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Carnival blames sequestration cuts for long lines at port

Passengers aboard a Carnival cruise that returned to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on 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 NBC affiliate 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."

More from NBCMiami.com

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."

NBCMiami.com

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