Home Cruise Safely How Crowded is Your Port Call?

This week, the Irish Times had the headline Four cruise liners deliver 13,000 tourists to Dublin Port. The article stated this was the most visitors by cruise ships at any one time, and that the port wishes to set a new yearly record of over two million cruise ship passenger arrivals. The Irish Times mentioned that the largest was the Royal Princess with 3,500 passengers.

I’m wondering how the passengers of the Royal Princess felt when they looked out and saw three other ships. The article said a “standard package for each passenger is a “panoramic” bus tour of the city, seeing the Custom House, the GPO, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and other historical and architectural highlights. After a late-afternoon walking tour of Trinity College, passengers must be back on board by 6.30 p.m.” How would you feel if you were looking forward to a quiet visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral and find out it’s a stop on a package tour for a record number of cruise ship passengers?

When considering a cruise most people consider the offerings of the ports of calls. They may even consider how many of their fellow cruises might find a site interesting. Few will look to see how many other ships are in the same port at the same time. This could have an impact on your ability to enjoy the port. If you leave from a busy port like Miami, there will be a long row of cruise ships. Many will be going to some the same ports as your ship; a few of them might even be doing the exact same route.

When you add up how many each ship carries, for example the Allure of the Seas carries 6,296 passengers; you get an idea of how a port could be overcrowded. The shops and craft center of Georgetown might be comfortable and interesting with your ship being the only one in port. How would it be on the days that all four of Georgetown’s anchorages are being used? Georgetown is a popular destination for the newer and larger ships. While the ports are used to the ten hour crush of cruise passengers, it might be your only chance to visit. Locals know what days to avoid going to popular tourist destinations. Resorts in some cruise ship destinations even post notices on what days to avoid areas where the cruise ship passengers go.

When you are making your final selection of a cruise take the time to see who else will be in port with you. It might give you extra things to consider. The cruise ships have similar arrival windows and the passengers’ similar times in port.  Compare the excursions offered by the other ships, are they offering similar tours at the same time? If there is a sight you really want to see you might want to consider making separate arrangement if multiple ships are in port at the same time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.