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Key West Cruise Ship Ban May Be In Jeopardy.


Daniel A
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1 hour ago, D C said:

The two ships that called on Key West sailed from outside of the US and were therefore not requiring the CDC forms that the city is refusing to sign for other ships.  

 

Odds are that there will be a legal battle before any US-based ships call on KW.

Every ship calling on a US port has meet CDC criteria regardless of where the cruise originated. Think about the potential consequences if a ship didn't....dumping a load of sick passengers while the cruise line has not made plans with local officials as to how they are to be handled ashore.

Those ships were allowed to dock because they meet the criteria approved by voters, limiting mooring to ships with a maximum capacity of 1300, and total daily number of passengers limited to no more than 1500 .

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36 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

Allowing two ships that meet the capacity criteria set by the voters is  far cry from permitting a 3,600 passenger behemoth that doesn't.

But they didn't.  The anti-cruise-ship group was pissed about the larger ship that was sailing with fewer passengers. 

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39 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

Every ship calling on a US port has meet CDC criteria regardless of where the cruise originated. Think about the potential consequences if a ship didn't....dumping a load of sick passengers while the cruise line has not made plans with local officials as to how they are to be handled ashore.

Those ships were allowed to dock because they meet the criteria approved by voters, limiting mooring to ships with a maximum capacity of 1300, and total daily number of passengers limited to no more than 1500 .

You are incorrect. 

Cruises that do not originate in the US are not subject to the Conditional Sailing Order, 'voluntary' though it may be. 

 

This story provides a bit more detail, 

https://keysweekly.com/42/cruise-ships-come-back-to-key-west-on-saturday/

"Key West is the only port in the U.S. that does not cooperate with the CDC,”

Edited by D C
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54 minutes ago, D C said:

You are incorrect. 

Cruises that do not originate in the US are not subject to the Conditional Sailing Order, 'voluntary' though it may be. 

 

This story provides a bit more detail, 

https://keysweekly.com/42/cruise-ships-come-back-to-key-west-on-saturday/

"Key West is the only port in the U.S. that does not cooperate with the CDC,”

The Conditional sailing Order is only "voluntary" for ships while in Florida waters . That has nothing to do with whether the ship originated in foreign waters because the CSO clearly states it is applicable to such ships: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/04/2020-24477/framework-for-conditional-sailing-and-initial-phase-covid-19-testing-requirements-for-protection-of "(b) Scope. This framework applies to any person operating or intending to operate a cruise ship in U.S. waters and to any person operating a cruise ship outside of U.S. waters if the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to return to operating in U.S. waters while this Order remains in effect."

 

Read the article you're citing carefully (BTW the article itself has a strong anti-cruising bias). You'll see the following:

“The Crystal Serenity has signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement with Pier B Corporation in full compliance with CDC directives,” Wells said.

While the Quest doesn't have an agreement with Key West,  Wells told the Keys Weekly, “The Azamara Quest has received a CDC-directed agreement with Port of Miami, so they are fully approved by the CDC to operate in the U.S.

1 hour ago, D C said:

But they didn't.  The anti-cruise-ship group was pissed about the larger ship that was sailing with fewer passengers. 

With only 476 passengers on board the ship meets the referendum requirements.

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15 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

The Conditional sailing Order is only "voluntary" for ships while in Florida waters . That has nothing to do with whether the ship originated in foreign waters because the CSO clearly states it is applicable to such ships: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/04/2020-24477/framework-for-conditional-sailing-and-initial-phase-covid-19-testing-requirements-for-protection-of "(b) Scope. This framework applies to any person operating or intending to operate a cruise ship in U.S. waters and to any person operating a cruise ship outside of U.S. waters if the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to return to operating in U.S. waters while this Order remains in effect."

 

Read the article you're citing carefully (BTW the article itself has a strong anti-cruising bias). You'll see the following:

“The Crystal Serenity has signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement with Pier B Corporation in full compliance with CDC directives,” Wells said.

While the Quest doesn't have an agreement with Key West,  Wells told the Keys Weekly, “The Azamara Quest has received a CDC-directed agreement with Port of Miami, so they are fully approved by the CDC to operate in the U.S.

With only 476 passengers on board the ship meets the referendum requirements.

They originated outside the US, had the proper paperwork in place with the port of Miami only and had no such agreement with key west. 

 

An agreement with pier B is not a substitute for a sign-off by the city. 

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48 minutes ago, D C said:

They originated outside the US, had the proper paperwork in place with the port of Miami only and had no such agreement with key west. 

 

An agreement with pier B is not a substitute for a sign-off by the city. 

Pier B is private property and one can never predict how a court might rule it has been suggested that Key West might not have the authority to impose its will on Pier B. 

Let's leave it at that.

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2 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

Pier B is private property and one can never predict how a court might rule it has been suggested that Key West might not have the authority to impose its will on Pier B. 

Let's leave it at that.

Perzactly! 

I've yet to see a positive "we can impart our will on private property" attitude from the city attorney throughout all of this drama.   

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13 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Allowing two ships that meet the capacity criteria set by the voters is  far cry from permitting a 3,600 passenger behemoth that doesn't.

 

13 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Those ships were allowed to dock because they meet the criteria approved by voters, limiting mooring to ships with a maximum capacity of 1300, and total daily number of passengers limited to no more than 1500 .

 

11 hours ago, njhorseman said:

With only 476 passengers on board the ship meets the referendum requirements.

The referendum which was passed states "Cruise ships with the capacity to carry 1,300 or more persons (passengers and crew) shall be prohibited from disembarking individuals at any and all public or privately owned or leased property located within the municipal boundary of the City of Key West."

CHARTER | Code of Ordinances | Key West, FL | Municode Library

 

The Crystal Serenity has a capacity of 1040 passengers and 655 crew making for a total of 1695 persons who can be carried.  The ordinance does not relate to how many persons are actually aboard, rather it is only concerned with how many persons the ship can carry.  In this case, it is 395 persons more than permitted by the now unlawful City Charter Section 1.10. so, in no way does the Crystal Serenity meet the "referendum requirements."  

 

As I have mentioned earlier, this issue is not likely to be settled by Cruise Critic posters, but will be settled by somebody wearing a black robe if the City of Key West flouts the State of Florida statute.

 

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2 hours ago, Daniel A said:

 

The Crystal Serenity has a capacity of 1040 passengers and 655 crew making for a total of 1695 persons who can be carried.

FWIW that's incorrect, although the ship is still over the limit . Per Crystal the Crystal Serenity has a capacity of 900 passengers and approximately 600 crew. 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/ships/crystal-serenity-18

Edited by njhorseman
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49 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

FWIW that's incorrect, although the ship is still over the limit . Per Crystal the Crystal Serenity has a capacity of 900 passengers and approximately 600 crew. 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/ships/crystal-serenity-18

Really not sure why you're arguing when your (incorrect) figures still put the ship over the 1,300 person limit in the now-defunct KW referendum.  

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53 minutes ago, D C said:

Really not sure why you're arguing when your (incorrect) figures still put the ship over the 1,300 person limit in the now-defunct KW referendum.  

I'm not arguing. I realize I didn't know that the limit includes crew. I said the ship was still over the limit. But, my count of crew and passengers comes from Crystal, so how can you say it's incorrect? Just because some press source said 1040 passengers doesn't make that number correct. 

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Just now, njhorseman said:

I'm not arguing. I realize I didn't know that the limit includes crew. I said the ship was still over the limit. But, my count of crew and passengers comes from Crystal, so how can you say it's incorrect? Just because some press source said 1040 passengers doesn't make that number correct. 

Crystal lists guest capacity at 980 on their published deck plan  https://www.crystalcruises.co.uk/docs/default-source/files/ocy-crystal-serenity-deck-plan-suites-guide-2019.pdf

 

 

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

FWIW that's incorrect, although the ship is still over the limit. Per Crystal the Crystal Serenity has a capacity of 900 passengers and approximately 600 crew. 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/ships/crystal-serenity-18

When built, it was designed for 1040 to 1070 passenger capacity.  After a 2018 refurbishment, Crystal merely says they "welcome" 900 guests, but the capacity still seems to be there.  They only welcome 900 guests in order to enhance their crew to passenger ratio.  Reducing the number of passengers they are willing to board does not necessarily alter the capacity.  The web page you posted does not use the term "capacity."  Whatever, as you indicated, it's still more than the City Charter purports to regulate and this is really an immaterial point.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On December 9, NCL's Norwegian Dawn docked in Key West.  The 915-foot Norwegian Dawn pulled in, carrying 2,134 people — 1,061 passengers and 1,073 crew members.  Some protesters were there to greet the Dawn.  Very nice and welcoming people.  😒

 

Key West residents protest arrival of large cruise ship | Miami Herald

 

 

Edited by Daniel A
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I don’t pretend to know the complexities of FL  law, so no opinion how this matter will turn out. But here is the other side of the story. Several years back, we ported at KW from a 700 passenger ship. This would have been fine, except for the two 2500 passenger ships also in port. KW is small, and the about 5700 visitors from the ships made the place too crowded to enjoy. Shops, bars, and restaurants were too crowded to even try to enter and buy something. KW  had only one beach accessible to the public, so shopping and sight seeing were the only activities. Shops were too crowded to enter and sights were blocked by the mob. Fortunately, the two big ships left before ours, so we had at least a little time to enjoy the place. So, we would be hesitant to book another cruise stopping at KW  — even on a small ship — if the place could be over-run by passengers from big ships. We just wouldn’t enjoy it. We live in a small Colorado tourist town in the mountains and have seen first hand how “over-tourism” can ruin the experience in a beautiful place.

Edited by Dolebludger
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4 hours ago, Daniel A said:

On December 9, NCL's Norwegian Dawn docked in Key West.  The 915-foot Norwegian Dawn pulled in, carrying 2,134 people — 1,061 passengers and 1,073 crew members.  Some protesters were there to greet the Dawn.  Very nice and welcoming people.  😒

 

Key West residents protest arrival of large cruise ship | Miami Herald

 

 

The article may well have said Key West residents welcome cruise ship arrival as there were quite a lot of people at the pier to greet them.  

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4 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Very nice and welcoming people. 

And I will defend to the death these people's right to voice their opinion, and peacefully demonstrate their displeasure.  While I don't know how many of the demonstrators were locals, the local referendum showed that the majority don't want the ships, and it is the essence of US democracy to let local jurisdictions legislate local issues.

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15 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

And I will defend to the death these people's right to voice their opinion, and peacefully demonstrate their displeasure.  While I don't know how many of the demonstrators were locals, the local referendum showed that the majority don't want the ships, and it is the essence of US democracy to let local jurisdictions legislate local issues.

While an individual certainly has every right to protest and voice their opinion, that doesn't mean I have to like what they say and how they say it.  It is interesting to note how many people are fully supportive of the Federal Government restricting or placing an outright ban on a particular type of commerce to the point that a more local form of government should have no say. (Florida v. CDC.)  But they argue that when it comes to Key West, it is the local government who should be holding all the cards and the higher level of government should have no say.

 

As an example of preemption, would one argue that Key West should be able to permit minors to patronize local taverns starting at the age of 12, or should a state law preempt such a "local issue?"  Does a state not have a legitimate interest in regulating activities at the state border?  Should Key West be able to issue its own driver licenses as long as those drivers would only be able to drive in Key West, or conversely, should Key West be able to require its own driver license in order for one to drive in their city?  The people of the state of Florida have spoken but some are arguing that they really shouldn't have any say in matters affecting the local economy.

 

I think the people of Key West are believing their own Conch Republic BS...

 

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5 hours ago, Daniel A said:

It is interesting to note how many people are fully supportive of the Federal Government restricting or placing an outright ban on a particular type of commerce to the point that a more local form of government should have no say. (Florida v. CDC.)  But they argue that when it comes to Key West, it is the local government who should be holding all the cards and the higher level of government should have no say.

Wow, a real stretch, even for you.  Let's see.  One instance is a public health plan to deal with a pandemic that threatens the health of the entire nation, not to mention that it deals with interstate, and actually, international commerce, which even the most strict constructionalist of the Constitution acknowledge as the sole jurisdiction of the federal government.  And the other is a decision that affects only the economy of a local jurisdiction.  What is the justification for the state intervening with an issue that involves only the town of Key West?  Should the state regulate parking regulations in Key West as well?  Or opening hours for stores?

 

I feel the residents of Key West are tired of being overrun by tourists, not any Conch Republic ideas.

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Well, as I implied above, I don’t know who (if anybody) has the jurisdiction to regulate cruise ship port visits. But I do know that tourists (as well as locals) don’t like to be in a place that is over-run  by more people than it can accommodate.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

 the other is a decision that affects only the economy of a local jurisdiction.  What is the justification for the state intervening with an issue that involves only the town of Key West? 

I'm not looking to belabor this as the State of Florida has already spoken.  By restricting or limiting the number of tourists allowed to enter the city of Key West, it has an (albeit marginal) effect on the income of the state by suppressing the amount of state sales taxes collected.  The local economy isn't the only economy affected here.  There are corporations which provide services and goods in Key West and are not located in the City of Key West.  The legal justification for the state regulating a point of entry for persons and goods is contained in the state law which spells out the powers a local municipality has under "Home Rule."  That law expressly states a municipality lacks the power to promulgate any regulations or ordinances on subjects preempted by state law.

Edited by Daniel A
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So, by the state of Florida's interpretation that any local ordinance that limits the amount of sales tax that could be collected is not legal, and therefore towns and cities cannot limit development of stores and shopping malls?  Those stores would likely be supplied by wholesalers located outside the town, so this fits the "definition", right?  Exactly what can a municipality control under this definition of the law?  Whether the state of Florida "has spoken" or not is somewhat irrelevant until the law is challenged in court, as to whether the law is legal or not.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

So, by the state of Florida's interpretation that any local ordinance that limits the amount of sales tax that could be collected is not legal, and therefore towns and cities cannot limit development of stores and shopping malls?  Those stores would likely be supplied by wholesalers located outside the town, so this fits the "definition", right? 

My mentioning the sales tax issue and outside vendors was solely in response to your statement implying that the Key West referendum "affects only the economy of a local jurisdiction."  These economies are interrelated, so the actions Key West wants to take do affect outside economies within the state.

 

 

2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Exactly what can a municipality control under this definition of the law?  Whether the state of Florida "has spoken" or not is somewhat irrelevant until the law is challenged in court, as to whether the law is legal or not.

I have abridged the following from the Florida statutes in the sake of brevity:

166.021 Powers.

(3) The Legislature recognizes that pursuant to the grant of power set forth in s. 2(b), Art. VIII of the State Constitution, the legislative body of each municipality has the power to enact legislation concerning any subject matter upon which the state Legislature may act, except: . . .

(c) Any subject expressly preempted to state or county government by the constitution or by general law; . . .

 

The full text of the law can be found here: 

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

 

As far as court challenges are concerned, I have always believed this matter will eventually be decided by a person wearing a black robe, but there must be a reason why Key West hasn't filed suit contesting the legality of the law.

 

Please see my responses in red, above.  As an aside, I wonder if the State has the ability to take the municipal pier through eminent domain.  Just a thought...

Edited by Daniel A
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  • 2 weeks later...

The issue of the state taking control of the municipal pier via eminent domain is an interesting one.

 

I believe the US Supreme Court recently ruled that federal eminent domain would allow a pipeline company to seize NJ state owned park land. Whether Florida has a pressing state interest in the operation of the KW  municipal pier isn't clear to me. Or whether federal and state laws would even permit it.

 

As an aside, Florida has increased the span of state control over what have previously been local ballot, legislative, or school decisions. So, it's not unlikely the state would try to do so here.

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2 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

The issue of the state taking control of the municipal pier via eminent domain is an interesting one.

 

I believe the US Supreme Court recently ruled that federal eminent domain would allow a pipeline company to seize NJ state owned park land. Whether Florida has a pressing state interest in the operation of the KW  municipal pier isn't clear to me. Or whether federal and state laws would even permit it.

 

As an aside, Florida has increased the span of state control over what have previously been local ballot, legislative, or school decisions. So, it's not unlikely the state would try to do so here.

I'm not sure that a "pressing need" is the standard.  I think if it benefits the 'general public interest' it might meet the standard.  But then, I don't think an Eminent Domain proceeding would be used there.  However, it could end up being a negotiation point if KW challenges the Florida law.

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