It has been many months since a cruise ship moored up in Palma and we will probably have to wait even longer, still, until we see one again. It is interesting to note that this issue, before the coronavirus struck, was dividing Palma and the Balearic government was even forced to act, planning to ban the mega-cruise ship, or at least reduce their visits.
That was yesterday and today I think the majority of people would open cruise ship passengers with opened arms, providing that the necessary social distances and health guidelines were met. I have long maintained that Majorca was not getting the full benefits of being one of the most popular cruise ship ports in the Mediterranean. Only a percentage of passengers were going ashore and the majority who did spent little, according to some retailers in Palma.
The fact that the shops are closed on Sundays (the day that most cruise ship visit) is a bit of a problem. Perhaps, now is the time for the good people of Palma to decide what they want from cruise ships? Are too many or too few visiting Palma? Should shops in the city be allowed to open around visiting cruise ships? I was quite amazed to see in Gibraltar that all the shops opened on a Sunday when a cruise ship visited. I think this is probably the right attitude. To ease the strain on the Port of Palma perhaps the Port Authority could consider giving greater prominence to the Port of Alcudia which has a first rate cruise terminal. Palma obviously needs cruise ships to visit but how many and for how long?
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