Many North Texas passengers stuck on cruise ships

- Many North Texans are getting an unwanted extra-long vacation on cruise ships that were supposed to dock in Texas just as Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

The cruise ships from Galveston are now either stranded in the Gulf of Mexico are being re-routed to Florida because of Harvey.

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas docked at Port Miami on Tuesday. But the ship’s original destination was Texas. As the ship was pulling into port, a few passengers waved a Texas A&M flag.

North Texas native Matilda Williams has been on board the Carnival Valor for the past nine days. She said the ship docked briefly in New Orleans to pick up supplies but it’s not clear when they’ll make it back to Galveston.

“No, they’re telling us the storm is coming this way toward New Orleans so we’re thinking, ‘Okay, do we need to get flights out of here? Do we need to rent a car?’ We don’t know what to do because they aren’t providing us information on the ship right now. They aren’t telling us anything,” she said.

“If you stop to really think about it, we’ve just been riding around for days going in circles,” she added.

Williams is the principal at a private school in Ennis and said the extra days away from work won’t hurt her. But her husband has to use all of his vacation days for the rest of the year.

A spokeswoman for Carnival Cruise Line said Wednesday the three ships that are based in Galveston could be back in Texas soon.

Christine de la Huerta said the Carnival Freedom and the Carnival Valor were departing Wednesday from New Orleans as preparations continue to reopen the Port of Galveston. She said the Carnival Breeze left New Orleans on Tuesday. Each ship is carrying about 15,00 passengers and crew.

Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation plan to donate $2 million to Harvey relief efforts, de la Huerta said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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