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Portions of Port Tampa Bay reopen after fog disturbance

Two Royal Caribbean cruise ships were anchored by Egmont Key until conditions were safe to return to port.

TAMPA, Fla. — Port Tampa Bay is back open after fog moving through the area on Saturday forced it to temporarily close. 

The U.S. Coast Guard kept portions of the shipping channel shut down until conditions were safe for ships to return to port, officials from Port Tampa Bay said. There were two Royal Caribbean cruise ships anchored by Egmont Key in Pinellas County.

Those passengers were able to disembark later in the afternoon as the fog cleared to a mix of sun and clouds.

An advisory for dense fog was issued Saturday morning for parts of the Tampa Bay area. While it began to clear out inland, it lingered along the water.

Passengers waiting in Tampa welcomed news of the port's reopening after expressing frustration. Some said they waited since the morning until they were told they could board in the evening.

"Finally," Wendy Hubbard said. "You know what? A bad day on vacation is better than a good day at work."

Tom Norris of Ocala and New York City said he and other passengers killed time at IKEA and Sparkman Wharf.

"It's nobody's fault. I mean, it's the weather," Norris said.

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