The first regular cruise call since they stopped 15 months ago was indeed a significant moment in the country’s recovery from this unprecedented socio-economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Celebrity Edge brought more than 1,500 passengers and crew, 95 per cent of whom were said to have disembarked.
If true, the latter spells good news, as do reports that some 70 taxi drivers transported about 300 persons coming from the port. With cabbies also getting a bit of much-needed work at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) again as of late, it appears the worst may finally be over for these sole entrepreneurs acting as “ambassadors” of St. Maarten/St. Martin.
It turned out that the family honoured as the symbolic first ones to arrive at the harbour had already been here years ago and decided to take an island tour for that reason. This indicates that repeat tourism is still a strong point of the destination.
One can therefore hardly overemphasise the importance of royal treatment and excellent service with a smile to help ensure a pleasant vacation experience and foster customer loyalty, because that is exactly what “the Friendly Island” is known for. Along with white sandy beaches, crystal-blue seas, picturesque lagoons and green hills, the warmth of its easy-going people can make a positive difference.