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To think that cruises are bad for the places they visit?

(22 Posts)
maisiegreen Thu 10-Sep-15 22:23:50

We're on holiday at the moment, and have been lucky enough to visit Dubrovnik and Kotor. What we've noticed is what an impact cruising holidays have on these places, in the sheer numbers of people (at mid afternoon last week, the entrance to Dubrovnik old town was so crammed you could hardly move). The boats we saw in the dock carry thousands of people and the towns are totally clogged. Also, I can't see that they are any benefit to the places they visit. After all, they won't be eating there - the only businesses that benefit are ice cream and nic-nac shops.
We were sitting in a cafe in Kotor and literally every few minutes a different cruise group stopped next to us, were given the same 2 minute speil, and then were led off in a crocodile to the next spot . most of them looked stunned with the heat and utterly bored.
So, I'll sit back and wait to be flamed, but would like to know if anyone can tell me why cruises aren't bad for the places they visit.

harrigran Thu 10-Sep-15 23:27:01

Not just numbers of people milling around but physical damage to historic cities like Venice caused by liners.

suzied Fri 11-Sep-15 08:32:42

When I was on holiday in Madeira it was horrendous when there were 2 or 3 massive ugly cruise ships in town . All the little streets were crammed and there were huge queues for the cable car, tacky trinket sellers were out in force. We went out of town walking on those days. It was the same in Santorini. It has put me completely off cruises. I'd rather go somewhere for a week and get more of a flavour of the place.

Indinana Fri 11-Sep-15 08:49:40

Never been on a cruise, and never been anywhere at the same time as a cruise ship has spilled its passengers. It sounds absolutely hideous shock

granjura Fri 11-Sep-15 09:43:16

maisiegreen- totally agree. The damage done to Venice, which is already really threatened, is massive too.

absent Fri 11-Sep-15 09:46:11

I suspect cruise ships pay fairly substantial amounts to port authorities ?? a bit more than souvenir shops receive.

Luckygirl Fri 11-Sep-15 09:49:10

I must dig out a photo I took of a cruise ship in Venice lagoon - the city as dwarfed by it and it looked really odd.

Boots Fri 11-Sep-15 12:50:40

We have been cruising for a number of years but the cruise line we use does not have those huge monstrosities of ships. We have been in ports where we are the only ship and it has been very pleasant, whether we have gone ashore on an organised trip or just been on our own.

However we have on occasions docked where those huge ships have also docked. On one cruise there were always three of these at each port. It made life very difficult for us also as the thousands of people on each ship just took over each port it seemed. For instance we had no hope of getting into the cathedral at Venice. We could barely get into St Mark's square. It is awful for us not just visitors who are not on a cruise.

Because the ships we cruise on are quite small, we often can get into a port where the big ones cannot go, which is always nice. And yes the cruise companies do pay the ports considerable sums of money to be allowed to dock there. Again, as a small ship, when we kept following these huge ones round (or maybe they followed us) they always had better berths, presumably because they paid more money.

5boysnan55555 Fri 11-Sep-15 13:28:17

Yes I agree with you maisegreen we came back yesterday from a cruise to the med. At least 5 ships were cruising at the same spots namely Venice, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Split it was very warm 88 deg but as Maisie said once in the towns we could not move for people, we managed to grab a coffee and it was a relief to get back on board. Cruisers don't need the food I can't see that they help the towns they visit at all except for port duties and fees to visit monuments etc. ????

rosesarered Fri 11-Sep-15 14:30:04

Suzied, yes we found it to be the same in Funchal , Madeira, when about three huge liners were in town.However, it was good business for souvenir shops, coffee shops and the like, they did seem to be spending money.

trisher Fri 11-Sep-15 15:19:12

Only done one cruise but have seen the huge ships and always think they must cause damage, especially as has already been said in Venice. I don't think the port fees would compensate and I don't think local businesses benefit very much.

inishowen Fri 11-Sep-15 15:38:09

I've done 8 cruises and on the whole I think they benefit the places they visit. In fact I've just visited a port in southern Ireland and they are trying to get the cruise ships to stop there after their ferry terminal closed down. They are desperate for visitors to boost their economy. The coffee shops and souvenir shops would benefit greatly. We've been to Haiti where a huge market has grown, right where the cruise passengers disembark. Why not? Businesses need customers.

maisiegreen Fri 11-Sep-15 15:46:28

Studies have shown land-based tourists spend more than double cruise-based customers. I was so disappointed by Dubrovnik (appart from walking the walls) it was absolutely jammed and so dull. Just shops selling ice cream and tourist tat. And yes, i think the massive cruise liners have caused it.

maisiegreen Fri 11-Sep-15 16:00:54

Plus, what cruise companies often do in the carrebean is create an artificial market, off-limits to locals unless they give the company a slice of their profits, which the tourists and funnelled into.

Margsus Fri 11-Sep-15 16:45:26

We have been on several cruises, and have been told by shop owners on the Caribbean islands that they rely on trade from the cruise ships. There are countless jewellery and diamond stores, some of which are "recommended" by the cruise lines. Yes of course these places are busy when the ships are in port, but on the other hand, on days when there are no ships they are deserted and the traders make no money!

tanith Fri 11-Sep-15 16:53:43

Never been on a cruise and have no desire too but I've been in Gibraltar when the cruise ships are in port, it was very crowded in town and at all the 'sights' but I think the locals put up with it for the short time it lasts they realise that its good for trade and people who like what they see often return for a proper holiday.

Stansgran Fri 11-Sep-15 21:01:09

I've been on several cruises all small ships bar two and all ethical. The corruption of the Italian government is the reason for the permission of large liners in the lagoon in Venice. I don't agree that those on cruise liners don't spend locally. We always make a point of spending money in the towns we visit either by hiring locals to show us around or researching restaurants and eating locally. There were some cruises in when we were in Athens and there were long trails of bored people following bored guides holding a flag with a number. We saw up to the number 19 and I suspect they did have stops where they were expected to spend. I'm not sure which line they were with but I much prefer a small ship where you can disembark with speed.

Deedaa Fri 11-Sep-15 22:24:08

The sight of those massive great ships towering over Venice is appalling. I can't believe that they aren't causing immense damage to the structure of the city.

Eloethan Sat 12-Sep-15 01:27:30

I think they're damaging to local economies and to the environment. The people employed on them are usually very low paid because they are not bound by any minimum wage restrictions.

vickymeldrew Sat 12-Sep-15 10:23:22

As a fan of cruises, I would suggest the fact that destinations are falling over themselves to get the ships to visit must mean they are good for business. There has been a lot of discussion about any damage to Venice as this is obviously a 'special case'. Incidentally, several of the destinations I visited just for the day were so lovely I then
booked to return for a longer stay. (Rome, Dubrovnik, Venice, Rhodes, Barcelona, New York, Vancouver). Lucky me - that's another money maker for the locals.

trisher Sat 12-Sep-15 10:58:01

There is a difference between being good for the "powers that be", i.e. the local bigwigs and politicians. who may well be lining their own pockets. and are probably the ones "falling over themselves"; and being good for the local economy that involves building local businesses who employ local people. People visiting and basing themselves in the area need accommodation and food and shop for other things beside tatty souvenirs.

soontobe Sat 12-Sep-15 11:13:55

Pay can be low in itself, but cruise staff generally have all food an accomodation paid for.
On some ships at least, it can work out to be quite a good earner.