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I have come across a YouTube video describing downtown Seattle as deteriorating, with multiple homeless tent cities and increasing violence and drug use.  Ialso searched and found several news articles describing similar conditions.

I realize I am seeing one side of the story and the news media tends to jump on stories that they believe encourages sales and advertising.  To borrow a line to a song, "There are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth!" 

We have a hotel booked in the shadow of Space Needle in August relatively close to the cruise port arriving a day before the cruise.  We had planned to find a restaurant within walking distance to our hotel.  

Anyone with recent experience staying in proximity to that area?  What is the truth?  🙂

 

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Man, We leave for Seattle in May for our Alaska cruise and I to just saw that YouTube video as well. So depressing! This will be my first time there and I really hope the hotel we chose is no where near those areas. While I am excited for my first ever Alaska cruise, I'm starting to wonder about my day before the cruise being in the city.

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We'll be in Seattle in May.  We have never been there before.  We are going straight to our hotel (an "airport" hotel) and stay there till we leave for the port the next day and again upon return.  My old Army buddy, that is cruising with us, and I will not subject our wives to the type of crime and filth that has been reported.  Even if the media reports are exaggerated by 10 - 20%, it's still too high.  No, Seattle isn't the most crime ridden city in the country, but I'm not visiting the one(s) that are, either.  I live about 1.5 hours from Atlanta, I don't go there either, etc etc etc.  

Your milage may vary!

https://www.seattle.gov/police/information-and-data/online-crime-maps

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I'm very interested in what the situation is in that area is as well. The are cruising out of Seattle in August and initially wanted to stay in walking distance from the Space Needle and Pop Culture museum the night before. I'm starting to second guess this plan.

I hoping some insights can be provided right now and over the early Alaskan cruise season.

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Although a person will travel through the decay getting to the motel, airport or cruise port, once there you'll be marvelously insulated.

Another thing... Seattle is expensive for a tourist.  There are exorbitant multiple taxes added  to motels and car rentals, or anything else travel or tour related.  When I'm there on a cruise, I take the shortest fastest route from the motel to the ship, and then out of there as fast as I can when the cruise is over. 

The locals are so accustomed to what's become of Seattle and Portland, they are defensive of their towns and profess this is the new normal, and they feel safe.

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Homelessness and crime is an issue in Seattle as it is in most metropolitan areas. It is quite visible in Seattle but crime against persons is not high so you don’t really have to feel unsafe. We stayed at waterfront last September and walked everywhere (including to the space needle and back) and never felt unsafe. We did have one unnerving experience while in a target liquor store where we watched two separate robberies (of alcohol, not the cash register) in a span of minutes. No weapons were used. The perps simply loaded up duffel bags of alcohol, while security officers stood by and watched, and walked out of the store! It was quite surreal actually. 

We walked around pike place and went for dinner on the waterfront and like I said, we never felt unsafe

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7 minutes ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

We stayed at waterfront last September and walked everywhere (including to the space needle and back) and never felt unsafe.

I hope that is the case for us as we are staying at the Marriott Waterfront as well. I would love to explore as we have never been there, but after watching the YouTube video travelling around most of the city, it did not give me the warm fuzzy feelings I originally had about visiting the city. Thankfully we are only staying in Seattle a day before the cruise. We have a afternoon flight home thank goodness!

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My adult son and I were there at the New Year. Quickest route between our hotel and the light rail passed through an area with a large group of homeless. We passed through the area multiple times with no issues. Each time we were greeted with happy smiles and friendly word. Homelessness doesn't create a lack of safety.

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6 minutes ago, CJS2766 said:

I hope that is the case for us as we are staying at the Marriott Waterfront as well. I would love to explore as we have never been there, but after watching the YouTube video travelling around most of the city, it did not give me the warm fuzzy feelings I originally had about visiting the city. Thankfully we are only staying in Seattle a day before the cruise. We have a afternoon flight home thank goodness!

We stayed at the Marriot as well. The boardwalk area is clean and nice to stroll. And like I said, we walked from there to the space needle and had no issues. I feel you will still enjoy your time there

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18 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Homelessness doesn't create a lack of safety.

 I don't think it's the homeless situation. I think it's the crime and potential open drug use that I don't want to be around. Also, desperate people tend to do desperate things. Being a tourist also doesn't help as we are not familiar with how things "work" there vs being here close to the city where we live.

 

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9 minutes ago, CJS2766 said:

 Homelessness doesn't create a lack of safety.

I don't think it's the homeless situation. I think it's the crime and potential open drug use that I don't want to be around. Also, desperate people tend to do desperate things. Being a tourist also doesn't help as we are not familiar with how things "work" there vs being here close to the city where we live.

 

Yes, you are totally right. 

I was raised in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area.  A lot of it is unsafe unless you know where you can or "shouldn't" go and at what time.  So, now when I visit, I avoid where I don't want to take family and/or friends.

I not only said crime, I also said filth.  For example:  A few years ago, we were driving to a well known Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio which is right next to the elevated interstate (Mi Tierra Café).  As we go under the elevated interstate, where a lot of homeless hang out or live, a guy stepped off of the sidewalk, pulled down his pants, squatted and crapped on the curb.  

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This is a difficult question to answer.

Pre-pandemic, the homeless and crime issues were definitely rising but most densely populated areas of downtown were still quite lovely to visit.

During the pandemic, I had family in Seattle tell me that some areas got really, really bad.  In particular, the Industrial and International Districts.  The issues got worse during the protests.  YouTube videos of how bad it got are all over the internet.

Post-protest/riot period and after most pandemic related restrictions were lifted, the city cleaned up quite a bit.  This is an understatement.  They cleaned house.  

Space Needle is in a relatively lovely area.  I think its in the Queen Anne District.  It should be relatively safe.

None of this means that something bad won't happen or that you won't witness a crime while there.  None of this means that you will be harmed either.  It is the risk associated with visiting any major metropolitan area, especially lately.  Take it in stride.  Be careful, but not paranoid. Relax.  Avoid being out late at night by yourself.  

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10 minutes ago, jay1021 said:

A lot of it is unsafe unless you know where you can or "shouldn't" go and at what time. 

Right.  America isn't known to be the safest country in the world.  In fact, I remember it being quite low.  

Just use common sense.  If the area looks bright, clean, and populated, likely safer.  Don't go down that dark alley.  Don't travel by yourself.  Don't be out late.  Any and every combination of these things.  

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6 minutes ago, CruisingNewb said:

Right.  America isn't known to be the safest country in the world.  In fact, I remember it being quite low.  

Just use common sense.  If the area looks bright, clean, and populated, likely safer.  Don't go down that dark alley.  Don't travel by yourself.  Don't be out late.  Any and every combination of these things.  

And ain't that a shame!

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44 minutes ago, jay1021 said:

We'll be in Seattle in May.  We have never been there before.  We are going straight to our hotel (an "airport" hotel) and stay there till we leave for the port the next day and again upon return.  My old Army buddy, that is cruising with us, and I will not subject our wives to the type of crime and filth that has been reported.  Even if the media reports are exaggerated by 10 - 20%, it's still too high.  No, Seattle isn't the most crime ridden city in the country, but I'm not visiting the one(s) that are, either.  I live about 1.5 hours from Atlanta, I don't go there either, etc etc etc.  

Your milage may vary!

https://www.seattle.gov/police/information-and-data/online-crime-maps

True, true....but IF you can, and IF you are willing, take an Uber to the International District and eat at Tai Tung Chinese Restaurant.  My family have been eating there for over 6 decades.  My father used to eat there with Bruce Lee when they were students at the UW.  It is not the best or nicest Chinese restaurant, but for some reason, it is one of my all time favs.  We will be eating there the night before our cruise in June.

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OP, in the general area of your hotel (10 minute walk) is Toulouse Petite Kitchen. Absolutely delightful food, drink, and atmosphere. You will need reservations.  Make them on the early side, and in August you’ll be able to stroll back to your hotel before full dark. 

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1 hour ago, CruisingNewb said:

Right.  America isn't known to be the safest country in the world.  In fact, I remember it being quite low.  

Just use common sense.  If the area looks bright, clean, and populated, likely safer.  Don't go down that dark alley.  Don't travel by yourself.  Don't be out late.  Any and every combination of these things.  

I whole heartily agree.  I did not mean to scare folks or disparage Seattle in any way. 

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26 minutes ago, Toby said:

I whole heartily agree.  I did not mean to scare folks or disparage Seattle in any way. 

No, no...I did not take it as disparaging in any way.  I too had to ask family members because we planned our Alaska trip and then saw YouTube videos of the rioting and homeless issues in Seattle.  It is a legitimate concern.  Hope I addressed some of those concerns and helped put your mind at ease.

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We were in Seattle last September.  We stayed at the Kimpton Monaco on 4th avenue.  We walked everywhere, except when we were too tired.  We were not expecting the hills.

We never felt unsafe.  There were homeless people in areas.  There were also some interesting characters, but nothing that caused concern.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Toby said:

I have come across a YouTube video describing downtown Seattle as deteriorating, with multiple homeless tent cities and increasing violence and drug use.  Ialso searched and found several news articles describing similar conditions.

I realize I am seeing one side of the story and the news media tends to jump on stories that they believe encourages sales and advertising.  To borrow a line to a song, "There are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth!" 

We have a hotel booked in the shadow of Space Needle in August relatively close to the cruise port arriving a day before the cruise.  We had planned to find a restaurant within walking distance to our hotel.  

Anyone with recent experience staying in proximity to that area?  What is the truth?  🙂

 

Last July, prior to our Serenade of Seas cruise, my wife and I stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Seattle-Downtown.  It is 1/2 mile north of Space Needle Park.  It's all sidewalk on a main street to that park and there is alot to do there (Space Needle, Popculture museum, Chihuly Garden & Glass).   Aside for the general filth on the streets associated with homelessness, we didn't observe much overt homeless or criminality.  We actually walked all over Seattle from that hotel during day and early evening.  We walked back and forth multiple times to the Pike's Place Market which was about 1.5 mile from the hotel.  Again, there was alot of pedestrian foot traffic.  

There were several homeless tent communities in the area, but we didn't travel near them on our routine travel.  Of course, this was all almost 1 year ago, but that was our experience.  

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On 3/29/2022 at 7:57 AM, WAYNO said:

Although a person will travel through the decay getting to the motel, airport or cruise port, once there you'll be marvelously insulated.

Another thing... Seattle is expensive for a tourist.  There are exorbitant multiple taxes added  to motels and car rentals, or anything else travel or tour related.  When I'm there on a cruise, I take the shortest fastest route from the motel to the ship, and then out of there as fast as I can when the cruise is over. 

The locals are so accustomed to what's become of Seattle and Portland, they are defensive of their towns and profess this is the new normal, and they feel safe.

Which local did you talk to? I never go to Seattle unless I'm packing. You can thank the Seattle city council and previous mayor for what Seattle has become. The police department by their own admission are short over 300 officer's. The staffing level is at the 1980's level. If you get robbed, car jacked or anything else that isn't life threatening the police will be out when they can, meaning expect to wait an hour or two. 

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On 3/29/2022 at 11:56 AM, SpeedNoodles said:

@12thman - do you have any advice/opinions as a local?

I can't wait to get there on May 29th.  I wish we had been able to come out a day earlier.  Stupid work (that happens to pay for the privilege to travel so stop complaining, girl).

My advice is travel in a group only during the day. You can see Pike Place Market, Space Needle, etc. Use common sense. Avoid homeless encampment as drug dealers, mentally disabled, and other's have been know to harass and rob tourists. If gas prices remain high Uber and Lyft diver's are quitting. 

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9 hours ago, 12thman said:

My advice is travel in a group only during the day. You can see Pike Place Market, Space Needle, etc. Use common sense. Avoid homeless encampment as drug dealers, mentally disabled, and other's have been know to harass and rob tourists. If gas prices remain high Uber and Lyft diver's are quitting. 

Well there’s a positive endorsement 😂

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On 3/31/2022 at 3:51 AM, 12thman said:

Which local did you talk to?

I live out here.  I'm surrounded by locals.  I hear everyday that Portland/Seattle are the Gardens of Eden, but with extra character.  And these locals don't feel unsafe even if they have to step around or over needles, feces, and garbage.  I just have a much different feeling of what is safe.

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