Passengers Cruise Away from Ike, Vehicles Not So Lucky

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

There were nearly 3000 of them on board, and they all managed to avoid the hurricane during vacation. Their vehicles, however, did not.

Bryan city council member Jason Bienski and his family were among a group of Bryan/ College Station residents stuck on a Carnival cruise ship last week.

"This was us leaving Galveston getting on the boat," said Tasha Bienski, pointing to a picture.

It was a cruise more costly than the Bienski family and 25 others from Bryan College Station, ever expected. As they enjoyed their first night aboard their Carnival cruise ship, they had no idea what was in store for them.

"Its a 120 mile-per-hour wind," joked a passenger captured on the Bienski's home video their first night aboard.

By mid-week, the jokes stopped, as Ike's path was projected toward Galveston where the group's cars were parked.

"The hurricane hit the beach, then the beach water came out of it and the beach water hit our car," said 6-year-old Becca Bienski.

At one point, that part of Galveston was seven feet under water. The Bienskis assume their vehicle will be a total loss, but haven't been able to get to it.

Because the Galveston port was closed, the cruise ship docked in New Orleans, a day late.

"There's an orderly process of exiting the cruise ship, not that day," said Jason Bienski. "It was pretty much a free for all."

While Ike put them home two days later than expected, they say they're grateful they had a home to return to, and know their vacation encounter with Ike could have been much worse.

"Its definitely one to remember. I wish we could have saved our car throughout it," said Tasha Bienski. "We made it through and we're ready to go on another one again."

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