Jan. 14, 2004 – Although season schedules released by The West Indian Co. and posted online on various Web sites don't show any cruise ships visiting St. Croix during the month of January, the small but luxurious 350-passenger Radisson Diamond had been expected to call at Frederiksted on Saturday.
The news spurred the Frederiksted Economic Development Association to put together a second Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted concert for Saturday in addition to the regularly scheduled one set for Friday. The musicians signed on for the special gig included Sen. Ronald Russell on guitar and police detective and former senator Gregory Bennerson on steelpan.
But on Wednesday, Sunset Jazz publicity e-mailed to the news media stated that the Radisson Diamond had "canceled its call on Frederiksted for Saturday" — adding that the special concert would nonetheless go on, free and open to the public as scheduled.
Sources said the change of itinerary was in response to reports of sewage spills in Frederiksted and that the ship was going to spend Saturday in Virgin Gorda instead.
In the second week of December, government officials announced that the Lagoon Street pump station had "gone offline," and that the public should therefore avoid the Lagoon Street gut, the Frederiksted public beach and the Ann Abramson Marine Facility, also known as the Frederiksted pier. (The same announcement cited reports of sewage flowing out of manholes in Christiansted, saying that a shutdown of the LBJ pump station was likely to blame.)
On Jan. 5, the government announced that the Lagoon Street pump station "gravity feed line is still sending sewage to the receiving waters of the Frederiksted public beach," and officials again advised the public "to avoid the areas around the Lagoon Street gut, Frederiksted public beach and Frederiksted pier."
The Crucian Christmas Festival's "Latin Night" was scheduled in Frederiksted's "Bradyville" Village on Jan. 5. The village closed down the following night, with vendors and visitors complaining of the adjacent gut having reeked of sewage for the previous few nights.
Last Friday, government officials issued yet another release stating that the Lagoon Street pump station "is still offline," and that the station's "gravity feed line is still sending sewage to the receiving waters of the Frederiksted public beach." Once again, authorities advised the public to avoid the Lagoon Street gut, the Frederiksted public beach and the Frederiksted pier.
The Radisson Diamond is distinctive for its twin-hull design providing "the most comfortable, undisturbed and stable ride of any cruise ship afloat," according to the Radisson Seven Seas Cruises Web site. Launched in 1992, the vessel homeports in San Juan during the winter for seven-day Caribbean cruises departing on Tuesdays.
The schedule provided by WICO at the start of the season and posted on various tourism Web sites shows no ships scheduled to call at Frederiksted in the month of January. It shows the Radisson Diamond in the Charlotte Amalie inner harbor this past Tuesday, anchored off St. John on Sunday and berthed at St. Thomas's Crown Bay on Monday.
The Radisson Seven Seas Cruises Web site shows the vessel departing San Juan next Tuesday with stops at St. Barths, Dominica, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts and St. Thomas before the return to San Juan on Jan. 27.
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