Port of Galveston Resumes Cruise Operations After Hurricane Beryl

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The Port of Galveston is slowly getting back to normal and has resumed some services, including cruise operations, following the destructive arrival of Hurricane Beryl on July 8, 2024. 

The storm, which made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Matagorda, Texas, less than 100 miles south of the busy port, caused major damage to the state’s Gulf Coast, including massive power outages.

The hurricane cut a devastating path across the Caribbean before slamming into Texas, leaving behind damaged destinations in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Carnival Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas
Carnival Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas (Photo Credit: BUI LE MANH HUNG)

On the Texas Gulf Coast, the administrative offices at the Port of Galveston, which is the fourth-busiest cruise port in the US behind Port Canaveral, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, were closed through at least July 9, 2024, due to a lack of power.

However, cruise operations were up and running as of that date, with the cruise terminals relying on back-up generator power, port officials confirmed in a social media post. Power remains unavailable in other areas of the port.

The port, known as Galveston Wharves, has three cruise terminals and currently is the homeport for several cruise ships, including Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Breeze, and Carnival Dream; and Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

Commercial vessels, including cruise and cargo, are accessing Galveston Harbor on a case-by-case basis during daylight hours, provided their drafts are not greater than 30 feet.

Port vessel operations remain suspended with case-by-case considerations based on hydrographic surveys of Galveston Harbor and port berths to assure navigable depths,Rodger Rees, port director of Galveston Wharves, said in a statement. 

As the storm pulled away from the region on July 9, 2024, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local officials began surveying Galveston Harbor, including conducting hydrographic surveys will for port berths, Rees explained. Port staff and engineers already have completed infrastructure inspections. 

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald posted a hurricane update notice on July 10, 2024, indicating that operations were proceeding normally. 

Our partners at the Port of Galveston continue their post-storm assessment, including an inspection of the cruise terminal. At this time there is no indication that your cruise will be impacted, but if anything changes, we will advise our guests and travel advisor partners about our operations,the post stated.

Hurricane Impacted Cruises as It Barreled Across Caribbean

Some ships homeporting at Galveston were safely at sea when the hurricane hit the Galveston area, having departed on July 6 and 7, 2024, and were able to avoid the storm altogether, however, Mariner of the Seas was impacted by the bad weather.

The Voyager-class ship was due to disembark guests at Galveston following a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise on July 8, 2024, but the cruise line postponed her arrival in port to July 9, 2024.

Carnival Cruise Ship in Port
Carnival Cruise Ship in Port (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

As a result, the 4,000-guest ship departed on her next cruise, a 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary, a day late and cancelled a scheduled port call at Costa Maya, Mexico.

The Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas was cleared to dock at 1 p.m. today to debark passengers. Embarking passengers are asked to arrive after 4 p.m. at their scheduled window to board for an 8 p.m. sailing. Future RCCL sailings will return to the regular schedule,Rees said in the July 9, 2024 statement.

Carnival Cruise Line altered the embarkation time for guests booked on Carnival Dream’s July 7, 2024 departure from Galveston. Guests were told to be at the port by 2 p.m. that day, since the line had moved up the ship’s departure of her 6-night Western Caribbean cruise to 3 p.m.

Read Also: Cruises from Galveston: The Pros and Cons

Several other Carnival Cruise Line ships sailing in other areas of the Caribbean also were impacted as the hurricane made its way across the region. This included ships operated by Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.

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