Carnival cruise ship returns to Charleston port after Matthew delay

VIDEO: Carnival cruise ship returns to Charleston port after Matthew delay

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Carnival cruise ship Ecstacy returned to the Charleston port Monday two days later than scheduled because of Hurricane Matthew.

The ship docked at approximately 5:30 a.m. after being delayed near the entrance to the Charleston Harbor until it will be able to proceed to the Port of Charleston.

The port had been closed until port officials and the U.S. Coast Guard completed their assessment after Matthew passed.

Guests who opted to sail on the next voyage will be given a two-day pro-rated refund of their cruise fare and any pre-purchased shore excursions for canceled ports processed within three weeks to the original form of payment, according to Carnival.  Gratuities will be adjusted to reflect the shorter cruise.  Additionally, they will receive a $100 per person credit to their onboard Sail & Sign accounts well as a 50 percent discount on a future two-to-seven-day cruise, Carnival said. Guests also have the option of canceling and receiving a full refund.

For guests presently on board the ship, bringing the ship back into Charleston is the best option for them, the cruise line said. Many have cars parked there and are from South Carolina and the surrounding region. Other port options will involve a long bus ride through states with flooding so the priority is to dock in Charleston and get a large number of the guests as close to home as possible if feasible by Monday.

The Ecstasy will have another group of visitors arrive and sail later in the day.

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