86.8 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, October 4, 2022


What CAN my country do to attract more cruise passengers? To answer this question I took myself out to the end of the dock in Frederiksted, gazed at the fantastic view of the waterfront, and began to ponder this question.
Some ideas came to mind immediately such as renovating the historic buildings lining Strand Street, planting trees for shady areas in which to rest and enjoy the beauty of the sea, and creating a cultural scene around
the Fort Frederik.
As I pondered these ideas, I realized the most pressing problem was that we needed more dock space. Presently our dock can only accommodate two ships at a time. There have been times when our dock already had two ships tied up and the other ships have to anchor out in the ocean and ferry the
passengers to shore. This takes away from the time the passengers get to spend on the island and many people are uneasy about taking the small boats to shore.
Another problem I identified was the need to spruce up the waterfront as well as the downtown areas of St. Croix. Old broken down buildings need to be cleaned up and repaired, and new gingerbread needs to be placed on the
buildings. As I gazed at the Frederiksted waterfront I saw old buildings that needed to be renovated and repainted in vibrant Caribbean colors creating a brilliant palette that excites the eye. As one walks from the
cruise ship dock to land one encounters the beautifully bricked area recently redone for the celebration of freedom. One also sees the old scale house renamed the Oscar E. Henry building where the Energy Office is located. In my opinion, The Energy Office should be moved from the bottom floor to the second floor freeing up the bottom floor as a Visitor Welcoming and Information Center.
Old Fort Frederik could be turned into an actual working fort in which people recreate history and show the island visitors the daily life as it was in the 1700’s. Visitors could interact with history and come away with a new appreciation of life in the Caribbean.
In addition to the work that needs to be done on the buildings, more natives need to be out at the docks welcoming the passengers in traditional clothing and demonstrating traditional dances such as Quadrille. Booths could be set up giving passengers small samples of the local foods and drink and telling them where they might be able to find these items on island. Local Scratch bands could be present and playing Calypso, our traditional music, so that the passengers could start to enjoy the island life immediately. Mocko Jumbies, glass dancers, fire dancers and steel pan orchestras could be present to make the island life really come alive.
And finally, the most important of all is advertising. The Virgin Islands specifically St. Croix must be well advertised in all media. Magazine ads, newspaper ads, television and the Internet are all places to show the best and most beautiful island of all!
There is so much that my island has to offer to visitors. It has been hidden for so many years. The culture and history of the island needs to be brought back alive. I believe that once some of these changes are made more
cruise passengers will soon be flowing into the island.
Miss Julia V. Beresford
St. Croix Country Day School
Finalist of the 1999 Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Children’s Essay Contest

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