Carnival Cruise Ship Becomes ‘Cruise to Nowhere’

by Ana Lopez

Passengers on a recent cruise between Charleston, South Carolina and the Bahamas were unable to leave the boat due to inclement weather, effectively making it a “cruise to nowhere.” The ship in question was the Carnival Sunshine, which has a capacity of 3,000 passengers.

Gary Hershorn| Getty Images

The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship passes midway through Manhattan and the Empire State Building in New York City.

“Cruise to Nowhere” is an unofficial nickname for any voyage that leaves port, travels in international waters for a while, and then returns home without ever stopping at a second destination.

Business Insider reports Which Sunshine left Charleston on Jan. 12, 2023. It traveled for two days in cold, windy weather and was about to dock in Nassau, Bahamas on Jan. 14, complete with excited children in bathing suits waiting to depart. That was when the crew made a quick last-minute safety decision not to let passengers go ashore. The captain announced the bad news through the ship’s PA: it was too windy for the ship to dock. Business Insider reported that the winds gusted up to 30 miles per hour on the 14th.

Passenger Kat O’Donnell told Business Insider that she, her husband, and her children felt they “got it wrong” and didn’t get what they came for. O’Donnell said that while the situation was “deeply disappointing, she understood the safety concerns”.

“I’m glad they kept us safe,” she said.

A Carnival spokesperson told Insider that passengers will be refunded their airport charges, taxes and shore excursion fees. Kat O’Donnell added that each occupied stateroom received $100 onboard credit and a voucher for a discount on a future cruise.

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