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Galveston closely monitors coronavirus cruise impact

Some island businesses say they've noticed a slowdown in cruise passenger traffic.

GALVESTON, Texas — Michelle Robach's Strand-area shop is within sight of where big boats dock at the Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal.

"We love them," Robach said.

But she said business has been a little off lately.

"We’ve recently seen a decline in cruise passengers," Robach said. "There just haven’t been as many around as normally.”

The Port of Galveston and other agencies are keeping a close eye on how coronavirus might impact them since on-board illness recently led to entire ships being quarantined elsewhere.

Federal officials issued a warning just this week about traveling on cruise ships. They're also considering making guidelines even more severe.

"We actually have to go through a medical check before we get on the ship,” said passenger Tim Georgeff.

He and his girlfriend, Shelley Luther, drove to Galveston from Dallas Wednesday to catch a cruise.

"Well, for one, I have a real good friend who’s a doctor." Georgeff said. "It’s really nothing more than a severe cold.”

Cruise lines are said to be making aggressive changes, including increased cleaning standards in order to combat coronavirus.

Employees are trying and stay “ship-shape,” too.

"Washing our hands, literally, like 50 times a day," said cruise ship entertainer Jade Wallace. "Before eating, if you sneeze, if you cough, if you touch public surfaces.”

Businesses told us fairly brisk Spring Break traffic may buoy them while they wait for the latest worldwide pandemic to subside.

“I just wish it was done now,” Robach said.

Several crew members told us Wednesday's cruise had hundreds of cancellations. That's something Royal Caribbean did not confirm.

Here's the latest statement regarding coronavirus from the Port of Galveston:

https://www.portofgalveston.com/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=Coronavirus-COVID-19-Updates-52

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