GALVESTON – If you were looking to catch a Carnival cruise out of Galveston soon, you’ll have to wait.
On Thursday, Carnival Cruise Line stated that some of its cruises from all U.S. homeports, except Miami and Port Canaveral, are canceled for November and December due to COVID-19 concerns. The cancellation applies to all cruises that were planned to sail out of the Port of Galveston.
Most businesses along the strand in Galveston told KPRC 2 they knew something like this would happen. Before the pandemic started, they would welcome thousands of tourists from all over the country and while business has changed some, they’re thankful for the local support.
“It’s really fun for the most part,” said Caitlin Townsend, manager Mod Coffeehouse.
The historic Strand District in Galveston is right across the street from the Port of Galveston and is home to many restaurants, markets, coffee shops.
But since the start of the pandemic, it has brought many changes to the economy.
“COVID had been an experience,” Townsend said.
William Newman owns the Shark Shack on the strand and said the cancellation hasn’t made a huge impact on his business.
“Losing a cruise line is big for the Galveston industry,” Newman said. “We are probably 25% down compared to last year."
“It will hurt a little bit we definitely felt the impacts from it, but the locals are holding it down,” Townsend said.
Carnival released the information:
"Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) decision to extend its no-sail order for cruise operations, Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests and travel agents that it has cancelled cruises from all U.S. homeports except Miami and Port Canaveral for November and December 2020. While operations from Miami and Port Canaveral in November and December are still not certain, Carnival is focusing its initial return to service from those two homeports, whenever that might occur.
"Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for November and December from those two homeports will remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options. However, the cruise line is providing guests booked on cruises in November and December out of Miami and Port Canaveral the ability to voluntarily cancel their reservation and receive the same offer that all other impacted guests are receiving, which includes a combination future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.
“As we have said throughout this pause, our return to operations will be gradual and phased in. And while we are not making any presumptions, once cruising is allowed, we will center our initial start-up from the homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we serve remain the cornerstone of our plans and decisions. The patience and support of our guests and travel agent partners have been a huge motivation to our team as we have worked through this unprecedented situation and we are dedicated to getting back to operations when the time is right.”