I’ve found myself wondering if I was sorry or not sorry for the fog that rolled in the weekend after Christmas, leaving two cruise ships stranded in our port.
I’m confident the foggy weekend gave us a realistic sneak peek into what island life would look like if Galveston were to become a destination versus a homeport.
My husband and I own a historical building downtown where we run a short-term vacation rental, as well as have an art gallery as a tenant.
With our two-night minimum for our loft, we rarely have cruise passengers as guests.
That said, while my business may or may not benefit from cruise traffic, I was thrilled to see the restaurants, galleries and boutiques were filled with cruise guests.
Our friend Don McClaugherty of Riondo’s Ristorante said they were slammed from the minute they opened until closing that Saturday and likened the crowd to that of Dickens on The Strand.
So, I must wonder, would it be amazing for every weekend on the island to be like that of a major event? I literally cringe as I write this. There’s already chatter on social media that folks are not making Valentine’s Day dinner reservations on the island to avoid the crowds because it’s the start of Mardi Gras.
To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed with the throngs of people at the crosswalks as we waited and waited and waited for a space to open so our car could pass.
I then began to worry about the flow of loyal tourists that have been coming to Galveston for years and generations to hold their weddings, graduation parties, family reunions or weekend getaways.
Would they decide it’s not worth coming here and competing with the crowds? I also wonder if these cruise passengers would return to the island for a vacation or if their visit is a one-time jaunt to our lovely island. Also, could our little island continuously handle that many visitors at one time?
While I personally don’t want to compete for space in my favorite places with crowds of one-time only visitors to the island, I recognize that businesses (especially those downtown) would thrive from these cruise passengers. So, am I being selfish, or merely paranoid for no reason at all?