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Fight Against Big Ships in Venice and Key West


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This is an interesting article in today's Key West Citizen. This could be significant with RCI if the rumors of a Voyager Class ship coming to Key West is true. A little background...for the past couple years, there has been a proposal to dredge the main shipping channel into Key West to accomodate ships as large as Oasis Class. It's meeting great opposition in KW. What I found interesting about this article is the common interest in Venice.

 

http://keysnews.com/node/49802

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I can see the point that both sides are taking about- preservation of something vs. economic gain of tourism. Especially in Key West.

 

But Vencie is interesting- since cruise ships are built there. So it's ok to build them, and it's ok that millions of tourists visit there via train and flying. But the thousands from ships that could have been built there is not ok. hmmm have to think about that one.

 

I can see the impact of cruise ship tourists in Key West- not that many people go out there. But can't really see the impact in Venice- there are SOOO very many tourists there that a few thousand day trippers from a ship would not make much of a difference.

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As somebody who spends time in Key West I can tell all of you the residents of KW do not like any of the cruise ship.

 

That includes the t-shirt shops.

 

Well, I wouldn't say that's true for all of us. I don't have a problem with the ships. However, with the congestion that is caused on the lower end of Duval St, I do avoid the area when there is more than 1 ship in port. I'll be the first to admit, we cannot accomodate an Oasis Class ship.

 

T-Shirt shops? Yeah, we all hate those filthy places.

Edited by Aquahound
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But Vencie is interesting- since cruise ships are built there. So it's ok to build them, and it's ok that millions of tourists visit there via train and flying. But the thousands from ships that could have been built there is not ok. hmmm have to think about that one.

 

I can see the impact of cruise ship tourists in Key West- not that many people go out there. But can't really see the impact in Venice- there are SOOO very many tourists there that a few thousand day trippers from a ship would not make much of a difference.

 

Having only been to Venice once, I'm certainly no expert. But I did spend a week there and had an interesting chat with some locals. I don't know how true this is, but many Venice locals are not fans of the cruise ships because supposedly, the Italian government doesn't share the wealth from the port fees.

 

I do know they are having tidal issues there. The larger the ship, the more water that gets displaced. When they have high tides, especially around Fall time, a passing cruise ship is not a good thing.

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Speaking as a resident of a small satellite town around San Antonio, I can fully understand. The reason we moved out here is to get away from the traffic, crime and congestion of "Big City". BUT, a large part of support economically are the port fees and money spent in Key West by these tourists. Isn't it a catch 22 situation Paul?

Here the powers that be have been fighting Wal-Mart for decades and finally caved. We are getting one. I appreciate the convenience of having it, in fact am excited, but the prospect of more people moving out here and transforming our paradise into a megaplex is daunting!

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Well, I wouldn't say that's true for all of us. I don't have a problem with the ships. However, with the congestion that is caused on the lower end of Duval St, I do avoid the area when there is more than 1 ship in port. I'll be the first to admit, we cannot accomodate an Oasis Class ship.

 

T-Shirt shops? Yeah, we all hate those filthy places.

 

 

$5...just $5...:p

 

It is like night and day in Key West between a port day and non-port day. I think they've managed it pretty well so far but I can't see much larger ships, particularly Oasis class, stopping there. Never mind that more than one cruise line stops there. It's not uncommon to have an RCI ship there and at least one CCL ship at the same time.

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I do know they are having tidal issues there. The larger the ship, the more water that gets displaced. When they have high tides, especially around Fall time, a passing cruise ship is not a good thing.

 

I'm sure there issues that we dont know about other than just the numerous amounts of tourists these places draw. Sometimes the local people do know what is best for their communities both economically and sustainability of the constant traffic due to the tourism. I believe we should at least listen to all the issues and find out the most effective way to preserve both of these beautiful places for future generations.

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Having only been to Venice once, I'm certainly no expert. But I did spend a week there and had an interesting chat with some locals. I don't know how true this is, but many Venice locals are not fans of the cruise ships because supposedly, the Italian government doesn't share the wealth from the port fees.

 

I do know they are having tidal issues there. The larger the ship, the more water that gets displaced. When they have high tides, especially around Fall time, a passing cruise ship is not a good thing.

 

I've been twice, so not much more an expert than you are. But I did notice the plethora of tourists, even in late September. didn't notice many ships.

 

I would ask the local if they get any money from the train station, or if the landing fees that the airport gets filters it's way into the economy. I suspect that neither happens.

 

As for the tides, while I appreciate the worry, we have to be realistic. The displacement of a ship appears to be enormous. Until you compare it with the ocean. I doubt one could even measure the tide impact that a ship would have. If they wake when coming an going, that's a different story. Still- the part of Vencice that is actually exposed to a ships wake is the same if it's a cruise ship or any ships that dock in the nearby mainland- there are very few ways in and out of that port area (google maps illustrates that with the satillite view). If they are complaining about ALL large shipping, great. If they are complaining about cruise ships only, well, what about the rest of the shipping?

 

In that respect, Key West and Venice are quite similar- a very limited path for shipping to move from sea going to docking. The difference being that Venice has been a pretty sizable shipping port for centuries, whereas not many people will choose to ship from key west when Miami makes much more sense, and has for centuries.

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BUT, a large part of support economically are the port fees and money spent in Key West by these tourists. Isn't it a catch 22 situation Paul?

 

You know, you're right. It is a catch 22. But there has to be a balance. The $12 per person collected by the city from every cruise ship passenger does go toward paying decent salaries to our police, fire, EMS, and other city workers. However, the tourist dollars tend to only benefit a very small number of persons/businesses. Overall, cruise ships make for a small percentage of our overall tourist income. They have to balance the income with protecting the sensitive environment.

Here the powers that be have been fighting Wal-Mart for decades and finally caved. We are getting one.

 

Same here. We finally caved. A Wal-Mart is going to be built just outside of Key West. We will no longer be able to say we live closer to Cuba than Wal-Mart.

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Yeah, that's why the book/movie was called Paradise Lost!

The original one of a kind charm of a place like Key West > "progress" has always been a dilemma. The locals want to keep it like they found and fell in love with it...but the rest of the world wants a piece of it too.:confused:

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Thanks for sharing Paul. I'm a little torn too. I understand both sides. I want to come to KW on a cruise but it's a mess in town when the cruise ships are there. I would hate to see Duval Street with an Oasis-sized ship!!

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I have to say that stopping here as a port on one of my cruises is how I fell in love with Key West and have visited several times since to a favorite bed and breakfast. I love visiting the artists shops.....did a lot of shopping on my Majesty stop this past january!!!!

 

Sometimes it is the more affordable way to visit this beautiful oasis via cruise ship as a night in a hotel or bed and breakfast is almost the price of a cabin on a cruise.

 

While I can understand getting around town would be very difficult if an Oasis size ship was able to call on Key West, to me as a cruiser it is a thousand percent better to see this port on my itinerary than Nassau. I would also expect to pay higher port fees to visit. Weren't the port fees increased in Alaska a few years ago to help with environmental impact issues? Not sure but I remember screaming here on the boards about the higher fees.

 

Not sure I will visit Venice anytime soon but I sure hope to keep visiting Key West.

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I like visiting there on a cruise simply because we are back in the USA so I can use my phone without additional charges. Plus Key West has a "charm" about it that is nice to enjoy. American Money, Sort of American Ways, but of course that Key West influence!

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I would hate to see Duval Street with an Oasis-sized ship!!

 

We all would, trust me! As much as I love Oasis, I just can't see her moored here. This goes beyond the article a little, but it's not just about the size of the ship with locals. We have a running joke down here that we can tell what cruise line is in port just by watching the people on Duval St. :D

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I would ask the local if they get any money from the train station, or if the landing fees that the airport gets filters it's way into the economy. I suspect that neither happens.

 

 

 

I talked to a guy who lived in Venice for awhile, and he came back to Ohio. He compared the port fee situation to the biggest lie in Ohio that the Ohio lottery benefits schools. That is what is said, but if that were true you would think that if sales of the lottery go up 10% that the schools would get more money, nope the money just goes into the general fund and budgets are set despite of whatever lottery sales are.

 

With Key West, I wonder if they could allow bigger ships (Freedom or Oasis class seems a bit much) but keep limits on number of passengers per day/week. Are there ships docking every day of the week or specific days each week? The one time I was in KW there was Majesty and one Carnival ship, I don't remember its size, crowds were managable for us. I would hate to have to do business in that area with all the tourist running around on scooters, bicycles, and other unusual fun to rent vehicles. I know there are lots of keywest tourist crash videos on youtube.

Edited by BillOh
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We all would, trust me! As much as I love Oasis, I just can't see her moored here. This goes beyond the article a little, but it's not just about the size of the ship with locals. We have a running joke down here that we can tell what cruise line is in port just by watching the people on Duval St. :D

 

 

If we ever meet, lets discuss that. (I hope to have lunch at Black Fin on Halloween by the way :) )

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In that respect, Key West and Venice are quite similar- a very limited path for shipping to move from sea going to docking. The difference being that Venice has been a pretty sizable shipping port for centuries, whereas not many people will choose to ship from key west when Miami makes much more sense, and has for centuries.

 

True. KW is not a commercial port. Other than cruise ships, the only other ship that comes in is a tanker that feeds the Navy's fuel farm.

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As for the tides, while I appreciate the worry, we have to be realistic. The displacement of a ship appears to be enormous. Until you compare it with the ocean. I doubt one could even measure the tide impact that a ship would have. If they wake when coming an going, that's a different story. .

 

I have seen programs on the issues with ships entering and leaving Venice's lagoon and to be honest I don't remember all the physics any longer. But the issues involve much more than the ship's wake. If you ever sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on Oasis or Allure as you go through the outlet watch how the beach empties of water. After the ship goes by waves bring the water back to the beach. The action has much more affect due to the quick volume of water changing than the gradual rise and fall of the tides. Also, because of the shallowness of the lagoon, there are pressures that affect the bottom as the ship displaces water. As I said, I no longer remember all of the details of the physics involved but add that into the tidal issues and Venice does have quite a problem.

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I have seen programs on the issues with ships entering and leaving Venice's lagoon and to be honest I don't remember all the physics any longer. But the issues involve much more than the ship's wake. If you ever sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on Oasis or Allure as you go through the outlet watch how the beach empties of water. After the ship goes by waves bring the water back to the beach. The action has much more affect due to the quick volume of water changing than the gradual rise and fall of the tides. Also, because of the shallowness of the lagoon, there are pressures that affect the bottom as the ship displaces water. As I said, I no longer remember all of the details of the physics involved but add that into the tidal issues and Venice does have quite a problem.

 

that's a different problem than some have described.

 

The tide issue is not one- the lagoon is 500km^2, so even if you add up the total volume of all the RCI ships, I would be that it would result in adding 1mm to the height- assuming it was a lake and had no place else to go.

 

What you are describing is more about the ship moving, which makes a lot more sense. The movement of a ship close over a bottom will alter its dynamics, and the wake/refill of that motion can cause problems.

 

That, and while the headlines we are seeing call for cruise ships to stop sailing, the details in the article are asking that ALL ships over a specific size should stop sailing next to Venice. And that makes a LOT more sense.

 

the other interesting thing- the issues that face Venice and Key West are quite different, but the solution ends up being the same- a limit on the size of ships that can sail into the area.

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I can see the point that both sides are taking about- preservation of something vs. economic gain of tourism. Especially in Key West.

 

But Vencie is interesting- since cruise ships are built there. So it's ok to build them, and it's ok that millions of tourists visit there via train and flying. But the thousands from ships that could have been built there is not ok. hmmm have to think about that one.

 

I can see the impact of cruise ship tourists in Key West- not that many people go out there. But can't really see the impact in Venice- there are SOOO very many tourists there that a few thousand day trippers from a ship would not make much of a difference.

 

I've been to Venice a few times and believe me I stay clear of St. Mark's Square/Rialto areas when the cruise ships are in port. You can DEFINITELY notice the difference in the number of tourists!

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Well, I wouldn't say that's true for all of us. I don't have a problem with the ships. However, with the congestion that is caused on the lower end of Duval St, I do avoid the area when there is more than 1 ship in port. I'll be the first to admit, we cannot accomodate an Oasis Class ship.

 

T-Shirt shops? Yeah, we all hate those filthy places.

 

We love Key West. A different perspective from us. I purposely look for itinierarys for K.W. When larger ships are going to be in or too many; We avoid those cruises like the plague! Just too crowded!

Edited by evelyn51
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We usually rent a house in KW for a week. I check the cruise ship schedule before going and we avoid Mallory Square and the lower end of Duval street when there are two ships in port. It's a zoo. With that said, cruise ship passengers buy tours. The Conch train is packed on ship days.

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