Carnival passengers tell Channel 9 what it was like aboard ship that tilted near Port Canaveral

Near PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Passengers aboard a Carnival cruise ship that had just left Port Canaveral did not have good things to say about their vacation when they returned to Florida Friday morning.

They got quite a scare when the ship suddenly started tilting.

"It was just terrifying, afterwards we got in the hallway and this guy was hyperventilating," said one passenger. "And this lady, her head was cut her foot was cut. People had stitches."


The ship had just left Port Canaveral for a five-day journey to the Caribbean when Carnival said an electrical switchboard malfunctioned Sunday night, impacting the ship’s fin stabilizers.

Video from passengers shows dishes scattered across the floor as the ship began to list.

"We went down to our rooms and got our life jackets and carried them around the rest of night," said Porcha Moore. "We slept with them in our bed. That's how scared we were."

Tony and Kyla Williams, who live in the Atlanta area, were on board when it happened. They said they’ve been on many cruises, but none like this.

“This was very much the ship rolling to one side and everything falling down,” said Kyla Williams. “It was just something you’ll never forget.”

Carnival said the listing lasted for about one minute before it was corrected and ship continued its journey.

The cruise line told Channel 9 in an email that the ship's fin stabilizers “are not a safety feature; they are deployed solely for guest comfort to minimize any potential ship motion while at sea. There was never any issue with the safe operation of the ship and our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation.”




'“I was shifted. Falling out of my seat. [Tony] had to hold me at arm's length so I wouldn’t fall,” Kyla Williams said.

The Williamses said they were so shaken they decided to cut the trip short on the third day. Carnival paid for them to fly home and refunded their cruise, the couple said.

Carnival also apologized to its passengers.

The ship returned to Port Canaveral Friday morning.

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Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi joined Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter in April 2015.