Media reports may have said the Port of Galveston will be ready to welcome cruise ships as early as October 1, but it still looks unlikely that cruise ships are rushing back.
According to a Port of Galveston press release, Cruise Terminal No. 1 suffered minor damage as a result of Hurricane Ike and is currently under repair. Cruise Terminal No. 2 suffered more damage and won't open to cruise ships until December. In addition, the island is still struggling to restore infrastructure, such as communications systems, power and water. Yet as of September 22, the date of the release, Port Director Steve M. Cernak is quoted as saying the port would "be ready to handle our first cargo vessel this week, and our first cruise vessel in early October."
Although Carnival Ecstasy was originally scheduled to sail out of Galveston on October 4 and Carnival Conquest on October 5 -- just a week away -- Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz tells us she "was advised that we have not made that determination [of a return date] yet. We are still not in a position where we can specifically say what date we will resume operations from Galveston." And as we reported earlier, Cruise Critic readers scheduled to sail from Galveston as early as October and as late as January have been told by their travel agents they would be sailing from Houston's Bayport Cruise Terminal.
So even if one of Galveston's cruise terminals is ready to handle passengers next week, all signs indicate that Carnival will most likely not be sending its ships there. We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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Cruise Ships Unlikely to Return to Galveston on October 1
September 26, 2008