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Two New Cruise Lines to Dock in Puerto Morelos



The Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo, the Mexican state featuring some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, has announced that two new cruise lines will sail from Puerto Morelos.

Le Ponant and Vidanta Cruise will have a weekly frequency to Puerto Morelos, from where passengers will travel Yucatan, Campeche and Tabasco on a previously established route through the main archeological sites in the Mayan region.

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“The cruise industry is seeing a new destination in Puerto Morelos for the arrival of large vessels,” said the director of the Apiqroo region, Alicia Ricalde Magañ. “The cruise lines Le Ponant and Vidanta Cruise scheduled for 2019 the arrival of their ships to the Maritime Terminal of Puerto Morelos, due to the proximity it has with archaeological sites, the cenote route and the Cancun International Airport.”

But hotel operators in the area are concerned that Puerto Morelos will become nothing but a way stop for travelers going on a cruise, instead of tourists spending more time in their hotels.

Hotel spokesperson Marisol Vanegas Pérez said that receiving ships in Puerto Morelos would be a serious mistake that would severely damage the hotel and the community in general.

Ricalde believes that to be untrue and said that in addition bringing in more tourists to the area, the port will impact “the import and export of dried vegetables, grains as frozen products, which will allow the industry hotel and restaurant of the Riviera Maya and Quintana Roo in general is supplied with these products at better prices.”

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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