Following a major oil spill within the Galveston Bay last evening, both Carnival’s Carnival Magic and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas are currently unable to return to their berths in Galveston, Texas. Princess’ Caribbean Princess is currently docked in Houston, Texas and is unable to depart due to the closure of the Galveston Channel.
The port and channel are both reportedly closed to traffic due to the major oil spill, which has reportedly dumped an unknown amount of oil into the Galveston Bay. The oil spill, which has attempted to be contained, is currently blocking the entrance to the channel of Galveston. Due to this, all ship traffic has been suspended in both Galveston and Houston.
5:00pm: The Carnival Triumph is undergoing cleaning of the hull. Once the cleaning is complete the cleaning and receive approval the Carnival Triumph will set sail.
4:45pm: The Carnival Triumph has docked at her originally scheduled terminal and is expected to begin embarking guests for her next sailing at 5:30pm. Guests will able to embark between 5:30 and 8:00pm.
12:00pm: The Carnival Triumph is currently awaiting the conclusion of turnaround for the Carnival Magic. Carnival expects the Carnival Triumph to be able to begin turnaround 4:00pm. Guests embarking the Carnival Triumph today are to expect embarkation to take place between 4:00 and 6:30pm today.
10:30pm: Due to the Carnival Magic’s delayed arrival in Galveston, the ship will be docked in the scheduled berth, which was originally allotted to the Carnival Triumph for disembarkation and embarkation for the ship’s March 24th sailing. Due to this conflict in scheduling, the Carnival Triumph will be unable to dock in Galveston at her originally scheduled time. At this time, Carnival is unable to confirm when the Carnival Triumph will dock and begin her turnaround for the next scheduled sailing. An update is expected by 9:00am March 24th.
FINAL UPDATE: The Carnival Magic has sailed from Galveston. The Carnival Magic will call in Grand Cayman on Thursday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Cozumel as scheduled. All guests will receive a two day prorated refund of their cruise fare along with a 25% future cruise discount. Gratuities will also be adjusted.
4:45pm: The Carnival Magic has moved across to another terminal on Galveston Island where she is awaiting clearance from the United States Coast Guard to depart the port. All departing cruise ship traffic in Galveston Bay is currently suspended per order of the USCG.
10:30pm: The Carnival Magic has docked in Galveston and is expected to begin embarkation for the next sailing at 8 am Monday, March 24th. The ship will sail a revised six night sailing to Cozumel and Grand Cayman, spending three days at sea. Guests will receive a refund and adjusted gratuities for the lost day. Guests may also opt to cancel their revised sailing and receive a full refund or future cruise credit.
5:45pm: The Carnival Magic has been given permission by local port authorities and the United States Coast Guard to proceed into the Port of Galveston. The Carnival Magic is expected to be docked at her berth at approximately 6pm local time.
3:55pm: The Carnival Magic will remain at sea through Tuesday evening. Embarkation for the March 23rd sailing of the Carnival Magic has been rescheduled to tomorrow, March 24th, contingent on the ship’s ability to navigate through the Galveston Channel. Carnival states they will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.
2:17pm: According to Carnival Senior Cruise Director, John Heald, Carnival is currently awaiting an evaluation of the oil spill and the impact on the ship’s arrival by the United States Coast Guard. The USCG will not be able to fully evaluate the oil spill until the fog has lifted from the area. Due to this delay, the Carnival Magic will remain at sea until further evaluation is completed. Guests aboard the Carnival Magic have reported the ship has reopened both the casino and onboard shops.
Carnival is also currently advising guests scheduled to embark on today’s sailing not to arrive at the port until they receive notification from the cruise line.
Navigator of the Seas
FINAL UPDATE: Royal Caribbean: “Due to the oil spill and the associated response efforts in the Port of Galveston, the March 23 sailing of Navigator of the Seas has been canceled. Guests on this sailing will be refunded in full and will have the option to book a cruise with a 25% Future Cruise Certificate based on what was paid for the current voyage to put towards a future sailing. Guests may also remain onboard until March 30 or disembark at their own discretion. Our sincerest apologies.”
4:45pm: The Adventure of the Seas is currently docked at her terminal on Galveston Island where she is awaiting clearance from the United States Coast Guard to depart the port. All departing cruise ship traffic in Galveston Bay is currently suspended per order of the USCG.
10:30pm: The Navigator of the Seas is currently sailing towards her berth in Galveston. No update on disembarkation, embarkation, or compensation has been made public.
2:17pm: At the current moment, Royal Caribbean has not provided a public update to the delayed arrival of the Navigator of the Seas.
FINAL UPDATE: The Caribbean Princess has set sail from Houston, Texas and will call on Cozumel, Mexico on Thursday, March 27th.
4:45pm: The Caribbean Princess is currently docked at her terminal at Bayport, near Houston, where she is awaiting clearance from the United States Coast Guard to depart the port. All departing cruise ship traffic in Galveston Bay is currently suspended per order of the USCG.
10:30pm: The Caribbean Princess has not yet departed Houston. No estimation of when she may depart Houston has been made public.
3:55pm: The Caribbean Princess is currently docked in Houston, Texas and has been awaiting departure approval since March 22nd. The ship was held in Houston due to the oil spill near the Galveston Channel that occurred yesterday evening. Princess Cruise states they are currently awaiting an estimated time of departure for the Caribbean Princess from the United States Coast Guard and will update their passengers as needed.
We will provide updates as the situation develops.