Photo Focus: Cruise Ship Passengers Bring Fete to St. Thomas

The energy was fierce as passengers from the UberSoca Cruise took to the streets of St. Thomas Thursday afternoon for a special J’ouvert celebration. However, they were not alone as passengers from the two other cruise ships in port and local Virgin Islanders met them on the road to join in on the fete.

A Norwegian Epic cruise ship passenger waves an UberSoca flag. (Photo by Michele L Weichman)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic pulled into the WICO dock mid-morning, showing off its size as it passed Carnival’s ship Celebration.

NCL cruise ship, Epic, pulls beside Carnival cruise ship, Celebration. (Photo by Michele L Weichman)

The 4,100-passenger ship is known for having the largest music festival on the water. Many Soca and Calypso artists join the passengers on board for entertainment. The cruise ship docks at different Caribbean islands and the passengers take part in smaller versions of a J’ouvert celebration or tramp.

The UberSoca crowd comes down the road. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
Music blasts from the truck as people dance in the road. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

Passengers and Virgin Islanders alike didn’t just bring their excitement to kick off the Carnival season but brought their pride for their islands. Many different Caribbean flags were flying high throughout the crowd.

A U.S. Virgin Islands flag waves in the breeze. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
A Guyanese flag waves over the crowd. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
Women from Grenada dance in the crowd while repping their island’s flag. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

People also celebrated by dressing in costume, letting loose, and dancing down the road while shooting colored chalk into the air.

A woman dances and shows Grenadian pride. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
An UberSoca passenger sports a Viking Hat as he mingles in the crowd. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
A woman stops to show off her love for the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
The fete is livened up as green chalk is thrown into the air. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

Some people chose to stay out of the heat during the event by standing off to the side to watch in the shade, under umbrellas, in the trunks of their vehicles and on the balcony of the Lucinda Millin Home. Their excitement showed as they danced, sang and cheered.

Virgin Islanders Franke Hoheb and Kim Blackett showed their enjoyment of the festivities as they danced and watched the fete from the sidelines.

Franke Hoheb and Kim Blackett dance together in the shade. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

“It’s the first time this is happening and we would like to see it continue. I commend the governor and the V.I. Department of Tourism and Festivals. I am all for it. It’s Carnival, baby!” said Hoheb.

“It’s a good segue into Carnival. I can’t wait until the truck passes me and I can jump in and let loose,” said Blackett.

Groups of friends hang on the back of their vehicle to keep out of the sun and still enjoy the fete. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
People stand on the sidewalk watching the tramp. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
Residents of the Lucinda Millin Home watch the festivities from their balconies. (Photo by Michele L Weichman)

Government workers and students were happy to have been granted a half-day of work and school so they could enjoy the festivities together.

Three friends stop for a photo before heading to join the fun. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

The V.I. Police Department was present along with first responders, who also took a few moments to join in on the fun.

VIPD and first responder vehicles were parked throughout the route. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)
VIPD officers take a moment to dance and cheer as the crowd passes by. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

V.I. Carnival Committee chair Edgar Baker Phillips also made an appearance and was extremely happy with the turnout of the event.

V.I. Carnival Committee chair Edgar Baker Phillips chats with Kim Blankett and Franke Hoheb. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)

“It is great to collaborate with the cruise line to celebrate the special J’ouvert spirit of Carnival. It’s great to see many different Caribbean islands out here being represented along with the U.S. I am looking forward to Carnival,” said Baker Phillips.

The tramp continued down Veterans Drive, eventually ending at the Fort Christian parking lot at what will soon be Carnival Village.

The tramp continues down Veterans Drive to Fort Christian. (Photo by Michele L. Weichman)


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