Four guests from Carnival Dream were injured by a vehicle that crashed through a gate at Port of Galveston on Saturday, December 2, 2023 during debarkation. All the guests were members of the same family, but were expected to travel home on Sunday following medical care.
Car Crashes Gate at Port of Galveston
While guests were debarking Carnival Dream following a 6-night Western Caribbean sailing that visited Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel, a car accidentally crashed through a metal fence and struck a family of six.
Four of the family members were struck by the vehicle and transported to the hospital, with two requiring overnight observation. Few details are available about how the accident occurred.
“The Port of Galveston Police Department is investigating an auto-pedestrian accident involving a private vehicle Saturday morning at Cruise Terminal 28. Four pedestrians were struck and transported to the hospital,” a release from Port of Galveston read.
Carnival Cruise Line also confirmed the accident and how the affected guests are being supported.
“There was an auto accident at the Galveston Cruise Terminal today, when a driver ran through a gate, apparently accelerating when meaning to reverse. Six members of the same family that had just debarked from Carnival Dream were impacted,” Carnival explained in a statement provided to 2 News in Houston.
“Two were admitted to UTMB Hospital for observation, but all are expected to travel home on Sunday. Carnival’s Care Team is supporting the family, including making hotel arrangements.”
It is unknown why the driver of the vehicle failed to reverse and instead drove forward through the barrier, but the incident is sure to be thoroughly investigated.
The identities of those injured have not been disclosed, nor have the nature of their injuries, to protect their privacy and the privacy of their family members and friends.
The 130,000-gross-ton Carnival Dream was not affected by the incident and departed on time for her next sailing, an 8-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary visiting Key West as well as three ports in the Bahamas – Freeport, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau – before returning to Galveston on Sunday, December 10.
The ship can welcome 3,646 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,631 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.
Terminal Traffic Confusion
The time when one cruise is debarking and another cruise preparing for embarkation is the craziest and most hectic at any cruise terminal. Traffic is flowing both in and out of the terminal area, including not only private drivers but also ride share vehicles, hotel and airport shuttles, taxis, carpools, and more.
Furthermore, pedestrian traffic with both debarking and embarking guests moving in and out of the terminal, heading for parking lots or garages, hailing vehicles, collecting luggage, and more can create a very confusing and potentially dangerous situation.
This can be exacerbated if there is any ongoing road construction or road closures, depending on how traffic may need to be temporarily rerouted, especially on busy cruise days.
On Saturday, two cruise ships were docked in Galveston. In addition to Carnival Dream, Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas was also in port to welcome new guests.
There is no indication at this time that the incident in Galveston was anything but an unfortunate accident, though the situation will certainly be reviewed to see if there were any unusual circumstances that could have contributed to the crash.
The damaged fence will certainly be repaired, and additional signage or barriers may be installed if they are found to be necessary.
Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the injured guests, as well as other travelers upset at the incident and crew members and port employees affected by the accident.