Central Virginia family stuck on cruise ship after Hurricane Dorian closes port

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 23:26:57-04

BREVARD COUNTY, Fl. -- While parts of North Carolina and South Carolina are evacuating because of looming Hurricane Dorian, one central Virginia family is trapped in the water on a cruise ship.

On Monday, the Coast Guard issued what it calls 'Hurricane Condition Zulu' in Port Canaveral, shutting down one of the worlds busiest cruise ports, and leaving a Virginia family stuck on the Royal Carribean Harmony of The Seas.

Stephanie Ridenour and her family were only supposed to spend 7 days on the ship.

They planned to get off on Sunday, but Dorian extended their vacation.

"My kids are going to miss the first week of school, my dogs are in a kennel so I'm anxious to get back to them, and we also have two businesses," Ridenour said. "We are from Mechanicsville we have two businesses that we are anxious to get back to."

Florida media outlets report at least six cruise ships are affected by the port closure.

"The Weather Channel is clearly telling us they are not going to be ready to open the ports until Thursday, so we are thinking Thursday or Friday, but we haven`t heard that officially," she said.

Despite the inconvenience, Stephanie says she is enjoying the experience.

"Everybody has been over accommodating, it's been great," Ridenour said.

Royal Caribbean posted on its website that guest are safe and that ships are the safest place to be because its technology allows it to sail out of the way of storm

Stephanie says she isn't worried.  "I mean there is nothing that we can do about it so we might as well make the best of few extra days."

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