On Thursday, January 28 thick fog prevented thousands of cruise passengers from leaving the ship at the end of their cruise along with around a dozen more ships.
The Carnival Cruise Line, Paradise, was due to return to Tampa at 8.00 a.m. Thursday morning, following a five day cruise. It was then supposed to turn around and sail off again in the afternoon for a four day cruise to Belize and Cozumel.
However, the port in Tampa Bay was closed due to thick fog and in the event it did not manage to dock until 9.30 at night. Given the late hour, passengers were given the option of spending another night on board.
For those who were waiting to board for their four day Belize and Cozumel cruise, the news was not good at all. The trip was shortened by a day to three days and passengers were told it would now be a cruise to nowhere, with no ports of call at all. Many were extremely disappointed and had to lay out extra cash for a hotel room on Thursday night as they were not allowed to board until Friday afternoon.
Carnival did offer a 50% refund on the cost of the cruise plus a 50% discount on a future Carnival cruise.
Those waiting to dock so that they could leave the ship were also not happy as they went round and round in circles in the Gulf. In addition they were given no compensation for having to reschedule flights.