Nov. 28, 2005 St. Croix's bid to attract a cruise ship visit, even if only for refueling, hit a snag Sunday when rough seas on the west end of the island pre-empted a ship's call. The inclement weather led fuel-supplier HOVENSA to canceling the planned bunkering of fuel to the Serenade of the Seas which made the journey to St. Croix from a St. Thomas port call.
Ivin Milligan, the cruise liaison for the Tourism Department, said the decision was HOVENSA's after an assessment was made. "The rough waters and high waves could have made the refueling dangerous."
It was the second time this month that plans for a Cultural Bazaar in Frederiksted were scrapped. Street vendors and entertainers prepared throughout the afternoon on Sunday for the evening visit by the Royal Caribbean Cruise liner only to have their hopes dashed. Instead, by early evening, vendors were packing up their goods and heading home. On the first visit Nov. 6, the refueling did take place but passengers were not allowed off the vessel due to an island-wide power outage. On Wednesday night, cruise passengers did get off the ship when the Radiance of the Seas made a fuel stop on St. Croix.
So far, Royal Caribbean (RCCL) is the only cruise line to have committed to making stops on St. Croix for refueling. The cruise line receives discount fuel from the HOVENA refinery. Other refueling stops are set for December 7 and 18 at the Frederiksted Pier.
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