By Staff

GALVESTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time in 16 months, a Carnival cruise ship full of passengers has set sail from a port in Galveston, Texas.

The COVID-19 pandemic halted cruise ship vacations, but now excitement can be seen as travelers return to the waters.

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However, as KTRK reports, there is still some nervousness from residents in Galveston.

“I’d be lying if I saw I wasn’t. I’m a little worried, but I’m fully vaccinated, and I’m hoping most of the passengers will be also,” resident Lisa Lewis said.

Carnival Cruise Line said passengers are required to show proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the company, 95% of passengers on Saturday’s departure will be vaccinated.

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With health and safety guidelines in place, local leaders believe Carnival’s plan will keep passengers safe, such as containing community spread if someone tests positive.

“Most of those people are going to be vaccinated, so the risk is going to be very, very low. So I’m not worried about this at this point,” Dr. Phillip Keiser, of the Galveston County Health Authority, told KTRK.

With vaccination requirements and available tests, health leaders are confident cruise ship vacations can safely resume.

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“I’m just praying. I trust that they really do get all of that together, so we can really get back to normal,” Lewis said. Staff