Carnival Cruise Ship Tilts Abruptly Causing Passengers to Panic

Nov 2, 2018

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A Carnival Cruise ship listed abruptly Sunday evening and left passengers in a panic.

Although it was a dramatic and chaotic experience for many on board, the cruise line confirmed in a statement that the tilting lasted approximately one minute, and the officers quickly resolved the situation. The ship had experienced a technical issue a few hours after leaving Port Canaveral in Florida, which caused it to lean violently to one side.

“Plates and silverware started sliding off the tables. Then the tables themselves started to slide. Glasses and plates started to fall and shatter. At this point, it was pure chaos. Screams. Cries. Panic,” one passenger explained to News6.

Carnival gave all passengers on board the Carnival Sunshine a letter of apology and offered them a $50 ship credit to be used for an onboard purchase. In the letter, Carnival says an electrical switchboard malfunction led to a problem with the ship’s fin stabilizers. The company stressed no passengers were ever in danger. “It’s important to note that fin stabilizers are not a safety feature;” the company said in the letter. “They are deployed solely for guest comfort and to minimize any potential ship motion while at sea. There was never an issue with the safe operation of the ship.”

Some passengers were thankful the ship’s crew responded so quickly and were able to enjoy the rest of their trip.


The Carnival Sunshine ship continued onto its Caribbean ports of call as scheduled and will depart on its next cruise as planned Friday afternoon.

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