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Traffic Accident: Quad collided with Police Vehicle

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday December 7th at approximately 4.50 pm. the Police Traffic Department was called to investigate a traffic accident that occurred.

A Police vehicle traveling down the hill on A.J.C Brouwers Road with sirens on, transporting a suspect, collided with a red quad traveling up the hill behind a grey van. Driver of the grey van pulled to the extreme right to allow the police vehicle to pass.

The driver of the quad who did not hear the sirens, started to pass the grey van and collided with the police vehicle. The driver of the quad got injured. He was not wearing a helmet.

The Traffic Department is busy investigating the incident. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

police inside

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TelEm Group, Computech attend Dell EMC briefing on Technology Innovation

SINT MAARTEN/CALIFORNIA - Sint Maarten telephone company TELEM GROUP, represented by CEO Kendall Dupersoy and Senior IT Administrator Edgardo Lynch, were at DELL EMC Executive Briefing Center in Santa Clara California this week.

The briefing was focused on Digital Transformation, specifically the challenges and opportunities resulting from technology innovation.

The visit was facilitated by DELL EMC Regional Manager Jose Torres and Computech NV represented by its Managing Partners Jean Arnell, Alain Roper and Senior Systems Engineer Johann Charlery.

The DELL EMC Executive Briefing Center offers a hands-on environment for businesses and governments to discover the value of DELL EMC portfolio of products and services, specifically for next generation Software-Defined Datacenters based on Hyper Converged Infrastructures.

The state-of-the art facility offers customized briefings on DELL EMC and partner technologies, and key design strategies relating to IT Transformation, Workforce Transformation, and required Security Transformation to better meet the specific needs.

The 2-day Strategy Briefing focused on DELL EMC current and future line of Networking, Servers, Storage and Disaster Recovery technologies as well as DELL EMC solution for Microsoft Azure Stack which delivers Azure functions and services on-premise.

“TELEM GROUP is embarking on major Digital Transformation initiative both internally and to support new customer needs. We are moving from a traditional server farm to a high-density, low TCO Hyper Converged IT Infrastructure to support business applications and new user cases like Bring your own device (BYOD), mobility and big data. For the local business community, we’ll be able to offer a new portfolio of software-based services which leverage existing cloud apps and the development of new apps,” said Mr. Dupersoy

Computech’s Jean Arnell said: “Our customers are challenged with transforming their datacenters to adapt to technology evolution, improve service delivery and customer experience. Building on our experience with Converged Infrastructures and the deployment of Private cloud solutions based on DELL MEC and Microsoft Hyper V, Computech is determined to successfully accompany the Sint Maarten telephone company on their datacenter transformation journey.” 

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A decision to dissolve parliament does not absolve any MP of his/her duties

PHILIPSBURG - A meeting that could have brought some answers to many lingering questions, was obstructed again by National Alliance (NA) Members of Parliament (MPs), MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press statement on Thursday.

“I dutifully followed the rules and vacated the chair’s seat to speak on the topic, only to see the same old games being played. This would have been the right place for ministers to clarify and respond to concerns that exist in the community.

“I expected the Minister of VROMI, who continues to rant on radio programs about the Simpson bay Lagoon to provide proof of his allegations; I expected information regarding the border control agreement, to allay fears that this agreement would infringe upon the open borders between the 2 sides of the island;

“I expected the answers to how the government was dealing with the finances of government, knowing that we have a serious budget deficit, and the 50 million guilders budgeted for extra coast because of hurricane Irma; as well as answers on the roof repair program and food voucher program.

“I wanted to know what government plans are for the homeless persons still in shelters at the Festival Village and the Little League ball park. I want(ed) to know what new labor policies are being devised, given the “new realities” of our labor market.

“I want(ed) to know the truth about pledges from (government-owned) companies. I wanted government’s take on the election resolution and the fact that the 3 months period, stipulated in the constitution, has not been observed.

“I wanted to know about insurance, adjusters and payouts in general, and for government and government companies in particular.

“Some argue that there is much happening and there is some truth to that. However, much more is happening, that is very questionable to say the least."

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Ombudsman says Government violated Marketplace vendors rights

PHILIPSBURG - In the case filed by a group of thirty Marketplace Vendors, the Ombudsman considered the Complaint founded, and ruled that the standards of Reason, Active and adequate information provision, and Reasonableness and proportionality have been violated.

On 12 October 2017 thirty (30) Marketplace vendors, represented by Mrs. Ingrid Grell-Davis (Complainants), informed the Ombudsman that they were negatively affected by the decision of the Minister of Tourism Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (Minister TEATT) to breakdown and remove all Kiosks in Philipsburg.

Complainants alleged that they were not consulted, nor informed on the matter, nor could their concerns be properly addressed by representatives of the Department of Economic Affairs. Pursuant to the law, the Ombudsman investigated whether the Minister of TEATT observed propriety in the decision and execution to remove and relocate the Marketplace kiosks without informing the affected vendors.

Responding to queries from the Ombudsman, the Minister of TEATT mentioned that a report dated November 16, 2016 established that the market was already in need of repair prior to the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Minister alleged that the damages sustained post Hurricanes Irma and Maria greatly exacerbated these conditions; the decision to remove the kiosks came due to the fact that all vending stalls were damaged.

The Ombudsman however established that according to a report dated 16 November 2016 from the ‘Marktmeester’ only five light poles and some tiles were damaged, while some bricks needed to be reset and water retainers for the palm trees needed to be replaced. No repairs were needed for the kiosks. Two damage assessments after the Hurricanes, dated respectively 27 September 2017 and 24 October 2017, showed that 3 of the 27 kiosks were destroyed beyond repair, 4 suffered structural damage and 20 lightly damaged, but could be repaired.

The Ombudsman therefore concluded that the facts provided in the request to the Ministry of VROMI by letter of 5 October 2017 to temporarily remove the kiosks were not covered by the reports provided by the Minister. Consequently, the Ombudsman observed that actions taken by government should be carried by facts and logic, communicated to the citizen.

The decision of the Minister lacks proper reason, motives and grounds. The standard of Reason has been violated. Proper reasons, motives and grounds should be provided and explained to the citizens affected by decisions made by government, as well as proportionality observed. A public body cannot act on the basis of its own discretion nor can it act randomly; every decision and action of a public body has to be properly motivated.

Notwithstanding the intention of the Minister to relocate the vendors, and as subsequently reported in the media, in order to provide the tourists an upgraded Marketplace experience, no tangible considerations regarding the impact of the decision has on the livelihood of the vendors were presented by the Minister in responding to the questions posed by the Ombudsman. Neither was a plan of approach presented to materialize the relocation of the vendors and safeguard their livelihood, nor was such timely discussed with the vendors.

On the contrary, relocation dates and information provided to the vendors after the intervention of the Ombudsman were not met.

The Complainants should have been informed promptly upon taking such a decision, which severely impacted their livelihood and that of their families. As such the ‘standard of active and adequate information provision’ has also been violated.

Pursuant to the “Landsverordening Openbare straathandel’, the Minister TEATT designates the place for keeping markets and issues the licenses to persons to sell merchandise on these locations. As such it behooved the Minister to carefully weigh the impact of the decision taken against the interests of the vendors. ‘The standard of reasonableness and proportionality’ requires that the negative consequences of an action to achieve a certain goal may not be disproportionate to the interests of the citizen, or group of persons.

The considerations presented by the Minister do not establish however that proportionality has been observed in the decision to (temporarily) remove and not restore the kiosks. In this light the Ombudsman observes that the standard of proportionality requires that the measure that interferes the least with the interest of the citizen should prevail and be employed.

The Ombudsman recommended the Minister: To ensure that at all times proper reasons, motives and grounds be observed, provided and explained to the citizen in general, and the complainants in particular, in all pending decisions. And to inform complainants in writing about the steps taken and the action plan regarding the relocation of the Marketplace structures, with copy to the Ombudsman.

The full report regarding this matter can be read on the Ombudsman website: ombudsmansxm.com

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Marella Discovery visit a success. Marella Celebration in port on Friday

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Marella Discovery of Marella Cruises, formerly Thomson Cruises, and part of the TUI Group, the world’s leading travel company, was the second commercial cruise ship to visit Port St. Maarten.  The vessel docked along the cruise pier on Tuesday, December 5. 

Cruise passengers were welcomed with Caribbean music from Dow Steel Pan Band along with a welcome banner, stilt walkers, dancers and the Carnival Queens.  Port St. Maarten also distributed complimentary #SXMStrong wrist bands to passengers who came ashore.

Throughout the day activities were held on the Boardwalk near the Captain Hodge Wharf in Philipsburg that included a steel band; a mini-parade with the Youmay Drum Band, and DJ entertainment.  These were organized by the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in-part collaboration with the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Another area of similar activities was at the Walter Plantz Square.

The Captain and General Manager of Marella Discovery commented about the welcome received and were impressed with the stilt walkers and welcome sign.  During a presentation onboard, the Captain demonstrated his familiarity with the destination when he briefly spoke about the natural pool in Point Blanche.

“Once again, we have had a successful second cruise ship call.  This is the start of the 2017/2018 cruise season for the country. The partnership and collaboration with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been very instrumental in our engagement with welcoming the cruise lines and passengers back to our island.  

“We must continue welcoming our guests with the St. Maarten charm; being extra courteous and embracing cruise passengers over the coming weeks and months. This enhances the cruise passenger destination experience. Everybody has a role to play as we collectively build back monthly cruise numbers #SXMStrong,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Wednesday.     

The remaining cruise ship calls for December are: December 8, 17, 19, 25, 26, 27, 29, and 31. There will be two ships in port on Christmas day.

Marella Celebration, one of the smaller ships in the Marella fleet, will be in port on Friday, December 8.  The vessel was refurbished in 2012.  The cruise ship has a passenger carrying capacity of 1,264 and 520 crew/staff.  Marella Celebration will be back in port on Christmas day, one of two ships that will be visiting the destination on that day.

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Grandeur of the Seas will be the first RCI cruise ship to rediscover the marquee destination on December 17. 

The RCI ships and dates are as follows: Independence of the Seas, December 25 and 29; Jewel of the Seas, December 26; Freedom of the Seas, December 27; and Adventure of the Seas, December 31.

The planning to get Marella Cruises to return to the destination is due to the hard work of Port St. Maarten Management and Staff who have been working diligently to get cruise lines to return to the destination post-Irma.  Discussions took place over the past months and continued at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 24th FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show that took place in Mexico.

Discovery was launched in 2016, and is one of Marella Cruises biggest ships in its fleet.  The ship has a gross tonnage of 69,130; length of 264 meters; beam 32 meters; featuring 11 decks, 915 cabins and can carry 1,830 passengers and 753 crew and staff.

The highlights of Marella Discovery are an outdoor cinema, a rock climbing wall, a mini-golf course, five-storey atrium and an indoor pool. You can expect all of the cruise lines trademarks to be present, like a fantastic dining scene, a show lounge to rival the West End, and smart, contemporary interiors.

The Thomson Group (TUI) is part of TUI UK & Ireland which offers cruise holidays around Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia.  On the 9th of October 2017, TUI announced that Thomson Cruises would be rebranded in late October 2017 as Marella Cruises, with nearly all of the existing Thomson fleet adopting the name change.

Marella Cruises parent company Thomson Group (TUI) employs approximately 18,000 people. The company started back up in 1965 with the aim of making foreign travel accessible to all in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Besides Marella Cruises, the company also established an air wing called Thomson Airways back in 1962 (formally Britannia).  The airline has become the UK’s largest charter company based in Luton Airport, and has a fleet of 77 planes and flies to more than 80 destinations around the world taking over 5.5 million people on holiday each year.

Marella Cruises has seven ships in its fleet, namely, Thomson Majesty, Spirit, Marella Celebration, Marella Dream, Marella Discovery, Marella Explorer and Marella Discovery 2.

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Pavilions officially handed over to schools – Charlotte Brookson Academy and Mac High

POND ISLAND – Two of the three pavilions which were received by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, via the Karel Doorman from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) in the Netherlands were officially handed over to the Charlotte Brookson Academy (CBA) on the Ring Road and the MAC CSE in Ebenezer on Friday, December 1st. The pavilions were part of the emergency aid sent from the Netherlands.

The CBA, formally housed at the old Government Administration Building, sustained severe damage, therefore rendering the building unfit and unsafe for the students. The Minister of Education, Culture, youth and Sport, made provisions for the CBA to receive a pavilion to ensure the school was able to continue with classes in a safe and conducive environment for the students, teachers and faculty.

The MAC CSE lost the top part of the wooden structure of the building, which left the 4th and 5th formers and some subject classes, with little to no classroom space. The pavilion is located on an open lot, next to the school premises, which was strategically placed nearby the main campus to cater to students and facilitate the rotation of classes.

The CBA pavilion was placed on the Ring Road, in close proximity to the John Larmonie Center, where the students receive art classes and the L.B. Scot Sports Auditorium for physical education.

Minister Jacobs informed the students and staff, as well as the board members of CBA who were present for the handing over of the keys, of her excitement to see the performing arts school receive a structure they can now call home.

We experienced some delay in getting the pavilions usable for the schools. The preparatory works needed to erect the pavilions took some time, however, the Ministry ECYS would like to thank VROMI with the assistance of Windward Roads for ensuring the properties were well prepared for the foundation of the pavilions.

Thereafter, electricity, water and sewage lines had to be installed on the properties to ensure the safety and hygiene for the students and teachers. Furthermore, the air-condition units, which were originally sent, were incompatible with the electrical system on St. Maarten. OCW, after much deliberation came to a consensus to purchase the new AC units which would be compatible on our electrical feed.  

Minister Jacobs and the Ministry ECYS continue to work closely with the school boards to ensure all are well equipped to teach the students and ensure the students are not lagging behind with school material post Hurricane Irma.

Minister Jacobs handed over the keys to the front, back, classrooms and restroom doors and urged the students, teachers and faculty to utilize the pavilions to the full extent, keeping in mind they are temporary structures, which would not be able to endure too much wear and tear. 

PHOTO CUTLINE: Minister Silveria Jacobs with Board member of the MAC Clayton Holiday.

pavillion inside

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SMCP SAYS POSTPONING ELECTIONS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

PHILIPSBURG - Many people are saying they are fed up and tired of elections and that they are not going out to vote, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) Wycliffe Smith said on Wednesday.

“Since 2010 Sint Maarten has had three elections. In September 2010, August 2014, and September 2016. And on February 26, 2018 the voters of Sint Maarten will have to go to the polls for the fourth time since 2010. Four elections in eight years is an average of one election every two years. This frequent demand on the voter to go to the polls has resulted in voter fatigue and election apathy.

“SMCP truly understands the voter’s resistance to the upcoming parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, SMCP still encourages every voter to go out and vote! Your vote can make the difference in bringing about a change in parliament and consequently in government. Who knows, we may just get it right this time!

“Given the devastation to Sint Maarten due to hurricane Irma, elections should have been the last thing for the Government and the Governor to call for at this time. However, since the election process has been duly initiated according to article 59 of the constitution, the Government has no other choice than to uphold the constitution and let the people go to the polls on February 26, 2018.

“Being able to elect our members of parliament is one of our fundamental rights according to article 23 of the constitution. Under a normal governing cycle, this happens every four years. But, whenever government decides to dissolve parliament then, according to article 59, a new parliament must convene within three months.

“Unfortunately, the old electoral laws from the Island Council days were never amended and synchronized with the constitution of Sint Maarten. That is why there is now a serious conflict between the constitution and the electoral ordinance in relation to the election date and the time period between, for example, the closing of the voters’ registry, the registration of political parties with the Electoral Council and the establishing of the postulation date.

“If the Central Voting Bureau were to follow the time sequence specified in the election ordinance then the Bureau would need more than the three months stipulated in the constitution to complete the election process. The synchronization of the election ordinance with the constitution falls under electoral reform. The people of Sint Maarten expected that electoral reform would have taken place when the Governor extended the election date by six months in 2016 (namely from February 9th to September 26th).

“At that time, the five new parties contesting the 2016 elections objected to and protested this unconstitutional decision by the Governor, yet he still went ahead and postponed the elections in contravention of the constitution. Electoral reform will be one of the first laws SMCP intends to work on when elected to Parliament.

“Governments in Sint Maarten seem to have no respect for our constitution. In 2015 the Marlin Government disregarded article 59 of the constitution by postponing the elections by six months. SMCP understands that the incoming UP/DP/Brownbill government also intends to submit a national ordinance to the Governor for the postponement of the upcoming February 26th elections. SMCP hopes that the Governor will uphold the constitution this time and not bow to political pressure to postpone or cancell the elections.

“According to the normal election cycle, elections would have been held in 2020. However, thanks to former Prime Minister, William Marlin and Governor Eugene Holiday, the people of Sint Maarten are once again required to go to the polls prematurely. The decision to invoke article 59 was seemingly Marlin’s attempt to strike back at the parliament that had given him and the majority of his cabinet a vote of non-confidence.

“In other words, parliament was penalized for doing its job which is to give oversight, monitor and control the government. It should be that if Parliament is of the opinion that the government is not doing a good job then Parliament has all rights to send the government home by way of a vote of non-confidence.

“Even though there are suggestions to remove article 59 from the constitution, SMCP is of the opinion that this article has its place in our constitutional system of checks and balances. Article 59 was included in the constitution in case parliament failed to execute its duties. For example, if Parliament does not call meetings, does not review and pass laws submitted by the government and as a result the functioning of government is grossly stagnated or impeded, then government has the right, according to article 59, to dissolve parliament on behalf of the people and call for new elections.

“However, we, the people, do not expect government to abuse this right and use article 59 as an instrument for retaliation. Rather, it should be used as a last resort to ensure that the people get a proper functioning parliament.

“Like it or not, the election process is in motion according to the constitution and any postponement or cancelation at this time would be a serious violation of our constitution. SMCP hopes that this time the Governor will not yield to any political pressure to postpone or cancel the upcoming elections on February 26th 2018,” Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party concludes.

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The Netherlands Red Cross: helping thousands of people on St. Maarten. Relief supplies distributed to over 26,700 hurricane survivors

SIMPSON BAY - In the first three months after the devastating Hurricane Irma, the Red Cross has distributed relief supplies to more than 26,700 people on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

However, the heavily damaged island still needs support as families rebuild their lives. The focus of the Red Cross relief effort is now shifting towards helping the vulnerable towards reconstruction.

Many families in St. Maarten remain in a desperate situation after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the island on 6 September of this year. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, people were in immediate need of basic items such as clean drinking-water, food and tarpaulins.

Up until early November, the Red Cross focused its efforts on distributing these emergency supplies, providing 117,000 liters of clean drinking water, 27,000 jerry cans, 8,000 food packages, almost 12,000 tarpaulins, 140 shelter kits, and 1,300 hygiene kits.

Missing persons

However, the population needed more than just relief supplies. The severe hurricane paralysed the island’s communications network. Many people were in a state of panic, as family members could not contact each other, and many of them asking themselves: are my loved ones still alive? A total of 481 people from 30 countries were reported as missing.

Specialist

Red Cross teams based in both The Hague and on St. Maarten worked to identify those who were missing and many families were reunited. There are currently 15 requests for people to get in touch again that are unresolved.

In the coming months slowly but surely, daily life is returning to normal on St. Maarten. However, damage from the hurricane remains evident and, the tourism industry - the island’s major source of income - has not yet rebounded. Aid is still needed urgently.

The Red Cross is currently working with the Dutch festival organiser Open House to provide breakfasts and hot lunches on schooldays to approximately 4,000 children at 18 state primary schools.

More than 21,000 vulnerable people, such as the elderly and people with an impairment, are receiving Red Cross food vouchers that allow them to purchase groceries in certain supermarkets.

This month, the Red Cross is also launching its shelter repair programme which will provide technical expertise and materials to those most vulnerable whose homes are damaged, yet repairable.

The Red Cross will advise people on the best way to rebuild their homes so that they are better able to withstand severe weather conditions in the future. This approach allows homeowners to choose for themselves which materials they need the most and provides a boost to the local economy.

This relief effort by the Red Cross is made possible by donations. The VNG association of Dutch municipalities has mobilised its municipalities to donate, and the Association of Funds for the Caribbean region of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has also made a significant contribution to our activities. A quarter of the 17.8 million euros for aid that has been donated has already been utilized on providing aid or has been committed to ongoing projects.

red cross inside 2

red cross inside

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Wescot-Williams invites Council of Ministers to present reconstruction priorities

PHILIPSBURG - The parliament of St. Maarten has set aside this Thursday, December 7, 2017 to hear from the ministers individually and the Council of Minsters collectively on their plans and projects for the immediate recovery funding, Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Tuesday.

“The parliament is still awaiting the final NRP (Ed National Recovery Plan) as announced, but what we see are initiatives being taken by the individual ministers, mostly uncoordinated, while an overall plan of action is lacking. 3 months following hurricane Irma, there is no excuse for the absence of this plan.”

“In addition, I have again reminded the Council of Ministers of the urgency of the draft ordinances that would establish the Integrity Chamber and the amended budget 2017.”

“Neither the draft ordinance Integrity Chamber or the amended budget 2017 has been received by the parliament. The president of Parliament reminds the government that there is a legislative process that must be followed in parliament before any ordinance can be passed, such as the mandatory handling in a central committee, reports and responses from government if necessary.

“With Parliament’s upcoming recess, government is requested to put some urgently in finalizing these drafts at government’s level.

“We await with much anticipation government’s response to the invitation to present government’s recovery projects, as again we have been reminded by amongst others, State Secretary R. Knops, that this plan of approach is also being awaited by the Dutch government to release any of the 3 financial funding streams, be it budgetary, early recovery projects or sustainable rebuilding. However, the 2017 budget and the Integrity Chamber are conditions that still apply.

“In addition, the mutual agreement on border control which seems to have been signed by the government of St. Maarten and the Dutch government is yet to be received by parliament and made public.

“There has been a lot of discussion about this border agreement, however it must be stated that from day one it was made clear that the expanded role of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee would resort under the St. Maarten Minister of Justice.

“In this light, the Minister of Justice of St. Maarten also needs to be clear on this agreement and its workings, if any, as far as our symbolic borders inside of St. Maarten are concerned.

“The public’s sentiment regarding this agreed upon border control is one of understanding as far as our external borders are controlled. However, there is some concern regarding this agreement enforcing controls between the two sides of the island.

“This in my opinion is a none issue, however it is the Minister’s responsibility to make this clear and emphasize the government’s stance that we respect and honor our dual island status, our people and our culture.”

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Doncher announces return of Disney Cruise Line in January

PORT ST. MAARTEN—Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Tuesday announced that the Disney Fantasy cruise ship will be returning to the destination in January 2018, a major accomplishment for destination St. Maarten. The Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. The vessel will also be making several port calls in February and March.

"We are very excited to welcome Disney back to our shores. This shows great confidence in the destination and our product and we thank Disney Cruise Line for being a great partner to St. Maarten as we continue to rebound from a very difficult year.

"Despite what we recently went through with hurricane Irma, we aim to maintain St. Maarten as a premier destination of choice for cruise visitors through meticulous planning, new experiences and a commitment to excellence."

The Minister also used the opportunity to commend the hard work and effort of Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison and Business Development Officer at Port St. Maarten Alexander Gumbs, who were key in ensuring that Disney made it back to St. Maarten.

She explained that Brison and Gumbs were both integral in these discussions over the last weeks as the destination ramped up its marketing and communication efforts to showcase that St. Maarten has a great product that can be offered to the passengers of Disney.

"It is important to highlight the efforts of St. Maarten's young professionals who together with all stakeholders will lead the revitalization and re-invention of our cruise product. We must continue to put our faith and confidence in them as they have shown they can get the job done," the Minister said.

Disney Fantasy entered service in March 2012.  The vessel is 130,000 tons; 1,115 feet long, 121 feet wide, and 14 passenger decks high. The vessel has a passenger capacity of 4,000 and carries 1,458 crew.

Since its launch in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer.

Guests can sail out of ports around the world on exciting itineraries to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Alaska and Europe, among others. The homeport for Disney Cruise Line remains Port Canaveral, Florida, where it has its own specially designed cruise terminal.

Disney Cruise Line currently operates four ships, namely, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.  Three additional ships are to join the lines fleet in 2021, 2022, and 2023.  

Disney Cruise Line was distinguished as Best for Families by the 2016 Cruise Critic Editor’s Picks Awards; named Best Cruise Line by Conde Nast Traveler 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards #1 Top Large Cruise Ship; and for the 2017 Cruise Critic Cruiser’s Choice Awards, the cruise line was honored with eight first-place honors, including Best Overall Ship in both Large and Mid-Size categories.

 PHOTO CUTLINE: Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison (left) and Business Development Officer at Port St. Maarten Alexander Gumbs (second from right) with Disney Cruise Line Officials.

Rolando and Alex

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