Irma has cruise ship making early stop in Norfolk

The ship was originally scheduled to go from New York, to Florida, to the Caribbean, and then finally to Hampton Roads. But Hurricane Irma had other plans.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The AIDAluna arrived at Norfolk's cruise ship terminal Thursday morning, a week ahead of schedule.

The ship was originally scheduled to go from New York, to Florida, to the Caribbean, and then finally to Hampton Roads. But Hurricane Irma had other plans.

Travelers on board said they didn't mind heading to Norfolk early and enjoyed their day of eating and exploring.

"It's cool, really really nice. It was a huge mall with nice things."

The majority of cruise ship vacationers are from Germany and said Norfolk is a lot different from home.

"It's a beautiful town it's a lot smaller than the other we saw until now and old town is very nice."

Many passengers got off the ship with smiling faces, ready to explore. They had departed from New York City, and many said that was just too busy. They are excited to be in a smaller area like Hampton Roads.

For some travelers, not only is this their first trip to Hampton Roads, but their first time in the United States.

"We want to go into the bars, and to eat an American burger," one visitor told us.

About 2,500 people are on vacation, visiting port to port. Norfolk was supposed to be one of the last stops on their 14 day cruise, but things were reversed, because of Hurricane Irma.

The original plan for the cruise ship was to sail  to Norfolk next week, but plans were adjusted because of hurricane Irma. Instead of heading to the Caribbean first, they went from New York, to Baltimore, then from Baltimore to Norfolk.

The trip to the Caribbean may be last.

Travelers tell 13News Now the captain already warned them they may not be able to go due to the devastation hurricane Irma left behind.

A vacationer said. "It's depending on the weather, we don't know really now."

But travelers told us they don't care what city they go to first or last; they just want to enjoy their trip.

"We will go somewhere so wherever we will be it will be great, I'm not concerned at all," said a vacationer.

All of the travelers will head back to the cruise ship later on Thursday. They have to be on board at 5:30, and the ship will depart by 6.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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