The Carnival Inspiration was 12 hours late returning to Tampa yesterday because of rough seas. Local press reports said the ship elected to stay at sea to ride out the weather rather than chance hitting the Skyway Bridge on her way in. While passengers may have experienced some motion, no injuries or other problems were reported, however, some passengers undoubtedly missed their travel connections. In addition, the next cruise did not leave until the following day, leaving a number of people scrambling for hotel rooms. The next cruise has also been shortened from five to four days, dropping one port, leaving Carnival with the added headache of offering compensation and/or refunds.
Last week, Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas was hit by rough weather off the coast of Egypt in what the line called a “serious incident.” According to Royal Caribbean, while approaching Alexandra, the Brilliance encountered extreme wind and sea conditions, resulting in severe ship movement. There was damage to the ship’s interior, forcing the closing of three public rooms for the rest of the cruise, and loss of electricity in some staterooms, but no impact on operating systems or the powerplant.
The ship did not call in Alexandria and instead went to the next port of call, Malta, and will conclude the cruise in Barcelona as planned.
Royal Caribbean offered guests an onboard credit as well as a full refund of the cruise fare.
These incidents (above) followed the widely viewed YouTube video of the Clelia II, which was caught in a storm in the Drake Passage between Cape Horn and Antarctica last week, showing the small ship being tossed around by giant waves. The video also clearly demonstrated putting out lifeboats would have been impossible and at best useless.