Sunday shopping storm for cruisers

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My friend Carolyn Spencer Brown, who has spent this week cruising around the British Isles on board Holland America’s Westerdam, might want to think twice before returning to Guernsey – even though it’s one of her favourite ports of call.
She didn’t go ashore in St Peter Port on this visit and instead she entertained a group of local journalists on board. But she left controversy in her wake.
During a conversation which turned to the attractions of Guernsey as a shopping destination, Carolyn, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, suggested local Sunday trading laws might be discouraging visitors from returning – prompting a storm of protest from angry residents who read her remarks in the local paper, The Guernsey Press, and on the This is Guernsey website.
The comments actually get more prominence than the original story – because they are published in full, whereas it would cost £12 a month, payable in advance, to subscribe to the online edition.
“Such arrogance. If cruise passengers avoid spending a few hours in Guernsey on a Sunday that is their loss,” said one. “Why should shopkeepers have to open on a Sunday just in case they might get a few visitors in off a cruise ship. It wouldn’t be worth the wages,” retorted another.
A third commented: ” If the people of the cruise ships have only come to Guernsey for a cheap shop and not to see the amazing island then that’s their problem. Don’t change, stay closed on Sunday. It’s relaxing to walk around the harbour on a Sunday lunch time without hundreds of people walking around.”
The only response in agreement with Carolyn appears to have been made by a visitor to the island rather than a resident. ” Couldn’t agree more. My family and I arrived on a Friday for a long weekend in Guernsey and there was little if nothing for us to do on Sunday.”
At least the reporter, Nicci Martel, got a different view of her island. Looking back from the 935-ft long ship – probably the biggest thing in St Peter Port on that or any other day – she was amazed at seeing the island from that vantage point for the first time.
And I’m sure Carolyn is looking forward to arriving in Holyhead tomorrow when Westerdam – the biggest ship ever to visit the Welsh port – will be greeted by Royal harpist Clare Jones.

By | 2010-08-06T17:08:57+00:00 6 August 2010|Cruise destinations, Cruise talk|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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