Cruise lines cancel Puerto Rico stops due to political unrest

Two more cruise ships due to stop in San Juan Monday instead bypassed Puerto Rico as demonstrators continued calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

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The Puerto Rico Tourism Company, a public corporation that promotes the territory’s tourism industry, said the MSC Seaside and the Celebrity Equinox canceled their transit stops which had been scheduled for San Juan Monday afternoon.

Many of the local companies that provide excursion services for visiting cruise ships had canceled their excursions Monday amid calls for a general strike, according to the tourism group.

Two other ships that were due to finish cruises in San Juan Sunday did still stop there, the tourism group said in a statement. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas and Carnival’s Fascination unpacked and boarded about 7,000 passengers.

Tourism officials said the two ships would generate a $1.3 million economic impact. The island missed out on a combined $760,000 from the Seaside and Equinox, officials estimated.

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas also canceled a stop in San Juan last week, opting instead to sail to St. Maarten.

“Concern for the safety and well-being of our guests and crew members is our top priority,” Royal Caribbean Cruises spokesman Owen Torres told FOX Business then.

As of Monday, officials said no other cancellations had been reported.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans demonstrated against their governor Monday, the Associated Press reported. It may have been the largest protest on the island in nearly 20 years.

The territory is still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

There have been several demonstrations since more than 800 pages of chats between Rosselló and some of his advisers leaked 10 days ago. The chats showed the governor and his advisers insulting and mocking constituents, including those affected by Hurricane Maria, according to the report.

Rosselló said on Sunday that he wouldn’t quit, but also wouldn’t seek re-election.