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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Docks security plan in place for simultaneous cruise ship arrivals

By John McPhaul

Puerto Rico Ports Authority Executive Director Joel A. Pizá Batiz announced Thursday the strategic plan to reinforce security logistics in the Isla Grande district of San Juan on the occasion of the simultaneous operations of the Norwegian Epic and Voyager of the Seas cruise ships at the Pan American I and II docks.

Pizá Batiz said that in response to the parallel activities generated by the arrivals of the two cruise ships, such as porter operations and land transportation services, a security and transit plan was worked on jointly with the shipping agents of both cruise lines, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, the Ports office of Domestic Security and the private security that will be in force throughout the high season of cruises at the aforementioned docks.

“The simultaneous operations of the Norwegian Epic and Voyager of the Seas cruises involve a high volume of people and vehicles in Isla Grande due to the large passenger capacity of these cruise ships that use the Pan American I and II docks, respectively, as their home port,” Pizá Batiz said. “To facilitate the flow of passengers, and in turn expedite the transit of vehicles to the Pan American I and II docks, several measures have been taken that include the reinforcement of security agents at the docks and their accesses, the increase in the number of luggage compartments and the allocation of 70 additional resources by the cruise agent for attending the service counters at these docks.”

The Ports chief stressed that the next operations of Epic and Voyager were moved up to Friday from Sunday because Sunday is New Year’s Day. Given this scenario, which will only occur this Friday (Dec. 30), Pizá Batiz said “Friday is the day of greatest traffic congestion, since there will be maritime operations and container hauling in the area adjacent to the Pan American docks, so I urge you to consider all this information so that you can explore alternative routes.”

Pizá Batiz added that the success of the plan will depend on people arriving at the docks informed regarding the measures established to streamline the processes and prepared to follow them.

“We want to urge the passengers and carriers of Isla Grande to coordinate their arrival at the Pan American docks this Friday, and on any other day of simultaneous homeport operations at the Pan American docks, taking into consideration the large number of people who will also be embarking and disembarking cruise ships,” he said. “In that sense, we urge you to leave with enough time and continue to be alert to the instructions of the onsite security offices to expedite traffic in the area. It is important that vehicle drivers who are personal or taxi drivers make correct use of the designated areas to drop off or pick up passengers, and do so promptly, to keep access to the docks clear.”

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