Tourism & Cruises

Two more cruise ships bypass Puerto Rico as thousands protest against Governor Rosselló

Puerto Ricans expected to take to the streets again

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans are expected to attend a national strike on July 22, 2019 after governor Ricardo Rosselló refused to resign.
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Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans are expected to attend a national strike on July 22, 2019 after governor Ricardo Rosselló refused to resign.

Two cruise ships canceled Monday stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as people in the Caribbean island promised another day of protests against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Monday marks the 10th day of protests demanding the governor resign in the wake of federal corruption charges against his administration and the publication of a profane private chat among Rosselló and his political allies. As the number of protesters outside the governor’s mansion has ebbed and flowed, so has the arrival of cruise ships carrying thousands of tourists.

For the first time since the protests began, cruise ships arrived in San Juan on Thursday and Sunday. But as thousands of people planned to block one of the city’s main highways on Monday, Miami-based Royal Caribbean International and Geneva-based MSC Cruises decided to divert their ships.

Instead of docking in San Juan on Monday, the Miami-based Celebrity Equinox ship will sail to St. Thomas and the Fort Lauderdale-based MSC Seaside ship to St. Maarten. These are the third and fourth ships to skip San Juan since the protests began.

“The safety and security of our guests and crew is our number one priority,” said Paige Rosenthal, a spokesperson for MSC Cruises.

Carla Campos, executive director of Puerto Rico’s tourism administration, said the companies canceled Monday’s scheduled stops in San Juan because local excursion companies canceled services. Campos estimates that Monday’s cancellations in addition to the two cancellations last week have cost the Puerto Rican government $2.5 million.

Campos said there have not been any cancellations announced for the rest of the week. Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas ship and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Conquest ship are scheduled to dock in San Juan on Tuesday.

“We continue to monitor the situation and don’t anticipate any changes,” said Vance Gulliksen, a spokesperson for Carnival.

On Sunday, Rosselló announced that he would not seek reelection in 2020, but said he plans to continue in office until then.

Over 100 people showed up at the Torch of Friendship on Sunday, July 21, 2019 to show their support for the protests taking place in Puerto Rico for the last week, demanding the governor's resignation over explosive leaked messages.

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Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.
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