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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
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RICHARDS: TOURISM 'FORTHCOMING' ON CELEBRITY

Dear Source,
I would like to comment on the Dec. 11 article "No one saying why cruise line season cut short".
Contrary to the opinions expressed in your article, the Department of Tourism has been forthcoming about Celebrity Cruises' recent decision to truncate their itinerary calls to St. Croix. Despite your report of numerous calls to my office about this matter, I have consulted my staff and there is no record of any messages from the Source regarding this nor any other issue (see attached).* Nonetheless, I was on the radio just this week discussing the top marks we have received from the cruise line.
I have been in communication with Michael Ronan, associate vice president for destination development for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, and he assured me that their decision to eliminate the six previously scheduled calls in the spring of 2003 was not related to any dissatisfaction with the level of service they have been receiving for their cruise ship passengers. Rather, he has indicated that the cruise line has an interest in exploring a destination (Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic) that opened up last week.
It is not uncommon for cruise lines to change their itineraries. However, as we want St. Croix to receive as many calls as possible given the substantial decline in calls earlier this year, we are aggressively monitoring this situation and will continue our ongoing discussions with the cruise lines to assure a mutually beneficial partnership and to assure that we continue to deliver exceptional service during their scheduled port calls.
Pamela C. Richards
Commissioner of Tourism
* Attachment 1:
To: Pamela C. Richards, Commissioner
From: Norma Dyer, Office Manager
Re: Messages From The Source
This is to verify that the St. Croix Staff did not receive any messages from Mrs. Valerie Lovett of the Source on Monday, December 9th or on Tuesday, December 10th 2002, for you.
* Attachment 2:
Honorable Pamela C. Richards
Commissioner
Department of Tourism
P.O. Box 6400
St. Thomas, V.I. 00804
Dear Commissioner Richards:
This is to verify that I received no messages from Ms. Valerie Lovett of the Source on Monday, December 9th or on Tuesday, December 10th 2002, for you.
Sincerely,
Ellen Benjamin
Executive Officer
Office of the Commissioner

Editor's note: The Source stands by its story. The reporter's logs show a total of five calls to the Tourism commissioner's office on the two days. On numerous occasions over the 21 months that the commissioner has been in office, Source reporters and editors have left repeated telephone messages for her that have gone unanswered.
We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

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Dear Source,
I would like to comment on the Dec. 11 article "No one saying why cruise line season cut short".
Contrary to the opinions expressed in your article, the Department of Tourism has been forthcoming about Celebrity Cruises' recent decision to truncate their itinerary calls to St. Croix. Despite your report of numerous calls to my office about this matter, I have consulted my staff and there is no record of any messages from the Source regarding this nor any other issue (see attached).* Nonetheless, I was on the radio just this week discussing the top marks we have received from the cruise line.
I have been in communication with Michael Ronan, associate vice president for destination development for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, and he assured me that their decision to eliminate the six previously scheduled calls in the spring of 2003 was not related to any dissatisfaction with the level of service they have been receiving for their cruise ship passengers. Rather, he has indicated that the cruise line has an interest in exploring a destination (Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic) that opened up last week.
It is not uncommon for cruise lines to change their itineraries. However, as we want St. Croix to receive as many calls as possible given the substantial decline in calls earlier this year, we are aggressively monitoring this situation and will continue our ongoing discussions with the cruise lines to assure a mutually beneficial partnership and to assure that we continue to deliver exceptional service during their scheduled port calls.
Pamela C. Richards
Commissioner of Tourism
* Attachment 1:
To: Pamela C. Richards, Commissioner
From: Norma Dyer, Office Manager
Re: Messages From The Source
This is to verify that the St. Croix Staff did not receive any messages from Mrs. Valerie Lovett of the Source on Monday, December 9th or on Tuesday, December 10th 2002, for you.
* Attachment 2:
Honorable Pamela C. Richards
Commissioner
Department of Tourism
P.O. Box 6400
St. Thomas, V.I. 00804
Dear Commissioner Richards:
This is to verify that I received no messages from Ms. Valerie Lovett of the Source on Monday, December 9th or on Tuesday, December 10th 2002, for you.
Sincerely,
Ellen Benjamin
Executive Officer
Office of the Commissioner

Editor's note: The Source stands by its story. The reporter's logs show a total of five calls to the Tourism commissioner's office on the two days. On numerous occasions over the 21 months that the commissioner has been in office, Source reporters and editors have left repeated telephone messages for her that have gone unanswered.
We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.