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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Default Some serious Cruising Misconceptions

So I am reading an article by Gene Sloan of the USA Today on his Cruise Log about a tourist board in Southern Belize that expressed their desire to not have their area developed into a cruise stop. While I can respect their desires, what really bothered me where the comments left by readers about the article.

It seemed there were some real cruise haters hanging out and leaving comments. One reader called cruise ships "The cancers of the open seas", and another called the cruise lines the "exploiters of Alaska." Many of the comments were markedly anti-cruise, and filled with many misconceptions, like cruiselines dump raw sewege next to coastlines, they ruin every port or country they touch, and every local tour operator is ruined and exploited.

If they hate cruising that much, why do they hang out and comment on a Pro-cruising cruise log? I really don't understand the hatred some people have towards cruising. If you don't like it, don't cruise. Where does the hatred come from? I just really don't understand it.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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They do it because the missed their last meeting of the "I Need A Life Society" and thus have to find an outlet for their bitterness.

It's one of the unfortunate outcomes of internet growth - it gave wings to cowards and malcontents.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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They do it because the missed their last meeting of the "I Need A Life Society" and thus have to find an outlet for their bitterness.

It's one of the unfortunate outcomes of internet growth - it gave wings to cowards and malcontents.
Never has a more true statement been made!!
The internet is haunted by those who have no personality, (not including US of course) & I am amazed at the lengths these people will go to, not in order to fit in but to cause discord & generally upset things. There is another type that actually make up lives in order to appear interesting. There is a person on another site that has several ID's, all different types & genders but mostly female. She? tries to influence men with spicy messages (some silly randy old goats fall for it) she makes up cruises, even posting reports! She was finally twigged when she forgot which name she was posting under & made a fatal error about cancelling a cruise (sold it at the last moment...yeah right, we wish...) She has told people she is an eminent doctor even advising on medical matters, but some members ARE genuinely in the profession & can check...turns out she is probably a secretary. The recent cruise she cancelled (because someone said they would meet her onboard), we were waiting for her to break the news but were not prepared for her to say her mother had died!! This mother ages in "dog years" she is 70/80/90 depending on her mood. She claims & shows pics of a thirty-something ''blonde bombshell'' but elsewhere she posted as a divorced 50+ Grannie...& if she admits to being 50+ how old must she really be??
Another person, who stalks me, actually dug up something I said (in jest) in 2008 on another site that was different to a current statement.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Back on Topic though, Southampton city gets Millions of Pounds in income from every ship that docks here & there can be 5 a day!! Maybe some destinations get "spoiled" but that is also progress. A friend of mine in Barbados is convinced that all cruise ships are evil & ruin everything from pollution to erosion. They say there are two types of people, those who love cruises & those who haven't been on one.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Sadly Bermuda has learned a lesson...for quite a while cruisers were not welcome by certain people in Bermuda because "they didn't spend $$"... Well, the sad truth is that hotel occupancy (read the Bermuda Gazette today) are way down and the powers to be bit the bullet so to speak with the help of several cruise lines to develop the the old Dockyard which is now a main focus for cruising and base of tourism in Bermuda.. Having this Spring and last cruised to the Caribbean... When I see five or more cruise ships in port I get sick to my stomach..yes,I'm a snob.. Tourism is a cash cow for many of the ports and brings jobs and popularity, but what happens to the real "Grand Caymens, Cozumel, Nassau,etc"...lost in bars, gift and jewelry shops...all the same.. Please don't get me wrong.. I love to cruise..but I'm trying to avoid these type ports . As far as I am concerned.. the less non-cruisers trying cruises ...the better Let them stay home or go to their "time sharing" or camp..lol
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Old August 28th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Old August 28th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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This reminds me of a few years ago, with Alaska cruises and the taxes they keep putting on cruise ship passengers. Some stated, that it ruined some areas, but at the same time the ships are bring needed revenue to the ports, so its a catch 22 kind of thing..
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Old August 28th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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Something else I really didn't understand from the article and the comments. One of the reasons the tour operator's association stated as their reason for not wanting the cruiselines, was they didn't want to meet the stringent requirements from the cruiseline. The cruiseline requires proof of liability insurance, proof of equipment like buses and boats in good condition and tour guides that actually know what they are talking about. All things I think are a good thing. However, the tour operators didn't want to have to meet these requirements to be considered for inclusion on the cruiseline's shore excursions. One of the commenters stated that if the tour operators were required to meet these rules, the tour operator would become "mere employees of the cruiselines working for small tips".

First, if they don't want to be part of the cruiseline's shore excursions, then just don't. When we were in Alaska 3 years ago, we took a shore excursion on a boat to see Bald Eagles and Totem poles. The tour operator owned the boat, which I must say was in very good condition. He told us that the tour operators compete to be included in the cruiselines shore excursions. He said that the local tour operators have a type of trade show every winter to show the cruiselines their tours and that the local tour operators really want to be included and meet all the requirements because they make so much money from the cruiselines shore excursions. He didn't look exploited to me!
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Old August 28th, 2010, 09:44 PM
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I think the argument about ports not being so quaint anymore can also be viewed as selfish - on the part of those who don't live there but still wish places were more rustic. So you want Cozumel and Grand Cayman to be like they used to be, just for you? What about the people who live there? Is it possible they might want a higher standard of living which cruise ship dollars bring, and not want to remain in their past, like a 40 year old travelogue film? Nobody twisted their arms.

Places evolve. They should not be expected to remain as they once were just to please the discerning tourist.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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I read the same article. Most tour companies have to meet certain standards even in the countries they are in. Any company ie Air Transat Holidays ( large canadian tour company) requires that the local tour company (in a country) meets certain standard. If not they aren't used or told to clean up there act.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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Dave,
That is just so true, with the standards of living the locals can now enjoy, because of the cruise ships stops in their home...It goes both ways...
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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The main industry WAS banking in the Grand Caymens, our stop there this year after getting through the hordes of cruisers was to go on an excursion to see the other part of the island unspoiled. After having spent a week in Cozumel years ago we were able to go to undiscovered by the hordes of cruisers (where the crews went)...Yes, it does bring $$ and jobs into the islands, but I have to admit the growth imo is uncontrolled.. On the other hand in St. Barts we cruisers were treated rudely by the local merchants, guess we don't have the big $$ that regular visitors do..What I am trying to say is... many of these islands have to me lost their "charm" and become tourist/cruise traps. Lets not talk about Jamaica or St. Thomas. Dominica, Tobago and Rotan..(ports we have been to this year) on the brink of becoming inundated. Frankly, I don't expect most cruisers to agree with me...but it is my opinion and my cholces when I pick an itinerary.. which is usually believe it or not in Europe.. BTW for those who haven't done a N.E./Canada cruise.. you are missing ports that are delightful, welcoming and have other industries to support them.. like fishing.. and they charming and delightful without the hordes
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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So what constitutes a "Cruise/tourist trap"? Also, how does a port or island lose it's "charm" by allowing cruise ships to stop? Probably 2 of the biggest and most used port stops in the Caribbean ar St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Although there seems to be a lot of cheap t-shirt shops and Diamonds Intl., I don't think of these as "traps". They both still have pristeen waters and beaches. I know from reading these boards, some members consider one or the other a "dump", but I don't think they have lost any charm. Both islands still have a large amount or land only tourist going there along with the cruise ship visitors. Just because they welcome large amounts of cruise tourists doesn't make them a "trap" I think.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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So what constitutes a "Cruise/tourist trap"? Also, how does a port or island lose it's "charm" by allowing cruise ships to stop? Probably 2 of the biggest and most used port stops in the Caribbean ar St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Although there seems to be a lot of cheap t-shirt shops and Diamonds Intl., I don't think of these as "traps". They both still have pristeen waters and beaches. I know from reading these boards, some members consider one or the other a "dump", but I don't think they have lost any charm. Both islands still have a large amount or land only tourist going there along with the cruise ship visitors. Just because they welcome large amounts of cruise tourists doesn't make them a "trap" I think.
Sorry, but I think the best thing about St. Thomas after spending a week there is St. Johns...Have never been to St. Maarten so I can't comment, but I do know from reading the boards that St. thomas has become a bit more dangerous than before..Years ago merchants and salespeople told me how they lock the place down the minute the cruisers get back on the ship.. When on a cruise ship many of the passengers seemed only interested in shopping for cameras, electronic equipment, jewelry, etc. on these islands. A guide on our cruise ship said something that I don't think anybody else heard.. he said..."make sure the $$ stays in the country"..in other words... buy at local merchants.. and I did.. Oh yes.. in some ways I'm pretty naive at "flea markets", but what the heck..Oh yes.. the week we were in St. Thomas, Little Switzland and I both did well (I knew my prices and they had an older item on the shelf). A negative was an older woman at our resort bought a flashy diamond tennis bracelet at a well known jewelry shop... when she got it back to the resort discovered several defects in the stones.. Another woman bought (at the time they were new) a digital camera and after talking to my husband realized they did not include important pieces, she went back the next day... What would have happened to these people if they had been on a cruise ship!!! These were two well established shops.. At this point I'm off the subject..sorry about that.. I love cruising please don't get me wrong.. we will of done two cruises by the end of this year..but to me it's the ports and the itinerary and if we ever do a Caribbean cruise again...there are some ports that I may decide to stay on the ship.... as others have and are doing.. they are cruising for the sake of the cruising experience and the ship.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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In my experience "unspoilt" means "Rancid dump"
Mind you I was with someone in the Maldives & she kept on about how the "poor natives" were being spoilt by all this commercialism, I said ask them, I reckon they think it's pretty good!
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Old August 29th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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Actually, St. Maarten is one of my favorite Caribbean ports, it has everything, including charm, friendly native people, shopping and many good shore excursions as well.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Back to the original blip.. As stated some people have a mission to cure our behaviours and return the port to its original condition so they might enjoy it from their view as colonial masters. They have no concern for cash flow and jobs for locals to improve the ports inhabitants standard of living.

We have about 260 ships which dock each year in Victoria as one of the stops for Alaska run. The season runs from May to September and the cruise line would not stop if they did not provide a safe harbour, access to excursions, city life , country side.
All cruise lines work with local companies and set standards otherwise you would arrive back at the ship sick to your stomach, cause the ship to be delayed, had a lousy time. Talk to all the 140 taxi cabs who drive arrive with 3-4 passengers within the hour as to them being taken advantage of, think not.
A lot of young people are employed with the tours and cafes so they can go to university or what ever study, my taxes are reduced by the port fees and purchases and I gain a lot of knowledge meeting people.

We also establish standards we expect the cruise lines to meet in using our ports otherwise we will apply financial penalties or not allow them in to meet environment and standards of shipping.

Alaska had to decrease the rate charged for passengers this year after the Cruise lines pulled some of their ships out because of the costs but they are working with the ports.

We do benefit even though we still have people here complaining about a new injustice while overall cruise lines and ports want to work together.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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Sorry, but I think the best thing about St. Thomas after spending a week there is St. Johns...Have never been to St. Maarten so I can't comment, but I do know from reading the boards that St. thomas has become a bit more dangerous than before..Years ago merchants and salespeople told me how they lock the place down the minute the cruisers get back on the ship.. When on a cruise ship many of the passengers seemed only interested in shopping for cameras, electronic equipment, jewelry, etc. on these islands. A guide on our cruise ship said something that I don't think anybody else heard.. he said..."make sure the $$ stays in the country"..in other words... buy at local merchants.. and I did.. Oh yes.. in some ways I'm pretty naive at "flea markets", but what the heck..Oh yes.. the week we were in St. Thomas, Little Switzland and I both did well (I knew my prices and they had an older item on the shelf). A negative was an older woman at our resort bought a flashy diamond tennis bracelet at a well known jewelry shop... when she got it back to the resort discovered several defects in the stones.. Another woman bought (at the time they were new) a digital camera and after talking to my husband realized they did not include important pieces, she went back the next day... What would have happened to these people if they had been on a cruise ship!!! These were two well established shops.. At this point I'm off the subject..sorry about that.. I love cruising please don't get me wrong.. we will of done two cruises by the end of this year..but to me it's the ports and the itinerary and if we ever do a Caribbean cruise again...there are some ports that I may decide to stay on the ship.... as others have and are doing.. they are cruising for the sake of the cruising experience and the ship.
I agree with you that St. Johns is the best of the USVI. No question there!

We have purchased 2 large ticket jewelry items in St. Thomas on our past cruise stops in St. Thomas. I don't remember who told us this, but someone gave us great advice about buying any big ticket item in the Caribbean. First, inspect it carefully before you decide to buy it. Make sure it works or is real and everything is included. Second, once you have decided to purchase it, never let it leave your sight! If they offer to clean it or box it for you, say NO! It stays on the counter until payment is complete, then take it and box or bag it yourself.

Both pieces of jewelry we purchased, when we got home and had them appraised for the insurance, we ended up getting a pretty good deal on our purchases. But I do recall a couple we shared a dinner table with that got rippped off on some electronics they purchased on St. Thomas. It was in a shop on the cruiselines preferred list, so they filed some kind of complaint with the cruiseline. I don't know how it ever turned out.

It pays to careful no matter where you purchase your big ticket goods!
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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We have about 260 ships which dock each year in Victoria as one of the stops for Alaska run. The season runs from May to September and the cruise line would not stop if they did not provide a safe harbour, access to excursions, city life , country side.

We also establish standards we expect the cruise lines to meet in using our ports otherwise we will apply financial penalties or not allow them in to meet environment and standards of shipping.
I can certainly attest to the beauty of Victoria. We spent a few days in Vancouver, BC prior to our Alaska cruise in 2007, and on one day we rented a car and took the ferry over to Vancouver Island to see the gardens and Victoria. We loved it!

Funny thing, while on the cruise my wife the photographer accidently erased all her pictures of Vancouver, Victoria and the gardens. So I am under orders to someday return us to another Alaska cruise with either stops or a precruise stay in Victoria/Vancouver!
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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at the time I was collecting english paperweights from RCD and I walked around with an authorized price list and knew the stores cost.. Lo and behold one of the very much more $$$ items was high on a shelf with a dirty white box which told me much. The store was thrilled with my offer to buy it at discount..lol One of the things that still gives me laughs is seeing an old codger with young woman in jewelry stores there and I can remember it vividly the young woman turning down an emerald necklace..not enough gems on it.. In St. Lucia for the heck of it during a shower ran into a jewelry store...saw a Honora brown pearl bracelet for so much more than I had just paid for on sale in Lord and Taylors. What did I buy and you just know Parrot Mom is a shopper.. I bought a parrot beach bag from a little shop. I had so looked forward to St. Lucia.. many years ago on a cruise we found a work shop of Bagshaws where before I even had birds I bought a shirt and matching bag..which I still have to this day..and this was more than 15 years ago.. The Bagshaws in the port shopping area had little of the original or new designs.. but all the native women recognized the shirt which I wore.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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We never consider buying expensive stuff on holiday, it surprises me that other people do unless it is a planned item that is a good deal.Trouble is there is no real way anyone can tell what's real & what's not, they know you are leaving the island.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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We never consider buying expensive stuff on holiday, it surprises me that other people do unless it is a planned item that is a good deal.Trouble is there is no real way anyone can tell what's real & what's not, they know you are leaving the island.

THAT MY DEAR FRIEND IS THE TRUTH Yes, jewelry is a blind item...but electronics, etc. you must do your homework ahead of time and know model numbers, but that doesn't seem to help because the islands often sell electronics on a sort of "grey market" We fortunately live in an area where we can buy all sorts of electronics and jewelry at a discount.. But when I hear a cruiser say "who has the best black diamonds"... I want to toss them over.. Sadly, many of these people are from Europe and the prices are so much better here and there
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Old August 29th, 2010, 06:35 PM
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So what constitutes a "Cruise/tourist trap"? Also, how does a port or island lose it's "charm" by allowing cruise ships to stop? Probably 2 of the biggest and most used port stops in the Caribbean ar St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Although there seems to be a lot of cheap t-shirt shops and Diamonds Intl., I don't think of these as "traps". They both still have pristeen waters and beaches. I know from reading these boards, some members consider one or the other a "dump", but I don't think they have lost any charm. Both islands still have a large amount or land only tourist going there along with the cruise ship visitors. Just because they welcome large amounts of cruise tourists doesn't make them a "trap" I think.
We have been to both and agree 100% with Blueliner .We enjoyed visiting the shops, no high pressure salespersons,alot of window shopping
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Old September 15th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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I live in Miami and one of the biggest sources of revenue comes from tourists spending time and money in Miami before/after a cruise due to the Port of Miami and the Port Everglades an hour away. People can complain all they want but the bottom line is the bottom line for cities and countries!
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Old September 15th, 2010, 08:00 PM
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I live in Miami and one of the biggest sources of revenue comes from tourists spending time and money in Miami before/after a cruise due to the Port of Miami and the Port Everglades an hour away. People can complain all they want but the bottom line is the bottom line for cities and countries!
Well put, Agree with you.
In Victoria BC Canada , our cruise ship visits for the Alaska season bring in about 260 ships between April and October each year.
Our docks at Ogden Point have been upgraded for the largest ships and we have four main docks.
Our economy benefits from not only cruise ship passengers and crew but also the off load of items to be recycled and taking on fuel, provisions , maintenance while ship is docked and we now have annual upgrades from some of the cruise lines in our dry dock.
We now have a reputation of being able to service a ship for renovations within the allocated time frame of a few days to a few weeks and we have the infrastructure for the cruise lines to fly in and place in Hotels the specialised trades people.

Based on a 2005 study our economy benefited by more than 20 million dollars due to cruise ships in Victoria and this does not include trades and dry dock services.
This year the ships brought in more than 650,000 passengers if you multiply ship size and number of visits plus crew 234,000.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Regarding the OP's reference to the tourist board in Belize and other poster examples:

OK, just how do they propose to get tourist in any significant numbers to visit their areas? Build interstate standard highways, major airport facilities, or high speed railways? Cruise ships are a pretty efficient way to get large numbers of cash customers into your market.

If you can't bring in the tourists they can't spend their money in your market - it's that simple. I would think that if your mind set is that you don't want a lot of people to "spoil" your personal paradise but you do want their money then cruise ships that come in, spend money, and then leave within a few hours would be a dream come true!

Cruising allows a lot of people to travel to places they otherwise could not afford to go to and spend their money. Does the Belize tourist board expect people to just stick their money in an envelope and send it to them?
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