Hurricane Maria Updates: Damage Assessments to Caribbean Resorts

Satellite photo of Hurricane Maria as of Friday afternoon
Photo by the National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Maria was the second Category 5 hurricane to make landfall this season, after Hurricane Irma destroyed much of the Caribbean two weeks prior. Here's the latest from Caribbean resorts affected by Maria.

Cuba

Victory Cruise Lines confirmed that all Cuba port facilities are operational and planned tour venues and shore excursions are available and functioning. Bruce Nierenberg, president and CEO of Victory Cruise Lines, has spoken with hosts and partners on the ground who report that recovery is well-underway and that the cruise line’s ability to operate their premium People to People Cuba cruises beginning February 2018 will not be impacted.

Dominica

One of the hardest hit islands. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said there was a “tremendous loss of housing and public buildings,” and that “in summary, the island has been devastated."

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Rosalie Bay Resort reports that it was closed for the month of September for annual refurbishments, so there were no guests in-house during this time, but due to the impact from the storm it is expected to remain closed through at least November 1. For guests who had reservations before then, they have the option to move their dates or receive a full refund.

Similarly, Secret Bay was closed for the season so no staff or guests were harmed. However, damage assessments are still underway, according to its Facebook page, but the resort notes it will be closed for the immediate future. Communication is still down on the north side of the island so updates come infrequently.

Dominican Republic

With Hurricane Maria passing north of the island, most of the island was spared from harm. Eden Roc at Cap Cana reports that it did not suffer any damage and has resumed its regular operations.

Punta Cana International Airport is open.

Guadalupe Islands

Having been spared a direct hit by Hurricane Maria, the Guadeloupe Islands suffered no damage to its infrastructure. All roads have been cleared of all debris; power lines have been repaired and service restored across all five islands. Air traffic resumed on September 20 at Pole Caraïbe Airport. All hotels are currently open and those closed during the off-season or for refurbishment/renovation have reported that they are on schedule to re-open as planned. Notable hotels on the island include L’Auberge de la Vieille Tour, La Créole Beach Resort & Spa and La Toubana Hotel & Spa; all of which suffered no damage.

The cleaning of our beaches is finished. However, access to certain sites located in the National Park such as La Soufrière volcano, Carbet Falls, the Grand Etand and La Route de la Traversée will be fully cleared this week. The Botanical Garden, Guadeloupe Zoo, Habitation Côte-sous-le-Vent will re-open on October 15.

Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory was decimated by Hurricane Maria. Governor Ricardo Rossello says Maria was the “most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history."

Resorts reporting full closures and the suspension of new reservations include W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island (through October 31); El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton (through October 31); Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel (no date announced); and El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort (through December 31).

President Donald Trump on Thursday lifted shipping restrictions (the Jones Act/Merchant Marine Act of 1920) for the island for 10 days, which will allow for more rapid delivery of aid. Damaged infrastructure has made it difficult to move items across the islands, and more than 9,500 containers of relief supplies are currently stranded off the coast. One week after the storm hit, and the island is lacking in fuel, water and medical supplies, in addition to other necessities. Power is down on the island, with many expecting it to take months before it’s restored.

More to come.

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