We were all so happy when the Pride, a 2,124 passenger cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line, began docking in Locust Point in April, 2009. The cruise ship would bring big-spending tourists and economic development to the city, we hoped — and maybe we could stow away in a lifeboat and get a free ride to the Caribbean! But things didn’t exactly turn out like that.
In recent months, the cruise industry has been struggling with the Environmental Protection Agency over their climate-damaging emissions; meanwhile, Baltimore’s other cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur, made headlines when it caught on fire last month, while another Royal Caribbean cruise recently hosted police investigators looking into a suspicious death (which was later ruled a heart attack). The Pride itself had to cancel a departure in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, instead offering a despair-inducing “cruise to nowhere special!” And though Martin O’Malley did his best to lobby for the cruise industry, Carnival announced this week that they’ll be making some, uh, “itinerary changes.” (Which is basically a polite way of saying, “Baltimore, you’re fired!”)
Departing with the Pride will be some of the 220 jobs and $90 million economic boost that the two cruise lines bring to Baltimore. Do you think O’Malley will take back his pro-cruise ship, anti-EPA stance now?