Proms and Private Corporate Events Instead of Cruise Ships at New Terminal

The Port of San Diego’s controversial new $28 million cruise ship terminal was completed in December, just as word got around that Holland America was planning to pull its 1916-passenger Oosterdam liner off the once-lucrative route from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera. The 2500-passenger Carnival Spirit is also departing the schedule. Loss of the vessels, each of which made 25 trips or so a year, dashed the port’s hopes to justify its lavish investment in the Broadway Pier facility, which displaced a public park and caused a legal and environmental ruckus that is yet to fade. But have no fear, officials say, they have come up with an array of events that can be held inside the lofty building, though many will be off-limits to the public.

Among the substitute events lined up, according to a list furnished by the district: a May 6 meeting of the state Assembly Select Committee on San Diego Trade, Tourism and Job Creation; a May 14 high school prom; a May 25 “Corporate Trade Show & Reception (private corporate event)”; a June 9 “Electric Vehicle Promotional Event (private corporate event)”; another private corporate event on June 22; the June 25–26 San Diego Spirits Festival cocktail party (“festival on pier forecourt free to public; paid event inside pavilion”); and on July 1, a “private wedding and reception.” Free public events include Fourth of July fireworks, a Chilean tall ship visit, Fleet Week, and Whale Days. And the schedule calls for one cruise ship stop in November and two in January of next year.

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It's been a long time Matt:

Since our lawsuit against the Port is still ongoing and is likely to lead to new revelations, I can only say that even Rita Vandergraw, director of marketing (for Carnival Cruises some think) must be wondering how she is still employed by the Port after a 28 million dollar debacle she was cheerleader for.

When the Port District decided to accommodate all those cruise ships coming into port at once with all that costly construction, did it not get some commitment from the lines? Apparently not. The sad thing was that those ships that went down the so-called Mexican Riviera both headed out the same day of the week, Saturday. Then there were other ships calling that same day. But if you get all the ships in port on Saturday, and then there's nothing for the remainder of the week, that cannot be good. For once, the PD was actually promoting something that involved a working seaport, and it had been a very long time since it had done anything like that.

Don't expect those ships to come back. I feel certain that it isn't just the safety issue in Mexico that is making those cruises unpopular. Calling Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo the "Riviera" is going too far. They aren't the Riviera by a long shot, and the climate isn't that balmy. The first one or two days headed south are downright chilly, not at all tropical, as are the day or two at the end. In the Caribbean, the weather is tropical from start to finish. After many folks have cruised to Mexico once, they have no huge desire to do it again. I mean, there you are on a fancy ship playing rich and next thing you're ashore, close up and personal with visible wretched poverty. And that's when the cruise line is controlling what you see and experience. Add to the mix the fact that there is no uniqueness in any of the Mexican stops. Once you've seen the first one, you've seen them all.

The PD got bamboozled once again. Will those pols ever learn? Who is John Galt?

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