Four-hour delays at cruise terminal as longshoremen call in sick

The Brooklyn Paper
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Thousands of cruise tourists ran aground amid four-hour baggage handling delays last Thursday because dozens of longshoreman didn’t bother to show up for work on a hot day.

“It was the worst day at the terminal so far,” Red Hook cruise ship terminal General Manager David Alvarez admitted in a post on the “Cruise Critics” message board, which broke the story of how just 24 workers struggled to load and unload around 15,000 pieces of luggage for 3,000 disgruntled cruisers boarding the Caribbean Princess.

Meanwhile, buses and cars backed up from the terminal entrance at Bowne Street all the way to the tollbooths at the Battery Tunnel.

“It was an absolute disaster,” said local Sid Meyer, a regular cruiser who keeps a close eye on the goings-on in the cruise ship biz. “I saw people getting out of buses and dragging their luggage three-quarters of a mile just to get to the terminal itself.”

Meyer, a twice-a-year big boat passenger, said that he had never seen a debacle of this magnitude at any cruise terminal.

“I’m surprised there weren’t fistfights — that’s how bad it was,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Economic Development Corporation said that the staff was reduced to one-third power because many longshoremen took an unannounced vacation day, perhaps because of the 89-degree weather.

The air around the Red Hook port wasn’t the only thing hot.

“It was THE EMBARKATION FROM HELL!” one cruiser lamented on “Cruise Critics.”

“The bus was approaching the ship at about 1:20 pm and we finally boarded at 5:15 pm!” added Smellytoes. “Preferred boarding did us absolutely no good.”

Fortunately, things were going much better for Smellytoes the next day.

“Somehow I scored two plates full of chocolate-covered strawberries … and the sun came out!”

Representatives from the NYPD, the marine terminal and stevedores were set to hold a meeting this Wednesday to try and prevent such an incident from occurring again.

The Red Hook Marine Terminal has been a departure point for cruise ships since 2006 — and has bothered some nearby residents since it opened.

One local on Columbia Street has made it his personal crusade to get the idling cruise ships, which expel an extraordinary amount of pollution, to be forced to power down their smoke-belching engines and plug into the regular electrical grid while docked.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike Curatore from Carroll Gardens says:
EDC would do well to remember what Reagan did to the air traffic controllers and fire the stevedores and get rid of their union. It's their corruption that ran our waterfront into the ground in the first place. Won't we ever learn? There's plenty of people who would love a job -- even in 90 degree weather. GET RID OF THE STEVEDORES, EDC, BEFORE THEY RUN YOUR TERMINAL BUSINESS OUT OF BROOKLYN!
Aug. 5, 2010, 11:11 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
NYC waterfront was once one of the greatest in the
world. What a sickly ghost of it's former self.
Who's in charge of this fiasco ? Let me guess:
politicians and union goons
Aug. 6, 2010, 10:03 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
NYC waterfront was once one of the greatest in the
world. What a weak, sickly shadow of it's former self.
Even more ludicrous is the amount of people in this]
city who are dying for work, any work.
Who's in charge of this fiasco?
Let me guess: politicians and union goons
Aug. 6, 2010, 10:04 am
sid from Boerum Hill says:
yep its the Unions who have sent millions of jobs overseas and pays the CEO millions per year.
Are their union excesses of course, but the crisis in the US is mostly management. The jobs that Citibank sent first to South Dakota and now to India were not Union jobs as an example. So when we had the sub-prime debacle that almost brought down the economy, all the CEO's went to jail...right?
Aug. 6, 2010, 10:29 am
sid from Boerum Hill says:
btw I still bet it was the terminal that didn't order enough people and then mishandled it....notice how quiet they are about it.
Aug. 6, 2010, 10:30 am
steven from red hook says:
I am a resident of red hook and i am pleased to simply look out my window a see giant beautiful cruise ships! it has brought this area many tourists from around the world... and to all those who simply have nothing good to say.....enough and bring your "real name" out, you so called residents of brooklyn which only have nothing better to do but slam anything good that happens to brooklyn! i have lived here for 35 years and let me tell you all "haters" this area was in the dumps for a long time!! now we have anywhere from giant supermarkets to cruise ships! amazing.... to whom it may concern... please keep on bringing these beautiful cruise ships to "brooklyn" please it has made our area the #1 upcoming place to live!! thank you!!
Aug. 10, 2010, 11:17 am
sal from red hook says:
this message is @rob and @ sid... get your facts straight before posting delusive information on what occured at the cruise ship terminal! and especially to the editor mr "stephen brown to report this false information!!!

p.s. not 1 person called in sick!

if you were a real reporter you would have gathered the real facts of why the terminal had inadequate amount of longshoreman.... so after this totally bogus write up you haven written you now do not deserve the real reason why the terminal was short of employees....
Aug. 10, 2010, 11:28 am
sal from red hook says:
p.s. if you are a "reporter"....lets see if you can do your job and find out why the terminal had an inadequate amount of longshoreman! and i will help you out it wasnt because a number of longshoreman called in sick!!

and after you find out why... then you should retract everything you said with an appology!! i will be waiting for a future article!!!
Aug. 10, 2010, 11:34 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
hey Sal can you read what I wrote? and BTW I emailed the ILA last week for comment on what happened and have not gotten I response. I got my facts straight.

So if you would like to get me the facts email me at and I'll email you what I asked the ILA last week. I'll post them here and get the paper to follow up(you will note its the picture I took in the paper ) where do I blame it on the Union....but the undisputed report is that out of 84 scheduled only 24 showed....
Aug. 10, 2010, 9:40 pm
sal says:
sid yes i will get that to you....

but still this story had nothing to do with longshoreman calling in sick!!
Aug. 12, 2010, 11:20 pm

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