Friday, February 4, 2011
DO CRUISE SHIPS HELP THE LOCAL ECONOMY?
I noticed two cruise ships berthed today. From a distance, they looked like giants, much larger than the adjacent buildings, for in length, each is more than twice as long as the highest building here is high. The Sapphire Princess, holding 2670 passengers:
And the majestic MS Queen Elizabeth, with a capacity of a little more than 2000 passengers:
The name of this Cunard Line ship can confuse you. First of all, it replaced the MS Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014 will come the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
These ships, it turns out, are relatively puny, for Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas each can take on as many as 6360 passengers. Actually, if you are on a quiz show and are asked which is the largest cruise ship, Allure is two inches longer than Oasis. Indications are that this as large as cruise ships will get, for these two barely squeeze under a few bridges and barely can fit in some ports.
To answer the question, I wondered, because all I ever did was, perhaps, take a short tour and buy cheap trinkets or a t-shirt at each stop, for the food is free on board. However, Hawaii is attractive enough that a goodly number actually stays a few days here before and/or after boarding. Thus, although there can be considerable costs associated with constructing or retrofitting the harbor, all in all, over time, cruise ships should provide a positive factor to the local economy.