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    Posted March 24, 2014 by

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    Oil Spill in Galveston


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Lizz Pilkington and her family flew to Houston to embark on what they thought would be a seven-day cruise, making stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico. Unfortunately, the Houston Ship Channel, where their cruise ship would be disembarking from, was closed due to the 168,000 gallons of oil that spilled when a barge and tanker collided on Saturday, March 22.

    "It wasn't until Sunday morning that we found out the port was closed," Pilkington said. "We actually received an e-mail from Royal Caribbean on Saturday night that the ship wouldn't be able to leave because of fog."

    On Sunday night, Pilkington said they called the Royal Caribbean emergency travel line and found out that passengers would be able to check in on the cruise liner at 10 p.m. that night. "Everyone got on the ship at 10 p.m. Sunday, hoping the port would open by midnight," she said.

    It wasn't until 8 p.m. Monday, March 24, that Royal Caribbean announced that the cruise was officially canceled, but passengers are allowed to stay on the docked ship until next Sunday. "The earliest flight we can get out is Wednesday," Pilkington said. "The crew has been very nice. They are feeding us, and there are some activities going on."

    Many activities such as whiskey and beer tastings have been canceled because of Texas liquor laws, but Pilkington says there have been a number of health and wellness activities for passengers to take part in. "The gym was open, so my husband and I went to the gym," she said.
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    Spending spring break on a cruise ship that is not going anywhere. After two days of travel to get to the port, we were given next to no communication about boarding and the oil spill. Many of us purchased hotel rooms only to find out (5 hours later) we could get on the ship about 10 pm. We never left the port and have lost a portion of our trip. The communication is still near non existent and we are on a floating hotel that cannot serve decent beer or wine because we are still in port. Guests are getting pretty frustrated.
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