Carnival Sunshine cruise ship experiences dangerous storm while sailing back to Charleston SC

   May 28, 2023 ,   Accidents

CCL-Carnival Cruise Line's ship Carnival Sunshine recently experienced a dangerous storm while returning to Charleston SC, causing fear and uncertainty among passengers and crew.

The 13-floor-high vessel battled strong winds reaching speeds of up to 70 mph (113 kph) and turbulent waves, resulting in exterior (open-deck) and interior damages. Although there were no reported injuries, the incident was a distressing and intense experience for everyone involved.

As Carnival Sunshine made her way back to Charleston, she found herself in the midst of a formidable storm. Passengers were frightened and had to stay confined to their cabins overnight, with belongings scattered and waves crashing against the 104000-ton liner. Crew members described it as the most severe storm they had ever encountered. The mooring deck suffered extensive damage from relentless large waves.

In response to the conditions, crew members from decks 0 to 4 were evacuated to the Liquid Lounge/Theater (forward on deck 4) and any other available resting spaces for the night. Some passengers even sought refuge in the theater while wearing lifejackets. The storm caused significant destruction to the crew bar and flooded crew cabins and corridors. While no serious injuries were reported among the crew, they were understandably shaken by the extensive damage, considering it the most frightening experience.

The storm's impact extended beyond the crew areas, causing havoc in guest spaces. Hallways and staterooms on Deck 2 were flooded, with leaks observed through walls and ceilings. The ship faced powerful winds and towering swells from this intense non-tropical low-pressure weather system.

Amidst the chaos, crew members expressed frustration and fear due to inadequate accommodations and showers. Many crew members were unable to return to their assigned cabins, further complicating their situation. Passengers on social media criticized CCL for allowing new guests to board the ship despite being aware of its unpreparedness for another voyage. However, they also praised the professionalism of the crew in handling the incident.

Following the accident, concerns arise about how crew members will fulfill their duties without suitable accommodations. In addition to their regular responsibilities, they now face the daunting task of cleaning up the aftermath of the storm. The crew's resilience and determination will be tested as they work to restore normalcy aboard Carnival Sunshine.

Addressing these concerns, John Heald (CCL's Brand Ambassador) reassured the public that Carnival Sunshine was never in danger during the storm. He emphasized that the Captain prioritized the safety of passengers and crew when making decisions.

Avoiding such storms entirely becomes challenging as they can cover vast distances.

For more Carnival Sunshine incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.