Email Newsletter
Minister Doncher announces return of Disney Cruise Line...

PORT ST. MAARTEN-Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrrindell-Doncher on Tuesday announced that the Disney Fantasy cruise ship will be returning to the destination in January 2018, a major accomplishment for destination St....

Read more
Dear Reader

So we managed to steal Disney back from the BVI?

We must commend the young, aggressive, take-no-no style approach to pushing the 'St. Maarten Is Open For Business' agenda to the cruise line operators. It is a dog-eat-dog world down here in the Caribbean and the competition for cruise tourists is tough. So no Mister-Nice-Guys attitude from us St. Maarteners to the rest of the other cruise destinations out there. We aim to take back all the cruise business we lost.

Here is an online news report we stole from one of our competitors as well...

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Virgin Islands being “back on its feet and open for business” brand by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is not being bought by everyone, including a major cruise line that will not be heading to these ports until April of next year.

The move by Disney Cruise Line (DCL) is being seen in some quarters as a blow to the already frail economy of the Virgin Islands following the two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria in September.

Disney Cruise Line announced to its booked customers today, December 4, 2017 that they will be returning to the Eastern Caribbean, but with a slightly altered itinerary.

VI continues to recover

“Tortola, British Virgin Islands continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. As a result, DCL will alter the ports of call for the Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean beginning with the December 30th sailing through March to include Philipsburg, St. Maarten, instead of Tortola, British Virgin Islands,” the letter to its customers read.

According to, pre-reserved Port Adventures in Tortola will automatically be removed from guests’ cruise activities. DCL encourages guests to explore Port Adventure opportunities in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, by visiting DCL’s My Cruise Activities section of the website once the reservation is paid in full and within the Castaway Club level booking window.

As it stands, the next scheduled Disney Cruise to Tortola will be the April 7, 2018 departure of the Disney Fantasy.

While many have expressed concern on social media over the absence of the major cruise line for the next four months, many feel it was a necessary move since some of the roads on Tortola are unsafe and some of the beaches are also in no state to accommodate visitors.

It is also unclear if the cruise line acted following advice from the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Efforts to secure a comment from the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and the Ministry of Communications and Works were not successful up to time of publication.


Now it is up to us in St. Maarten to show Disney Cruise Line (DCL) their decision to return to St. Maarten is justified.

In other news, Parliament is in full swing these days. Today, Wednesday, December 6th, Parliament has a full day of sessions scheduled. Here is the line up:

We will be enjoying the parliamentary sessions while you enjoy the newsletter and have a good laugh at the new vanity plates we will be selling to our returning cruise visitors as souvenirs.

The Publisher,

Notice: If you would like to place an advertisement congratulating the participants of the 1st Annual Customer Service Week with obtaining their certified CSMA certificates, please send us an email. We will be doing a social media special this week on this.

PS: Please send all your press releases to Headline News
Wycliffe Smith: "We relied on promises from ministers"

PHILIPSBURG - "Is the university open or not? And did the Minister of Education offer a rescue budget, yes or no?' those were two of the pertinent questions NA-MP Rodolphe Samuel asked during a second meeting of the central committee with the...

Read more Feature Story
SHTA Organizes Recovery Photo Contest

Philipsburg - Over the next week, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) will be holding a recovery photo contest. By means of collecting pictures of the rebuilding of Sint Maarten, SHTA wants to break the vicious circle of...

Read more Opinion
University woes
The financial quagmire the University of St. Martin finds itself in should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially not to politicians and decision makers.
Under its previous president, Annelies Oliver-Van den Assem, the institution teetered already on the brink of financial disaster and under her successor, Francio Guadeloupe, things apparently went from bad to worse. Is this a surprise? Poll

Yes - 75%
No - 25%

Poll sponsored by, where you order online and we deliver offline
Will USM really get the promised funding or is this just a campaign ploy?
Just a campaign ploy Cartoon - Cartoon "Vanity Plates"

Political satirical cartoon

Read more Case Report
Agriculture on St. Maarten - The Case of the Illusive Nut
Part 3 – Farmers are few and unique in St. Maarten

The few farmers St. Maarten has, had it extremely rough during the passing of hurricane Irma. They had absolutely no support or assistance in securing their property and their livelihood. Farm products were totally destroyed as a result. Unlike many other businesses that were destroyed during the hurricane, agriculture is unique in the sense that it requires time to grow its products. Supermarkets can buy and sell their products at their convenience and charge exorbitant prices at that as well. Farmers have to grow and nurture their crops before they can reap any benefit. It is sad that so many businesses do not support locally produced agricultural products. Farmers have to fend for themselves; pay GEBE without any subsidies; and still pay taxes like everybody while certain businesses get tax breaks for up to 10 years in the tourism, hospitality and gambling sectors. We need a paradigm shift in our thinking. We need food to survive before we can think about serving and attending to the needs of tourists. In part 4 we will discuss how agriculture can actually boost tourism. News Stories
Man seriously injured during altercation; and later dies

Philipsburg - On Wednesday, December 5th at approximately 01.15 p.m. several police patrols, detectives, Forensic Department and paramedics were sent to Madrid Drive in Dutch Quarter where according to incoming reports a shooting had taken place. ...

Read more
President of Parliament Wescot-Williams invites COM

Dear Editor, The parliament of St. Maarten has set aside this Thursday, December 7, 2017 to hear from the ministers individually and the Council of Minsters collectively on their plans and projects for the immediate recovery funding. "The...

Read more
COCI returns from first Trade Mission Post-Irma

PHILIPSBURG - November 29 th and 30 th were slated to be the first Trade mission organized post Irma. Sint Maarten was invited to attend, as an interest to invest in St. Maarten/do business in St. Maarten was expressed, which was perceived to be...

Read more
Click here to buy a subscription today...


Read more
VROMI: "All dumping of garbage must be done at the landfill"

Philipsburg - The Ministry of VROMI is very disappointed that persons found it fit to dump a huge amount of garbage on the parking lot of the Jose Lake Cooper ballfield which has already been cleaned up fully and disinfected. The ministry has...

Read more
President DSTA Conrad Richardson: "We are getting there"

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...

Read more
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...

Read more
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...

Read more Dutch News
Van Putten calls Knops "a modern Napoleon"

KRALENDIJK - Clyde van Putten calls the new State Secretary of Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops "arrogant" and "a modern Napoleon," Ronald Muyden reports on Caribisch Netwerk. Van Putten made the statements during a pro-autonomy symposium in...

Read more Advertisements
Book AirSXM
With the high season upon us and more and more airlines are resuming flights to and from St. Maarten, we are also open to take your flight bookings to and from St. Maarten as well.
Cancel your present free Newsletter subscription first if you wish to upgrade to a paid subscription with either a Daily, Monthly or Yearly subscription.

We welcome you to our growing community of readers. Those of you who have not done so yet, can do so online at You can choose to pay immediately online with your creditcard or request to receive an invoice from us for manual payment processing.

We will be putting more and more of our recently published articles and archived news articles behind the paywall. Therefore it will be important for you to eventually purchase a paid subscription. Register today online at

If you wish to discuss a corporate account for your company, organization or department, feel free to drop us an email to discuss your needs as well.

If you have any questions, comments or if you also wish to advertise with us, email us via

We will continue to bring you reports and articles via this email newsletter. But for the latest news, updates and photo reportages keep an eye on our website online at  or follow us on Facebook, where we will also post community billboard notices, government announcements and urgent public notices as we receive them via our news desk.

If you also wish to receive news headlines, alerts and breaking news via Whatsapp, email us your whatsapp number via

Thank you for your attention to our email newsletter. Your readership is very much appreciated.

Sincerely yours,