St. Maarten cruise authorities scrambled to clean up after Hurricane Omar blew by the island late last week, readying for a four-ship day Thursday to start the Caribbean cruise season, officials said. The island hosted their first post-hurricane ship, the Noordam, on Tuesday.

The storm caused little lasting infrastructure damage, but did topple cargo containers and spread sand and seaweed across tourist areas and the cruise pier, said Port Authority Managing Director Keith Franca.

Three ships – two from Royal Caribbean International and one from Holland America Line – had skipped calls because of the storm.

“My windows still aren’t clean,” Franca said. “But we’re back in business.”

Unrelated to the storm, construction of Dutch St. Maarten’s second cruise pier has been slightly delayed, Franca said. The pier was originally scheduled to be complete in December, but now will not be finished until January or February.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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