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Brownwood travel agent: Cruise ship woes force vacation delays

By Shenna Stout, sstout@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 14 2013 08:02:46 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 09:33:06 PM CST

So far, 14 cruises have been cancelled as a direct result of the Triumph disaster.

This is impacting several people across the Big Country as their vacations are being changed or even delayed.

The cancellations certainly aren't shying people away from cruises.

Shari Speck, Owner/Agent of First Travel Service in Brownwood, said people have been calling all day Thursday to reschedule their cruises.

On average, 25 people call First Travel Service a day to plan their next vacation.

Thursday, many more people called to reschedule their cancelled cruise.

The Triumph ordeal is responsible for the cancellation of 14 cruises, impacting many Brownwood residents and their vacations.

"We booked 10 cruises yesterday, so in my opinion it hasn't slowed anybody down," said Speck.

Brownwood residents Michael and Sandra Richardson are on the Triumph.

They won a free trip and used First Travel Service to upgrade their first floor room.

"They chose to upgrade into a balcony room which proved to be very smart in retrospect, because they've got running water and septic running right now," said Speck.

Many of the lower floors do not have septic or water.

"The first two floors from what Michael said, they evacuated the rooms because of the overflow," said Speck.

"He said that the crew has been fabulous, and that they've done everything they can to make everybody comfortable," said Speck.

The Richardsons are expected to port in Mobile, Alabama around midnight.

All those aboard the Triumph are given the option to stay in a hotel for the night.

A travel agency in Abilene, Travel Factory reported 16 to 18 bookings have been impacted by the cancellations.

Russell Berry of Travel Factory said customers seem skiddish, but have already re-booked.