By Chase Karacostas, Miami Herald
Troy Warren for CNT #Travel
Company says ‘it was safe’ to operate vessel as storm churned in Gulf of Mexico
Sunbathing in the middle of the ocean during a hurricane? Probably not what passengers expected when booking their Carnival Cruise trip.
A Carnival Breeze cruise ship set sail last Thursday from Galveston, Texas, headed across the Gulf of Mexico for Cozumel, Mexico, even as forecasters warned that Hurricane Ida could make landfall as a powerful storm.
“At the time Carnival Breeze departed Galveston, it was determined that it was safe to do so,” Chris Chiames, Carnival’s chief communications officer, said Saturday in an email.
“We safely operate ships every year during hurricane season,” Chiames wrote. “Our Fleet Operations Center works with National Hurricane Center data to monitor storm activity and operate our itineraries.”
Cruise ships can easily maneuver to avoid a storm, Chiames said.
“Given our commitment to the health and safety of our guests and crew, we will continue to closely follow the path of the storm and take any necessary actions to keep the ship out of harm’s way.”
Ida made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 4 storm Sunday.
The ship was scheduled to return to Galveston on Monday, when Ida moved up the coast in Louisiana and Mississippi.
One passenger told the SunHerald that the trip to Cozumel was pleasant, but that wind and rain picked up at one point on the ship’s route back to Texas.
Chiames said in a follow-up email Sunday that “as of this morning Carnival Breeze has safely navigated past Ida’s path.”
In Other NEWS