Royal Caribbean cancels Navigator of the Seas cruise after Houston Ship Channel oil spill

GALVESTON, Texas - Passengers on four cruise ships in the Houston area waiting to see what's next after an oil spill closed the Houston Ship Channel.

A barge collision Saturday in the Houston Ship Channel dumped heavy oil into the water.

The spill closed the shipping channel, stranding more than 80 ships including Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, Carnival's Triumph, Carnival's Magic and the Princess Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean announced Monday night that its cruise has been cancelled, but passengers will be allowed to stay onboard.

"Since the oil spill, Royal Caribbean International has been in close contact with the U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities on when Navigator of the Seas will be able to leave Galveston, Texas, and begin the cruise. Regrettably, as of this time, they still have been unable to provide us a firm departure time," Royal Caribbean posted on its website. "We are sorry to say that because of this, we have made a decision to cancel the remainder of Navigator of the Seas' cruise."

A 7NEWS employee's wife wrote on Facebook, "Tonight the Captain announced due to the oil spill, our cruise is cancelled! We will get a full refund & 25% off our next cruise! This is NOT Royal Caribbean's fault..:but they are also allowing us to stay on board and finish our vacation on the ship! The only downside is the ugliness of the port and so far, no sun and cool temps!"

Royal Caribbean's website confirmed that while passengers may leave the ship, they may also stay on board.

"Guests are invited to stay onboard Navigator of the Seas until next Sunday, March 30, and continue to enjoy the food and entertainment onboard."

-- Carnival cruises

Carnival has two ships stuck in the port that need cleaning -- the Carnival Magic and the Carnival Triumph.

According to Carnival's website, the cruise line hopes to still launch its ships this week, but will change the itineraries.

- Caribbean Princess

The Caribbean Princess cruise ship was scheduled to depart Saturday. Passengers told KXAN-TV that if the ship is allowed to leave port, the cruise line is planning a shortened cruise schedule.

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