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#1 Oct 23, 2018 3:25 pm

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I hate cruise ships

I'd like to build a Trumpian wall, all around the Caribbean Sea and keep those leeches out!!!

Every winter, the Caribbean becomes overrun with an infestation of cruise ships. Our towns and beaches become clogged with millions of bothersome day trippers, who spend a few measly dollars on Chinese souvenirs and cold beers and who, as one disgruntled taxi driver put it: “Leave nothing behind but their shit!”

You can always rely on a taxi drivers for an abundance of street wisdom!

That’s a lot of people, making a living off cruise ships. But what kind of living? In most Caribbean destinations cruise ships are highly seasonal, so in the summer everyone is sucking wind. The vast majority of souvenirs are made in China, and it’s not uncommon to see passengers coming off the boat with bags of sandwiches they’ve pilfered from the breakfast buffet!

Many passengers, sometimes most depending on the weather, don’t bother to get off the boat; they stay on deck and say “I’ve seen Grenada.” Cruise companies are excellent marketers: everything you want is on board: the ship becomes the holiday, the destination is merely background. As noted by the CDB: “Activities such as dining and entertainment are all done on the cruise ship, leaving little to be spent in the local economies.”

In my short-lived career as a small boat operator in Grenada, I got to know a thing or two about doing business with cruise ships. If I charged fifty dollars per person to go on a whale-watching trip (or whale-wishing as I called it), the ship charges the punters a hundred. So not unnaturally they often feel they haven’t received value for money; because they haven’t. Small boat operators have to maintain at least two million dollars in liability insurance, in case anything untoward should happen to their precious passengers. And in the summer? Sucks to be you.

According to Friends of the Earth, the worldwide cruise ship industry dumps around one billion gallons of sewage into the oceans every year . Given that the Caribbean accounts for 34% of the world cruise ship industry, we can assume that an equal percentage of that sewage is dumped into our precious, fragile Caribbean Sea.

All Caribbean countries charge a head tax on cruise ship passengers, but it’s a token. When Grenada had the temerity to increase its tax, Caribbean Cruise Lines, the world’s largest, boycotted Grenada for years. Cruise lines are represented by strong lobbying groups like the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Ship Association; none of the Caribbean countries with a combined voice.

What we fail to realize is that we actually hold the handle, and they the blade. In the winter there’s nowhere else for the cruise shipsto go, they must come to the Caribbean. By not extracting a fair return from the cruise ship industry, we are not exploiting our market strength. In short: we are being played.

Yet again, is it too much to expect the Caribbean to speak with one voice?




Cruise-shit.jpg

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#2 Oct 23, 2018 4:07 pm

Expat
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Re: I hate cruise ships

Sage words, with an unpleasant photo. You would have thought they did that at night.

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#3 Oct 23, 2018 4:13 pm

Real Distwalker
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Re: I hate cruise ships

I have never been on one.  That said...

My wife and I are kicking around taking a cruise from Buenos Aries to Montevideo to the Falklands and through the Straights of Magellan to a few stops in Chile.  This is no Carnival Cruise.  It isn't for kids and it isn't about boozing.  This is a quiet cruise with fine dining and naturalists and historians on board with tours ashore. 

I have my doubts.  Part of me wants to just go down there a see it from a land travel standpoint as I always have.  I am getting older, however, and the ease of a cruise has more appeal all the time.

What are your thoughts on this?

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#4 Oct 23, 2018 4:18 pm

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Re: I hate cruise ships

That kind of cruise gets my vote! I love sea journeys, it takes a couple of days for your physical and mental metabolism to slow down to get attuned to the sea, but when you do it's so restful and invigorating. I'd love going through the Magellan, only thing I'd love more is to round The Horn! Land travel down there is kinda challenging, I hear, plus the distances are looong.

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#5 Oct 23, 2018 4:19 pm

Real Distwalker
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Re: I hate cruise ships

That's what we thought.  We really thought the only way for us to see this part of the world is this way.

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#6 Oct 23, 2018 4:20 pm

New Historian
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Re: I hate cruise ships

Where to after Magellan? Easter Island? Galapagos? Back through Panama?

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#7 Oct 23, 2018 4:28 pm

Expat
Active

Re: I hate cruise ships

Real Distwalker wrote:

I have never been on one.  That said...

My wife and I are kicking around taking a cruise from Buenos Aries to Montevideo to the Falklands and through the Straights of Magellan to a few stops in Chile.  This is no Carnival Cruise.  It isn't for kids and it isn't about boozing.  This is a quiet cruise with fine dining and naturalists and historians on board with tours ashore. 

I have my doubts.  Part of me wants to just go down there a see it from a land travel standpoint as I always have.  I am getting older, however, and the ease of a cruise has more appeal all the time.

What are your thoughts on this?


Glad you said Falklands, and not Malvina's.

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#8 Oct 23, 2018 4:44 pm

New Historian
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Re: I hate cruise ships

Viva!!!!

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#9 Oct 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Real Distwalker
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Re: I hate cruise ships

2019_South_America_and_the_Chilean_Fjords_956x690_v2_tcm13-106896.jpg

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#10 Oct 23, 2018 5:57 pm

Real Distwalker
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Re: I hate cruise ships

There is an option to fly to Easter Island for two nights and a day.  I would probably do that.

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