Strong Arm Tactics: Royal Caribbean Threatens Rockland Maine Over $6 Head Tax

Royal Caribbean is threatening the tiny town of Rockland, Maine after it decided to increase its cruise ship fee to $6 per passenger.  Royal Caribbean wants the fee to stay at $1.

The AP is reporting that Rockland (population 7,000) increased its head tax to help reasonsbly compensate the community for the substantial costs imposed on town's infrastructure by cruise ship visits.

Royal Caribbean Cruise - Tax - Rockland MaineRoyal Caribbean told the Maine Public Broadcasting Network that the fee increase "is excessive and ill timed given current economic conditions."

The giant cruise line is threatening that the higher fee will jeopardize a port of call by the Jewel of the Seas, which is scheduled to arrive in October. 

Other ports in Maine charge higher fees, such as Portland, Maine which charges $9 per passenger.  Alaska charges $34.50 per person, down from $50.

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean pay zero federal taxes on the $6,000,000,000 (billion) in cruise fares from mostly U.S. tax-paying citizens - by flagging their cruise ships in foreign countries.  And there is no doubt that the cruise lines are making money hand over fist.  Forbes announced three cruise tycoons as some of the richest people in the world - "Cruise Line Fat Cat Billionaires."

So just $1 a person?  Or Royal Caribbean will pull its Jewel of the Seas out of Rockland?  

Rockland should call the city managers in Norwich, England whose facilities have been inundated with sick passengers returning from the norovirus contaminated Jewel of the Seas for the past month, and ask them about the real costs associated with entertaining such huge cruise ships. 

Scare tactics.  What a basis for a meaningful relationship.

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Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Pat Gardiner - June 28, 2010 5:36 AM

When Norovirus meets shipping, which it does with increasing severity and frequency, you find that national news black-outs just don't work.

This is an unusual story with an unexpected punch line, illustrating just how Norovirus in Norfolk, England hospitals impacts across the world.

"Rockland should call the city managers in Norwich, England whose facilities have been inundated with sick passengers returning from the norovirus contaminated Jewel of the Seas for the past month, and ask them about the real costs associated with entertaining such huge cruise ships." 

Does passenger shipping bring Norovirus into East Anglia or do the ships carry it across the world from pig production areas?

We don't know. But the geography matches a zoonotic disease linked to pigs and transported by both pigs and people.

The data, the basis of all science, is either missing courtesy of Britain's hopelessly bent vets or massaged courtesy of British NHS managers until recently keener on PR than performance.

We will probably have to wait until more relatively honest veterinary and scientific establishments and that means the USA or Holland rather than Canada or Britain, puts two and two together and have the guts to publish the answer.

The geographical links are strong in Canada, Britain and the Carolinas.

(and before anyone asks, despite my concerns over norovirus for years and a possible connection to pigs and cruise liners, I had nothing to do with the publication of this story.)

--
Regards
Pat Gardiner
Release and independently audit the results of testing British pigs
for MRSA and C.Diff now!
www.go-self-sufficient.com and http://animal-epidemics.blogspot.com/


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