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Turks & Caicos Islands Welcomes the Newest and Largest Carnival Ship to the Destination

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#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – After the successful reopening of the Turks and Caicos Cruise Sector, the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board is happy to announce that the destination has now welcomed the Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship the Mardi Gras for the first time.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, the traditional plaque exchange ceremony was conducted. Hon. Otis Morris, Minister responsible for Home Affair, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities, and Telecommunications Commission, awarded the ship’s captain the plaque on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and in returned received a plaque on behalf of Carnival Corporation from the ship’s captain. Due to health and safety protocols, and to ensure the safety the of visitors and residents alike, the scale of the ceremony was downsized and guests aboard the ship were not invited to participate in the festivities, nor was the embarkation of the vessel by Government officials conducted.

The ship arrived at the Grand Turk Cruise Port on Thursday, 6th January 2022, with over 4,135 passengers and a crew of 1,673, persons. Named for the original ship that took Carnival to the seas in 1972, the Mardi Gras is an XL-Class ship that accommodates over 6,500 passengers. This ship boasts the very first roller coaster at sea, where guests can throttle through the air at speeds of 40+ miles per hour, twisting and turning around Carnival’s signature funnel. Named the BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, it is also home to Carnival Water Works, the largest and most elaborate aquapark in the Carnival fleet. Carnival has indicated that this ship will be added to the regular line-up of cruises scheduled to port on Grand Turk and is expected to arrive to the destination bi-weekly.

Deputy Director of Tourism Ms. Mary Lightbourne commented: “We are extremely excited to welcome the Carnival Mardi Gras and add it to our vast portfolio of cruise ships that arrive to our ‘Beautiful by Nature’ destination. Grand Turk is considered one of the most sought-after cruise ship destinations and with the successful expansion of the port we will be able to accommodate new and larger ships like the Carnival Mardi Gras. Due to this expansion, we are also predicting an increase in visitor arrivals, with figures exceeding pre-pandemic arrivals.”

The Deputy Director also emphasized that “Grand Turk is ready and eager to welcome visitors to the destination and treat them to the authentic Turks and Caicos experience.”

The Turks and Caicos Government put mechanisms in place to ensure that the destination was prepared to welcome cruise ships once again and as a result, Grand Turk is expected to have robust tourism season, with the quality of service provided exceeding the pre-pandemic standards.

 

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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