Cruise Line Passengers Set Sail After Delays

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CRUISE After a setback on the Mississippi River, Carnival Cruise Line passengers are back on track with vacation plans.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has the latest on the search for the sunken tugboat that caused delays.

“I’m thrilled; I’m excited,” said Kaylan Huber of Covington Indiana.

“I’ve been looking forward to it all year,” another passenger said.

Passengers boarding Carnival Elation could hardly contain their excitement, despite being a few hours off schedule.

“We are delayed,” said Linda Knecht of Covington Indiana.  “We were supposed to leave at three this afternoon, now we can’t board until three and we’ll take off at seven.”

Trotter asked, “How do you feel about that? It’s fine. I’m alright with it. We were staying in New Orleans so there’s lots to do.”

Carnival Cruise Line had to make changes when a stretch of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana was shut down as a precaution after a tugboat sank over the weekend.

Some passengers headed to the Bahamas from New Orleans Sunday, were bused to mobile to depart on the re-routed Carnival Conquest.

The seven-day cruise  was cut to six days.

It’s happened before to Joann Parker.

“We had to catch buses from here to mobile to get one the ship,” said JoAnn Parker of Baton Rouge.

“I’m sure it’s nerve-racking,” said Tracy Garcia of Birmingham. “It’s just like you plan for a Caribbean vacation and what have you and then it rains the whole time.”

Passengers were offered a one-day pro-rated refund; or a full refund, if they decided to cancel their trip.

“That’s good. They needed to, because they lost a day,” Parker said.

The Mississippi from its mouth to mile-marker 10 was reopened to

alternating one-way vessel traffic, because no navigation hazards were detected.

So Carnival Elation will able to set sail with visits to Cozumel and Progreso; with little impact to its itinerary, and no worries from passengers.

“If you’re going to be worried before you get on, you’re probably not going to enjoy your cruise too much,” Huber said.

It’s unclear when the stretch of the river will be open to two-way traffic.

Crews are still searching for the tugboat.