Carnival Cruise Ship Back Sailing After Stormy Cruise and Damage

Despite very bad weather and a 9-hour delay, Carnival Sunshine continues to sail only having suffered minimal damage.

Carnival Sunshine has departed on her next sailing after a very stormy cruise and significant delays returning to Charleston because of strong winds and dangerous waves.

The ship did suffer some damage, but the next sailing has not been impacted and guests have been compensated for their very late embarkation.

Carnival Sunshine Significantly Delayed

Due to the non-tropical storm off the southeastern US that prevented the ship from entering the harbor at the Port of Charleston, Carnival Sunshine was delayed for nine hours with debarking guests at the end of a cruise and embarking passengers for the next sailing.

Embarking guests were kept apprised of the situation through text and email updates, and were finally able to begin boarding the ship at approximately 6:30 p.m. with the last guests onboard at about 10:30-11 p.m., and the ship set sail at near midnight.

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Ihor Koptilin / Shutterstock

Carnival Sunshine was returning from a 6-night roundtrip sailing to The Bahamas that visited Nassau, Bimini, and Half Moon Cay.

Poor weather and rough seas on the return trip were caused by the non-tropical storm system, with recorded wind gusts near Charleston Harbor from 30-36 knots (34-42 miles per hour / 55-67 kilometers per hour) at the time the cruise ship was waiting to enter.

Damage Reported

Guests onboard the ship prior to arriving back in Charleston reported a variety of damage to the vessel, from leaking ceilings to flooded hallways and staterooms with puddles on the carpeting.

In public areas of the ship, dishes, bottles, and glassware had fallen and broken, and displays and racks in the Fun Shops had overturned and spilled merchandise. With the ship rocking significantly due to heavy swells, seasickness bags were distributed.

The worst of the damage appears to have been to crew areas on lower decks, where more significant flooding was noted and walls and doorways were heavily damaged, even destroyed, especially in some crew recreational areas.

Some crew members were evacuated to higher decks during the worst of the weather and while minor injuries were reported, there are no significant injuries.

It should be noted that at no time were the ship’s safety systems compromised, and while the conclusion of the sailing was most definitely uncomfortable, guests and crew members were safe at all times.

Compensation for Next Cruise

Because the cruise was so heavily delayed for its next sailing – with guests not embarking until well into the evening and nighttime hours – every stateroom was given $100 (USD) of onboard credit, and a prorated credit for any WiFi or drink package purchases.

Due to the late embarkation, guests would have missed the afternoon lunch options, ship tours, and other embarkation day activities, as well as the first night’s lounge entertainment and other fun.

Carnival Sunshine Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Daniel Wright98 / Shutterstock

The ship is already en route on its next cruise, a 5-night Bahamas sailing that will call on Half Moon Cay, the cruise line’s private island in The Bahamas, on Monday and Nassau on Tuesday, before returning to Charleston on Thursday, June 1.

There are no delays or itinerary changes for the ship’s current sailing, and fortunately for those aboard, the weather appears much more pleasant as the non-tropical system has now dissipated.

Carnival Sunshine will remain homeported from Charleston through December 2024 offering primarily 4- and 5-night Bahamas sailings, as well as the occasional longer Eastern Caribbean cruise. In early 2025, the ship will move to her new homeport in Norfolk, Virginia.

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