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LauraS

Cruise Critic News: Key West Will Vote On Cruise Ship Limitations in November

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(3:55 p.m. EDT) -- In a move that could permanently alter many Caribbean itineraries, the city of Key West will vote on a referendum that includes limiting the size of cruise ships that stop in the port during the November election. The measure, put forward by a local group called the Key West Committee For Safer Cleaner Ships, has three ...

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Thanks, Laura. The proposed limitations have pluses and minuses for the local inhabitants. Will be very interesting to see how this all turns out. 

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Key West has been known in the past--and maybe still is--as the Conch Republic.  Many of their citizens have been environmentally concerned for a long time and, I think, active in preserving their way of life and their natural surroundings.  Their concerns about the coral reefs and the work that they did to try to educate divers and others about why it is important to preserve these animals and to protect them are laudable.  

 

I wonder, though, if the economic impact on the community has been well thought through by the citizens that signed the petitions to get these 3 measures on the ballot.  

 

I don't envy the Federal judge having to deal with the countersuit:  Four Pilots (and their families, of course) vs. the number of citizens that had to sign the petitions.

 

Surely, this will be an important cruising issue to watch.  

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"functionally sever Key West's citizens from a working maritime heritage "

 

This part of the countersuit is laughable.  Big cruise ships disgorging thousands of tourists isn't exactly a "working maritime heritage"......

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On 7/14/2020 at 4:23 PM, rkacruiser said:

Key West has been known in the past--and maybe still is--as the Conch Republic.  Many of their citizens have been environmentally concerned for a long time and, I think, active in preserving their way of life and their natural surroundings.  Their concerns about the coral reefs and the work that they did to try to educate divers and others about why it is important to preserve these animals and to protect them are laudable. 

 

This makes me laugh.

 

The elites want to keep the riff raff out of key west. They'll allow smaller boats because those are luxury passengers.

 

Many business owners will be on the other side of the fence. Those are big dollars they would be missing out on.

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1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

This makes me laugh.

 

Why?  

 

My post you quote makes no reference to "any elites" and it is not "on the side" of business owners in Key West whose businesses would be impacted by a loss of cruise guests' dollars.  

 

My post that you quoted lauded the efforts of Key West citizens to attempt to protect the coral reefs in their vicinity.  Sir, do you find that objectionable?

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My wife and I drive down to Key West at least once a year. Spend a few days.

 

There's no question the huge flows of cruise passengers are seen as a mixed blessing. Good for t shirt sellers, some bars, and some merchants. But, they don't stay overnight, buy dinner in many cases, etc. Bad for the all important tourist tax surccharges.

 

The Mallory Square, upper Duval area fills up when there is a ship in port.

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It's easy right now to position on way, but if a vaccine shows up, or herd immunity arrives the other more painful route, or a Fall miracle occurs with things disappearing people will most certainly want their life and livelhood back.

 

My personal opinion is this is going to be long painful couple years, and come 2025 or so we'll be back to "normal"  it'll be a different normal, and human economic need will overwhelm all.

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:16 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Why?  

 

My post you quote makes no reference to "any elites" and it is not "on the side" of business owners in Key West whose businesses would be impacted by a loss of cruise guests' dollars.  

 

My post that you quoted lauded the efforts of Key West citizens to attempt to protect the coral reefs in their vicinity.  Sir, do you find that objectionable?

 

It makes me laugh because I could see the "official ruling" right now. "Due to environmental preservation, we will not be accepting cruise ships." Like Key West is some untouched oasis. When in reality, it's just that they don't want certain types of cruisers bringing down the "quality" of Key West. Sure there are some people looking at the nature aspect of it. However, that is not the driver of this decision on either side.

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:57 PM, Cienfuegos said:

My wife and I drive down to Key West at least once a year. Spend a few days.

 

There's no question the huge flows of cruise passengers are seen as a mixed blessing. Good for t shirt sellers, some bars, and some merchants. But, they don't stay overnight, buy dinner in many cases, etc. Bad for the all important tourist tax surccharges.

 

The Mallory Square, upper Duval area fills up when there is a ship in port.

 

 

Exactly.  And when staying overnight, the best part of the day is when all the cruises finally leave!  Key West has a famous nightlife scene, after the ships leave.  It seems plausible that the local economy would be just fine without the ships, beyond a few $5 t-shirt stores and conch train tours.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

It makes me laugh because I could see the "official ruling" right now. "Due to environmental preservation, we will not be accepting cruise ships." Like Key West is some untouched oasis. When in reality, it's just that they don't want certain types of cruisers bringing down the "quality" of Key West. Sure there are some people looking at the nature aspect of it. However, that is not the driver of this decision on either side.

 

This isn't unusual.  European ports and cities are trying to limit cruise passengers as well.  The massive inflow for a few hours absolutely disrupts life in these small towns and cities.  It's not pleasant.  Have you stayed in Key West?  It goes from pleasant to chaos once the ships disembark in the morning.  When we stay there, we typically avoid downtown when the ships are there, and head out in the late afternoon instead.  I can see why a lot of people who live (and visit) there may prefer smaller ships.  Not because of the "type" of passenger, but simply because of the volume.  I agree that it has nothing to do with the nature aspect, though!

Edited by BNBR

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22 hours ago, Joebucks said:

Sure there are some people looking at the nature aspect of it. However, that is not the driver of this decision on either side.

 

I guess you can call me a "coral reef hugger".  Coral reefs are like the proverbial "canaries in the coal mine".  Too many of the world's coral reefs, including those in Florida's waters, are threatened.  They die.  Much of the sea life around them cease to exist.  That part of Mother Earth becomes barren.  That seems "so far away" for an Ohioan as well as many others to consider.  But, it makes an impact--how large and serious--on our planet is, has been, and will be debated.   

 

Granted, that there are additional issues that is behind this Ballot item.  Unless the mind set of at least some of the residents of the Keys has changed over the years, the environmental issues may still be important to some.

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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I guess you can call me a "coral reef hugger".  Coral reefs are like the proverbial "canaries in the coal mine".  Too many of the world's coral reefs, including those in Florida's waters, are threatened.  They die.  Much of the sea life around them cease to exist.  That part of Mother Earth becomes barren.  That seems "so far away" for an Ohioan as well as many others to consider.  But, it makes an impact--how large and serious--on our planet is, has been, and will be debated.   

 

Granted, that there are additional issues that is behind this Ballot item.  Unless the mind set of at least some of the residents of the Keys has changed over the years, the environmental issues may still be important to some.

 

I love reefs. I think they are beautiful, and need to be protected. Although their destruction is not exclusive to cruising.

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On 7/23/2020 at 8:48 AM, Joebucks said:

 

I love reefs. I think they are beautiful, and need to be protected. Although their destruction is not exclusive to cruising.

Yes, their destruction is now directly related to the cruise ships.  

 

The reefs are covered in silt when those big cruise ships go by.

 

The residents don't want them because the cruise ship passengers don't spend money for the most part.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, BlueHerons said:

... because the cruise ship passengers don't spend money for the most part.

My wife was a big exception to that rule! 😨

Edited by JohninDC

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19 hours ago, BlueHerons said:

Yes, their destruction is now directly related to the cruise ships.  

 

The reefs are covered in silt when those big cruise ships go by.

 

Your post is the first time that I have heard that.  

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22 hours ago, BlueHerons said:

The residents don't want them because the cruise ship passengers don't spend money for the most part.

 

Do they all spend money? Of course not.

 

However, I would like to see some figures that in that one day, they're spending less than the other vacationers. I would guess that many cruisers want to experience quite a few things that key west has to offer.

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On 7/30/2020 at 7:03 PM, Joebucks said:

 

Do they all spend money? Of course not.

 

However, I would like to see some figures that in that one day, they're spending less than the other vacationers. I would guess that many cruisers want to experience quite a few things that key west has to offer.


Common sense would tell you that cruisers spend less than other vacationers.  Food and lodging are the most expensive items, both of which is covered by the cruise ship.  Cruisers get off, wander around, buy a $5 trinket, maybe do a tour (so the tour operators make a few bucks)... but overall, the locals see virtually no benefit from it.

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I've been to Key West a couple of times while on cruises.  Each time I got off of the ship I spent more than  $5.  I think that the majority of cruisers who get off the ship spend more than $5.  It's easy to underestimate the impact of cruisers.

I'm sure the people who own businesses near the port care about the money brought in by cruisers.  The people who live there and don't depend on tourism probably hate the cruise ships.  There is no doubt that limiting cruise ships will have a huge impact on business owners and the people who work in those fields.  That's common sense.  Key West is nice, but if that port is eliminated it wouldn't bother me.  If I really wanted to go there, I could easily take a quick trip.

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1 hour ago, TNcruising02 said:

I've been to Key West a couple of times while on cruises.  Each time I got off of the ship I spent more than  $5.  I think that the majority of cruisers who get off the ship spend more than $5.  It's easy to underestimate the impact of cruisers.

I'm sure the people who own businesses near the port care about the money brought in by cruisers.  The people who live there and don't depend on tourism probably hate the cruise ships.  There is no doubt that limiting cruise ships will have a huge impact on business owners and the people who work in those fields.  That's common sense.  Key West is nice, but if that port is eliminated it wouldn't bother me.  If I really wanted to go there, I could easily take a quick trip.

 

Right.  And you probably spent less on the island than a single night paid to a hotel, let alone everything else a land vacationer spends.

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1 minute ago, BNBR said:

 

Right.  And you probably spent less on the island than a single night paid to a hotel, let alone everything else a land vacationer spends.


But even $20 multiplied by many, many passengers adds up.  A lot of small payments can make a huge difference in someone's business.

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3 minutes ago, TNcruising02 said:


But even $20 multiplied by many, many passengers adds up.  A lot of small payments can make a huge difference in someone's business.

 

Depends.  Do people skip land vacations to Key West because they are visiting on a cruise instead?  Do some land vacationers skip going because of the annoying cruise crowds? It's really hard to say.  But we do know that Key West does great without cruise ships, as the entire island comes alive at night AFTER the ships leave...  And that cruisers don't really spend much.

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1 minute ago, BNBR said:

 

Depends.  Do people skip land vacations to Key West because they are visiting on a cruise instead?  Do some land vacationers skip going because of the annoying cruise crowds? It's really hard to say.  But we do know that Key West does great without cruise ships, as the entire island comes alive at night AFTER the ships leave...  And that cruisers don't really spend much.


Well, I can say that if Key West is removed as a port option, I will never visit Key West.  It's not a big deal to me either way. I just know that every customer is important to a business and eliminating part of their base will have a negative impact on that business.  This will hurt local businesses, but make other experiences better for the locals or people who fly in.

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49 minutes ago, TNcruising02 said:


Well, I can say that if Key West is removed as a port option, I will never visit Key West.  It's not a big deal to me either way. I just know that every customer is important to a business and eliminating part of their base will have a negative impact on that business.  This will hurt local businesses, but make other experiences better for the locals or people who fly in.

 

Better experience for visitors would be a good thing for business.  People that come in, spend a lot of money, etc.  Yes, the $5 t-shirt hawkers may see a slight negative impact, but the island will be just fine without cruises.  It does it's best when the cruises aren't there, anyways.

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