Mysterious Odor on Carnival Magic Prompts Coast Guard Investigation

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Passengers have reported nausea and vomiting aboard Carnival Magic, which may be linked to mysterious odors that were also reported during the vessel’s most recent sailing.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the claims, but there have been no serious illness or effects reported.

Mysterious Odors Detected

Guests aboard the Dream-class Carnival Magic reported unknown foul odors described as “chemical fumes” during the ship’s last itinerary, a 5-night sailing roundtrip from Norfolk, Virginia, that visited Bimini and Freeport in The Bahamas. The ship returned to Norfolk today, May 26, without any delays or difficulties with its schedule.

The U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel this morning to investigate the reports of the odors. A brief statement issued from USCG Mid-Atlantic via social media reads:

“The Coast Guard is currently looking into reports of a foul odor and passengers experiencing sickness aboard the Carnival Magic. There are currently no reports of immediate distress.”

Carnival Magic Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Emilian Danaila / Shutterstock

There has been no confirmation about the number of passengers reported ill, nor have symptoms been linked to COVID-19, so there is no current fear of an outbreak.

Carnival Magic is currently listed as “Orange” status on the CDC website tracking COVID-19 reports, which indicates that cases have been reported and an investigation is underway.

This is not necessarily related to the mysterious odors, however, as most cruise ships currently tracked by the CDC are classified as orange status, but no other ships have reported odors, fumes, or smells.

At this time, there are no reports of hospitalizations or other serious effects among Carnival Magic‘s passengers.

What Could It Be?

There are many odors that could potentially cause feelings of nausea, depending on an individual’s exposure and personal sensitivity. Harsh fumes from cleaning chemicals, paints, varnishes, solvents, or fuel can often cause nausea or vomiting, as can odors of spoilage or decay.

While the symptoms can be uncomfortable, they are often temporary and quickly resolve once the air is cleared and the odors vanish.

Carnival Magic With New Livery
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

No further information has been available about what may be causing the smells aboard Carnival Magic, but the investigation will determine the source as well as what mitigation measures may be necessary to correct any problems.

Carnival Magic only began cruises from Norfolk earlier this month, setting sail from the Half Moone Cruise Center on May 15, 2022. The ship is scheduled to homeport from Virginia through mid-June, at which time she will reposition to New York for the summer and early fall, before returning to Norfolk briefly in October.

The vessel, which first joined the Carnival fleet in 2011, weighs in at 128,048 gross tons, making it the largest ship ever to homeport from Norfolk.

Carnival Magic has a guest capacity of 3,690 at double occupancy, and can host up to 4,724 passengers when fully booked, with 1,386 international crew members providing enthusiastic service for great cruise getaways.

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