(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- The Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn't start until June 1 -- but don't tell that to passengers on Carnival Pride. The 2,124-passenger cruise ship was blown out of its Port Canaveral dock yesterday evening after being pummeled by an 85-knot wind gust.
The ship, which was calling in Port Canaveral as part of a seven-night cruise out of Baltimore, returned to its dock, and passengers who were in port were able to re-board the vessel shortly after. According to a statement from Carnival, there were no injuries to those onboard during the incident, which took place at 5:45 p.m.
The ship was not, however, left unscathed by the incident. According to Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen, when Pride was separated from its moorings, "the captain made the decision to release the anchor, which is customary in these types of situation; however, the sudden drop caused the mechanism that raises the anchor to malfunction." The mechanism had to be fixed before the anchor could be retrieved, and Pride was held overnight for repairs in Port Canaveral.
The vessel departed this morning at approximately 6:15 a.m., some 12 hours behind schedule. Due to the delay, today's scheduled called in Nassau, Bahamas, has been canceled. The ship's itinerary has been modified to include an overnight visit in Freeport, arriving at 4 p.m. today and departing at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Gulliksen added that passengers were given $25 per person in the form of onboard credit.
Severe weather roughed up much of Central Florida yesterday, and numerous outlets have reported that trees and homes were damaged. Spokespeople from Carnival and Disney Cruise Line, both of which have ships in Port Canaveral today, said there has been no further weather-related impact.
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--by Dan Askin, News Editor