“We do get a lot of business when the cruise ships are in Portland – especially on Monday and Tuesday. That’s when a lot of other businesses are closed,” said Dejia Ramos, manager of The Bar & Bites, 8 Exchange Street this afternoon. “We would experience a huge toll in our income if the cruise ships go away.”
“I’m opposed to the initiative on the November ballot,” said Sandy Jones, owner, of Something’s Fishy, a high quality Maine gift and souvenir shop, at 32 Exchange Street, in the Old Port of Portland. “We had two years withouot the cruise ships, We need them. They bring a lot of excitement to the Old Port and they certainly have a positive impact on our economy. They enjoy Portland so much they often come back for longer that is a benefit for our hotels and restaurants,” she said.
These two ladies were referring to a citizen initiative on the November 8th ballot that if passed, would limit the number of passengers who can disembark cruise ships on any given day – to only 1,000 passengers. The arrival of a cruise ship in Portland Harbor today sparked the debate once again The ship, a German ship, that began its cruise in New York City carries 2,000 passengers and a crew of 800.
“Yesterday we were really busy because there was a cruise ship in Portland Harbor. We weren’t expecting it. We were twice as busy as we expected to be on a Saturday after Labor Day,” said a manager of a small business on Exchange Street in the Old Port of Portland. “People cause more pollution than cruise ships.” He added that he was opposed to the initiative that is on the upcoming ballot.
However, not everyone on Exchange Street agrees with that opinion. Ella Julia, 21, a hostess at Blythe & Burrows, a highj-end bar at 26 Exchange Street said that she doesn’t care whether the November 8th initiative passes or not. “We are always busy. We don’t need more business,” she said. “I’m frustrated with politics. But I’m not a Trump supporter.”
“Tipping can be an issue from the cruise ships when passengers are from overseas,” said Ramos, manager of The Bar. Often they don’t understand about tipping,” She continued that a lot of crew members from these cuise ships are not allowed to accept tips. So, Ramos has had crew members and some passengers asking how to tip. Asking questions like how much should I tip she explained. But, she said: “In general, cruise ships are good for the Old Port.” Passengers from the cruise ship who are from Germany said that at home tips are usually part of the bill and that is why they are unfamiliar with the practice of tipping here in Portland.
The initiative is supported by the Maine Democratic Socialists Party.
According to passengers aboard the German cruise ship pictured above right, the ship left New York City and came to Portland. It’s destination is Nova Scotia. However, tomorrow it is headed back to Boston. And from there back up to Nova Scotia. Speculation was that the trip to Nova Scotia had been delayed because of the clean-up required following the damage done by the arrival of Hurricane Fiona on the Island.
For more background information on the subject, please visit post herein dated September 16, 2022, “Waterfront Businesses Opposed to November Ballot Initiative Restricting Cruise Ship Passenger Restrictions.”