Grenada’s cruise tourism industry got a major boost when the winter season commenced with the arrival of the Norwegian Spirit on Tuesday November 9, 2004. This was followed by the arrival of the C Columbus Wednesday November 10th. These visits effectively ushered in the winter season, which had a belated start due to the impact of Hurricane Ivan.The importance of the arrival of approximately 2,000 passengers on the Norwegian Spirit on Tuesday was demonstrated by the red carpet welcome that was extended by the Ministry of Tourism and the Grenada Board of Tourism to both the passengers and crew. Apart from colourful buntings, balloons, and other decorations, there were students from the St. George’s Anglican Senior School on hand to shake the hands of arriving passengers. Steel band music filled the streets to add flavor to the special occasion.
In the build up to Tuesday’s success, the Grenada Board of Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism were hard at work ensuring that the required social and natural ambiance was in order to provide the visitors with an enjoyable visit to Grenada. In this regard, local and regional crews were deployed to remove the rubble and debris left in the aftermath of the hurricane. Sites and attractions that could be revitalised in the short run were identified for the relevant certification. An Inspection Certification Tour was conducted subsequently to establish the readiness of Grenada to accept cruise ship passengers.
Licensed vendors, taxi-drivers and other service providers who were exposed to service orientation workshops recently, wore special T-shirts and badges indicating that they were authorised and certified to engage in business activities with the visitors.
A survey was also conducted to determine the passengers’ thoughts on all aspects of the visit.