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  #1  
Old November 26th, 2011, 04:01 PM
nrrice nrrice is offline
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Default Galveston Fog Delays

It has been a while since we were delayed in Galveston which was the Ecstasy in 09 I have forgotten what happens if you are fogged in what do they do and if you are delayed the whole day into the night where do you sleep and where do you eat in the buffet or dinning room? Just wondering because we are sailing the Triumph Dec 15 and I know Galveston is known for fog Delays in December.
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  #2  
Old November 26th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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If you've already boarded and are fogged in the ship will operate everything as normal with the exception of the casino and gift/liquor stores.

If you're tryint to board and the ship is stuck out in the harbor you're pretty much at your own devices as far as food/hotel goes. They usually give some kind of small compensation for the missing time on board if you still choose to cruise.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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We were fogged in on the Ecatasy last February and could not land in GLS. We turned around and went back out to sea so they could open the Casino and everything was normal. Was a good deal..an extra free day. The folks waiting to board in GLS...well...that is a different story.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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Thank you for your responses so I am sure they have the Dinning Room open and do they make ton's of announcments as well?
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  #5  
Old November 26th, 2011, 04:33 PM
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If waiting to board and in coming is delayed your travel insurance should kick in after XX amount of hours.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Has anyone been delayed for 2 days or more if so how is that like?
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  #7  
Old November 26th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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They need to hire some river pilots from the Mississippi River. They take the cruiseships 108 miles up a winding river in fog so thick you cannot see. Yet in Galveston and Mobile, those pilots cant go three miles in the fog.
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  #8  
Old November 26th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrrice View Post
Has anyone been delayed for 2 days or more if so how is that like?

We were delayed a few hours returning one trip last year. No big deal other than you are already out of your room. Just a lot of sitting around waiting.

Been on the other side also waiting until early afternoon for the ship to arrive. The people checking in were given a box lunch and some OBC but not much else. Got on board just in time for early dinner. They did the muster drill the next morning.
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  #9  
Old November 26th, 2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capndinghy View Post
We were fogged in on the Ecatasy last February and could not land in GLS. We turned around and went back out to sea so they could open the Casino and everything was normal. Was a good deal..an extra free day. The folks waiting to board in GLS...well...that is a different story.
I wish for things like this to happen to me, especially since I'm returning to a colder climate. How great was that having an extra free day! We will be sailing in April, so little chance of that.
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  #10  
Old November 27th, 2011, 12:22 AM
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I would not be to concerned about fog in December, while it does happen, it is much more common in Feb - April
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  #11  
Old November 27th, 2011, 03:29 AM
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We were delayed returning to Galveston on the Ecstasy in January of this year.

Unfortunately, there were very few announcements. Everyone was up early and ready to disembark before any announcements came. Finally, about the time we should have been getting off the boat, there was an announcement that we could not enter the port and in fact, we were still some distance out at sea. We didn't even realize that we were still out!

Pretty much all ship activities were stopped, as best we could tell. Most people were just waiting around with their suitcases. This went on for a few hours. There were no periodic updates.

Finally, there was an announcement that we had been cleared to enter the port. As I recall, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get docked after that announcement. There were no announcements about getting off (no groups or decks being called: seemed to be a free for all). Overall, we were 3-4 hours late getting off the boat. Some people missed their flights. Customs went very quickly though.

I'd be careful about booking a flight very close to disembarkation time.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
They need to hire some river pilots from the Mississippi River. They take the cruiseships 108 miles up a winding river in fog so thick you cannot see. Yet in Galveston and Mobile, those pilots cant go three miles in the fog.
Dave

It's not a function of the pilots, Dave... it's the Port Authority and the Coast Guard... They close the port and that's the end of the story.

OP, since Carnival and Galveston have redone the cruise terminal things have gotten better. If the ship is delayed arriving those guests waiting to board will be free to leave the cruise terminal and will be given a return time. I believe they have a text messaging service in place now (at least it's supposed to be up and running now...) to notify guests to return and begin boarding...



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Old November 27th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
They need to hire some river pilots from the Mississippi River. They take the cruiseships 108 miles up a winding river in fog so thick you cannot see. Yet in Galveston and Mobile, those pilots cant go three miles in the fog.
Dave
Iagree .... in February we went from NOLA and there was a lot of fog. The Triumph was going at a pretty good clip. No problem. All ships have radar there should be no issue with fog.
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  #14  
Old November 27th, 2011, 03:33 PM
nrrice nrrice is offline
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Quote:
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I would not be to concerned about fog in December, while it does happen, it is much more common in Feb - April

Hello Penguin Life it does happen in December alot. Last year it was just awful with all 3 ships delayed for along time.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 07:55 PM
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I was booked for the Feb 19th sailing of the Ecstasy out of Galveston that was delayed for fog. It was delayed by 2 days. The 1st day we were told that the ship would be there and to wait, by 9pm we were told that the ship could not dock and handed a listing of 3 Houston area hotels...for about 2000 people! If you were one of the lucky one's to get a hotel or lived close enough to go home, you were fine...if not...I dont know what happened then. I was able to get a room in Houston and Carnival bused us there. The next day the port opened and we were bused back to Galveston to the convention center...thats where the real fun began.

We would get sporadic updates, but it was after midnight before we left the convention center and taken back to the cruise terminal. The port had 3 ships to disembark and only 2 slots, so the Ecstasy was docked elsewhere. After we went though security and left our bags we once again boarded a bus to take us to the ship. I think we got to our cabins around 1-2am. We were compensated for what we missed. I think we got $90 for 2 for meals and 50% refund plus a 50% discount on a future cruise (which I used on the Triumph in September).

My only problem with the entire ordeal was the utter lack of communication from Carnival. I did not hold Carnival responsible for the port closure or the fog, but they could have done a darn site better job of keeping us informed especially those of us at the convention center.

My advice to anyone cruising out of Galveston during the times when fog is possible is to plan ahead! I had cruised out of Galveston before, the previous February with no problem. I didn't even know that fog there was that big of a deal..the only times I have seen fog that bad was in Germany or in San Francisco!

Trip insurance is great and all but it doesn't get you a hotel when there are none to be had! So I think if I cruise out again this February, I will book a room for the day of embarkation "just in case" and I can cancel it if need be. Just make sure you know what the deadlines are for canceling a room so as not to be charged as a no show. I also wont be so eager to park my car in the lot unless I know that ship is there! I was with out a car for those 2 days which limited me to where and how far I could go.
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  #16  
Old November 29th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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Cruising Galveston and New Orleans are two different beasts. Galveston is a narrow channel with ships routinely anchored all the way out into the gulf. If anything happens in the channel, it would be a disaster. Coast Guard routinely shuts down the port. New Orleans will sail when you literally cannot see the bow of the ship. A wide channel with plenty of room for 3 or 4 ships to pass each other at any time. Two years ago we could not see the bridge from the ship, about 100 ft and we cruised down the Mississippi at normal (fast) speed.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
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It's not a function of the pilots, Dave... it's the Port Authority and the Coast Guard... They close the port and that's the end of the story.
We just sailed on the Mariner and attended the Captain's Q & A session. He did a great job and answered LOTS of questions from the attendees. Of course the fog question came up and he said exactly the same thing...they could dock that ship with zero visibility with GPS and other satellite technology, however, he said that it's the Coast Guard that closes the port of Galveston. He said RCCL was in talks with the authorities in Galveston about resolving this situation. Maybe they will...
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Old November 29th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGBCruiser View Post
We just sailed on the Mariner and attended the Captain's Q & A session. He did a great job and answered LOTS of questions from the attendees. Of course the fog question came up and he said exactly the same thing...they could dock that ship with zero visibility with GPS and other satellite technology, however, he said that it's the Coast Guard that closes the port of Galveston. He said RCCL was in talks with the authorities in Galveston about resolving this situation. Maybe they will...
Thanks for info
and if resolution is possible that would be great news.
The Captain is to be commended for his efforts in the talks..

I actually recently emailed the Coast Guard
and asked the question about differences
between Mississippi Rver and Galveston/Houston Channels
relative to decisions to navigate vs shut down because of fog.

I have not heard back and I hope I do. I will report if!
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Old December 1st, 2011, 03:18 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that the intersection where the Galveston ship channel, the Intra-Coastal waterway and the Houston ship channel all meet in one place at Bolivar Roads is considered one of the busiest marine intersections in the world.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinLife View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that the intersection where the Galveston ship channel, the Intra-Coastal waterway and the Houston ship channel all meet in one place at Bolivar Roads is considered one of the busiest marine intersections in the world.
The captain on Mariner said none of that mattered...they had accurate views of every other ship's location, how long it takes to pass the ship, etc. The technology was amazing. We were able to see some samples of it on the slideshow presentation he gave and it is awesome.
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