Puerto Rico diverting travelers booked to Hurricane effected Caribbean tourist destinations

Hurricane Irma hits Turks and Caicos Islands

Hurricane Irma hits Turks and Caicos Islands

An evacuation effort organized by Marriott hotels is facing criticism after some American tourists said they were denied entry onto a ferry chartered to help stranded guests in the Caribbean.

She added: "Once we got to the docks and learned that it was for, Marriott guests only, they told us that we could get in a different line and wait - so we got the impression that we would, if there was room, they would let us on". The people on the island feared that the second storm could boom in, bringing more misery to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It seemed relief had come just in time for those stuck on St. Thomas, but the boat in the end turned away about three dozen people - all tourists who had not stayed at the Marriott - and pulled away from the dock with seats still open, the Washington Post reported. "Marriott did not let us on this boat to get to San Juan so we can get flights back home", she wrote on Facebook.

Howard posted his frustrations on Facebook. "We were told we had to have our boat out of that port by nightfall. This was enforced by dock security", the company said.

"In times like these, we get to see humanity at it its best".

"On Friday, Marriott was able to secure a ferry to transport about 600 of our guests from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico". "These were guests who had to stay behind after the airport closed in advance of Hurricane Irma", Marriott said in a statement.

El Conquistador Resort, The Meliá Coco Beach, Hotel El Convento and all Marriott and Hilton properties on the island, among others, are also in full operation, taking reservations for future travelers, and welcoming new guests.

'With Hurricane Jose on a path to St. Thomas, the ferry had a tight window to pick up passengers and safely depart.

'We very much wanted to assist these other travelers to Puerto Rico, however, the Marriott team on the ground was told they had no authorization to board additional passengers.

Dock security did not respond to ABC News' request for comment. In this case, we weren't able to help and as grateful as we are that we were able to transport our guests, we are saddened that we were not able to do the same for more people. We express our appreciation for the efforts of local police, emergency responders and other officials in supporting the community.

Several hundred tourists stranded on the island had reportedly been told by local authorities that a ship would come in to take tourists to nearby Puerto Rico, from where they would be able to fly to the USA mainland.

Hurricane Jose did ultimately turn north and had minimal effect on the battered island.

Hundreds were left trapped on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in the wake of the hurricane, cut off from supplies, food and water.

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