Instead of having Columbia River cruise vessels compete for the limited space at the 17th Street Dock, why not move the cruise boats to the Port of Astoria's East Mooring Basin?
There is plenty of water, the breakwater is long enough for two vessels at once, there is adjacent space to load tour buses and access to the Astoria Riverfront Trolley and Astoria Riverwalk. The location is close to museums, shops and restaurants, and everyone wins.
The U.S. Coast Guard and cruise ships wouldn't be in each other's way, and the Port could have a usable boat basin again. Money could be borrowed to rebuild the crumbling pier accessing the breakwater, and repaid with cruise boat docking fees.
The Port would get cheaper insurance on the property, and Astoria would still have her visitors. The Astoria waterfront would be better for making this change, and the impact would be minimal.