Harvey keeps local couple stranded at sea during anniversary cruise

SAN ANTONIO – Tim and Carmen Hanks were finally headed back home Friday after spending four extra days unexpectedly aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.

“We left on August 20,” Tim Hanks said. “It's been quite the extended cruise, that’s for sure.”

To celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, the couple set sail aboard the Liberty of the Seas leaving from Galveston.

RELATED: Thousands stuck on cruise ships after Hurricane Harvey 

They were supposed to return on August 27, but instead made it back to Galveston on September 1.

“By the time we got down to Honduras, we ran into the back side of Harvey and followed it back up the gulf,” Hanks said.

The storm forced the ship to reroute to Miami where several passengers disembarked.

Many of those who stayed onboard, Hanks said, were from coastal cities in Texas.

RELATED: Did you receive a phone call offering a free cruise? You might be entitled to $300 

“Those have been the ones where people have said their homes have been flooded,” Hanks said. “They’ve been getting pictures sent to them on their iPhones simply because family has been telling them 'Stay there, its safer. The homes have got water, they’re flooded.’ So people are trying now just to get home to be with family.”

Hanks said Royal Caribbean was accommodating and kept passengers updated with the latest information on the storm.

“The captain comes on 3, 4, times a day informs us of what’s going on,” he said.

Hanks added that several oil tankers were waiting to dock in Galveston when their cruise ship finally arrived.

RELATED: A cruise ship banned late-night revelry because of pirates 

As for the couple’s car, fortunately, it was parked on a second story and not flooded.

Some vehicles parked on the ground floor weren’t so lucky, Hanks said.

About the Author: