Cape Fear Carnival cruise passengers describe sailing through storm off Carolina coast

SOUTHEASTERN, NC (WWAY)– Wild weather and rough seas left some cruise ship passengers onboard Carnival Sunshine distressed on Saturday May 27, delaying its return to Charleston from the Bahamas. 

Debbie Berry and Diane Berry Klutz of Carolina Beach, and Robin Singletary of Southport were on board the ship, and they said this was nothing like they have ever experienced before. 

“We had a wonderful cruise up until the end,” said Debbie Berry, a passenger and Carolina Beach local.   

What was supposed to be a “sunshine” filled getaway, ended with rough seas and a change of course.  

“Friday night, the weather got tricky, and it went downhill from there,” said Berry.  

Some Cape Fear residents were on board the ship, and said it was nothing like they have ever experienced before.   

“This was my 47th or 48th cruise, so I’ve been through hurricanes, I’ve been through Nor’easters. Never been through anything like this. So, I wasn’t expecting it,” said Robin Singletary, a passenger on the boat and Southport local.  

“It was my 23rd cruise, and I’ve never felt it. Never like this,” said Diane Berry Klutz, a passenger and Carolina Beach local.  

On the last day of the cruise, the ship got caught in that same coastal storm that impacted our area over the weekend. That storm forced the crew to detour the ship, and made conditions on board quite stressful.  

“The waves would hit us, and the ship was popping and creaking and making all these weird sounds that I have never heard before, and I went through Hurricane Irma, and I’ve been through a Nor’easter on a ship. It did the side to side, but I’ve never done the rock and the side to side at the same time and that’s what we were doing,” said Singletary. 

But these ladies didn’t let the circumstances ruin their vacation. 

“We sat in the casino, and we laughed and joked and watched the waves,” said Singletary. 

“The communication could have been a little better, but we didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes. I’m glad the captain was paying attention to what he was doing. We knew we were alive and that was important,” said Berry.  

This wasn’t the group’s first cruise, and certainly will not be their last.   

“We did survive it, and we’re going to cruise again in September! We’re going to blame it on the boogie,” said the ladies.  

Despite September being the peak of hurricane season, these ladies hope their next trip will be better.

Categories: Carolinas, Local, NC, NC-Carolinas, New Hanover, News, SC, Top Stories
Cape Fear locals weather the storm aboard the Carnival Sunshine
Cape Fear locals weather the storm aboard the Carnival Sunshine on May 27, 2023 (Photo:Diane Berry Klutz)