September 29, 2009
The San Diego tourism, along with just about every other industry, has been affected by our poor economy. I was so disappointed to read that San Diego is going to lose it’s only year-round cruise ship by April, 2010. Carnival Cruise Lines has decided to relocate its’ 2,052 passenger ship, Elation from its’ home port in San Diego to Mobile, Alabama.
California’s battered economy, along with the sharp drop-off in travel to Mexico because of the swine flu scare and an increase in drug-related violence in Baja, California, has driven business down for the cruise line.
Not everyone realizes how much of an impact this can be for the city. A study conducted by the Port Authority in 2005 found that each cruise ship contributes $2 million dollars to the economy. Multiply that by the 78 stops that Elation makes in San Diego during a year, and that’s nearly $160 million in lost revenue.
Earlier this year, the Port District was trying to persuade the Walt Disney Co. to bring its’ planned West Coast cruise operations to San Diego, but the Disney Cruise line ultimately chose the Los Angeles area.
One bit of good news for San Diego was the debut last week of Royal Caribbeans’ Radiance of the Seas, an eight-year old, 2,500 passenger ship that will be making about 30 round trip cruises to Mexico from San Diego. In the beginning, the cruise line will be offering four and five night trips to the Mexican Riviera through November 16. After that, the ship will offer nine to twelve nights through May to destinations such as Acapulco, Ixtapa, Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.
The arrival of Radiance also marks the launch of the cruise line’s military appreciation campaign. In recognition of the contributions made by members of the U.S. military, Royal Caribbean is donating $10,000 to Wounded Warriors Families Support, an organization that provides support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations.
I actually saw the Royal Caribbean Radiance last Friday when I drove past the harbor on my way to the airport. It’s a gorgeous ship! Thanks for coming to San Diego Royal Caribbean!