Silhouette’s captain praises upgraded harbor facilities

POSTED: 11/15/11 4:32 AM

St. Maarten – The Celebrity Silhouette, a solstice class cruise ship, became the newest ship to make an inaugural call at the Port of St. Maarten on Monday. The vessel carries 2, 860 passengers and 1, 267 crew, cost $750 million, weighs 122, 000 gross tons and has a length of 1, 033 feet.

Silhouette, which carries 35 more passengers than her sister ships Equinox, Eclipse and Solstice, will help its owner Royal Caribbean bring 780, 000 passengers here in 232 calls in 2012. The cruise company is one of the country’s strategic partners and Chief Executive Officer of the St Maarten Harbour Group of Companies Mark Mingo called it important to have another of their ships call here.
“The Port of St Maarten has invested a lot in the cruise facility and we are looking forward to your new ship next year,” Mingo said at the plaque exchange ceremony, which was also attended by Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto.
The plaque handed to Captain Pagonis is a framed image of the ship as it arrived in port just hours earlier. It prompted the captain to reflect on the marked improvements at the port since he first visited 23 years ago.
“I remember that St Maarten had a small pier on the opposite side and you had a small service using tenders, but the facilities here now with available taxies from the ship to the town and the water taxies makes St Maarten a number one destination,” Pagonis said.

Novel features on the vessel include a grill at the Lawn Club. This is the replacement of the glass blowing theatre featured on the first three Solstice Class ships. The verandas at the Lawn Club that are called ‘The Alcoves’, an art studio at The Lawn Club and ‘The Hideaway’ are other novel features. The latter is an area where people can conceal themselves in a basket near the library.

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