- Recently, a Carnival cruise ship tilted sideways several hours into its journey because of a malfunction.
- The Carnival Sunshine left Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday before listing on its side.
- One guest said people didn’t think anything of it at first, but the scene devolved into “pure chaos,” with “screams, cries, and panic,” abound.
- The ship eventually regained its upright position and the trip continued as scheduled.
- The crew apologized to passengers and offered them a $50 voucher.
Over the weekend, things took an unexpected turn for passengers on a Carnival cruise ship.
After the Carnival Sunshine left Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday, the boat tilted on its side, News 6 reported. Crew members said the boat began to list – the technical term for tilting – because of a technical malfunction.
But, according to passengers, this wasn’t just normal rocking caused by waves.
“I didn’t think anything of it, since it’s not uncommon for ships to rock back and forth,” David Crews, who was on the boat, told News 6. “But it didn’t rock back. It kept leaning.”
The Long Island resident told the outlet that the scene on the boat was utter pandemonium.
“Plates and silverware started sliding off the tables,” Crews said. “Then the tables themselves started to slide. Glasses and plates started to fall and shatter. At this point, it was pure chaos. Screams. Cries. Panic.”
This is the inside of the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship on Sunday evening. @CarnivalCruise says the ship listed (tilted or leaned) because of a technical issue just hours after leaving @PortCanaveral.
(H/t to David Crews for the pictures) pic.twitter.com/usSaQsZBzG
— Clay LePard (@ClayLePard) October 31, 2018
Passengers wrote about the incident on Twitter, depicting similar experiences.
User DaviesGravey said it was a “very scary experience” and people were “screaming.”
DaviesGravey elaborated in a second tweet, saying: “There were people everywhere crying, having anxiety attacks. Children crying. I’ve been cruising since 1998 and never had an experience like that before.”
@CarnivalCruise Last night was a very scary experience on the Sunshine. The starboard side literally felt like it lifted. I was in the dining room on 3. All the tables slid and fell over, glass falling and breaking. People screaming. And all we get is, ‘It’s being investigated’
— DaviesGravey (@Daviesgravey) October 29, 2018
@CarnivalCruise There were people everywhere crying, having anxiety attacks. Children crying. I’ve been cruising since 1998 and never had an experience like that before. All we want to know is… WHAT HAPPENED? We don’t feel safe. And deserve an explanation.
— DaviesGravey (@Daviesgravey) October 29, 2018
Twitter user Connie Calvert, who said she was on the cruise, wrote: “Get me off this ship Carnival Sunshine. We just listed so bad that I am not comfortable being in this [ship] anymore. Water ran out [of] the pools glasses shattered in my room and drink spilled in my suitcase!”
@CarnivalCruise get me off this ship Carnival Sunshine. We just listed so bad that I am not comfortable being in this shop anymore. Water ran out if the pools glasses shattered in my room and drink spilled in my suitcase!
— Connie Calvert (@concal) October 29, 2018
Eventually, the ship leveled out.
Online, Carnival provided an explanation to frustrated passengers.
The ship experienced a technical issue involving one of its breakers which caused it to list to one side. Our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation. The ship is operating safely and all normal activities have resumed.
— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) October 29, 2018
“The ship experienced a technical issue involving one of its breakers which caused it to list to one side,” a tweet from the line’s official account said. “Our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation. The ship is operating safely and all normal activities have resumed.”
On board, crew members apologized to passengers, per News 6.
In a letter distributed to guests, Captain Lorenzo Calogero apologized for the listing incident and said the technical malfunction had been remedied and that “there was never any issue with the safe operation of the ship.”
“We have identified that an electric switchboard malfunction impacted the use of the fin stabilizers,” the letter said. “It’s important to note that fin stabilizers are not a safety feature; they are deployed solely for guest comfort to minimize any potential ship motion while at sea.”
— Clay LePard (@ClayLePardNews6) October 31, 2018
After the listing incident, all passengers were given a $50 voucher for onboard use. The ship’s journey was expected to proceed as scheduled, with the boat headed to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
A representative for Carnival Cruise Line echoed that sentiment in a statement to INSIDER.
“On Sunday evening, Carnival Sunshine experienced a technical issue which caused the ship to list for approximately one minute. There was never any issue with the safe operation of the ship and our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation,” the statement said. “Following the incident, evening events resumed for our guests and the ship proceeded on its Caribbean cruise as scheduled. We are very sorry for the disruption this caused.”
According to the spokesperson, the ship is “fully operational.”
The statement concludes: “We remain confident of the safety of the ship as we are committed to the safety of our guests and crew.”
If you recently had a bad experience on a cruise and would like to talk about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: November 1, 2018: This post was updated to reflect that the boat only listed for one minute and to include a statement from the Carnival Cruise Line.
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