Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (xvii, 322) : color illustrations, color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Watler E. Little

Committee Members

Jennifer L. Burrell, Patricia de Santana Pinho, Quetzil E. Castañeda


Cruise lines, Tourism

Subject Categories

Social and Cultural Anthropology


This dissertation defines cruise ship tourism in the context of a local community. The theoretical manifestations and development of cruise ship tourism are presented and analyzed. This research traces the development of the U.S.-based cruise ship industry (i.e. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corporation & PLC) and its subsequent effects in one port-of-call community, the island of Cozumel, Mexico. Cruise ship tourism in Cozumel is compounded in San Miguel, the island's only urban center, at the three cruise ship piers and associated shopping centers. Defining U.S.-based cruise ship tourism in the context of Cozumel is significant as it is the most important cruise ship port-of-call in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the world (APIQROO 2013; CLIA 2013; FCCA 2013). The focus of this investigation examines the ways the development and corporate practices of the U.S.-based cruise ship industry formulate a climate of competition between local and internationally owned and operated businesses in cruise ship port-of-call communities. The U.S.-based cruise ship industry establishes contracts with businesses for a fee and advertise such businesses on a map for cruise ship tourists. These corporate strategies promulgate inequality between local employee, multinational business, and U.S.-based cruise ship industry as well as local and tourists. Cruise ship tourists in Cozumel affirm these "guaranteed and approved" businesses are safer, more easily accessible, and more frequented than locally-owned and operated options.