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Ginger, of Jupiter Beach, Florida, replied to yesterday’s Looks to me the cruise ship lovers gang have the upper hand in the so-called Key West channel-widening study debate post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
Read your commentary on the Channel widening. It will create environmental problems and the cruise ships are already polluting the area both from churning the water and the oil pollution..
The constant churning of the waters affect the clarity of the water for the coral. I went skin diving around Key West and the coral looks like hell. Its not colorful and healthy as I remember it 50 years ago…its colorless, sort of brown and yellow.
The City or Town of Key West should spend the money on improve the beauty of the town. I have lost interest in visiting it on a cruise ship. I have visited Key West 4 times on Cruise ships and have lost interest in visiting it again. Many people don’t want to spend the money to drive down to the Keys and to Key West.
The Giant cruise ships aren’t cheaper as they have spent so much building them and they can’t get into many of the ports in the Caribbean. I doubt I will ever book a cruise on one, they are too huge. They forget what a mess it is to disembark with 5500 people. And who wants to dock at a small island with a built in town population of 5500. Everything is crowded. Its like a swarm of locust when you dock at the ports. Maybe the giant ships will work on the West Coast for Hawaii but they will have to dock off short and use the tenders to go ashore for some of the islands.
What are the town people going to do when the ships stop coming to Key West because the down town just isn’t that interesting anymore or clean or safe. Key West needs a charming outdoor café that serves wonderful salads, plates of Gulf shrimp scampi, grilled, in a salad, their great key lime pie, tropical drinks but not too expensive as all the cruise people can go back to the ship for free food in the dining room or the buffet.
Many ships arrive in Port at 7 am and then leave at 3 pm so people have to be back on the ship by 2:30 or 3 pm. Only time for lunch, not any NIGHT LIFE. I mention Gulf Shrimp as it is one thing the ships don’t seem to have. They have shrimp cocktail before some dinners, but no exciting shrimp dishes. The outdoor restaurant would need SHADE, umbrellas, as it is TOO hot walking around Key West. A lot of the older cruise passengers stay on board, swim, drink, etc. Its also very expensive shopping, even the supposed duty free shopping. I think one of the SWISS shops said it was 10% off for some of its very expensive stuff like watches, perfume but some of those items are cheaper on the ship, no tax, and if the ship is docking in the Cayman Islands, NO TAX, NO DUTY and about 30% cheaper on watches, jewelry, perfume.
Those are my suggestions. Ginger
I wrote back:
Thanks. They keep saying the super big cruise ships
never will call on Key West, but there are bigger cruise ships not in the super big class, which cannot now call on Key West, but will be able to do so if the channel is dredged wider. Also, on days when the wind blows wrong, even the “small” cruise ships cannot crab (tack) into the channel, but if it is dredged wider, they will be able to crab into the channel on wrong wind days.
“small” cruise ship at Mallory Pier
It looks to me that there is no way to persuade Key West cruise ship proponents to be against even more and bigger cruise ships. All they are looking at is $$$, and they make any and all arguments to make more cruise ships out to be the greatest environmental bonanza since God created the Garden of Eden. Besides what the ships do to the ocean and reef, there is the clogging of the Old Town business district with cruise ship passengers, and the clogging of city streets with conch trains and trolleys sporting blaring loudspeakers.
I keep harping against cruise ships, because the angels tell me to keep harping. Most likely, it doesn’t matter what or how much I harp; people’s minds already are made up and we will know about that on election night, October 3. What boggles me is natives (called Conchs) like Key West Mayor Craig Cates want more and bigger cruise ships calling on Key West. You’d think the Conchs, of all Key West people, would be violently opposed to cruise ships calling on Key West at all. You’d think wrong.
Received this forward today from a Key West amiga who doesn’t want more and bigger cruise ships, but, like many in her camp, she will not come out against banning cruise ships altogether from Key West.
CHANNEL WIDENING FORUM: Thursday, 5 September, 6PM: The Key West Chamber of Commerce will hold a town hall meeting open to the public about the proposed feasibility study that would assess the impacts of widening a section of Key West’s main ship channel.
Panelists from local political action committees (PACs) will present information and take questions from the public. Moderated by Ed Scales, the forum will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Westin Key West Resort and Marina, 245 Front St., in the Truman Ballroom on the second floor. The parking fee will be waived for community members attending the forum.
Unsaid in the announcement, The Westin has one of the three piers where cruise ships dock, the Chamber created its own PAC to lobby/campaign for more and bigger cruise ships (via lobbying for the voters approving a study on dredging the channel wider), and Ed Scales is legal counsel for Ed Swift’s company, Historic Tours of America, which runs conch trains and trolleys all over Key West, and has an exclusive arrangement ferrying cruise ship passengers from ships docked at the outer mole into Old Town and back to their ship.
The attached now somewhat dated cartoon in the Key West Citizen [leads off this post], which has not been re-run in that rag since the referendum went onto the ballot, pretty well sums up Ed Swift’s most wonderful wet dream come true. Sorry, sometimes there is not a sanitized way to accurately describe what really is going on.
“small” curise ship leaves the outer mole pier