Carnival Cruise Passengers Report Long Lines at Port Everglades

Passengers say wait to get off ship is hours long, sequester cuts blamed

Sunday, Mar 31, 2013  |  Updated 5:18 PM EDT
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Carnival Dream Passengers Leave St. Maarten

Jennifer Stanton

A photo taken by a passenger shows a long line on the Carnival Freedom.

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Passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise that returned to Fort Lauderdale Sunday said they spent hours in long lines waiting to get off the ship

The Carnival Freedom docked at Port Everglades early Sunday morning but some passengers said they were still stuck on the ship by the afternoon, according to WPTV.

A sign posted at the port blamed the long lines on sequester cuts.

"Due to Federal budget cuts, U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffing has been reduced and wait times may be longer than usual," the sign read. "Thank you for your understanding and patience."

Carnival to Fly Dream Passengers Home

Carnival acknowledged the longer wait times and said they shouldn't affect the itinerary for the ship, which was scheduled to depart later Sunday.

"The Customs and Immigration process for debarking guests has taken quite a bit longer than normal. It is our understanding that more than one cruise line at Port Everglades is experiencing similar circumstances," the company's statement said. "We do not anticipate any impact to the ship's itinerary for the next voyage which will depart later today. We regret the inconvenience our guests have experienced during today's debark and clearance process."

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