Carnival Sunrise accidents and incidents

Carnival Sunrise cruise ship

Former names
Carnival Triumph

Length (LOA)
272 m / 892 ft

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CruiseMapper's Carnival Sunrise cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3730-passenger vessel owned by Carnival Cruise Line. Our Carnival Sunrise accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fires - 2013, 2019 (during drydock in Cadiz Spain)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2010, 2014, 2013 (engine room fire), 2017
  • ship seizure - 2012 (in Galveston TX, USA)
  • mooring lines failure - 2013 (Mobile Alabama)
  • structural - 2024 (flooding)
  • deaths - overboard (2015, 2018), 2016 (drowning in Cozumel), 2020 (crew)
  • injuries/crimes - 2017, 2022 (sexual)
  • medevacs - 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
  • boat rescue - 2022 (12 Cubans)

In the period 1999-2019, the vessel was operated under the name "Carnival Triumph".

23 March 2024Structural and Technical Issues

On March 23, 2024, at ~2 am local time (~6 am UTC) the ship sustained interior damages/flooding due to adverse weather.

The vessel was en route from The Bahamas back to Florida when it encountered heavy rains Friday night (March 22) and early Saturday morning (March 23). The rainfall caused a pipe to burst, resulting in flooding in various public areas (stairways, corridors, elevator banks) as well as in several passenger staterooms on Deck 10.

According to CCL's statement on the matter "Carnival Sunrise encountered heavy rain while returning to Miami overnight Friday into Saturday. Some staterooms were taken out of service for Saturday's departure as our team completed clean-up and replaced carpets. Those guests who were not able to sail were provided full refunds, a future cruise credit and received overnight accommodations if they needed them”.

Affected guests were relocated to other staterooms and gathered at Liquid Lounge where the ship's Master (Captain Bruno Palomba) informed them about the water ingress and that the ship had changed route. They all were compensated with 25% FCC/future cruise credit for luggage damages.

The next scheduled departure (Mar 28) was not impacted.

The accident occurred at the end of the 5-day "Eastern Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Mar 23-28, roundtrip from PortMiami) visiting Grand Turk (Cockburn Town/Mar 25), and The Bahamas (Princess Cays/Mar 26, and Nassau/Mar 27).

29 July 2023Structural and Technical Issues

During July 2023's last voyage, some of the onboard air conditioning systems failed resulting in high temperatures in some passenger staterooms and public areas.

The issue became public during the 5-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary July 24-29, roundtrip from Miami, Florida USA) visiting Jamaica's Ocho Rios (Jul 26) and Grand Cayman's George Town Harbour (Jul 27).

It was not clear when the problem started, but during the voyage, some tourists complained that their staterooms were uncomfortably warm. Shared online photos showed cabin thermostats with temperatures of 80+ degrees F (27+ Celsius) while the outside temperature reached 90+ F (32+ C).

A representative from CCL-Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that the ship experienced an air conditioning "issue" that affected a limited number of passenger staterooms and some of the public areas. The AC failure was attributed to the extreme heat and record-high ocean temperatures, putting stress on the onboard HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and refrigeration systems.

CCL didn't specify how long the air conditioning and other services (including in-cabin refrigerators) were impacted.

The affected passengers were offered a 50% refund of their ticket price. Upon request, to the affected cabins were delivered buckets of ice.

16 March 2023Other Incidents

On March 16, 2023, CCL became the world's first cruise company to have served 100 million passengers.

The unique milestone was celebrated on Carnival Sunrise in PortMiami. CCL's 100-millionth guests were the Clifford family (Debi and David) from Ohio, who were greeted by Christine Duffy (CCL's President) and the crew upon boarding the ship.

Carnival Sunrise then started a 4-day Western Caribbean voyage (itinerary Mar 16-20, roundtrip from Miami) visiting Key West Florida (Mar 17) and Cozumel Mexico (Mar 18).

01 October 2022Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 3, 2022, upon debarkation, a 51-year-old male passenger was arrested in PortMiami and charged with "lewd and lascivious behavior on a child less than 16 years old".

According to the police report, the child’s father witnessed the man (Ernest Richard Bishop Jr/Kentucky resident, from Morning View KY) kissing his 5-year-old daughter on the mouth. This allegedly happened on October 1, while the ship was at sea (en route from Florida to Mexico) and navigating in international waters.

The man was arrested (at Carnival's Cruise Terminal D) and transported to Miami-Dade PD's Sexual Crime Investigations Unit for an interview where he refused to talk without a lawyer present. He was booked into Miami City's Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (medium security level County Jail) and was later released after submitting a US$7500 police bond.

The incident occurred during a 4-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Sept 29 - Oct 3, roundtrip from Miami) visiting Key West (Florida/Sept 30) and Cozumel (Mexico/Oct 1).

09 September 2022Crew / Passenger Crimes

On September 9, 2022, a brawl broke out onboard while the ship was at sea, en route back to homeport Miami Florida.

The scuffle occurred on Pool Deck (deck 9) by the Tides Pool (aft swimming pool) and involved between 20-30 people. The incident was caught on a cellphone camera and the video was posted on Twitter.

Reportedly, the fight started over taking a seat at the poolside Tides Bar (aft-portside, next to Pizzeria del Capitano).

The incident happened at the end of the 5-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Sept 5-10, roundtrip from PortrMiami) visiting Jamaica (Ocho Rios/Sept 7) and Grand Cayman (George Town/Sept 8).

29 July 2022Boat Rescue

On the evening of July 29, 2022, while navigating in the Florida Straits (south of Key West Island, USA), the ship responded to a distress call and rescued 12 Cuban refugees on an unseaworthy boat en route to Miami.

To assist the small boat, Carnival Sunrise changed course and reduced speed. The arrival and docking at PortMiami were on schedule. The refugees were handed over to local authorities.

The incident occurred at the end of a 5-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary July 25-30, roundtrip from Miami) with call ports in Jamaica (Ocho Rios) and Grand Cayman (George Town Harbour).

10 January 2020Crew / Passenger Deaths

(CruiseMapper emailed report by a passenger wishing to remain anonymous) 1-10-2020 Carnival Sunrise experienced high winds at sea. We are not sure what happened but we heard screams from the deck and emergency crew was asked to report to medical (Infirmary). Later the ship announced we would be making an emergency stop to get a crew member medical help but then cancelled it shortly after as the injured crew member died before getting to the emergency port.

The incident allegedly occurred while the liner was en-route from Grand Cayman back to Florida, at the end of 5-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 6-11) roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) with call ports Ocho Rios (Jamaica) and George Town (Grand Cayman).

22 March 2019Fire Accident

On March 22, 2019, while in drydock for conversion (refit and refurbishment) at Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz Spain, the liner suffered a fire on Mezzanine Deck (cabin deck 4). The fire was caused by welding works carried out to assemble expanded cabins' new sections.

When the accident occurred, the shipyard activated protocol's all standard safety features and forced the eviction of all workers who were inside the vessel. No injuries were reported. All works were resumed once the deck fire was extinguished and the area cleaned up.

Carnival Triumph docked in Navantia on March 12 for a 38-day (USD 200 million) drydock reconstruction to become the new Carnival Sunrise.

06 January 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

(Carnival Triumph) On January 6, 2019, a 22-year-old male passenger (suffering from acute appendicitis) was medevaced from the liner. Together with his family, the young man (Chase Kehler, a college student from Little Rock, Arkansas) was offloaded on a Mexican Navy's SAR (coast guard) boat and transported to Amerimed (private hospital in Cancun).

The family was stunned after they were required to pay for the surgery USD 25,000. The arrangements were made by the cruise ship's doctor. When they said they don't have the money, the hospital stopped the treatment and forcibly sent them to a nearby general hospital with (reportedly) "limited services and a severe lack of staff". Due to late time (2 am) they were not able to front the money immediately as a “guarantee”. After ~1-hour waiting (still not being checked), the mother (Janie) stopped a passing paramedic in the corridor, who transported Chase (for free) to the private Hospital Victoria. There he had surgery within the hour, with the hospital only requiring a deposit of USD 6,000. None of the Kehler family had cruise travel insurance.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary Jan 5-10) roundtrip from homeport NOLA (New Orleans) to Cozumel (Jan 7) and Progreso (Jan 8).

21 January 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Carnival Triumph / overboard) On January 21, 2018, a 44-year-old female passenger was reported fell overboard while the ship was in the Gulf of Mexico, en-route to Cozumel Mexico. The liner started a search and rescue operation, later joined by ISCG vessels. The woman (Juwanna Brooks) was traveling on her first ever voyage. The body was not found.

The ship was on 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary Jan 20-25) roundtrip from homeport NOLA New Orleans to Cozumel (Jan 22) and Progreso (Jan 23).

30 November 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

(Carnival Triumph) On November 30, 2017, due to technical (propulsion) issues resulting in reduced speed, the ship’s scheduled arrival in homeport NOLA (New Orleans) was delayed until 8 pm. Carnival provided passengers with the option to disembark the ship (in the evening) or remain onboard and disembark on December 1 (in the morning). The next scheduled 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary Nov 30 – Dec 4) to Cozumel and Progreso was canceled.

The vessel entered drydock for repairs in Mobile Alabama. As compensation, all booked customers received a full refund, plus 25% future Carnival cruise booking credit.

07 July 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

(Carnival Triumph) On July 7, 2017, a 40-year-old male passenger experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding was medevaced by a USCG boat dispatched from Venice Louisiana.

24 March 2017Crew / Passenger Crimes

(Carnival Triumph / sexual) On March 24, 2017, a 48-year-old female passenger was reported missing to cruise ship’s security personnel. The woman was last seen at the ship’s Hollywood Disco (on Deck 5 Promenade). However, after the missing report, she was later found in a passenger stateroom (occupied by a couple from Georgia USA) on Deck 8 Verandah.

The woman later complained of feeling sick and her underwear was missing. During the medical exam in the ship’s infirmary, she said the couple “had touched her places you should not be touched”. During the following FBI investigation, agents searched the couple’s cabin and found drugs (various pills and capsules). As the incident occurred in international waters (Gulf of Mexico), the FBI didn’t press any charges. The couple was later investigated for sexual battery.

25 January 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

(Carnival Triumph) On January 25, 2017, a 45-year-old male passenger suffering from a heart attack was medevaced from the ship. The USCG dispatched a helicopter from New Orleans to the ship’s location - approx 11 ml / 18 km south of Southwest Pass (Mississippi River channel, Louisiana). The man and a crew nurse were airlifted and flown to New Orleans, then transported by an ambulance to Marrero’s West Jefferson Medical Center.

The incident occurred at the end of 6-day Mexico cruise (itinerary Jan 21-26) roundtrip from homeport NOLA to Cozumel and Progreso.

19 December 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

(Carnival Triumph) On December 19, 2016, a 60-years-old female passenger needing dialysis was medevaced by a USCG (Station Venice) crew. The ship was approx 14 ml / 23 km south of Southwest Pass channel (Mississippi River, Louisiana).

18 March 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Carnival Triumph) On March 18, 2016, a 56-year-old male passenger died from drowning in Cozumel (Sky Reef beach). The man, accompanied by his wife, decided to swim at Sky Reef’s southside beach at ~12:20 pm. Later his body was spotted by the tour guide floating behind a buoy.

03 October 2015Coast Guard Medevacs

(Carnival Triumph) On October 3, 2015, a 43-year-old female passenger (suffering from a heart attack) was medevaced by USCG assets. The incident occurred at ~3:50 am, when the ship was approx 115 ml / 185 km southeast of homeport Galveston Texas, and returning from a 4-day cruise to Cozumel Mexico. The woman and a crew nurse were hoisted by MH-65 helicopter team and transported to Galveston Airport, then transported by an ambulance to UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch).

17 March 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Carnival Triumph / overboard) On March 17, 2015, a 54-year-old male passenger jumped overboard while the ship was on 4-day Mexico cruise from Galveston TX, and near Progreso Mexico. The ship’s CCTV camera footage review confirmed the jump. The man was pronounced missing. The ship altered its course and conducted search and rescue operation together with local authorities. On March 18, the Mexican authorities found what was believed to be the man’s body. The body was later sent to the USA for identification.

01 February 2014Propulsion / Power Loss

(Carnival Triumph) On February 1, 2014, the ship experienced power loss for ~8 min while en-route to Galveston from Cozumel Mexico. The vessel returned in Galveston YX according to schedule. The cruise line’s official statement said the power outage was caused by “electrical breaker failure”. The vessel’s new emergency generator came on and delivered power until needed. All hotel services and the propulsion system functioned normally.

03 April 2013Structural and Technical Issues

(Carnival Triumph/mooring failure) On April 3, 2013, while the ship was docked at Mobile AL (BAE Systems shipyard) for repairs, strong winds exceeding 65 mph / 105 kph caused its mooring lines to break loose. Additionally, four of the bollards on the pier broke apart. The ship drifted all the way over the channel and ran into a sand-dredge ship positioned on the other side. The mooring accident resulted in ~20 ft / 6 m long gash in the ship’s stern (between decks 4 and 5, starboard). Also, several hull plates were punctured.

Assisted by tugboats, the cruise ship was moved back to Mobile Cruise Terminal. No injuries were reported among all the 200 contract workers and ~600 ship crew. However, a shipyard worker died and another one was seriously injured when the end section of the pier collapsed in the water.

Two more scheduled voyages were canceled due to the mooring incident. The vessel entered service on June 13, 2013. All booked passengers received as compensation full refund, reimbursement for all their travel expenses, plus 25% future Carnival cruise booking discount.

The total cost of this accident was estimated at USD 2,9 million. Of those, USD 2,7 million were on the ship alone. On May 8, 2013, the ship left Mobile AL under own power for Freeport (Bahamas) where it entered into drydock for final repairs and "Fun Ship 2.0" refurbishment upgrades.

US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an official report about the mooring accident. As a probable cause, it stated the failure of all 20 mooring lines (10 fore, 10 aft). The report also stated BAE Systems knew about the poor condition of the pier's bollards.

The Triumph cruise ship in 2013 was "Fun Ship 2.0" refurbished at a total cost of USD 115 million.

The shipowner Carnival Corporation filed a complaint against BAE Systems for the damages caused by the Triumph's mooring incident - estimated at USD 12,6 million.

10 February 2013Fire Accident

(Carnival Triumph) On February 10, 2013 (Sunday, at ~5:30 am CST), while the ship was on a 4-day Mexico cruise from Galveston TX, a fire broke out in the aft engine room. The vessel was left motionless (without propulsion) in the Gulf of Mexico, approx 241 km / 150 mi off Yucatan Peninsula. The engine fire was soon extinguished. No injuries among the 3143 passengers and the 1086 crew were reported.

The power loss was a result of the activation of the automatic fire suppression system. Other unfortunate results were inoperational air-conditioning, elevators, all toilets, the kitchen equipment (affecting hot meals), the fresh-water system. On Monday (Feb 11) the crew restored the freshwater system. The auxiliary power was also restored for the basic hotel functions (most of the toilets / not in all sections). Power was restored to some elevators and in the Lido buffet restaurant.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ first decision was to tow the ship to Progreso Mexico (as the closest port) from where passengers could be flown back to the USA. Two tugboats were sent to assist the disabled cruise ship – 1 from Mexico and 1 from Mobile AL. Additional crew and staff were sent to the ship. Fleetmate Carnival Legend helped with providing food and supplies.

Unfortunately, due to strong currents, the ship drifted approx 145 km / 90 mi north. This was the reason for the cruise line to decide to tow the ship to Mobile instead to Progreso. Over 900 of the passengers were traveling without their passports, which was another reason for the Alabama choice. From Mobile, all passengers were transported via buses to New Orleans, where a total of 1500 hotel rooms were reserved for them by the shipowner Carnival Corporation. On Wednesday, a USCG helicopter delivered an electrical generator with cables for additional power. At 12:40 pm EST, US Customs and Border Patrol personnel boarded the vessel to speed up the passenger disembarkation process when the ship arrived in Mobile AL.

Carnival Cruise Lines compensated all passengers with a full refund, and also covered all transfers and transportation expenses. Passengers also received a future Carnival cruise credit equal to the amount paid for the accident voyage (3 to 5 days long itinerary), plus extra USD 500 in cash per person, plus reimbursement of all onboard purchases (excepting only gift purchases and onboard Casino charges). Passengers with cars parked at Port Galveston were transported via buses from Houston Airport to Galveston. Port Galveston issued refunds or free parking vouchers on future Carnival cruises to passengers on the accident voyage.

On all canceled itineraries (following the fire accident), the cruise company offered 25% off booking discount for customers switching to another 3-5 day itinerary or a 15% booking discount for longer 6+ days itineraries. Also added were a full refund, nonrefundable transportation costs, prepaid Carnival shore excursions, tips (gratuities), Government taxes and port fees.

With a number of canceled cruises, the ship entered dry-dock for repairs and extensive sanitation. The vessel was out of service through mid-June 2013. Cruise industry analysis showed the Carnival Triumph fire accident cost Carnival Corporation around USD 0,1 per share. In money, this was nearly USD 80 million (lost revenue, reimbursements, repairs, etc).

As an act of good will, In 2013 Carnival Corporation voluntarily repaid the US Government for the help received from USCG and US Navy vessels related to the fire accidents on Triumph (2013) and Splendor (2010). With the payment submitted to the US Treasury, Carnival reimbursed the federal government for all expenses related to these incidents.

  • Splendor's fire cost USCG USD 1,5 million and US Navy USD 1,9 million.
  • Triumph's fire cost USCG USD 0,8 million.
  • Carnival officially stressed that no agencies have requested remuneration, so the company made this decision voluntarily.
  • It all started with US Senator J. Rockefeller asking in an open letter to Carnival Cruise Lines whether the company would repay the US Gov for the Triumph and Splendor cases.
  • Some of the most popular comments on company's decision were that it shouldn't pay - it's the USCG job to provide maritime rescue operations, the money's already in the budget, this act sets an awful lot of precedents.

29 March 2012Other Incidents

(Carnival Triumph/ship seizure in Galveston) On March 29, 2012, a US judge ordered the vessel to be seized in Galveston TX. The warrant order was based on a USD 10 million lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court. The lawsuit was filed by relatives of a German passenger who died in the Costa Concordia disaster.

The warrant ordering the seizure in port stated the court found the conditions for an attachment of defendants’ joint and collective property within the Galveston district (MS Carnival Triumph vessel) exist upon a maritime claim. The ship was allowed to disembark all the passengers and offload its cargo. The vessel moved between berths until a hearing was scheduled.

18 November 2010Structural and Technical Issues

(Carnival Triumph) On November 18, 2010, ~ 1 gallon (~4 liters) of hydraulic oil was discharged from the forward bow thruster’s shaft seal. The bow thruster (propulsion unit) was secured and the leak was stopped.

14 March 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

(Carnival Triumph) On March 14, 2010, the ship experienced a propulsion system problems (LMR MM 8 reduction).

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