Galveston businesses brace for economic fallout from canceled Carnival cruises

March 21, 2013 4:12:12 PM PDT
Business owners on the island are bracing for the economic fallout of canceled cruises, all while Carnival works to sort out problems on their ships we've been reporting on for weeks.

Carnival just announced it's canceling 10 cruises out of Galveston and vendors in this area say they expect that'll be a devastating blow to the economy.

The Galveston Cruise Terminal is empty right now. And there were only a few tourists on The Strand on Thursday. Still, souvenir vendor Shirley Harris depends on the traffic here a lot.

"That's what we are trying to do is rebuild our lives here," she said.

But now local vendors like Harris are bracing for the unexpected. She and other business owners are learning Carnival Cruise Lines just announced it's canceling 10 cruises out of Galveston.

"I think that's not good because that's a big part of The Strand's income," Harris said.

The Miami-based cruise line's decision affects all travelers who planned to board the Carnival Triumph from the Galveston port and all of those businesses who depended on the cruise ship's traffic.

Demus Caragaveli runs Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

"It's definitely something you don't want to hear being a business owner down here. We like as much traffic as we possibly can get," Caragaveli said.

It was the engine fire on the Carnival Triumph that left the ship and all of its passengers stranded at sea for several days last month.

Two other Carnival vessels had issues this month. The cruise line says the cancellations are part of a fleet-wide review.

"I hope they get themselves straightened up, because they are a good income for this area, especially after (Hurricane) Ike. We need this," Harris said.

Carnival says it expects the Triumph will continue service out of Galveston by June 3.

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