Cozumel tourism officials are prepared to welcome cruise passengers as usual tomorrow, since the island's piers sustained no damage from Hurricane Dean.

The Punta Langosta Pier and SSA International Pier will continue operations on Thursday as islanders welcome two ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line, the first carrier to return to the island.  In addition, Cozumel officials expect three cruise ships on Friday, August 24, including two from Carnival Cruise Lines and one from Royal Caribbean.

According to Raul Marrufo, director of the Cozumel Tourism Promotion Board, "We are prepared to support additional cruise needs to the region if necessary to relieve other ports of call in the Yucatan Peninsula."

World-famous for diving, snorkeling and other ocean adventures, Cozumel remains a favorite port of call in the Caribbean. As a leading cruise destination, Cozumel was selected to host the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's (FCCA) 14th Annual FCCA Caribbean Cruise Conference and Trade Show, October 8-12, 2007.  Nearly 1,200 cruise industry partners are expected to attend the FCCA conference this year.

Additional island updates include:

- All local services and operations are running as usual, including electricity, water and hospitals.  Schools and banks opened today.

- The Dolphin Discovery center at Chankanaab Park reopened today.  The dolphins were returned to the center from the Hotel Cozumel & Resort, where they were relocated for protection in advance of Hurricane Dean.

- Work continued on Cozumel's downtown beautification project, which started on August 8. The project, focused on restoring and redecorating the area surrounding the main square in downtown San Miguel, will include renovations to several buildings along the square and several downtown streets and sidewalks.

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