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Crowded Ports- Too many Ships in Ports!

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On 5/6/2019 at 4:00 AM, Paulchili said:

Are you going to visit these places on a land trip or just stay home?

Good question.  We were in Dubrovnik last year on a non-cruise trip.  The cruise ships are ruining it over everyone not just the cruise passengers.  UNESCO is threatening to revoke their world heritage stage because it's too crowded.

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It was lovely and not very crowded when we were there in July ... but that was July 1977.

 

The NY Times Travel Section will have an article this week on six places to go in Europe that are NOT crowded.

 

Mura

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Getting a bit nervous reading this tread. Cruising to Alaska in July. Hope that crowds are manageable.

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40 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

Getting a bit nervous reading this tread. Cruising to Alaska in July. Hope that crowds are manageable.

To paraphrase Dirty Harry - do you feel lucky? It depends how many big ships are in your port on any given day - could be 3 or 4 others or none.

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I will be a contrarian here and state that if you plan carefully precisely when you cruise, you indeed can avoid some of the crowds.  

 

Certainly our land art trip to Florence in January was a bit excessive IMO to avoid crowds there, but it certainly worked out like my anti-crowd friend who put the trip together for our 20-person group wanted.  And when we stayed on to visit Naples and Rome, we had very few crowds with which to contend.

 

More to the point, our Western Mediterranean cruise early last month on Marina did not suffer from overcrowding at our ports, perhaps because the itinerary chose some more obscure ones (Valencia, Palamos, Ajaccio) but even Antibes, Monte Carlo and Livorno absorbed all of us easily, perhaps because there are so many destinations from each of those that scattered the multitudes.  We tend to cruise in May and October in Europe and have not suffered overly.  Is it perhaps because we have obscure interests?  

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

To paraphrase Dirty Harry - do you feel lucky? It depends how many big ships are in your port on any given day - could be 3 or 4 others or none.

We did an Alaskan cruise a few years ago and I think that when we say 'no more.'  The ports are small towns and cruise passengers, IMO, overwhelm them.  But we would walk as far and long as possible to get away from tourists.  And did pretty well.  

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On 6/13/2019 at 4:07 PM, Mura said:

The NY Times Travel Section will have an article this week on six places to go in Europe that are NOT crowded.

 

Oh drat.   I meant to pick up the paper.  I'll have to use one of my few online articles.  Thanks for mentioning it.

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Clo, send me an email and I'll send the article to you.  Actually, there was a second article on the same subject in Sunday's paper.

 

Mura

 

mkievman at nyc dot rr dot com

 

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:14 AM, Classiccruiser777 said:

This is partially a byproduct of ships that carry 3000+ passengers, which is one reason we now almost exclusively cruise on Oceania. Smaller ships can get into more intimate and interesting ports.

Or so I thought too.  We are O newbies who had signed up for the great O Cuba itinerary.  Now we have an ordinary cruise at a price that might be good for O but we have done multiple times on other cruise lines.  They just took off the one new port I wanted to go to (St. Barts) and put in St. Maarten.   That is the epitome of a place with too many big ships on one day....four and they can be really big ones.  We've been there three times already.  You are right that smaller ships are better.   If only I could talk our companions into changing cruises.  I don't think we would have a problem doing so.   Not O's fault that Cuba is gone....but very disappointed at the double downgrade in itinerary.  I do blame them for canning St. Barts and putting in the very common St. Maarten.

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1 hour ago, HokiePoq said:

.  I do blame them for canning St. Barts and putting in the very common St. Maarten.

seriously 😲

Ever think it may have been St Barts  that cancelled the port call

 

 

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14 hours ago, LHT28 said:

seriously 😲

Ever think it may have been St Barts  that cancelled the port

No.  Why would St. Barts have agreed within the last month and changed so quickly?    

14 hours ago, LHT28 said:

 

 

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1 hour ago, HokiePoq said:

No.  Why would St. Barts have agreed within the last month and changed so quickly?    

 

As I read the St. Barts situation, the Island was willing to accept refugee ships based on a temporary Cuban problem but when No Cuba Cruises became official USA policy, they reconsidered their position.

Their marbles, their game  :classic_wacko:

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24 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

As I read the St. Barts situation, the Island was willing to accept refugee ships based on a temporary Cuban problem but when No Cuba Cruises became official USA policy, they reconsidered their position.

Their marbles, their game  :classic_wacko:

Thanks for the info.  I had not seen this mentioned  anywhere.   I am just going to have to bite the bullet and tell our friends I don't want this itinerary of ports I've visited multiple times.   St. Barts was the highlight of the replacement itinerary.

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29 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

Their marbles, their game  :classic_wacko:

Unlike most of the other Carib ports, St Barts probably neither needs nor depends on cruise ship $$$$ for survival. They get plenty income from independent (mostly wealthy) travelers.

JMO.

Edited by Paulchili

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St Bart’s was an unfriendly port stop on the two occasions we were there.   We detected some minor hostility to cruise ship passengers.  We couldn’t get service at a waterfront eatery, they ignored us.   We were told they wanted to ban cruise ships.  

The best part of St Bart’s is being moored in the gorgeous harbor, it is spectacular.  The island itself did not wow us. 

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I'm not sure how relevant my comment is, or if it is at all.

 

But we were on a private beach in Anguilla back in 1984 or 1985.  There was nobody there but us because the hotel had only gotten half built.  We were staying at condos next door, which were also empty.  (And later went bankrupt, I think.)  This was before all those incredibly expensive hotels were built.  It was rather unknown destination in those days.  One stop light on the whole island ...

 

Anyway, we were swimming there and a small yacht from St. Bart's approached.  They were really pi$$ed that we were there at THEIR beach. Naturally, we refused to leave ... they finally did.

 

We attributed their behavior to being filthy rich St. Bart's folk who think they own the world.

 

You may ask how we knew they were from St. Bart's, and that's a question I can't answer.  Probably their vessel had the name St. Bart's on it.  Otherwise we couldn't have known who to blame for their attitude and we had no doubt.

 

Mura

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:04 PM, HokiePoq said:

Thanks for the info.  I had not seen this mentioned  anywhere.   I am just going to have to bite the bullet and tell our friends I don't want this itinerary of ports I've visited multiple times.   St. Barts was the highlight of the replacement itinerary.

Have you ever been to St Barts? 

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13 minutes ago, ORV said:

Have you ever been to St Barts? 

No....obviously if you think it's not worth going to.   St. Barts and Antigua were the only two places we had not been to multiple times.  Had looked on TA and picked out an excursion.   St Maarten was substituted....with its crowds and our multiple visits there.  That is why my angst.  

Edited by HokiePoq

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It's okay, but not much to do in the port area, you need an excursion there. What little there is there is very expensive. 

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On 6/22/2019 at 7:43 PM, sammiedawg said:

St Bart’s was an unfriendly port stop on the two occasions we were there.   We detected some minor hostility to cruise ship passengers.  We couldn’t get service at a waterfront eatery, they ignored us.   We were told they wanted to ban cruise ships.  

The best part of St Bart’s is being moored in the gorgeous harbor, it is spectacular.  The island itself did not wow us. 

St, Bart,s was one of the best port stops in the Crib. for us.  WE were there 3 times and made advance reservations for lunch each time at one of the best hotels on the island.  Took a cab there and they welcomed us with open arms.  Set us up at the beach with chairs  and towels at no charge.  Had a great lunch by the beach and called a cab to go back to the tender.  Pretty expensive for lunch but worth it.   A wonderful day.    Even spent about an hour walking around town.  

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5 hours ago, RJB said:

St, Bart,s was one of the best port stops in the Crib. for us.  WE were there 3 times and made advance reservations for lunch each time at one of the best hotels on the island.  Took a cab there and they welcomed us with open arms.  Set us up at the beach with chairs  and towels at no charge.  Had a great lunch by the beach and called a cab to go back to the tender.  Pretty expensive for lunch but worth it.   A wonderful day.    Even spent about an hour walking around town.  

RJB...again we agree.  Head to Nikki Beach, wear lovely attire, sip champagne, eat lobster, while watching an International sailing race. Expensive, but memorable. Heading that way again Nov.2020 with SeaDream.

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22 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

RJB...again we agree.  Head to Nikki Beach, wear lovely attire, sip champagne, eat lobster, while watching an International sailing race. Expensive, but memorable. Heading that way again Nov.2020 with SeaDream.

So it's sounding like hanging out with (non-rich) locals and eating the local (non-rich) food isn't that desirable?  As I've mentioned we go down back "alleys" and eat with the locals.

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1 minute ago, clo said:

So it's sounding like hanging out with (non-rich) locals and eating the local (non-rich) food isn't that desirable?  As I've mentioned we go down back "alleys" and eat with the locals.

We all travel differently. My DH and I have traveled the world extensively. Many times in port we will head to a very luxurious hotel or special restaurant after a long walk and having a lovely lunch, some wine, and just enjoy the ambience of where we are. Usually, we are eating with the locals, as well. 

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5 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

We all travel differently. My DH and I have traveled the world extensively. Many times in port we will head to a very luxurious hotel or special restaurant after a long walk and having a lovely lunch, some wine, and just enjoy the ambience of where we are. Usually, we are eating with the locals, as well. 

Ah, so "many times" and "usually" sound good.  But when we travel - seven continents so far 🙂 - we far prefer to not only eat the local food but to hang with the locals.  Perhaps especially on an Oceania cruise where 'higher end' food is de rigueur even more so.  Ever have feijoada in Brazil?

 

feijoada 2014.JPG

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