Picking A Cruise To Key West
Key West is a popular destination, and is included in many cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Tampa and Miami. Itineraries departing from Jacksonville also stop at Key West. The port is often the first day stop in an itinerary to the Bahamas. A further popular route is the loop around Cuba, stopping at Key West, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer all these routes.
For hardened seafarers, Key West is often a port included in lengthier through Panama canal routes, voyaging from the West to the East coast of the United States.
Hi, Im Costa Marcos and I am the webmaster of Cruise Schedules, an invaluable resource for all cruise vacationers. Quickly find all the cruises leaving from or visiting a specific port, together with comprehensive itinerary timetables. For cruises visiting Key West see cruises to Key West.
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Carnival Cruise Line Removes Key West From Upcoming Ports
Four sailings have dropped Key West for the Carnival Conquest, based out of Miami. Departures on Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and Feb. 21, have all dropped a call to Key West.
Carnival Cruise Line has changed its cruise line itineraries as it continues to refrain from docking in Key West, an industry website reports.
According to the website cruisehive.com, guests booked on sailings in January and February received a notification from the cruise line on changes for the Carnival Dream, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Sunrise, all of which featured a call in Key West.
The website reported the notifications were sent out on Jan. 13, despite the Carnival Dream having a scheduled port call on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Carnival said in the communication, As we refine our operational plans, we are still unable to call on Key West for the sailings indicated below. The itinerary changes will be reflected on Carnival.com within 24 hours.
For Carnival Dream out of Galveston in Texas, there are three itinerary changes. The sailings that depart on Jan. 15, Jan. 29, and Feb. 12, will now only be calling at Freeport, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, all in the Bahamas. Key West was previously scheduled to be the first port of call during those voyages.
Four sailings have dropped Key West for the Carnival Conquest based out of Miami. Departures on Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and Feb. 21, have all dropped a call to Key West. Those four-day sailings will now only include a visit to Cozumel in Mexico.
Why Is Key West Dropped
Its a complex situation in Key West, with locals calling for a ban on cruise ships. In fact, in November 2020, residents voted to ban the largest cruise ships, including a limit of daily cruise ship visits at 1,500 passengers, with no cruise ships with 1,300 passengers being allowed to dock, and giving priority to cruise ships with the best health environmental records.
Despite the vote being a success to limit and ban the largest ships, it was all overturned by Florida Govoner Ron DeSantis in summer 2021. Bill 1194 was signed, resulting in what would have been 94% of the banned cruise ships to continue calls.
However, it has not been that simple as there has been an even stronger push to ban or limit the vessels in Key West. The Safer Cleaner Ships movement has been set up with the aim to protect the local reefs and environment.
On its website, the Safer Cleaner Ships states, On June 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis cancelled the results of a free and fair election in Key West and overturned limits on cruise ship operations enacted by a supermajority of local voters. Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Great Florida Reef are again threatened by some of the largest and most destructive cruise ships in the world.
We support the hard-working people of the Florida Keys and will keep fighting to protect our reef, our fishery, and our economy from the threat of large cruise ships.
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Key West Welcomes Back First Carnival Ship In 2 Years
Carnival Conquest arrived in Key West, Florida this morning, marking the first time a Carnival Cruise Line ship has called on the port since the cruise industry shutdown.
Its another milestone for Key West and for Florida as a whole, as cruise lines and ports continue to reopen and find a new normal as the pandemic winds down.
But not everyone is happy about cruise ships docking in Key West. The majority of local voters on the Florida Keys southernmost island voted to restrict the number of daily cruise ship visitors, ban vessels carrying more than 1,300 passengers, and prioritize docking for cruise lines with the best health and environmental records during an election in November 2020.
However, the Florida government overturned the restrictions, with state senator Jim Boyd saying that allowing port cities to pass their own rules on maritime commerce could result in abrupt changes in the supply lines bringing goods into and out of this state, thus disrupting Floridas economy and threatening the publics health, safety, and welfare.
Following the cruise industry shutdown, cruise ships first returned to Key West this past November, when small ships Serenity and Quest arrived into town with a combined 911 revenue guests.
Despite the protests, the Key West port has a busy season ahead, with the schedule showing upcoming calls for mostly Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity, and Virgin ships.
As Huge Cruise Ships Return Key West Locals Decry Environmental Damage State Preemptionthe Royal Caribbean Serenade Of The Seas Arriving In Key West Dec 6
Travelers debarking from cruise ships in Key West this Saturday will be treated to many enchanting sights, from serene, teal waters and sandy beaches along the islands edge to numerous restaurants and entertainment hot spots for which it is renowned.
Theyll also no doubt notice that not everyone there is happy with their arrival or, more specifically, how they came to port.
As they did in , members of the Key West Committee for Safer, Cleaner Ship, a group opposing so-called mega-cruise vessels in Key West waters, have organized a rally Saturday to protest the arrival of three incoming ships.
Allthreeships are significantly larger than those Key West residents voted in 2020 to restrict from visiting the city. The largest of the vessels, the Edge-class Celebrity Apex, is more than 1,000 feet long and carries some 4,200 passengers and crew well over the 1,500-person ships voters demanded.
According to the ship-tracking website CruiseMapper, one of those three ships and two others of similar size are scheduled to arrive the following weekend and the weekend after.
The rally will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Mallory Square, a short distance from the Port of Key West.
A vote undone
Others fellow Republicans like Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez of Doral and Rep. Jim Mooney, who represents Key West, opposed it, citing concerns over environmental impacts.
The cruise economy
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History Of Port Of Key West
In 1969 the Port of Key West received its first regularly scheduled cruise ship it was the SUNWARD. She called on Key West once a month. The Sunward moored at either the Navys Mole or Pier B facility. Records indicate that between 1969 and 1984 the Port of Key West received 266 port calls. In the 1999 fiscal year 415 cruise ships called on the Port of Key West allowing 597,009 passengers to experience Key Wests charm, many making return trips to complete their Key West experience.It wasnt until 1984 that the City Commission, at the recommendation of City staff, made improvements to the City-owned Mallory Dock, making it a full cruise ship docking facility.
Key West Doesnt Want Your Big Cruise Ships
Mega cruise ships stopped sailing to Key West, Florida, during the height of COVID-19. Many locals appreciated the resulting peace and quiet and won a vote for large ships not to return. But the fights not over.
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Two years ago, when the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown, the cruise industry was devastated by COVID-19 outbreaks, as some ships were stranded for weeks offshore with sick passengers. Almost overnight, the industry, with millions of workers and customers, was shut down, the boats dropping off the face of the earth like a cartoon schooner sailing over the edge of the planet. For the first time in a generation, many ports of call woke up and discovered they had suddenly been thrust back into a time most residents had never knownera BCS: Before Cruise Ships.
Without this primary source of tourism income, some port communities suffered, with layoffs rippling through economies dependent on the dockings. One study estimated that ports in Florida lost more than $22 billion in 2020, thanks to COVID interruptions and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions ban on cruise ships. But in some places, like Key West, that ban allowed locals to envision a future without the industry dominating tourism.
OutsideThe GuardianGQGarden & Gun,Texas Monthlyand Scientific American,
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What Youneed To Know
- Port Name & LocationShip will DOCK at this port.
- The local language is English.
- Currency & ShoppingJewelry, Key Lime pie, hammocks and clothing. View our Port Shopping Guide.
- Best Way to Get AroundOrganized Shore Excursion for catamaran, sail & snorkel, food tasting, sightseeing, Hemingway’s home, pub crawl and more! Taxis, bicycle, trolley, and scooters available.
- Famous ForKnown as the Southernmost Point in the continental U.S., Key West is most notable for its laid back attitude and beautiful sunsets. Don’t miss Duval Street, fresh seafood, margaritas and water excursions.
- Fun Fact #1Ernest Hemingway is rumoured to have purchased his home across from the light house so he’d be able to find it easily on his way back from the bars on Duval Street.
- Fun Fact: FoodiesThe first key lime pie ever is on record for having been made in Key West, so be sure to try a slice before you leave it’s the official dessert of the island city.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
In 1622 a fleet of 28 galleons laden with riches from South America foundered in a hurricane fifty miles off the Keys. In 1985 diver Mel Fisher and his team salvaged the treasures from 2 of the missing ships, the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita. The treasure retrieved formed part of the stolen wealth of a civilisation, silver from Mexico and Peru, and gold and emeralds from Colombia. The fascinating story of the quest for the wrecks is just about as amazing as the riches youll see. A further educational display concerns the Henrietta Marie a British slave ship. The wreck was located at the same time as the search for the treasure galleons, and the recovered items give astonishing detail about the shocking trade in slaves from Africa to the Caribbean.
Jugglers, magicians and other street performers entertain tourists at Mallory Square in Key West at sunset.
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Sloppy Joes On Duval Street
This infamous bar officially opened its doors on the same day that Prohibition ended. At first it was called Russells, followed by the Silver Slipper. Then it was Ernest Hemingway himself who encouraged the patron John Russell to update the name again to Sloppy Joes. The bar has also once moved location, in 1937, when in typical Key West style, the patrons carried their drinks from the old spot to the new. Sloppy Joes offers an extensive food menu, with just one dessert, Key Lime pie.
Key Wests Old Town Trolley is a popular sightseeing option.
Us Navy Cites Cruise Ship For Docking Violation In Key West
Cruise critics in Key West secured additional ammo following the controversial docking of Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex at the privately-owned Pier B this past weekend.
According to the Miami Herald, the 1,004-foot-long ship was seen jutting out and partially blocking the entrance to the U.S. Navy’s Truman Harbor upon docking in the southernmost city earlier this month.
“Any activity that restricts or prohibits vessel transit in or out of the Harbor impacts our defense mission capabilities there,” Trice Denny, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Station Key West, told the Herald. “The violation is that its past the boundaries of the submerged land lease in the deed and it juts out into the opening into Truman Harbor, Denny said. We need all that opening space to safely maneuver vessels in and out of the harbor.”
In a statement, Tom McMurrain, manager of Pier B, said that “it followed up to correct any issues on docking location.” “We have a good working relationship with the city, Navy and harbor pilots,” he added. “The harbor pilots bring in cruise ships as well as some of the Navy vessels so we all work together in the Harbor to insure the proper docking of ships.
Safer, Cleaner Ships
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Cruise Ships / Marine Services
There have been some exciting changes to the Citys approach to managing our waterfront. The concept of these changes called for the consolidation of City waterfront responsibilities. This includes the deep-water port activities of Cruise Ships and of Navy vessel activity coordination.
The objective of the Plan is to make our City waterfront operate more efficiently, as well as effectively. As the Citys mission statement states, we are ” to maximize services to our customers in the most cost-effective way.” Not only does the consolidation make for a more efficient and effective operation, but it also provides for better accountability and a more consistent approach in the interpretations of policy and procedures affecting the waterfront environment.
Carnival Cruise Line Removes Key West On Upcoming Sailings
Carnival Cruise Line notifies guests that Key West is dropped on upcoming sailings in January and February 2022 and adjusts itineraries for three ships.
Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests of a change to their upcoming itinerary as the cruise line is still unable to make calls to Key West. There are itinerary changes for three cruise ships with sailings in January and February 2022.
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Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum
Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida.
In his 30s Hemingway lved in the Keys for the fall and winter and in Wyoming for the summer. His famous novel To Have and Have Not is centered on the depression years in Key West. . The author was a well-known personality in the town, with his enthusiasm for marlin fishing, heavy drinking, and mutant cats. Hemingways Key West house is now a museum with many items bringing back those turbulent years.
Key West Nears Limits Reducing Number Of Cruise Ship Visits
PublishedMar 16, 2022 5:22 PM by The Maritime Executive
A new plan has been presented in the long-running battle to limit cruise ship calls at Floridas popular tourist destination of Key West. Nearly two years after residents voted to dramatically reduce cruise ship calls at the port, the City Council has struck a compromise that will reduce the number of calls while still permitting all cruise ships to visit the port.
At a meeting last week, the Key West City Council read out its compromise measure which will be presented and finalized at the next meeting scheduled for April 5. At issue was the November 2020 referendum in which residents voted to limit the size of cruise ships based on passenger capacity, restrict the number of people coming ashore each day from cruise ships, and favor cruise ships with the best environmental records. While the residents voted overwhelmingly in support of the three restrictions, Floridas legislature and governor overrode the limitations in a retroactive law passed last summer.
Key West has three piers, two of which are controlled by the city and a third that is leased in perpetuity to a private operator. Since the beginning of the action, opponents and lawyers have argued that the City Council had no legal authority to restrict operations at the private pier and could face lawsuits if it attempted to impose the restrictions.
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Cruise Ships: New Rules Are Underway In Key West
Could this be it? Could a resolution be imminent after nearly two years of Key Wests great cruise ship debate?
Well know at the city commissions special meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, when officials discuss and decide on a resolution that proposes to direct the docking of and disembarkation of passengers from cruise ships away from City of Key West-controlled property.
The proposal on the table is to direct cruise ship activity away from all public property to the Pier B dock, and ensure that cruise ship activity at the Pier B dock and any private property conforms to state and federal regulations, according to the resolution on Thursdays agenda.
In order to avoid running afoul of the state law that preempted Key Wests voter-approved cruise ship reductions and prohibits the restriction of maritime commerce by any Florida port, the resolution further states, the City of Key West seeks only to direct cruise ship operations away from public property to the Pier B dock and not to prohibit cruise ship operations or to restrict maritime commerce.
The proposed resolution is a result of a long, legal mediation with Judge Sandra Taylor that included the citys attorneys Shawn Smith and Ed Pozzuoli, as well as City Manager Patti McLauchlin, owners of the privately operated Pier B and representatives of the Safer Cleaner Ships committee, which led the charge against large cruise ships starting in mid-2020.