near the convention center was one alternative, but the depth limit of 32 feet fell short of the 34-foot requirement of some ships.

The statement said cruise lines were also offered the option of using Ponce on Puerto Rico’s southern coast as a temporary port of call, but the logistics of getting there from Miami would mean a ship would arrive in the evening and only be able to stay for a few hours.


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