So have y'all been keeping tabs on what's been going down here at the Port of Baltimore between Carnival Cruise Line and the EPA? Well let me bring you up to speed: D-R-A-M-A! Before I give y'all the 411, let me just plug a personal anecdote in. Is that okay? Alright, so a few weeks ago I began looking at cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore (since it's only 15 minutes from my driveway). I was hopeful that Carnival would send Carnival Pride back to Bermuda... but when I pulled up her sailing schedule, it's only posted until April 2014 which had me raising an eyebrow (especially since Royal Caribbean has Grandeur of the Seas' sailings posted until next fall).
So I tweeted the Carnival Public Relations team and they told me they would get back to me on if they'll be going to Bermuda next summer. THEN I see something interesting in the Baltimore Sun about a week and a half later that pretty much stated Carnival Cruise Line has threatened to leave the Port of Baltimore all together! Say what? I KNOW! So now I'm just really at a loss for words.
Okay so here's what happened that's causing this "possible threat", three letters: E-P-A. Yeah, so the EPA told Carnival they had to get Carnival Pride burning some cleaner fuel in order for her to continue to moor here in Charm City (which I get and am okay with). But Carnival instead of agreeing with this new mandate has threatened (again, I say threatened and not confirms) to leave the Port of Baltimore. As a resident and tax payer to the state, I am all about having cleaner air to breath here in Maryland. And the inner cruise ship lover in me wants to see Carnival Pride stay in Baltimore, but if Carnival wants to leave... let them!
So our Governor, Martin O'Malley (D), has intervened on Carnival's behalf. He wants to see Carnival to stay, but from what I'm reading in reports from the Baltimore Sun, he is trying to get the EPA to lessen the regulation so Carnival will stay (which has many Mary;and residents upset). Carnival's argument is that if they make the enhancements needed to see that Carnival Pride burns cleaner fuel while in Maryland, they would then front the money to passengers who sail from Baltimore; stating an increase of around $5.00 per person. This is a story that is continuing to unfold so check back for an update from yours truly on this shocking news. In the mean time, check out the posted article in the Baltimore Sun and watch this video giving you my 2 cents on this. Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!