Last Galveston cruise stuck at sea due to Harvey makes port

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For the more than 3,000 passengers aboard the Carnival Breeze, an extra week at sea due to Harvey’s wrath ended on a steamy Saturday morning in Galveston.

The Breeze was the last of four ships to dock in the Port of Galveston’s cruise terminal after being turned away Friday as Harvey strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane. The cruise was originally supposed to end Sunday, and was given clearance to dock early Saturday.

“They were amazing, Carnival took such good care of us,” said Vicky Knuckles of Dallas. “They treated all of us like we were VIPs, we just continued with our cruise.”

Many of the passengers were from Houston and the surrounding areas — Baytown’s Kenneth and Sandra Martinez and their four kids said they were prepared for the long road to recovery ahead as their extended vacation came to a close.

“We were trying to connect with neighbors, it was hard being out there,” Sandra Martinez said.

Both of the Martinez’s had family members suffer losses in the storm. Sandra’s brother in Baytown had 2 feet of water in his home, Kenneth’s brother had 6.

“There is a small feeling of guilt,” Sandra Martinez said. “Even though we were stuck, we felt guilty to be there while everyone else is going through so much and we’re not there to help.”

Those on board not from the afflicted areas were given a chance to disembark in New Orleans, where the ship docked twice, but Carnival advised against it, citing the inaccessibility of roads approaching Houston and Galveston.

“They highly encouraged us to stay because it was the safest place to be,” passenger Meghan Gray said.

Though they were unable to make port, Knuckles said, the crew went to great lengths to make the extended stay comfortable with free wifi, phone calls and a continuation of all-inclusive amenities like food and entertainment.

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