They roll over, silvery fins glancing at the surface. Cruises from Florida to Key West Cruises from Texas to Key West Cruises from That’s probably why it’s one of the most popular RV destinations in the U.S. “Though they could certainly reduce that a lot by having everybody get tested.”. A checkpoint leading into the Florida Keys limits nonresident traffic. Since the cruise industry is on pause because of the pandemic, this referendum won’t have an immediate impact and it is likely to be settled in court. The referendum has set up a battle between a broad coalition of residents – fishermen, hoteliers, independent shop owners – and an industry dominated by corporations and ever larger ships. When Benson thinks of cruise ships, he often thinks of Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, and his landmark essay, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits. It used to be that the only way to navigate the 1,700 tiny islands that string out from the southernmost point of the USA was by boat (“key” is an English corruption of the word “cayo”, which means island). The cruise ship industry has grown steadily in Key West from 1999, when 597,000 passengers visited the city, to 910,000 in 2019. The water below Benson’s boat is as clear as a window pane, and the best that he, a fishing guide with the Lower Keys Guides Association, has seen in 30 years. Anecdotally, some locals believe the worst-hit shops in Key West are those relying on volume, as empty T-shirt shops along Duval Street attest. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in … They shared a common DNA with prisons and nursing homes, he argues: close quarters. Florida Keys Snorkel Trips – Sunset Cruises – Sightseeing Tours DGDev 2020-12-17T19:28:01+00:00 PONTOON BOAT PARTY! Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. They can be one way cruises or round trip. A high percentage of visitors to the Keys will indulge in a Florida Keys cruise of one sort or another. His son Luke, six, watches. By April, cruise ships suspended service, but more than 80,000 cruise crew members were stranded aboard 100 ships in port or at sea. *Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional. Cruise from Florida to the Bahamas & Caribbean On a Caribbean cruise from Florida, you can visit an array of exotic and exciting islands, whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway to the Bahamas or a much-needed long cruise lasting anywhere from 5 to 14 nights. Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys: With Florida West Coast Supplement [Papy, Frank] on Amazon.com. Sloane does not believe limiting the size of cruise ships is an effective Covid-19 infection control strategy – “Why are they singling out the cruise ships as opposed to people coming down for the weekend from Miami?” – but concedes the cruise industry faces a “dilemma”. Read 1,340 traveler reviews and view photos of different trips from Florida Keys to various destinations. Cruise ships brought 910,000 people to three piers in the city of 24,000, according to the Florida Ports Council. “This issue is a clear example of that playing out at the community level,” Benson said, as he pulled his small craft alongside privately owned Pier B. This fine sand is known to smother the ocean floor-dwelling creatures foundational to this habitat: young coral, sea grass and sponges. On peak days in 2019, 12,000 crew and passengers would have visited the port, according to the committee. A Royal Caribbean cruise ship is docked at the Port of Key in Key West in 2016. “The reality is it’s not even good business,” he said, because it is destroying the environment which makes the Keys so special. Few if any boats even offer this type of Charter anywhere close to our rates. Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys… All in all, Key West is the perfect culmination to your customized trip through the Florida Keys. It’s non-stop fun when the weather’s right in the Keys! The World Famous Conch Tour Train-Hop On, Hop Off, Opens in a new window. Whether life’s a beach or you’re life of the party, cruises to Key West definitely over-deliver. “It shouldn’t be all, ‘Let’s get a drink off the cruise ship’,” said Miano. This stretch of roadway links all the Florida Keys together, and stretches 127.5 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a group of Key West residents would like to keep it this way. It sails over the silhouettes of two nurse sharks, one lemon shark and to the immediate left of an elusive school of permit, sparking some interest but no bites. Enjoy music, appetizers, and a champagne toast as we cruise around the iconic 7 Mile Bridge, letting you capture the perfect picture from your unforgettable vacation to the Florida Keys. Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. One limits the size of ships to much smaller vessels, another limits the number of passengers who can disembark in Key West, and a third prioritizes ships with good environmental records. accessibility guidelines. A second referendum would allow no more than 1,500 people a day to disembark from ships. Dinner Cruises in the Florida Keys A classic component of vacations in the Florida Keys, dinner cruises create a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy the full splendor of the Key West sunset. Meanwhile, the committee has been sued – three times – in an effort to have the referendum questions removed from the ballot. A roadblock on Route 1, the string of bridges which connects the islands of the Keys, turned away southbound non-resident traffic. See the striking colors for yourself. Key West cruises deliver you to palm-shaded streets lined with gaily-painted bungalows, vintage saloons and blooming tropical flowers. The ship is now moored. Look for my cruise review of that ship and trip in the next couple of months. A typical sunset cruise includes: The cruise begins through the Duck Key outer canal past the Resort and some of the beautiful homes on the island. Sunset Cruise There are few sights as spectacular as the world-famous Florida Keys sunset. For many, the answer was no. The southernmost island of the Florida Keys, Key West is a sunny, fun-loving place with plenty of charm, and more than a little touristy goofiness. This stretch of paradise is called the Florida Keys national marine sanctuary, and for six months not a single cruise ship has plowed its shallow and heavily used channel, leaving locals in relative peace and with clear waters many Dress code is casual, cocktails are potent and everyone slows down to island time. Cruises to Key West are packed with coastal-town energy and layers of American history just waiting to be discovered. Now, cruise lines are hoping to set sail on 31 October, after the Trump administration “overruled” the CDC director, Dr Robert Redfield. Come on down and join our Islamorada sunset celebration on your next Florida Keys vacation. Florida Keys Day Cruises The Keys are part of the state of Florida but distinctly different, with a relaxed, counter-culture vibe set against blue waters and white beaches. In five weeks in February and March, 17% of all Covid-19 cases in the US could be traced to cruise ships, a March report from the CDC revealed, and Covid-19 cases in 15 states could be linked back to the ships. They wanted to limit the community’s exposure to Covid-19 and, frankly, to what they saw as destructive tourism. “And we want our fucking island back.”. They’re now being sued by passengers infected with Covid-19. He hands the pole to Luke, “You have the magic touch Luke, c’mon.”. The water is no more than 10 feet deep. Hashtag your cruise photos #carnival and #keywest — you may see them right here. Stew Polsoni waits for customers at an ice cream shop in Key West on 25 March. Cruises to Key West are packed with coastal-town energy and layers of American history just waiting to be discovered. Cannes, France; Santorini, Greece; and Venice, Italy, have all placed limits on cruise ships or their passengers for environmental or social reasons. Is this who we want to be?”. Florida, Spring Hill, Nature Coast Commons shopping mall aerial view with empty parking lot. Then, into open water running parallel to shore as we make our way to the … Famously known as the southernmost tip of the country, Key West is closer to Havana than it is to Miami. View hundreds of cruise ship, cruise port and vacation destination cameras on CRUISIN! Key West, FL. Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships, industry has proposed substantial changes. The chamber argues that will cause the city to lose income, lay off workers, and result in the loss of nearly 800 jobs. Florida Cruise Ports We offer Bahamas, Panama Canal and Caribbean cruises from Florida that sail out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, both of which are major cities on the east coast of Florida. That left Duval Street, which ends on popular Mallory Square and one of the city’s three piers, “pitch black”, with “no life”, in the words of a local cop who patrolled the empty district. Here you’ll find a very laid-back culture where relaxing is every day’s priority. Search for great cruise deals and compare prices to help you plan your next cruise vacation to Key West. Popular multi-day cruise destinations include Key Largo, Plantation Key, Islamorada, Marathon, Hawks Cay and Key West 2-3 Day Charter Itineraries Extended Trips to Florida Keys or West Coast is our Specialty! Florida Keys is a great travel destination with a lot to do and see, but sometimes you need to get away and explore the surrounding areas. But it also left the environment with time to recover, and local people with time to think. Voters will decide on Nov. 3 whether to significantly reduce the number and size of cruise ships that come to Key West. Captain Chris will … Haskell and a handful of other locals formed the Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships, with the goal of shrinking the footprint of cruise ship tourism in Key West. The essay is often distilled to this edict: “greed is good”. What to do and where to stop down The Florida Keys, Miami.Join us on our road trip from Miami to Key West in a Mustang Convertible! She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in … Dreadlock Holiday plays on the radio. “We’re cutting off our nose to spite our face.”. “You didn’t know that stuff existed.”. One of the sections of this highway is a bridge that spans more than seven miles, hence, the name Seven Mile Bridge! And, there's no better vantage point for viewing than on one of our Sunset Cruises. But then Covid-19 hit, first onboard the Diamond Princess, a ship which sailed to Japan and became the largest cluster of Covid-19 outside mainland China in early February. People enjoy the uncrowded beach in Key West, Florida, on 17 September amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cruise to Key West and feel a world away from the bustle of the Magic City. When Covid-19 hit, the islands were locked down, giving the environment time to recover and residents a chance to think, Last modified on Thu 1 Oct 2020 18.03 BST. Under the referendum proposed by the Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships, only about 35 ships scheduled to make port calls in the Caribbean in 2020 would meet its size limits, significantly limiting the “bulldozer” effect Benson said he witnesses daily. It also comes after a “devastating” spring, in which Covid-19 spread early and rapidly onboard ships before they shut down operations. If the referendums pass, it would “essentially shut off cruise ships from coming to Key West”, said Scott Atwell, the chamber’s CEO. The largest cruise ports in Florida, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, are embarkation ports where you’ll board your cruise. Kate Miano, who owns the Gardens Hotel, sees exactly this kind of degradation as problematic. Find Islamorada sightseeing tours and sunset cruises here at Fla-Keys.com. They have faced challenges containing respiratory diseases such as flu in the past. Onboard ships, people socialize in buffets, bars and theaters. A roughly one-mile stretch through the marine sanctuary used to be the cruise ship superhighway. The cruise ship industry in Key West has lobbied for one thing in Benson’s experience: “more cruise ships, bigger cruise ships”. Captain will train novice crew member in all aspects of cruising. This stretch of paradise is called the Florida Keys national marine sanctuary, and for six months not a single cruise ship has plowed its shallow and heavily used channel, leaving locals in relative peace and with clear waters many say they have not seen in decades. Then came ships such as the Grand Princess, which sailed from San Francisco to Mexico. When Covid-19 hit in March, the Keys were locked down. This bridge has been featured in movies such as True Lies, Too Fast Too Furious and Mission Impossible III. External site which may or may not meet Book the best day trips from Florida Keys, FL directly on Tripadvisor and take the stress out of planning. Globally, the Cruise Lines International Association had expected 2020 to be a banner year, with 32 million travelers compared with just 17.8 million in 2009. The cruise industry has exploded in the last 30 days: Since 1990, cruise ship traffic in Key West has increased by 650 per cent, according to Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships. Be it snorkeling or some cruise time with family, add us in your things to do in Florida Keys … Ocean Rebellion climate action group launches with protest against cruise ship. The Cruise Line International Association, the industry’s lobbying group, has not weighed in directly, but has been polling locally on the issue. Cruise to Key West, Florida You don’t need to venture outside the United States to find the perfect island getaway. They collected enough signatures to get three referendum questions on the November ballot. Our cruises are 7 nights/8 days and can start either from Miami or Key West. (But that’s optional.) Experience the famous Florida Sunset in style! It is one of the busiest ports and most popular tourist destinations in America. Captain will cover all travel expenses to and from the boat as well as all meals. A Key West sunset sail or cruise is the best way to see the infamous Key West sunsets. “We’re at a philosophical crossroads all over our world,” said Benson, as the boat crossed a bed of turtle grass near one of the main cruise ship docks, and fish flitted beneath the surface. Visit Key West, Florida on your next Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line where you can see the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum, the Key West Aquarium and more. Will Benson stands on the platform of a mint green fishing boat, under a white-hot sun, and whipsaws a fly fishing rig over azure waters as glassy as an aquarium. “There’s a moral responsibility corporations have to serve the employees, to serve the public,” said Benson. Islamorada, Florida Keys Camera - Port of Key West, Florida. That garbage would have normally been obscured by marine dust clouds stirred up by propellers in a process called “siltation”. “Those folks from Key West have a real good point – that too many people can love a place to death, and then you lose the charm that was there,” said Sloane. As you glide through the aqua blue waters of the Florida Keys with your friends, family, small group, or on a romantic trip for two be sure to soak up the beauty of the Florida Keys. “It’s not that we don’t want cruise ships,” Benson said. The industry has proposed substantial changes, including masks, testing and shorter trips. “And we said, ‘Yes, we can’.”. “Covid and the links between Covid and cruise ships got us going,” said Haskell, “and the you-can-see-it-with-your-own-eyes environmental benefits have sustained us.”. As crew and passengers fell ill, a “response team” had to be helicoptered in. Sailing the Florida Keys is a fantastic alternative to the Caribbean or the Bahamas with the current COVID travel restrictions and many people reluctant to fly! In a case of contagion, which will probably be investigated for years to come, studies suggest one passenger from Hong Kong helped spread Covid-19 to 700 passengers and crew. ill Benson stands on the platform of a mint green fishing boat, under a white-hot sun, and whipsaws a fly fishing rig over azure waters as glassy as an aquarium. Experienced captain seeks novice or experienced crew person to cruise the Bahamas or, depending on Covid 19 restrictions, the Florida Keys this winter aboard his well appointed Grand Banks 46 Motor Yacht. The cruise will consist of a relaxing tour of Boot Key Harbor before settling in to enjoy the sunset tiki style. * Taxes, fees, and port expenses additional. Dreadlock Holiday plays on the radio. Empty lounge chairs line a deserted beach at a resort in Windley Key on 22 March. But can ships make people feel safe from Covid-19, reduce their carbon footprint and significantly reduce their impact on local communities? The Florida Keys are also the ideal spot to go sport fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and so much more! Then, “all you have basically is a thing to sell, and photo ops”. Closer to Cuba than Orlando, the laid-back Florida Keys are a world away from mainland USA. His son Luke, six, watches. It is one of the busiest ports and most popular tourist destinations in America. Sunset Cruises are 1.5 hours. Find a sunset cruise with the official Florida Keys Tourism Council. He lets the lure fly – wheeeeeeeeesh. The water is no more than 10 feet deep. The chamber of commerce balks at these size limits, however. “Is this where we want to be? Plaintiffs included bar pilots (who help lead cruise ships to port), the owners of private Pier B, and a contingent of successful restaurateurs. Exactly 417 cruise ships docked here in 2019, according to the Key West chamber of commerce. Go spearfishing and have much more fun in your vacation trip with Golden Yacht Charters. See which Key West, Florida cruise is best for you at Cruiseline.com Check out the Key West, Florida cruise port viewing 4406 reviews and 2058 photos from real travelers. Before 1969, there were no regularly scheduled cruises to Key West. Criticism of cruise ships in Key West comes at a time when they are under increasing pressure globally for contributing to climate change and environmental degradation. Even now, as the international cruise operations resume, more than a dozen crew members onboard the first post-lockdown Greek cruise ship have tested positive for Covid-19. Find cheap Key West cruises on Tripadvisor. Sailing the Florida Keys may possibly be the very best way to unwind and explore a corner of the United States that hardly resembles anywhere else in the country – or the world, for that matter. “The city’s position was, ‘We can’t do anything about it’,” said Haskell regarding the number of passengers and cruise ships coming through Key West. She believes Key West should be an “eco-destination”. Sloane wonders. Finally, the referendum would require Key West to prioritize ships with the best environmental record for port calls. “Before this, I had never looked down here and seen the actual bottom,” he said. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Then the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruise ships. Cruise around the beautiful blue waters of the Florida Keys with your very own private Captain! The types of cruises available throughout the islands are as varied as the many kind of events there are to celebrate. 11-Reasons to Cruise to Alaska this Summer “It would be impossible, in the absence of a good vaccine, to completely prevent Covid from getting onboard,” said Dr Philip Sloane, who has served as on-board doctor on cruise ships and is a distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Cruise ships brought 910,000 people to three piers in the city of 24,000, according to the Florida Ports Council. The Safer Cleaner Ships Committee claims the environmental impacts […] Key West, Florida Cruise Port Located at the very tip of Florida, Key West is said to be more of a Caribbean island than a part of the United States. As if the national political climate weren’t sufficiently contentious, the city of Key West is dealing with its own divisive debate over cruise ships. Enjoy a laidback Caribbean vibe with a dash of the high life on Carnival cruises to Key West. Key West would not be the first destination to limit cruise ship traffic. Benson pointed to a piece of sunken, plastic detritus. Enjoy a laidback Caribbean vibe with a dash of the high life on Carnival cruises to Key West. Learn the best things to do at the port of Key West, Florida. “What Covid has allowed people to think about is a little reset,” said Arlo Haskell, a writer whose work focuses on the history of Key West. And nursing homes, he argues: close quarters with your very own private captain # Carnival and # —... 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