Royal Caribbean decides to operate shortened cruise from Galveston

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Royal Caribbean, which on Monday canceled its seven-day Caribbean cruise on the Navigator of the Seas from Galveston, had a change of heart.

The ship left Wednesday on a shortened cruise, with permission from the Coast Guard.

Royal Caribbean had canceled the cruise when the Houston Ship Channel was closed due to an oil spill in Galveston Bay.

The channel reopened to limited traffic on Tuesday, enabling two Carnival ships, the Triumph and the Magic, to depart Galveston on shortened cruises. Also, the Caribbean Princess left Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal on Tuesday on a shortened sailing.

When it canceled the cruise, Royal Caribbean told guests they could stay aboard the Navigator until Sunday, March 30, to “enjoy the food and entertainment onboard.”

The ship was originally scheduled to leave last Sunday, when it arrived in Galveston about 10 hours late. The ship was ordered to navigate slowly into port, so as not to create a large wake that could spread the oil spill.

If they wanted to sail on the shortened cruise, guests were required to check in again. They needed to be at the terminal between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

All guests are getting a full refund whether or not they decided to take the shortened cruise.

“We are excited about being able to provide our guests with a portion of their cruise, with a port call to Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday, March 28,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

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