Grenada - When Grenada welcomed its first megaship since Hurricane
Ivan with the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit
earlier this month, tourism and cruise line officials already had
carried out inspection certification tours to determine Grenada's
taxi drivers and other providers had gone through service
orientation workshops before the ships arrived. They wore T-shirts
and badges identifying them as certified to do business with
visitors. Sites and attractions that could be revitalized in the
short run were identified for the inspections.
Edwin Frank of the
Grenada Board of Tourism said cruise passengers were handed
information sheets that described Ivan's path over the island and
the damage left in its wake.
"We told our
vendors, store clerks, taxi drivers and restaurant workers that
they had to know how to respond to visitors' questions regarding
the storm," Frank said. "Many visitors coming to our island now had
never before seen what a hurricane can do."
He said cruise ship
arrivals "effectively ushered in the winter season."
Radio messages were
broadcast throughout Grenada before ships arrived to "let the
locals know to be their wonderful selves," Frank said.
were welcomed with steel bands and a chorus of students from St.
George's Anglican Senior School. The pier was festively decorated
with bunting and balloons.
also printed descriptions of sites to be visited on the island
tours. Frank explained that Ivan's winds had ripped many of the
permanent plaques and markers from the sites.
Grenada, passengers were asked to participate in a survey to gauge
their reactions to various aspects of their island
nutmeg-processing plants, a rum distillery, parts of the rain
forest, the national park and a couple of beaches were visited on
the island tours.
Because Ivan did
not create a big surge or high seas, Grenada's reefs and wrecks
were not disturbed by the storm, according to Frank.
Snorkel and dive
tours can be arranged through Aquanauts Grenada dive shop at True
Blue Bay Resort near St. George's.
Dive Grenada at the
Flamboyant Hotel will open next month. Eco Dive & Trek, with
locations at Coyaba Beach Resort and Allamanda Beach Resort, is
closed, as is ScubaTech at the Calabash Hotel.
Grenada hotels that
are open or soon will open include Bel Air Plantation, the Calabash
Hotel, Grenada Grand Beach Resort (its conference center is
closed), Allamanda Beach Resort (some rooms open), True Blue Bay
Resort (fully operational by Dec. 1), the Mariposa Hotel and the
The Laluna reopens
on Nov. 25, the Flamboyant Hotel will reopen on Dec. 20 with 36 of
its 61 units and Blue Horizons Garden Resort plans a mid-January
further notice are Almost Paradise Cottages, the Grand View Inn,
Mamma's Lodge, the Palm Court Apartments, the Palm Grove Guest
House, the Pelican Inn, South Winds Holiday Cottages &
Apartments and Villamar Holiday Resort.
The Coyaba, which
plans to be back in operation in November 2005, begins
reconstruction next month and will upgrade "from a three-star hotel
to a five-star hotel," according to Richard Cherman, the resort's
Spice Island Beach
Resort plans to open its doors on Dec. 1, 2005.
Rex Grenadian will
be closed until September, and the Siesta Hotel hopes to open in
At LaSource, owner
Leon Taylor said that although Ivan's powerful winds damaged the
resort's roofs, windows, tiles, glass and doors, and the sea blasts
corroded much of the hardware, "the structure survived because it
was built to South Florida codes."
Taylor said he
plans to "redo and upgrade the whole resort."
"We will reopen
next December better than ever," he said.
Many on Taylor's
staff have temporarily moved to other resorts in the Caribbean,
although Taylor maintains a core group to operate the resort and
grounds until reconstruction begins.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to[email protected].