Visitors disembarking from a cruise ship on Thursday morning

Visitors disembarking from a cruise ship on Thursday morning

The Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard came alive on Thursday morning when Dominica welcomed its first two ships for the 2013 Cruise ship season.

Speaking to Dominica News Online Head of Product Development at Discover Dominica Kathleen Cuffy said that plans have been implemented to make the season as successful as possible.

“We want to give the visitor a sample of our creole culture; we had the conch shell blowers this morning to give them a proper welcome. We are serving fruit juices and we have activities at one of our premier sites the Trafalgar falls. We have also been working with other stakeholders to ensure that our visitors have a welcome experience,” she explained.

Cuffy noted further that issues such as garbage and vagrants have been dealt with.

“We just want to ensure that the entire experience is welcoming because Dominica continues to get flak that the city is sometimes dirty, the people are not as hospitable as they would like there is no welcoming experiences. We are also working with the Forestry Division and the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the sites are up to speed,” she stated.

A vendor booth on Thursday morning

A vendor booth on Thursday morning

She noted further that although the cruise ships calls are not as heavy as in the past the number of calls continue to grow.

“I urge the stakeholders to continue to exercise good spirits, good hospitality behavior in the way that we interact with our visitors because the impression that they get at first is always a lasting one. We want our tour guides, our hair braiders, our taxi drivers, and others to give exceptional service to our visitors,” she said.

In the meantime, one vendor is expressing guarded optimism that the season will go well although she said the names of the ships that usually generate revenue are not not on the list for visiting Doinica.

“I read the schedule and there are a number of ships but I don’t think it will be that good. According to my experience, the names of the cruise ships that I see I don’t think that it will be very productive. I’m hoping for better but we will have to wait and see,” Brenette Jules-Morehouse, a vendor for the past 20 years, said.

She is hoping that the day goes well.  “The tourists are just coming out now and I’m hoping that today works out for the best but then again the world is in crisis and people don’t have much money to spend but at the end of the day we have to live in faith. So even if we make a little it’s better than nothing,” the vendor said.