(July 1, 5:49 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Ecstasy will not dock in Galveston today due to high seas and adverse weather generated by Hurricane Alex, now downgraded to a tropical depression. Due to the rough waters, pilots could not safely board the ship to guide it into the port.
Carnival Ecstasy is returning from a five-night cruise, and was supposed to set sail today for a four-night cruise to Cozumel. A statement from Carnival Cruise Lines says that Ecstasy's upcoming cruise will be changed to a three-night cruise to nowhere, and embarking passengers should return to the Galveston Cruise terminal to board the ship at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 2.
Compensation for passengers on the upcoming cruise will include a 25 percent refund of the cruise fare, a $25 onboard credit (as a reimbursement of port fees) and a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-night cruise, valid for sailings departing prior to April 30, 2012. These travelers can also choose to cancel their cruise and receive a future cruise credit equal to the fare paid for the four-day sailing. Carnival is also providing stranded passengers with information about local hotels.
Passengers on the current cruise will remain onboard tonight and debark tomorrow, should conditions improve. Carnival is providing free telephone and Internet use, so travelers can contact their families and make alternate transportation arrangements. Carnival will rebook flights only for passengers who purchased their air transportation through Carnival's air/sea department.
The statement concludes, "Carnival sincerely apologizes for this disruption in our guests' vacation plans."
Cruise Critic member kwbound is onboard Carnival Ecstasy and reports on Cruise Critic's message boards: "They are showing Avatar in the lounge, and the bands are playing on the Promenade. So far everyone seems to be making the best of the situation. I haven't seen anyone acting really upset ... Many people on our deck have their doors open and are visiting with their neighbors and the room stewards. Still, I'm sure this is creating hardships for many. We know some people who have already missed flights. And I really feel for those people waiting to board."
We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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