Houston-based online cruise agency, Vacations to Go is donating one million dollars to six local charities, according to a letter sent to customers from CEO Alan Fox on Friday.
Fox reports that the company’s headquarters “suffered only minor water damage and never lost power.” Phone service was restored on Wednesday and many employees are returning to work.
Of the 800 Vacations to Go employees in the Houston area, 64 sustained serious flood damage to their homes, but all are safe and accounted for, according to Fox’s letter. Not all employees have been able to return to their homes to assess the damage, and others are still stranded in their homes surrounded by flood waters.
Cruise Lines Are Sailing Again
As water continues to rise in some Houston-area neighborhoods due to cresting of rivers and bayous, cruise operations from the Port of Galveston are expected to return to normal this week. Travel writer Cynthia Drake—who reported from Liberty of the Seas earlier this week as it detoured to Miami—reports now that the ship returned to Galveston on Friday, carrying approximately half of its original passengers.
Nearly 2,000 Liberty of the Seas passengers opted to make other travel arrangements from Miami when the ship docked there briefly on Tuesday. Royal Caribbean’s website shows normal operations for the September 3rd sailing.
The site does acknowledge that some passengers may still be having difficulty with transportation to the port. Both Houston airports are open but still at a limited capacity. Some roads and highways in the area are still closed. The company encourages passengers having difficulty reaching the port or guests who “may not feel comfortable joining Liberty” to contact customer service at 1-800-256-6649 for assistance.
Carnival’s website shows normal operations for Carnival Freedom, Breeze and Valor resuming scheduled departures on September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Vacations to Go Supporting Neighborhood Charities
The six charities Vacations To Go is supporting include Houston Food Bank, BakerRipley, Star of Hope Mission, Second Baptist Church, Memorial Assistance Ministries and the Houston SPCA.
According to Fox, able Vacations to Go employees who are “donating and collecting food, clothes, water, toiletries, disposable diapers, blankets and sheets, toys and games at our Houston office (5851 San Felipe Street, Suite 500, Houston, TX 77057) for delivery to one of the shelters in the city.”
He added that customers should, “Feel free to ship anything here that you want delivered to a shelter and we’ll make sure it gets there.”
Fox concluded by thanking customers for their words of encouragement both to him personally and to Vacations to Go cruise consultants throughout last week’s storm.