U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism officials have asserted the recent Carnival Glory call on St. Croix was a positive development that could contribute to the resurgence of cruise tourism on "The Big Island".
Deputy Commissioner of Tourism Neelia Ross thanked the island's cultural artists and businesses for ensuring the welcome extended to passengers and crew last Tuesday, February 19, reflected the warmth and hospitality for which Virgin Islanders are known the world over.
She shared that the Department of Tourism is placing a strategic emphasis on delivering a unique Crucian experience marked by superior customer service to all its guests. "Our Carnival Glory guests were very appreciative of the local treats, body care items and beverages that were shared," stated Ross, adding that passengers were also delighted with the musical entertainment, mocko jumbies and student performers.
Elizabeth Hansen-Watley, newly appointed U.S. Virgin Islands Assistant Commissioner of Tourism, noted that the department will continue to take every opportunity to showcase the natural, historic, and culinary aspects of St. Croix to first-time visitors as well as those who have not visited for a while.
"We want guests to explore our historic towns, enjoy a cruise ship dock that offers a nearby beachfront experience, or simply experience some local dining and camaraderie," she added, reporting the feedback from both passengers and crew was "outstanding".
"It was encouraging to hear that the visitors valued the special attention they received, and that they will long remember their visit to our shores," stated the department's Director of Visitor Experience Frances Williams-Augustin, who asserted that this was part of a new positive trajectory for cruise tourism on the island.
Carnival Glory's berthing marked the return of the world's largest cruise company to the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands after a long absence.
The month of February has offered many opportunities for St. Croix to shine, with events such as the 48th annual Agrifest agriculture and food fair bringing hundreds of visitors to experience the island's cultural and culinary vibrancy.