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Cruise ships are still waiting to return to Galveston

Key Points
  • The Port of Galveston closed last week ahead of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas.
  • Carnival rerouted three cruise ships to New Orleans. Royal Caribbean rerouted one cruise ship to Miami.
  • All four ships are planning on returning to Galveston, Texas, on Friday.
Waves pound the shore from approaching Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Hurricane Harvey has rerouted four cruise ships that were supposed to return to Texas over the weekend.

The Port of Galveston closed last week ahead of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas. One Royal Caribbean cruise ship and three Carnival cruise ships were unable to unload passengers. They're still waiting for the port to reopen and are planning on returning Friday.

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas was scheduled to arrive in Galveston on Sunday. It instead sailed to Miami, where it will arrive on Tuesday. The ship will spend a few hours there before sailing to Galveston, a company spokeswoman said in an email.

Carnival's Freedom and Valor ships were supposed to arrive in Galveston on Saturday. Its Breeze ship was supposed to return on Sunday. They arrived in New Orleans at different times between Monday and Tuesday and will leave for Galveston at different times between Tuesday and Wednesday, a company spokeswoman said in an email.

Passengers on both cruise lines have the option to end their trips at their current stops.

Christopher Smith, who is sailing on the Carnival Breeze with his fiancee and her three children, is opting to wait it out. Smith said his family has been attending comedy shows, eating and touring New Orleans.

He commended the ship's captain for keeping them updated and the staff for keeping them entertained. He said the cruise had not experienced any bad weather until today when it started to rain in New Orleans.

Harvey is expected to bring torrential rain into southwestern Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service. Smith is planning on staying on the ship until it returns to Texas instead of getting off in New Orleans and driving back to his home in Arkansas.

"I could try and drive through it or I can stay on the cruise, eat for free and be entertained for free," Smith said. "The ship's not going to flood."

All four cruise ships were supposed to board new passengers over the weekend. They had originally planned to offer shortened itineraries but have since cancelled the cruises altogether.

Carnival will provide guests a full refund and a 25 percent future cruise credit if booked within the next 60 days. Royal Caribbean will also provide a full refund and a future cruise credit.