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Minister of TEATT welcomes Viking Sea cruise ship

POINT BLANCHE - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher was present at Port St. Maarten on Monday morning to welcome the Viking Sea cruise ship to St. Maarten as well as the first passenger off the ship. The ship is...

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Dear Reader

All new starts are a new beginning that gives us a chance to start fresh with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Throw out the old ways and be innovative and creative. That is certainly the message today from the president of the DSTA to the members of the association and to the people of St. Maarten.

Innovation and creativity in the tour products our island has to offer is certainly needed. Now more than ever. Even the wacky idea of catering to disaster tourism is an idea worth considering. Authorities and stakeholders in the cruise industry keep reporting that the French side is not ready yet and that it should be avoided by our cruise tourists.

We beg to differ. We believe people are more than curious to see how the French side has fared after the hurricanes. Certainly the pristine state Orient Bay beach is now in will be a great spot for tourists to visit. A peaceful walk along the beach side without all the racket from the commercial bars, restaurants and other venues selling their wares will do many much good and remind us all what a relaxing vacation should be truly all about.

PDAP is a reservations system messaging acronym in the travel agency world which stands for Please Do All Possible. The relevant authorities should simply PDAP to get the air and sea ports fully operational as quickly as possible and let the tourists themselves decide where they want to go and the places they want to see for themselves.

Guided tours are all well and dandy, but not everyone likes to be shepherded into artificially created marketplaces and commercial venues on a beach, no matter the good intentions behind it. Luckily, these locations have been earmarked as temporary solutions. The problem is, temporary things on St. Maarten have a way of getting a permanent nature. Before we know, it is another commonplace practice we are stuck without knowing whence it came from or how to get rid of it without a political dilemma or a legal battle.

That being said, enjoy the newsletter.

The Publisher,

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Viking Sea inaugural call is first cruise ship back in SXM

PORT ST. MAARTEN - Viking Cruises cruise ship Viking Sea made its inaugural visit on Monday which was also the first commercial cruise ship to call at Port St. Maarten post-Irma. A delegation boarded the vessel for the welcome and plaque exchange ...

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Leo's celebrate International Leo Day today Dec. 5th

PHILIPSBURG -Today December 5th is International Leo Day. Leo Clubs all over the world celebrate this day with special community projects. The Leo Club program, an integral part of the Lions Family, Leos also have their own global network of over ...

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Things moving slow?
Taxi drivers are not the only one thinking things are moving slowly at the airport. This may be just a matter of perception. This may also just be a matter of a lack of awareness of what is really going on behind the scenes. Open communication may play a role in creating more transparency in that regards. One aspect we certainly believe needs more awareness is in regards to the transit procedures at the airport. We have passengers booked to transit the SXM Airport emailing us and asking for information about the procedures and the time needed between scheduled arrivals and scheduled departures in order to make these connections. Maybe our minister of TEATT can shed some light on that issue before the #wukkin done in the next 10 days. Poll

Yes - 62.5%
No - 37.5%

Poll sponsored by, where you order online and we deliver offline
Is the island ready for more cruise tourists?
No Interview
CRUISE TERMINAL -- In an interview with, President of the Dutch St. Maarten Taxi Association (DSTA), Conrad 'Sisco' Richardson, had a positive message of hope to pass on to the membership and to the people of St. Maarten after the first call of a cruise ship on the island.

"We are getting there." was his first response to the question how we are looking as the first cruise ship, the Viking Sea, made it first inaugural call bringing the first cruise tourists back on to the island after hurricane Irma passed in September and devastated the island's tourism product beyond recognition.

"We must remain positive." Conrad RIchardson, known to everyone in the taxi community as 'Sisco', said. "People are doing their part. We as taxi drivers are doing our part. Our members came out today in full force. Some were happy to be back. Not everybody feel how they used to feel before. Some were not too please. But it is a new start, a new beginning."

Viking Cruises, like many other cruise lines, sell tours onboard their ships as prebooked packages. So many of the cruise visitors today were already booked with tour operators, Sisco explained. Nonetheless, he was happy that later on more passengers came off the ship and took island tours with the taxis.

In regards to his statement about some of the taxi drivers not being pleased, Sisco further elaborated that indeed some of the those who also work at the airport find that things are moving too slow. "People feel that government needs to put a plan of action in place." Sisco explained. "We must stay positive. But there needs to be more done than what is happening now."

"Government must do their part. But we need a stable full-fledged government first in place to get things done the way things should be done." was the final words Sisco had to say.

Follow the links to the related news stories regarding the inaugural call of the Viking Sea to St. Maarten on Monday, December 4th, 2017, below...

See our own news report below entitled Viking Sea brings first cruise tourists to St. Maarten.

Viking Sea brings first cruise tourists to St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG - The luxury cruise liner Viking Sea docked at the port in Philipsburg on Monday morning at 7 a.m. - the first cruise vessel to arrive at St. Maarten after Hurricane Irma destroyed the island on September 6. There was no fanfare on...

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Agriculture on St. Maarten - The Case of the Illusive Nut
Part 2 – Food security should be our number 1 priority

If you were in St. Maarten a few days after Hurricane Irma struck you would understand why agriculture is so vital to a country’s survival. Banks were closed; supermarkets were looted or on lock-down; bars and restaurant were without electricity, and there was a curfew in effect. Money in the bank meant nothing to anyone. That money was inaccessible. Hunger for many people was looming. Some organizations like the Tzu Chi Foundation and Cake House Supermarket in Cul-de-Sac were giving out free bread. Now, in a post-hurricane Irma recovery phase, we are talking about reconstruction and rebuilding roofs, renovating airport terminals and jumpstarting our vital tourism industry. However, food security should be our first priority, not just roofs alone. But first let us have a look at the effect hurricane Irma had on our agricultural sector on St. Maarten. In part 3 we will discuss the devastating effect Irma had on agriculture in St. Maarten. News Stories
Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Gave Update to Royal Couple

SIMPSON BAY - On Saturday the 2nd of December the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation gave an update to Their Majesties King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands on the environmental impacts and the organization's activities post...

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Minister Jacobs hosts Attitude of Gratitude Thanksgiving Day

Philipsburg - Today, December 3rd, the Government of St. Maarten in collaboration with the St. Maarten United Ministerial Foundation (SMUMF), Christian Council (CC) successfully hosted and celebrated the annual Thanksgiving Service and Christmas...

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Dutch Government to provide more than 550 Million Euros

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - The repair bill for the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten after it was devastated by Hurricane Irma is likely to be higher than the initial estimate of €550 million, junior home affairs minister Raymond Knops has warned.

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Central Committee meeting of Parliament today at 10am

Continuation Central Committee meeting of Parliament about discussion with USM Board on the motives for the closure of USM on Tuesday, Dec. 5th, at 10am PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The House of...

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Plenary Session of Parliament today Tuesday at 2pm

Plenary Session of Parliament about several draft national ordinances amending the civil code on Tuesday, Dec. 5th, at 2pm PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary...

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PHILIPSBURG - Presenting the candidates to the public via the media gives the people the opportunity to become acquainted with their prospective parliamentarian prior to the upcoming elections, the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) said in a...

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Government successfully takes action against illegal...

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Various government agencies found dead and living protected animals and plants, and products derived from them (such as skulls, medicines, meat) in suitcases of passengers, in cargo, in postal packages and at shows. In all...

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Library registration is open for Christmas Market

PHILIPSBURG -The Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) will be hosting her annual Christmas Market on Thursday, December 21st, from 10 am to 8pm at the library's parking lot. The Library's annual Christmas Market festivities will be hosting crafters...

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Reminder: Book launch 'Chella and the Weird Woman' on Friday

Beyond Kultura Events Foundation is inviting the general public to the book launch of 'Chella and the Weird woman' on December 8th at OBA OBA in Palapa Centre in Simpson Bay. Time 6:00-7:30pm. Come...

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Minister For Agriculture St Maarten 2020

Bless my name is Mr Denicio Wyatte. I would like to share with you my research on the importance & benefits of having a Minister of Agri-Cultural in SXM !

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Book AirSXM
With the resumption of flights on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, we are also open to take your flight bookings to and from St. Maarten via SXM Airport.
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