Oil spill causing problems for cruise ship passengers

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter , Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter , Jill Courtney

TEXAS CITY, Texas - As the cleanup of thousands of gallons of oil is underway in the Port of Galveston, the spill is causing problems for cruise ship passengers.

Two ships – the Carnival Magic and the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas – pulled in to the dock about 10 hours late Sunday evening.

For the people on-board those ships, they spent an extra day at sea; for those people waiting to board the next voyage out, it was a full day of their vacation erased.

"We were supposed to leave yesterday and we had to stay at a hotel an extra night," said Johnathan Fowler.

The Magic and the Navigator were forced to sail through the seas blanketed by the massive oil spill and the more than 160,000 gallons of highly polluting heavy crude that's on the surface.

The all clear was given Monday for the Royal Carribbean Navigator of the Seas and the Carnival Magic to set sail.

"Honestly, the cruise line has done an awesome job. They've communicated really well and we were actually surprised we were even boarding today," said Steve Kasczmarek.

The ships were forced to move very slowly, so they would not create more of a wake that would spread the damage.

Cruise ship passengers trying to leave the Port of Galveston aren't the only ones facing delays. The Caribbean Princess has been stuck in Houston's Bayport Terminal since Saturday.

The ship's time at sea will be cut short when it sets sail late Monday afternoon but passengers are taking the news in stride.

"Those of us staying on board, we'll be paying for the cruise but we will be getting a 50 percent discount towards the next cruise," said Patricia O'Grady of The Woodlands.

Copyright 2014 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.