GALVESTON, Texas — After its first voyage since the start of the pandemic Carnival Vista is back in Galveston.
The ship arrived around 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The cruise industry had been anchored since the COVID-19 crisis started 16 months ago.
Vista returned to the port of Galveston after a seven-day cruise.
For many of those onboard a trip out to sea was something they’ve been waiting for since the start of the pandemic.
Vista’s horns echoed across the port as it announced its arrival.
Chris Campbell and his wife Carmen were two of the thousands who got a chance to get away and relax aboard the first cruise ship to leave Galveston since the start of the pandemic.
"Always felt safe. We’ve got the vaccine so you’re really more concerned with people that don’t have it yet," Campbell said.
“Probably the most interesting about it was every place we went they were so excited to just see some people,” he said. “It’s not only good for us. It’s good for them too because at this point they’ve been going a year and a half without any income."
Greg and Wanda Yeary said the whole experience was wonderful.
“Getting away from everything. Getting away from work and all the responsibilities. Great,” Greg Yeary said.
Most Vista passengers were required to be fully vaccinated before the trip.
Wanda said it was a seamless transition back into the cruise life following COVID-19 restrictions.
“They did not differentiate between who was vaccinated and who was not vaccinated. We just had no problems at all,” Wanda Yeary said.
“Always felt safe. We’ve got the vaccine, so you’re really more concerned with people that don’t have it yet," Campbell said.
While the pandemic hasn’t gone away having cruise ships set sail once again gives people hope that things are heading in the right direction.
“The staff still wore masks so you were still always kind of reminded about it but for the most part it did seem pretty normal," Campbell said.
“It feels good to finally get out of the cloud that’s been over us," Greg Yeary said.