Hurricane Beryl Slams Port of Galveston, Causing Cruise Delays

Hurricane Beryl, which has wreaked havoc from the Lesser Antilles to Mexico — and caused numerous adjustments to cruise schedules — made its final landfall this morning. The storm, which set a record for the earliest category 5 Atlantic hurricane ever, lost much of its initial strength but still hit Texas as a strong category 1 system with wind gusts approaching 100 miles per hour.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Monday morning, about 85 miles from Galveston. The impacts have delayed the arrival of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship until Tuesday.

Just as the storm caused issues for cruises throughout July as it moved through the Caribbean and Yucatan, Hurricane Beryl caused one final delay for cruises on the Texas coast.

The storm was originally projected to make landfall somewhere along the Texas/Mexico border. However, over the past couple of days the track continually moved up the Texas coast. Landfall was finally made near Matagorda, roughly 80 miles southwest of downtown Houston and 85 miles from the Port of Galveston.

This put Galveston on the storm’s “dirty” side where the biggest impacts of wind and rain usually occur. The island has seen reported wind gusts of upwards of 90 miles per hour and several inches of rain. Millions in the region are without power. Webcams show the Strand area as heavily flooded. This area sits next to the cruise terminals in Galveston.

Live webcams from Galveston show a flooded Strand from Hurricane Beryl. This area sits right next to the cruise port. Screengrab courtesy of Galveston TV on YouTube.

If there is good news, it’s that the storm is moving a relatively quick 12 miles per hour to the north. That means within a few hours the rain and wind should lessen. Still, any hurricane has a major impact, no matter how well prepared an area may be. This includes impacts on cruises to and from the popular port.

The Port of Galveston is the busiest cruise port outside of Florida. That means when storms hit, it can affect potentially tens of thousands of passengers. With the storm bearing down, two scheduled cruise ships on Sunday — Harmony of the Seas and Carnival Dream — were able to depart before Hurricane Beryl’s arrival.

Now the Port of Galveston is officially closed. Mariner of the Seas was the only cruise ship scheduled to be in port today and is now delayed. That ship was set to return from a 4-day sailing to Cozumel. Instead of arriving Monday, Mariner of the Seas will now reach Galveston on Tuesday morning.

The next cruise was scheduled to be a 5-day trip with stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel. It will now be shortened to a 4-day cruise. Costa Maya will be skipped and the ship will now stop only in Cozumel:

An update on the Royal Caribbean website shows a revised schedule for the upcoming Mariner of the Seas cruise.

Thankfully, this seems to be the final impact that Beryl will have on cruise schedules as the storm is set to quickly race off across the United States.

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