Goodbye to Philadelphia Cruises
Written by: Paul Motter
I am from the West Coast. I grew up in Phoenix and spent my entire life up to 40 between Phoenix and Los Angeles. Then I was lucky enough to call New York City my home for my the 1990s, and that was a highlight of my life.
There is a distinct difference between the two coasts and unless you spend time in each one I doubt you fully appreciate the difference. The west coast is touchy feely, but not as sincere as the east coast. California invented the phrase “have a nice day.” The Hollywood mentality is “you’re only as good as your last film.”
The East Coast is where you find Harvard, Princeton and Columbia University; schools known for post-grad degrees. You definitely think more long-term on the East coast. On the East Coast you are as good as the best thing you ever did, they plan ahead and think long-term.
One of the best visits I ever had to a port city was a special trip I made to Philadelphia. I was there to research it as a cruise port, and to see what it is like to spend a few days there pre or post-cruise. I found it to be an extremely impressive city, where we were never bored for a minute and couldn’t possibly find enough time to do all the things we ever wanted to do.
Just four years ago there were as many as 36 cruises sailing out of Philadelphia – going to Bermuda and down to Florida – but just last week the city announced it is closing down its cruise terminal with only two cruises remaining.
The last two cruises to leave out of Philadelphia will be on American Cruise Line – a small cruise line most of you have probably not even heard about. We have a two articles you should read if you want to more about the American Cruise Lines, and Philadelphia as a cruise port.
Geting back to Philly – For lovers of everything related to sea travel, Philly has the Independence Seaport Museum where you can tour the battle cruise Olympia and the submarine Becuna – two of America’s most historic warships. In fact, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard is the oldest in the United States founded in 1776.
There was nothing wrong with the city as a seaport, it has great public transportation, hotels and is a fascinating visit. The problem was that the city just did not support the cruise market as well as the cruise lines hoped it would. Philadelphia regularly vies with Phoenix for the title “fifth-largest U.S. city,” but not enough of those people decided to try a cruise.
Instead, the ports in Bayonne New Jersey and Baltimore have become far more popular, especially Baltimore now offering cruises year-round on Carnival Pride.
The problem is that if you told you were cruising out of Philly I could tell you ten “must-do” things when you got to the city, but not so with Baltimore. I have been there as well, and other than the “Bromo-Seltzer Tower, the only worthwhile pre-cruise activity there is finding a place to park the car for seven days.
For West Coasters – I still strongly recommend you make an effort to go east and see the great American cities. You can catch a cruise out of Boston now, or even New Jersey. But don’t skip Philly, the city that truly is the birthplace of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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Posted: December 3rd, 2010 under Paul Motter.