Despite its alluring -- if somewhat obvious -- name, our new cruise ship is not exactly everyone's idea of a Fantasy.
There are a fair number of people around here who are unhappy with the amount of traffic the Carnival Cruise Lines ship is bringing to the peninsula, not to mention the hundreds of budget-minded tourists roaming our historic streets every week in fanny packs.
As if horses with diapers didn't rob us of enough dignity.
Many folks don't think the cruise ship industry is the sort of tourism traffic a town of this cultural station should be, well, cultivating.
To a point, their concerns are understandable.
But beyond the headaches of more traffic on downtown streets, a lot of the resistance to these ships is likely more subconscious than justified fear. It's all tied in with Charleston's shift to a service-based economy, home prices that rise much faster than local incomes and that maddening traffic that keeps U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley, on most days, jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive.
All of that adds up to the unfortunate realization that, in many ways, we are becoming Florida North.
And, to some people, cruise ships seem like just another step toward Disney-fying Charleston.
Bucks not Bucs
Most local officials praise the coming of the cruise ships, and take a measure of pride in the idea that this city actually has become a home port.
That's largely because they like the idea of a $37 million (or more) shot in our economic arm. In case you haven't noticed, or tried to go to a library branch on a Sunday, local governments aren't exactly flush with cash.
Privately, though, some of those same officials share the anti-cruise ship crowd's reservations. They don't want Charleston to become just another congested debarkation point -- think Tampa, without the NFL -- any more than residents do.
Nobody wants to kill the golden goose. And the fact that these official types recognize this is a good sign that this cruise ship stuff won't get out of hand.
Some of the official attitudes are not even all that subtle.
Jim Newsome, the CEO of the State Ports Authority, told Post and Courier reporter Glenn Smith that Charleston "is not Key West or Fort Lauderdale, and it will not become Key West or Fort Lauderdale."
That is a safe bet, especially when you consider this: This city wouldn't allow girls to sell Italian ice in bikinis on downtown streets. Come one, we can't even drink alcohol on the sidewalks for Pete's sake.
At its heart, Charleston residents -- the old-timers and Ohioans -- respect what this town is way too much to allow this to get too far out of hand.
So if anyone doubts Newsome, who has proved to be an open and affable fellow in his time at the port, take a gander at the Ports Authority plan for a new passenger terminal.
It is a single-berth terminal, which means one ship at a time.
So it's probably a good bet that the only traffic jams around here will continue to be on Highway 17.