Ocho Rios welcomes new cruise ship with

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett (right) gives Captain of the MSC Meraviglia, Stephano Battinelli, an authentic Jamaican gift at the official welcome reception for the cruise ship’s inaugural visit to Ocho Rios on December 3. Minister Bartlett announced that the MSC Meraviglia will bring 50,000 cruise passengers between now and April of next year.

The resort town of Ocho Rios in St Ann on Tuesday (Dec 3) welcomed the MSC Meraviglia cruise ship with its 7,200 passengers and crew to its port.

A delegation that included Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Jamaica Vacations Executive Director Joy Roberts greeted the Meravigilia, one of the prime jewels in the MSC Cruise luxury vessels.

“It was something to behold,” said businessman and owner of Garfield’s Diving, Garfield Dussard, who was also a member of the welcome party. “Life has never been brighter for us here in Ocho Rios, and we are looking forward to many more calls from the MSC Meraviglia.”

Dussard, who also does business in Falmouth and Montego Bay, said he is very happy with the anti-harassment measures that have been put in place, adding that visitors have been walking the streets without being badgered and harassed.

For her part, Roberts said she is happy with the reports she has been receiving as it relates to Ocho Rios as a destination. “Ocho Rios will be receiving the most calls of all the cruise ports for the 2019/2020 cruise-ship season. We have had numerous discussions with all our stakeholders, reiterating the need for our visitors to enjoy the destination and to go back with favourable reports. This is what we want to see for the rest of the season,” she said.