Update: A Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman tells us today that television and newspaper reports of talks to charter one of its ships in the wake of Hurricane Ike are inaccurate. The cruise line has received no contact from anyone at FEMA asking to charter a cruise ship and no such discussions have occurred regarding Carnival and the port of Galveston.
However, the line is close to finalizing arrangements with Houston to use their Bayport Terminal for its two Galveston based ships, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, which are both in New Orleans today allowing passengers to disembark.
(September 15) -- Back in 2005, several Carnival ships were chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) as temporary dwellings for people who had lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. Will the line offer similar assistance to Galveston residents evacuated after Ike?
It looks that way, according to the Houston Chronicle. A report on that paper's Web site, chron.com, states that the city of Galveston has secured a Carnival Cruise Lines ship to house displaced residents, "but officials don't know when it will arrive because Galveston's harbor has to be cleared of debris."
At press time, Carnival Cruise Lines spokespersons were unable to confirm this news or provide additional details (such as which ship and for how long).
Cruise Critic member rhecker shares this information from a local television newscast: "The report said a ship was on the way ... I know from going through Katrina I would have loved to stay on the ship and be able to get off to work on my house during the day but have a nice room to go to at night."
We'll keep you posted.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor
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Update: Carnival Not Chartering Ship to Galveston
September 16, 2008