Destination St. Maarten must ensure a unique, memorable and enriching visitor experience

Every business entity that caters to cruise passengers by offering various services and products, will have to put extra effort in displaying the St. Maarten charm and welcome during the first and future cruise ship calls that kick-off in the month of December #SXMStrong.
Being extra courteous and embracing cruise passengers will go a long way during the cruise passenger destination experience which will be assessed by the cruise lines.
A cruise lines goal is to always provide an enjoyable and memorable cruise vacation experience for its guests. While varying by Cruise Line, sailed guests 18+ normally receive an online Guest Satisfaction Survey sent shortly after their cruise which have high completion rates.
Port St. Maarten will receive the feedback from the cruise line and this will be communicated and discussed with local cruise stakeholders in order to make what necessary adjustments are required in relation to the guest’s destination experience.
Cruise lines value greatly the feedback they get from their guests which gives them the opportunity to continuously enhance their on-board products and services.  This is also relevant for St. Maarten as a destination with its shopping, culinary and shore excursions etc.
The first cruise ship calls will determine cruise line itinerary planning for the remainder of the high cruise season and beyond. St. Maarten has to ensure a unique, memorable and enriching visitor experience in order to rebuild cruise ship numbers via increasing cruise ship calls #SXMStrong.
“It will be important for all to show a caring attitude not only to the cruise guests but to their neighbors, business or otherwise as it will be felt by the cruise guest. Everyone needs everyone to succeed. Where there will be guests on excursion an extra courtesy would go a long way and this is from traffic diversion to picking up some trash that just should not be there.
“This may be a habit that will take a bit more time however if everyone got into the habit of stopping for a second and welcoming a guest, eye to eye contact, when it is obvious they are a cruise guest, this would go a long way and leave a lasting impression on the cruise visitor that would overcome any shortcomings of the physical appearances,” said 30-year Cruise Industry veteran Mico Cascais, in Ship Board and Corporate Management.
The past 19 Years Mico was responsible for the Shore Excursion Programs, Carnival Cruise Lines offered to all its guests worldwide having had many interactions with current stakeholders in St. Maarten over the years.
In the past St. Maarten received high marks from cruise passenger and crew surveys. According to the BREA (Business Research & Economic Advisors) Report, which is a survey-based analysis of the impacts of passenger, crew and cruise line spending, that was prepared for the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and Participating Destinations, October 2015 edition, destination St. Maarten led all destinations with nearly US$423 million in cruise passenger spending for the 2014/15 cruise season.
St. Maarten had the second highest average expenditure of $119.13 per crew visit and the third highest number of crew onshore visits (377,400); St. Maarten had the second highest total expenditure among the 35 participating destinations, $45.0 million.
In St. Maarten crew expenditures were concentrated on retail purchases of electronics and jewelry. These were followed by spending for food and beverages and clothing. These four categories accounted for 70 percent of total crew spending in St. Maarten.
Destination St. Maarten is ready and open, and on track to return to those aforementioned numbers as the destination recovers #SXMStrong.
“In this post-Irma era, everyone working in the hospitality sector will be playing a key role where service-mindedness is concerned.  Residents also play an extremely important role in how cruise visitors experience St. Maarten #SXMStrong.
“It is very much up to residents and other stakeholders whether cruise passengers will want to return to St. Maarten again in the future and whether they recommend it to others. Image and aesthetics also play a role, and therefore clean-up of debris and beautification will display a new St. Maarten to be discovered #SXMStrong,” Port St. Maarten Management pointed out.