Island Travel Rebounding after Hurricanes
Most of us in the Miami Travelzoo office evacuated our homes during Irma, but we were fortunate to return to a city that has quickly been restored. Millions elsewhere haven't been so lucky, facing catastrophic flooding, power outages, shortages of food, water and medical supplies and widespread damage to homes.
As a first step toward confronting the aftermath, our earlier post looks at travel-specific ways you can lend a hand. But if you contribute to the regional economy by booking a Caribbean vacation, you're helping enormously, too.
We're already seeing islands rebound; in fact, despite the recent storms, an amazing 70%of the Caribbean region is now open for business and ready to welcome you. So let the list below serve as your jumping-off point for trip-planning purposes. We also recommend the Caribbean Travel Update for more specific tourism statuses and dates of hotel reopenings on each island.
St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Sint Eustatius and Martinique, Aruba, Guadeloupe, the Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Anguilla, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Grenada: All fully open for business.
Florida Keys: The Keys officially opened to tourists Oct. 1, nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. Almost all water and power has been restored. Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon International Airport have reopened and resumed commercial flights.
St. Thomas: The Cyril E. King Airport reopened Sept. 28 for commercial flights.
St. Croix: St. Croix’s Henry Rohlsen Airport re-opened on Oct. 5 and many hotels will begin welcoming visitors Nov. 1.
Turks & Caicos: Providenciales International Airport has reopened for scheduled flights. Many hotels are set to reopen from October-December.
St. Barts: St. Barts' Gustav III airport has reopened, but many hotels will remain closed throughout the fall and winter season.
Dominica, Sint Maarten/St. Martin, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda, St. John: Island infrastructure has been devastated; the airport re-opened on Oct. 9 with limited service.
Puerto Rico: The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport has reopened, but flights are restricted. There are many overcrowding conditions and passenger delays and much of the island’s infrastructure has been affected.
Cruises: Royal Caribbean International stated that future sailings will not stop at ports in Sint Maarten, St. Thomas or Key West until those islands have fully recovered. Many cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, have reported that all eastern Caribbean sailings until November will be changed to a western Caribbean itinerary. Travel Market Report has specific port-by-port updates.