Royal Caribbean has cancelled a second call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, due to protests in the area, a spokesperson for the cruise line has confirmed to Travel Agent. The Harmony of the Seas, which had been scheduled to call at the destination Wednesday, will instead sail on to St. Maarten, the ship's next scheduled port of call.
"Concern for the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew members is our top priority," the cruise line said.
Royal Caribbean had also cancelled a San Juan call by Empress of the Seas that had been scheduled for Monday; that ship was rerouted to Tortola, and guests received refunds for prepaid shore excursions.
San Juan has been facing a series of protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, NBC News reports. According to a spokesperson for the local police, the protest was one of the biggest and most intense in the island’s history; approximately 40 properties in Old San Juan, a tourist area popular for its historic architecture, were damaged.
The protests stem from 889 pages of private chats released by Centro Periodismo Investigativo, a Puerto Rico-based investigative journalism publication. The chats reportedly show profanity-laced, misogynistic and homophobic comments by the governor, and they come in the wake of corruption scandals plaguing the governor’s administration. Last week, five people were arrested on charges relating to the alleged embezzlement of $15.5 million worth of federal funds between 2017 and 2019.
CNN reports that the governor has said that he will not step down. “I will continue my work and my responsibility to the people of Puerto Rico,” he said at a news conference.