September 19, 2005
Cruise Critic Coverage: Storm Watch 2005
Hurricane Katrina Hits Florida
Katrina Intensifies, Affects Weekend Cruises
Hurricane Katrina, Season's Strongest, Heads for Louisiana
Katrina Slows Down; Cruises Altered, Canceled
Carnival Leaves New Orleans Indefinitely
Carnival Dedicates 3 Ships To Katrina Relief, Cancels Voyages
Mobile Reopens as Holiday Sets Sail
NCL Moves Sun from New Orleans to Houston
Cruise Lines Aid Relief Effort
Delta Queen Cancels American Queen Sailings Through 2006
Carnival Ships to Leave New Orleans?
Holiday to Serve as Shelter, But Not in Mobile
Workers Board Sensation, Ecstasy; Holiday on Hold
Delta Queen Alters, Cancels Additional Sailings
How Can You Help?
(1 p.m.) -- At least one of Carnival's ships will house evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. Carnival's Holiday, currently docked in Mobile, has become home to some 150 folks who'd been staying in shelters in the Pascagoula, Mississippi area.
You may recall that just after the devastation from Katrina had become apparent, Carnival chartered three ships -- Sensation, Ecstasy and Holiday -- to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) to house people who had lost their homes. The first two ships were immediately sent to Galveston, a major port for Houston, where quite a few evacuees had been taken upon rescue from New Orleans.
And then the fly in the ointment: Much to everyone's surprise, from FEMA to Carnival, those people chosen to be resettled on the two ships in Galveston turned the opportunity down flat. Many said they didn't want to move once again; others said the trauma from the flood waters made them leery of being on a ship. Ultimately, Ecstasy and Sensation left Galveston for New Orleans, where they are now being used to house emergency workers and their families.
For weeks, FEMA seemed undecided about what to do with Carnival Holiday, which sat empty at Mobile's cruise dock. That is until yesterday, when 150 evacuees in Mississippi who had been living in shelters near Pascagoula -- an industrial port city located about 30 miles from Mobile -- boarded the ship. Evacuees receive three meals a day onboard and are able to use the ship's public spaces (though the casino and bars are closed). Folks with jobs in Pascagoula will be offered transportation.
More are expected to join Holiday. FEMA anticipates the ship will head to its new temporary home in Pascagoula once repairs to the port are completed.