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Grand Turk Terminal Trouble

We had an email last week from a sommelier we met on a cruise ship. He is from the Philippines and, in our exchanges over a few days, five words from his email were perhaps most meaningful.

"Without you is without us."

He wasn't referring to "us" in particular, but to all cruise passengers. He was recognizing how dependent people working cruise ships are on people who become passengers. No passengers, no job. Fewer passengers, fewer jobs.

The same applies on shore.

In Grand Turk, the capital island of Turks and Caicos, they discovered what a fine line that can be. More than a month ago, there was an outbreak of "something" — illness which included some cases of norovirus. Health officials are still doing some epidemiological profiling, whatever that is.

The cruise terminal was closed for three weeks.

It opened this week, but three weeks of the prime tourist season provided by cruise ships was gone. Besides the economic impact of $75,000 a day for head tax, there's the incalculatable loss of income to vendors and cab drivers and restaurant workers.

In this week's edition of the Turks & Caicos Weekly News, there is also a story about a Canadian family of six, beaten and robbed at their rental villa, just hours after arriving in the islands. 

At the risk of sounding philosophical, when economically deprived people lose their paychecks, this can be one of the by-products.


Celebrity Summit
7 nights
May 5, 2013
Bayonne (return): King's Wharf
Inside: $559
Cost per day: $79
www.celebritycruises.com

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