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Article on Cruise Ship vote in Key West.


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10 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

Sometimes, just sometimes it is not about the money vs quality of life for those who remember what it was like way back when...

 

bon voayge

I enjoyed visiting Key West prior to the Diamonds International era. Don't know if they'll ever return to the "living free" times, but long for them. 

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We enjoyed earlier visits to KW.. with .quaint shops, unique crafts and art, friendly shop keepers,  beautiful architecture, a few museums,  and nice places to have a waterside lunch.

 

Much has changed with  larger ships, hordes of passengers cramming into the bars and tee shirt shops.  Would not miss this as a port and wish the citizens good luck if they vote to reclaim peace and quiet,

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Glad we finally had an itinerary that stopped there.  Spent the whole day wandering around and seeing everything in the guidebook, without spending a penny in the chain stops.  But "been there, done that" [don't do tee shirts...] so no need to go back.

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Key West might be the ultimate people watching town in America. Although I will say the people watching was better the time we visited not on a cruise compared to the visit as part of a cruise with at least 5,000 cruisers wandering around. I definitely see both sides of this argument. 

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Key West, as many Caribbean and Alaskan ports have changed from being unique, interesting stops with stores run by locals, to strips of cruise focused, repetitive stores, that are often owned by remote owners, that no longer provide services to the locals and shut down when the cruising season ends.  Where the profits made leave the community and goes to the remote parent compony or absentee owner is located.  I have no problem with locals passing laws to restrict the maximum number of cruise passengers that can visit.  The world does not need more Diamond Internationals, and t-Shirt shops.

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I think we've been twice, both times on cruises, I think 2004 (HAL), and 2018 (X). 2004 seemed more like what I imagined, although we did tour the Hemingway house in 2018. I agree there are too many chain places these days, although back on '04 we did make a mid to late morning stop in Captain Tony's, which is a tourist dive, of course, but I am a lifelong Buffett fan!

 

2018 was pretty crowded, until you got down by the Hemingway House. Likewise have no issue with cutting down on the number of cruise passengers in Key West. I'd be more inclined to fly down for 4-5 nights if I didn't have to worry about a bunch of mega ships in port, and I'd probably enjoy it a lot more on an extended stay.

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I visited Key West a few years ago with a group of cyclists that biked from Ormond Beach, in North Florida to Key West.   We did about 50 miles a day.  It was a great ride that ended in Key West.  My wife met me there and we spent a couple of days before we drove home.

 

We enjoyed the Hemingway home and the Truman White House at Key West the most.  The bars we visited one night just didn't do it for us that much.  However, perhaps that is because we were in our late 60s.  

 

I enjoyed the scenic bike ride through the keys and a couple of seafood restaurants were we dined.  

Still, I would not rate Key West as one of my top places visited in the USA.  I am glad that I went, once, but don't plan to go back.  Perhaps if we were interested in diving or boating that would be different.

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We missed Key West in 2005, on or TA cruise, Rome to Galveston on Galaxy, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma( streets flooded, so we weren’t allowed in). It was Hallowe’en and many passengers on the ship had taken fancy dress for their visit. However, later they had a celebration on the ship.

In 2014, we had a land trip to the Florida Keys, so arranged a 2 night stay in Key West. We were able to observe the Sunset celebrations, which of course the cruise passengers miss out on. We also visited the lighthouse which was interesting, as we had an overview of the town from on high.

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I love Key West - one of my favorite stops on Caribbean itineraries.  I do understand the crowding issue.  I've been there when a couple large Carnival ships were in town and it was wall to wall people, not to mention some sights you wouldn't believe as far as outfits,  but I digress.....  I just wish the options they were presenting to people were a little more generous as regards numbers of passengers.  They seem awfully low.

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The results are in, it now moves to the courts for two legal cases by parties opposed to the ballot initiatives (they were unsuccessful in keeping them off the ballot).

 

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article246615598.html#:~:text=Voters were asked to decide whether the city should%3A&text=Limit the number of daily,approved this by about 63%.&text=Prohibit cruise ships with 1%2C300 passengers or more from docking.

 

     ▪ Limit the number of daily cruise ship visitors at 1,500. Voters approved this by about 63%.

 

 

▪ Prohibit cruise ships with 1,300 passengers or more from docking. This passed with about 60% of the vote.

 

▪ Give docking priority to cruise lines that have the best health and environmental records. This passed with about 81% of the vote.

Edited by nocl
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We have driven down to Key West from Miami a few times.  We enjoyed the trip down and enjoyed the visit without the hordes of cruise ship passengers.  Don't get me wrong, as you can tell from my signature, we are avid cruisers but, we never ported in Key West.  We stayed at the Southernmost-on-the-beach and could walk Duval St. without fighting crowds.  With cruise ships stopping at Key West, it just creates a vary overcrowded situation . 

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've been to Key West several times on cruise ships.  Fortunately, we were the only ship in port each time.  I agree--it gets overcrowded.  But I can access it from where I live.  We have high-speed catamaran service.  And some day I want to make the drive along all the keys.

You will love the drive down, great restaurants to stop along the way...Mrs. Mac's, Henrietta's, and Chads just to name a few. 

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've been to Key West several times on cruise ships.  Fortunately, we were the only ship in port each time.  I agree--it gets overcrowded.  But I can access it from where I live.  We have high-speed catamaran service.  And some day I want to make the drive along all the keys.

 

The drive is fabulous...

You can do it in one go, or split it into multiple days of meandering & stopping on a whim - b/c something caught your eye...

We've driven down & spent 10 days in the keys...

Snorkeling in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was a great bonus...

Johnny has also hiked from Key West to Cap Gaspé, Quebec...

 

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23 hours ago, markeb said:

I think we've been twice, both times on cruises, I think 2004 (HAL), and 2018 (X). 2004 seemed more like what I imagined, although we did tour the Hemingway house in 2018. I agree there are too many chain places these days, although back on '04 we did make a mid to late morning stop in Captain Tony's, which is a tourist dive, of course, but I am a lifelong Buffett fan!

 

2018 was pretty crowded, until you got down by the Hemingway House. Likewise have no issue with cutting down on the number of cruise passengers in Key West. I'd be more inclined to fly down for 4-5 nights if I didn't have to worry about a bunch of mega ships in port, and I'd probably enjoy it a lot more on an extended stay.

 

 

Drove down to Key West for a few days last January.  Much different experience with multiple ships in town.  The town has changed considerably during the past 10 years.  Not for the better.  We, also are much more likely to spend more time there with a limit on the number of cruise ship passengers.

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On 11/3/2020 at 1:25 PM, Bo1953 said:

Sometimes, just sometimes it is not about the money vs quality of life for those who remember what it was like way back when...

 

bon voayge

 

I hear ya!!  Makes me think about when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the late 60's.  The only time it was crazy-crowded was during College week.  I enjoyed the laid back, sleepy beach area of Lauderdale past where everyone knew each other.   Same, as far as the Keys of over 20 years ago.

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My parents moved to Key West about 35 years ago, so I've visited it often, land-based.  When I visit as a cruise passenger, I just go my folks' condo and spend the day with them.  Because I am not doing tourist stuff, the over-crowding doesn't bother me much, but I do see it and I certainly understand the locals' resentment. 

 

On the other hand, my mom is an artist making art works that are sold (on consignment) to those tourists, and she would hate to see these restrictions put into place.  

 

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Interesting that Celebrity is still advertising itineraries that promote Key West as one of the ports for upcoming cruises.  Of course, they always reserve the right to change ports anyhow.  Also of course... we all know that many of these cruises being advertised are not going to sail at all, regardless of the promoted destination.  😟

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