(2:45 p.m. EST) -- Dense fog in Galveston continues to wreak havoc on cruise ship itineraries out of the Texas homeport. Carnival Ecstasy has had to cut short a cruise itinerary for the second time this week, as fog prevented it from departing Galveston on time last night. This past weekend, three cruise ships, including Ecstasy, had to shorten this week's cruises because they couldn't set sail until Monday.
According to a company statement, Carnival Ecstasy was scheduled to depart Thursday afternoon on a four-night cruise to Cozumel, but could not leave port "due to heavy fog and near zero visibility" in Galveston. The ship departed on a shortened three-night cruise to nowhere at 10 a.m. local time today.
Passengers on this ill-fated sailing were offered the option of debarking and receiving a full refund of their cruise fare, or sailing on the shortened itinerary and receiving a 25 percent fare refund plus a 25 percent discount off a future two- to five-night Carnival cruise.
Cruise Critic member Ches94 is onboard and reports that the "Captain told us last night we had to be underway by 0400 in order to make Progresso. If that didn't happen then pax would be allowed to debark from 8-10 am if they chose . . . Quite a few pax choosing to debark before we leave at 10."
Heavy fog is not unusual in Galveston. Lisa Ashley, a spokeswoman for the Port of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that it's "one of those things that can occur from time to time."