Hundreds of St. Kitts and Nevis primary school children were the beneficiaries of early Christmas gifts from Santa Claus after crew members of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas handed out presents last Sunday morning.
Santa, making a grand entrance on the back of a donkey, arrived to meet the children, some dressed in uniforms gathered at Independence Square.
The event was sponsored by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), who provided the gifts. The FCCA is also having associate cruise lines distribute gifts at various othet ports highlighted by Santa Clause and his elves.
Some of the younger children, however, were quite shy to meet Santa Clause, while others sat on his lap as he gave them gifts from a wide selection..
Sarah Young Anthem of the Seas HR Manager indicated they were happy to be able to come and hand out gift for the students.
She added that they catered for 200 children between the ages of four to ten years old and brought several volunteers from the ship to assist in the distribution.
“We have 28 volunteers from the crew and we came here to give out gifts to children for the FCAA charity event on Behalf of Royal Caribbean to the children of St. Kitts. We have 200 gifts today,” she said.
Nick Menon Chairman of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) thanked the FCCA for partnering with them in staging the event and putting smiles on the faces of so many children.
“Without them we wouldn’t be able to put on this event and provide all these lovely gifts. This year for the FCCA it is the Royal Caribbean who has partnered with us so thank you for all your efforts. It has been wonderful having you as a partner and we expect to see a lot more of you in the coming years,” Menon said.
Speaking with the Observer Menon noted they are happy to have this celebration for a number of very deserving children from the communities around St. Kitts.
“The community involvement and participation of the FCCA and they have partnered with us not only today but also in many other activities in St. Kitts and Nevis. Our relationship with the FCCA and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines is a very strong one and we hope to strengthen in the future as well for us to come together to do this once a year is fantastic and we look forward to doing it again.”
Menon also spoke to the relationship between the SKTA and the FCCA and the importance of a successful relationship.
“The stronger partnership we have with the cruise lines the more successful we are. We have always enjoyed a good relationship with the FCCA and they are the overseers of the cruise ships that come here…so our ability to have a good relationship with them allows us to have functions like this as well as a very strong cruise season this year and next year as well.”
The FCCA is a non-profit trade organization composed of 18 member cruise lines operating almost 200 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters.
Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues.