Update: Fog Lifts, Stranded Ships Sail Back on Course

December 15, 2009
Update, 11 a.m. EST: A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman confirms that Voyager of the Seas has finally departed Galveston and is en route to Costa Maya.

(10 a.m. EST) -- Carnival Fantasy arrived in Mobile for its turnaround this morning after being stuck at sea for an extra night due to heavy fog along the Gulf Coast.

According to a spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines, those booked on the upcoming cruise (now four nights rather than five, departing today at 4 p.m.) may cancel for a future cruise credit in the amount of the fare paid. Guests who opt to sail will receive a one-day prorated refund of the fare paid, and a $20 per-person onboard credit as a refund of the government fees for the port of Calica, which has been canceled.

The cruise line negotiated discounts at local hotels last night for embarking guests and provided complimentary transportation to and from the hotels. Debarking guests were allowed to make complimentary calls onboard to reschedule travel plans or to advise family and friends of the delayed arrival; Carnival is not covering hotel accommodations or air transportation costs (a spokesman notes that Mobile is primarily a drive-to market).

Carnival Fantasy was just one of several ships delayed by fog this week; Carnival Inspiration's arrival into Tampa yesterday was delayed by seven hours, which in turn delayed the departure of the next cruise. Carnival Conquest departed Galveston a day late -- Monday instead of Sunday -- and Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas is still there, though Cruise Critic members report that a local pilot is arriving, which means the ship could soon set sail.

Voyager will skip its first call, in Roatan, which was scheduled for Wednesday. Guests were given the option to disembark last night and receive a future cruise credit equal to 100 percent of the fare paid.

Stay tuned.

--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor

Related Stories
In a Fog: Gulf Coast Cruise Ships Delayed, Ports Canceled