Thousands of Cruise Ship Passengers Stranded by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey Disrupting Cruise Vacations Out of Texas Ports

Thousands of people fled Texas early Friday as Hurricane Harvey, a life-threatening Category 2 storm, gained strength and hurtled toward the coast.

Four cruise ships headed toward the Texas port of Galveston carrying some 20,000 passengers can not return home following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm but still packing heavy rains.

A Carnival Cruise Line ship in Galveston Harbor.

With the Port of Galveston closed to all marine traffic, two Carnival Cruise Line ships scheduled to arrive Saturday are being redirected to New Orleans, according to a company spokeswoman.

With 20,000 vacationers waiting at sea on cruise ships and beach parks shuttered for the weekend, Galveston is hunkering down for the storm.

Carnival Breeze is currently docked in Cozumel and will now overnight there.

The ships packing almost 12,000 guests and roughly 3,700 crew members combined may be delaying returns to the Port of Galveston, a Gulf Coast stop near Houston.

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On Thursday, Galveston was securing its City Hall and preparing emergency crews for high-water rescues should Harvey hit as a possible Category 3 hurricane when it reaches shore.

Carnival Cruise Lines officials said their Freedom and Valor ships both were at sea a safe distance away from the storm.

Casey Stegall was reporting live from Galveston, Texas, for Fox News, when his broadcast was interrupted by a woman handing him some cans of beer.

The release went on to say, "The next scheduled voyages for Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor will be shortened with itineraries to be determined".

Katrina Arredondo was scheduled to be a passenger on the next Carnival Freedom trip.

The other ship, the Carnival Breeze, was slated to return to the port on Sunday, but remains at a dock in Cozumel, Mexico.

"Right now we are being asked to stay onboard for an undetermined amount of time", said Bravo. Guests who sail will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare for missed days and refund of any pre-purchased Carnival Adventures for canceled ports.

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