NORFOLK -- At the Half Moone terminal Friday, thousands of excited passengers arrived for their Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas, but they weren't excited that this was the cruise out of Norfolk.
"It's sad, especially when you have all the ships coming in here with the Navy. Why they would do that I don't know," said passenger Cheryl Blayney.
The inaugural season at Nauticus was back in 2001. The City of Norfolk spent $36 million to build the Half Moone terminal with the idea that, "If you build it, they will come." It opened in 2007.
"You know, the blessing with Norfolk is truly when we designed this building and when this building was constructed, we didn't call it a Norfolk cruise terminal we called it the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center," said Nauticus director Stephen Kirkland.
A van full of Bahama cruisers from the Eastern Shore said they appreciated the convenience of Norfolk.
"It's closer for us, I mean, we would have had to drive to New York, Miami, Florida, something like that, so I mean it's closer for us," said passenger James Liliston.
Higher fuel costs have also hurt the cruise line business everywhere.
"It's very sad and it's bad for the City of Norfolk. I think they should make it happen. Make it work," lamented Jane Austin of Hampton.