The Grand Turk Cruise Center – closed since the passing of Hurricane Ike last month – today welcomed its first cruise ship, the 2,642-passenger Carnival Destiny.


Carnival Destiny guests had an opportunity to swim in the facility’s massive swimming pool, relax on an 800-foot-long private beach, and dine at the on-site Margaritaville restaurant and lounge.  The facility’s various shops were open, as well. 


Numerous shore excursions were also available, including Gibbs Key tour, dune buggy rentals, swimming with horses, and fishing and snorkeling expeditions.  The previously offered hop on/hop off bus tour is currently operating as a post-hurricane island tour.  Guests are charged a nominal fee for the tour and provided with a pledge card should they wish to donate to the United Way's Grand Turk hurricane relief fund.


Shipboard employees are also participating in a beach clean-up initiative to assist in the island’s recovery.


The $60 million Grand Turk Cruise Center opened in 2006 and has become one of the cruise industry’s most popular Caribbean cruise destinations.  The 13-acre facility serves as a gateway to the pristine island of Grand Turk, which in addition to magnificent beaches, is world renowned for diving, snorkeling, fishing and other watersports.


Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess is the next cruise ship to call at the Grand Turk Cruise Center on Oct. 10.