Two Carnival ships and a Princess ship departed Galveston and Houston, respectively, on Tuesday, when authorities reopened the Houston Ship Channel to limited traffic. The cleanup of an oil spill in Galveston Bay continues.
John Heald, Carnival’s senior cruise director, said the Carnival Magic had set sail, in a post at about 2:30 p.m. Eastern on his Facebook page.
He also said the Carnival Triumph was undergoing a cleaning of the hull and would set sail after completing the cleaning and receiving approval.
The Caribbean Princess will call at Cozumel on Thursday and return to Houston on Saturday. The 3,600-passenger Caribbean Princess had been stuck in Houston’s
Bayport Cruise Terminal since Saturday, when it was scheduled to depart
on a seven-day cruise.
All Carnival Magic guests will receive a two-day prorated refund of their cruise, which was originally a seven-day sailing scheduled to depart Galveston on Sunday, along with a 25% future cruise discount. Gratuities will also be adjusted.
The Magic will visit Grand Cayman on Thursday from 11 a.m. a.m. to 6 p.m. and Cozumel on Friday as scheduled.
The Carnival Triumph was originally to leave Galveston on Monday on a five-day Mexico cruise.
Because the Coast Guard and local authorities couldn’t provide Royal Caribbean with a firm departure time for the Navigator of the Seas sailing out of Galveston, Royal Caribbean canceled the seven-day cruise on Monday evening.
Royal Caribbean said guests had the option to stay aboard Navigator of
the Seas until next Sunday, continuing to “enjoy the food and
“We understand that this is not the news
that our guests were hoping to hear, and we share in their
disappointment. We are deeply sorry that we were unable to deliver the
Royal Caribbean cruise vacation that they anticipated, and that we were
looking forward to providing them,” Royal Caribbean said in statement.
Royal Caribbean will provide each guest with a full refund of the cruise fare paid and a future cruise certificate for 25% of the cruise fare paid.
Princess also said passengers could stay aboard its ship while awaiting clearance to depart Houston. All Caribbean Princess passengers will receive a 100% refund of the cruise fare and taxes, fees, and port expenses (the Princess Vacation Protection premium is not refundable).
Princess passengers also received a future cruise credit equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid, to be applied to any future Princess cruise booked by the end of 2015.
“These are disappointing and challenging circumstances that have been outside our control, and we truly appreciate our passengers’ patience and understanding,” Princess said in a statement.
This report was updated at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday to add that Carnival will operate shortened cruises from Galveston, and at 4 p.m. to add that the Caribbean Princess departed Houston on an abbreviated cruise.