Hurricane Harvey leaves thousands of cruisers, crew out to sea

Geneva Matthews
August 27, 2017

High winds and pouring rains from Harvey, now a tropical storm, have devastated cities along the southern coast of Texas, destroying homes and businesses, downing trees and signs and knocking out power across the area.

The Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor - both scheduled to arrive in Galveston on Saturday - remained at sea as of Saturday morning, with plans to stop in New Orleans to replenish fuel and supplies, a Carnival representative said in an email. They are now at sea and "will remain a safe distance from the storm", a spokesperson said in an email. According to a release from the line, "the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor are at sea and will remain a safe distance from the storm". Guests have the option to end their cruise there.

Peter Simons, interim director for the Port of Galveston, said officials are still trying to determine if it will be safe for ships to call on Galveston Sunday.

Katrina Arredondo was scheduled to be a passenger on the next Carnival Freedom trip. Passengers will receive a refund based on the number of cruise days missed. She added that the third ship will spend the night docked in Cozumel and depart for Galveston tomorrow.

"If there is a lull in the storm the Captain of the Port MAY allow for inbound cruise vessels however there is no safety guarantee", said a Saturday afternoon post on the port's Facebook page.

To avoid those situations, the ships - which are now positioned in the southern Caribbean and along the Mexican coast - could stay on the back side of the storm until it passes.

While we're posting about the cruise ships we would also like to update readers that Liberty of the Seas which is operated by Royal Caribbean is still on scheduled to dock in Galveston on Sunday and the cruise line has not made any adjustments yet.

He says utility lines and other infrastructure have been upgraded since 2008 to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

"We are actively monitoring path and progression of Hurricane Harvey and will make sure to inform our guests of any itinerary changes", Torres said.

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