SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The fall cruise ship schedule in Santa Barbara will bring 16 ships to the area over the next three months.
It will also renew the debate about whether or not the stops are good for the city or if the passengers coming onshore improve the economy.
The ship arriving this morning at dawn was the Celebrity Solstice with about 2100 people. They came ashore in tenders and many headed off to tour busses with stops in the wine country, Santa Barbara landmarks and the Funk Zone.
"The capacity, like this one is around 2800 but it is only 2100 on board about 60 percent," said passenger Chet Szarek.
Many spent time on board planning their on shore activities.
At the Chamber of Commerce welcoming tent volunteer Sharon Henning said, "we see the people coming back with the bags. So they are shopping, eating."
Passenger Rory Dyer, "especially like if there are specific to that area or local artists that I can't get somewhere else yeah "
One passenger says she supports the local businesses when she comes ashore at the port stops.
"Usually I drop about $200-$500 dollars in a port so it is a big economic boom I would think," said passenger Julia Martins. "I know when I am going to this port that I want to stop at this store and look at this and plan it accordingly."
Father Larry Gosselin from Santa Barbara's Old Mission walking the waterfront came by and said to those coming off other ship, "welcome to Santa Barbara everybody." He was a surprise visitor to the arrival location. He also posed for pictures.
The City of Santa Barbara is planning to study the cruise ship impacts to see what the economics of this visits mean locally either on the day of the trip or if the passengers return another time.
Henning said, "(from) Southern California and we get the same thing from the people from the Bay area (they say) I drive through on my way to LA and don't stop and the next time I am going to stop."
The cruise ships generally arrive first thing in the morning and leave at sunset.
A meeting to discuss cruise ships took place Thursday in the Marine Center Classroom at 6 pm.
It included public comments.