Cruise Lines Cancel St. Kitts in Wake of Robbery

Posted Nov 16th 2010 09:35 AMUpdated Nov 16th 2010 02:30 PM


Cruise lines have been quick to react to the armed robbery of a busload of Celebrity Cruises passengers in St. Kitts by canceling visits to the Caribbean island.

A spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines tells AOL Travel News a call at St. Kitts by the Carnival Miracle, scheduled for today, has been canceled "as a precautionary measure," while the line awaits information from tourism and law enforcement officials on the island.

Likewise, a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises says, "We did cancel Grand Princess' call to St. Kitts on November 17. Grand Princess and Emerald Princess are next scheduled ships to visit St. Kitts on December 1. We'll be monitoring the situation closely and we're hopeful we'll be able keep these scheduled visits."

The attack by the masked gunmen occurred over the weekend as passengers from the Celebrity Mercury were visiting Brimstone Hill Fortress, a popular tourist spot on bus tours of the island.

The masked robbers reportedly blocked the road with a fallen tree and then emerged from the bushes to rob those on the bus. The armed gunmen then disappeared into the woods.

No one was injured in the incident. The robbers made off with valuables including cash, jewelry and cameras. Local police are investigating.

Celebrity Cruises has not canceled visits to the island but says its "Essential St. Kitts" shore excursion has been pulled from the line's tour roster indefinitely.

"The affected guests have been contacted by our Guest Care Team to offer assistance, if necessary," the cruise line says in a statement. A spokeswoman says the passengers were given a refund for the shore excursions.

The passengers were on a 12-night Caribbean cruise that departed Baltimore, Maryland on November 8th.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which has a visit by Norwegian Dawn scheduled for Nov. 25, says it is still assessing whether it will call at St. Kitts or not.

UPDATE: St. Kitts police say in a statement they have arrested four persons of interest in relation to the robbery, after a "number of operations were mounted" in the Sandy Point area "where scores of police officers and members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defense Force conducted several searches on homes, persons and vehicles." In addition, a special investigative task force has been created to investigate the incident and the island has "increased tactical patrols and uniform police presence in the tourism concentrated areas and other areas deemed vulnerable." Officials also called the robbery an "unprecedented act."

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Having lived in St. Kitts for a few years in connection to a university on the island, I can attest to Mutryce's comments that St. Kitts is a nation of hard working individuals and not a nation of

That is not to say that you will never encounter such individuals as Susan describes. However you will also encounter homeless individuals begging for money in every city in America. Not surprisingly, the
robbery left a bitter taste in Susan's mouth. I felt very safe living in St. Kitts. (The only time I have ever been robbed was in my hometown in the good old USA. Unfortunately, crime is not unique to islands in the Caribbean, is it?)

The island's turn toward the industry of tourism is still in its infancy and I hope that it will flourish. I know the government and people of St. Kitts have taken this robbery very seriously.

The island is full of breathtaking untouched beaches and views. I highly recommend a holiday and am really looking forward to a time when I will make a trip back.
Check it out:

January 10 2011 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a proud national of St. Kitts and Nevis I would first like to apologize for the November 14th 2010 act, which I term a domestic act of terrorism. I can assure Susan and many others who read this article that the Government is indeed doing everything to ensure that the island is made safe not only for tourists but for residents as well. It is quite sad that an island steeped in such rich history and culture has had to make international headlines in this way.

I must note that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but as a national of the federated state I was quite offended by the depiction of my native land by Susan. Although we are a developing state, dependent on Tourism and financial services, we are a nation of hardworking people, scholars and intellectuals and not a nation of destitute beggars or people living in abject poverty.

In ending I ask that the international community not allow the act of a few people tarnish the good name of our nation. Please visit St.Kitts and Nevis, do not be so quick to make judgments, get to know the people, learn the culture and history.

November 21 2010 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve Read

This incident was a one-off and it has shocked the whole island, which depends very heavily on the revenue brought in by 500,000 passengers a year.

Dropping St Kitts from itineraries because of one incident – the first serious crime against cruise guests in the island’s history, and remember, nobody was harmed and the two who committed it are now subject of an island-wide manhunt – would be a grotesque over-reaction.

You could argue that the cruise lines should pull out of Miami because there are, on average, eight robberies every day.

November 16 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steve Read's comment

Steve,I am appalled by your comment "Dropping St Kitts from itineraries because of one incident – the first serious crime against cruise guests in the island’s history, and remember, nobody was harmed and the two who committed it are now subject of an island-wide manhunt – would be a grotesque over-reaction". I was on that island that day and hearing that made me never want to go back there again!

This is a beautiful island with tons of poverty. I don't know what else these people do for money and should appreciate the cruise lines visiting thier island and spending money. The only thing I saw was people walking around downtown with nasty little monkeys in diappers on and forceing you to take picture of the monkey sitting on your soulder or head for money.

This island that use to export sugar but that dried up 5 years ago. They should really go out of their way to make sure another incident like this doesn't occur.

November 20 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its sad that the act of a few ignorant men is going to hurt so many families depending on those boats. I think their reaction is warrented by not coming to the island. Hopefully the island will up security or find the criminals. And i hope the cruise lines will consider coming back to the island as soon as possible.

November 16 2010 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

crime is rampant on the island and usually not reported by the cruise cos
who r in bed with the tour operators

November 16 2010 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why bother landing at Islands that can't protect visitors like St Kitts which has been having problems for years with crime and poor treatment of tourists. Mexico is another location that has problems in Resorts for Tourists. There are plently of locations to feel safe.

November 16 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is nothing new. In 2001, my partner and I witnessed an attempted mugging of two tourists on the island of St. Croix. Fortunately we were able to intervene and no one was hurt. This was during the day on a road within sight of the cruise ship that we had arrived on earlier that day. St. Croix has had it's share of problems with crime over the years, and I don't think the cruise ships stop there anymore.

November 16 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply