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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Default Attention To Those Concerned About Cruises out fo Galveston!

SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 – 2:00 PM

We are closely monitoring the situation in Galveston and the impact from Hurricane Ike. We do not currently have a lot of information about the status of the shipping channel, cruise terminal or the port access infrastructure. Local communication has been very challenging and there are restrictions against incoming traffic into the Galveston area.
We do not expect the Port of Galveston to be open on Monday and there is tremendous uncertainty about when the port will be available to us next week. Due to this situation, we will now cancel the following cruises:
Carnival Conquest September 14, 2008 departure that was re-scheduled to a 6 day cruise departing on Monday, September 15.
Carnival Ecstasy September 15, 2008 departure
Guests will receive a full refund of cruise fare and we will process these refunds within three weeks.
We sincerely apologize to our guests that are impacted by these cancelled cruises. Unfortunately, we did not have any viable options available to provide an alternative cruise option.
We hope that all of those that reside in the areas impacted by Hurricane Ike were able to remain safe. We also wish a speedy recovery to those that may have sustained damage homes or businesses.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Attention To Those Concerned About Cruises out Galvesto

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 – 2:00 PM

We are closely monitoring the situation in Galveston and the impact from Hurricane Ike. We do not currently have a lot of information about the status of the shipping channel, cruise terminal or the port access infrastructure. Local communication has been very challenging and there are restrictions against incoming traffic into the Galveston area.
We do not expect the Port of Galveston to be open on Monday and there is tremendous uncertainty about when the port will be available to us next week. Due to this situation, we will now cancel the following cruises:
Carnival Conquest September 14, 2008 departure that was re-scheduled to a 6 day cruise departing on Monday, September 15.
Carnival Ecstasy September 15, 2008 departure
Guests will receive a full refund of cruise fare and we will process these refunds within three weeks.
We sincerely apologize to our guests that are impacted by these canceled cruises. Unfortunately, we did not have any viable options available to provide an alternative cruise option.
We hope that all of those that reside in the areas impacted by Hurricane Ike were able to remain safe. We also wish a speedy recovery to those that may have sustained damage homes or businesses.
I think most people knew that the Conquest and Ecstasy cruises would be canceled. It should have been done earlier and they should have not left people hanging. I don't know how they thought that the feeder airports, highways, supply facilities, supplies and shore side personnel would be available for a Monday cruise.

I'm glad they canceled them but they were about two days too late.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 14th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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What about the non-refundable air fare?
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Old September 14th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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I posted the other day about the delay in communication re the Ecstasy. My hospital admin was with a group on the sailing for the 12th. The official word was that it was sailing as usual and on time.

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Old September 14th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
That's why insurance is a good idea.

Sometimes cruise lines bite the bullet and give an airfare credit but they are under no obligation to do so.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 14th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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If the airport isn't open won't they refund your fare.

Candi
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
If the airlines won't budge on the issue, just file a claim with your travel insurance.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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I see no problems with air fare the airports are closed, and are probably at this moment trying to either refund or re book flights.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
If the airlines won't budge on the issue, just file a claim with your travel insurance.
Assuming that you have travel insurance.

I cannot get insurance to cover my cruises, air, hotels, etc. for less than $800 -$1000.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Irish, I have yet to check out the cost of insurance for the bloggers cruise in Feb, but I will tell you, I have never paid that much for insurance, not even close... and thats's with a high medivav option, my hotel and trip interruption..That price is a the cost on one persons cruise fare! If when I check, the cost for mine, if that's the case, you may not hear from me for a while, because, I fainted dead away:)
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Old September 14th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Sad to see it happen as we went through Katrina....
I was thinking that Carnival might move the Conquest to New Orleans or even Gulfport, MS....
It will take a couple of months to get everything back on line....
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Old September 14th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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I am impressed with Carnival. I just checked Carnival's website to see what their latest news on the Conquest and the Ecstacy was. Both ships will be going to New Orleans to debark on Monday and Tuesday, but for the time being, passengers are welcome to remain on board until the ship returns to Galveston. THAT may change as they find that they won't be returning to Galveston as soon as they are hoping, but until then, the folks on board that have nowhere to go, or whose cars have washed away at the dock in Galveston, will have a place to regroup from. Kudos to Carnival!
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Old September 14th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
I cannot get insurance to cover my cruises, air, hotels, etc. for less than $800 -$1000.
I don't know where you are shopping for insurance, but you may want to look around a bit. Is the problem the low amount of coverage you need ie: trip cost of less than $800 -1000? Or is it that the company wants to charge you $800-1000? Eitherway, you need a new travel agent. There are several 3rd party insurance companies such as AIG that sell policies for very reasonable rates. Just find a good travel agents that is aware of all of the different plans available. Insurance should never be more than 6 to 7% off your trip cost and can be less in some cases. The lowest amount of coverage is $500. Considereing the average trip cost is about $1000, every company offeres that threshold.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Wow - New Orleans will be busting at the seams! Good news for New Orleans - sad for Galveston, but it will come back soon enough for them I hope! I wish they would find a way to disperse hurricane eyes!!!! With so much technology today, there has to be a way to stop them! Lets think of something and we can be rich!
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
If the airlines won't budge on the issue, just file a claim with your travel insurance.
Assuming that you have travel insurance.

I cannot get insurance to cover my cruises, air, hotels, etc. for less than $800 -$1000.
If the total cost of your cruise is around $12,000 then you will be in the $800 - $1,000 range, with many basic policies in the $600 range.

If you book suites and business air then your policy cost will be in this range otherwise it will be proportionately lower.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 15th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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That's an individual's right to decide if the cost of insurance is worth it or not.

But it is not an excuse for not having it.

If the cost of insurance isn't worth it to someone, then they are in essense "self insuring" and excepting the risk.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Folks, you need to know the facts before you give "advice".

- We both have pre-existing medical conditions and many insurance companies won't even touch us.

- We do book long cruises (14 days or more).

- We do book suites.

- We do fly first class.

Now, who wants to sell us a policy (high Limit) for $400?
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Old September 15th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
Folks, you need to know the facts before you give "advice".

- We both have pre-existing medical conditions and many insurance companies won't even touch us.

- We do book long cruises (14 days or more).

- We do book suites.

- We do fly first class.

Now, who wants to sell us a policy (high Limit) for $400?
It was still your personal decision to book during hurricane season.

AND if you don't want to pay the travel insurance rates, then you don't have to...but that simply means that you are excepting the financial responsibility if something goes wrong.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp
It was still your personal decision to book during hurricane season.
I did not book any of these cruises. All I did was ask a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
BTW, I see that you have booked three cruises during hurricane season.

"The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November. There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity. June 1st has been the traditional start of the Atlantic hurricane season for decades. However, the end date has been slowly shifted outward, from October 31st to November 15th until its current date of November 30th. "

That is 1/2 of the year. So book between December and May.

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Old September 15th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Just FYI, pre-existing conditions do not shut you out of travel insurance. Doesn't even raise the cost. It is entirely your decision whether to buy it or not, but you could get it. I only buy medical and medivac because I am willing to absorb costs of the trip itself if need be. Partly because we live within driving distance of a number of ports and don't need airfare, but also because we never spend a fortune on our vacation to begin with. If you pay as much as you have for travel, I find it hard to be too sympathetic to not buying the insurance. But, again, your call.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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I also saw where the Conquest and Ecstasy will be in New Orleans. What a boon for them! From one ship to three.

I feel terrible for those who lost their vehicles from the surge, and I also read where a cruise line will offer some "rooms". I bet it will be the Ecstasy again.

I haven't seen any pictures of the port area. I have seen live pictures of Seawolf Park. The military vessel that was there is now aground but the submarine is still in place. Funny, if one didn't know any better, they would say the sub was washed ashore also.

I don't have any cruises out of Galveston set up. My next one is out of Fort Lauderdale in November.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:56 PM
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I wish I could afford to hit another out of N.O. just for convenience - but can't. Have 2 booked and you know how expensive Alaska cruises and excursions are! I'd like to try the Ectasy - as I've been on the conquest too. Hey........where are you going in November? We go out of FLL in nov too!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Letters received on both ships....


Conquest
September 15, 2008

Dear Carnival Guest:

We want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through all of the logistics for our return to the Galveston area. We sincerely apologize again for your inconvenience. Rest assured, we will do our very best to provide you with a high level of service while you are with us aboard the Carnival Conquest.

We have now decided to sail for Houston tomorrow at 11:30 AM. All guests that plan to debark must depart the ship by 9:00 AM. If you would like to have your luggage taken off the ship, we request that you leave it outside your stateroom tonight by 11:00 PM.

The shipping channel leading into Galveston and Houston remains closed to all traffic at this time. However, we anticipate that it will re-open by Thursday. This is subject to change, but it is based on all the information we have available to us now.

In addition, it appears that it may be a longer period of time before we will be able to utilize the cruise terminal and pier in the Port of Galveston. As a result, we have made arrangements to dock at the new cruise terminal in downtown Houston (the Bayport Cruise Terminal).

We are anticipating docking in Houston on Thursday at approximately 12:00 noon. We will then proceed with debarkation for all guests.

We still do not have confirmation on the status of the cars that are parked in Galveston. Access to Galveston remains restricted and we are very doubtful that guests will be able to go to Galveston to check on their cars. Our best suggestion at this time for guests with cars in Galveston is to try to make arrangements to be picked up in Houston by family or friends. If we are able to get any better information on this situation, we will provide it as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, please enjoy your evening aboard the ship or the nightlife in New Orleans.

Sincerely,

Captain



--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ecstasy

September 15, 2008

Dear Carnival Guest:

We want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we prepare for our arrival in New Orleans tomorrow. We also want to provide you with an update of our plans to return to the Galveston area.

Most importantly, we sincerely apologize again for your inconvenience. Rest assured, we will do our very best to provide you with a high level of service while you are with us aboard the Carnival Ecstasy.

We will now dock in New Orleans at approximately 1:00 PM tomorrow. Due to U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations, all guests must debark with their luggage upon arrival to complete the required processing. However, you are welcome to then re-board and stay with us Tuesday night and debark on Wednesday.

We have now decided to sail for Houston on Wednesday at 11:30 AM. All guests that plan to debark on Wednesday must depart the ship by 11:00 AM. All guests that plan to sail with us to Houston must be onboard by 11:00 AM.

The shipping channel leading into Galveston and Houston remains closed to all traffic at this time. However, we anticipate that it will re-open by Thursday. This is subject to change, but it is based on all the information we have available to us now.

In addition, it appears that it may be a longer period of time before we will be able to utilize the cruise terminal and pier in the Port of Galveston. As a result, we have made arrangements to dock at the new cruise terminal in downtown Houston (the Bayport Cruise Terminal).

We are anticipating docking in Houston on Friday at approximately 12:00 noon. We will then proceed with debarkation for all guests.

We still do not have confirmation on the status of the cars that are parked in Galveston. Access to Galveston remains restricted and we are very doubtful that guests will be able to go to Galveston to check on their cars. Our best suggestion at this time for guests with cars in Galveston is to try to make arrangements to be picked up in Houston by family or friends. If we are able to get any better information on this situation, we will provide it as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, please enjoy your evening aboard the Carnival Ecstasy.

Sincerely,

Captain
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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I guess I should not complain for only paying $14.50pp for my travel insurance. You can go to www.insuremytrip.com and do a comparison between policies. A lot of polices will waive pre-exisiting conditions if they are purchased at the time you book your cruise.

The policy my TA offers is based solely on the price of the amount insured. A lot of policies base their rates on age and amount insured.

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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES’ TWO GALVESTON-BASED SHIPS TO OPERATE FROM PORT OF HOUSTON

Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy to Arrive at Houston’s Bayport Terminal Later This Week

MIAMI (September 16, 2008 ) – As a result of the closure of the Port of Galveston due to damage from Hurricane Ike, Carnival Cruise Lines’ two Galveston-based ships, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, are scheduled to operate their regular cruise programs from the Port of Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal effective with this weekend’s departures.
The 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will resume its four- and five-day Mexico schedule from the Port of Houston starting with a five-day cruise departing Saturday, Sept. 20.

Beginning with the departure of Sunday, Sept. 21, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest will depart Houston on seven-day cruises to the western Caribbean.

Both vessels are currently docked in New Orleans where they were deployed following the closure of the Port of Galveston. Carnival Conquest will arrive at the Port of Houston on Thursday, Sept. 18, and Carnival Ecstasy on Friday, Sept. 19, to disembark those guests who opted to remain aboard the vessels following their previous voyages.

“We are pleased to continue our Texas operations from the Port of Houston, which will be a convenient option for guests who have already made travel arrangements for previously scheduled Galveston departures,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “We are especially grateful to the Port of Houston for their responsiveness. Many of their personnel involved in making this happen were dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike but set that aside to work with us on very short notice to assure that these vessels would continue to have a Texas homeport and with minimal disruption to our guests,” he added.

Cahill indicated that the company plans to return to Galveston as soon as the necessary repairs to the port facilities are completed. “The Port of Galveston has been a valued and important partner since we launched year-round cruising from there in 2000. We look forward to bringing both the Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy back to the city as quickly as we can. We have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Galveston over the years and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of this wonderful city during this difficult time,” he said.

Carnival’s two Houston-based ships will operate the same itineraries as they did from Galveston. Carnival Conquest will sail seven-day western Caribbean voyages departing Sundays to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival Ecstasy will depart Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel, and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Cozumel and Progreso.

The Port of Houston’s newly opened Bayport Terminal is an $81 million state-of-the-art facility with 96,000 square feet of space. It is conveniently accessed from both of the city’s airports, and a variety of fine restaurants and shops are located nearby. The Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy will be the first cruise ships to utilize the new facility.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Michael,
I was so relieved to see your post. Glad you are okay.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Yes MICHAEL...

We are glad to hear from you.

Hope you faired well.

BTW< I keep calling the new Houston Cruise Terminal the wrong name.

It is BayPORT...not BayTOWN....I keep thinking of Miami. sorry
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old September 18th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
What about the non-refundable air fare?
If the airlines won't budge on the issue, just file a claim with your travel insurance.
Assuming that you have travel insurance.

I cannot get insurance to cover my cruises, air, hotels, etc. for less than $800 -$1000.

I paid $99.00 for my travel insurance. Money well spent!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old October 4th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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Thanks everyone!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:59 PM
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BTW, the airport was not "closed". They were not allowing flights, but they were not closed. :evil:

Some folks had to pay the full price for their cars at the parking lot. One would think that if the airport were closed that one could not get their car, but apparently the parking folks felt that you could still get your car even if you could not fly. :evil:

in an article from todays paper the city is saying that those who can show an iten that prevented them from getting to the airport will be given a 2 day voucher for future parking.

Phil & Liz
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