Saint John hosted the MSC Meraviglia and 2,880 guests on Dec. 21 as the ship made a call to the Canadian port.
Typically sailing from New York City and heading south, the ship was rerouted north due to weather, with port officials getting a phone call from MSC just six days prior.
“Our team had so much fun this past week preparing for a cruise ship arrival on the first official day of winter – it was certainly a Port Saint John and Atlantic Canada first,” said Natalie Allaby, director of cruise excellence for Cruise Saint John. She said it was the latest in the season the port had ever hosted a cruise ship.
Moving quickly, the port had some festive activations in the terminal to welcome passengers and crew including a hot chocolate station, New Brunswick product sampling, a local high school choir singing from the rooftop on arrival and a Santa appearance.
“The passengers I spoke with were all in good spirits despite the very chilly temperature today. It wasn’t the warm destination they originally planned for, but I think our warm hospitality was certainly appreciated,” Allaby said.
Temperatures peaked during the call at 28° Fahrenheit, up from a low of 15°.
Of note, guests had an option to skip the cruise and get a refund and future credit.