12 Cruise Ship Disaster Stories


Most people prefer traveling via cruise. I mean, what’s not to love? All-inclusive food, activities, and you’re on the water! What could be better, right? WRONG. Nothing in this world is perfect, and cruises are not an exception to this. Here are 12 cruise ship disaster stories you probably didn’t know about (most of them at least):


Everyone knows about the Titanic, I mean, there was even a movie made after it. The Titanic met its fate after colliding into an iceberg somewhere on the North Atlantic. The ship sunk two miles to the bottom of the ocean, killing more than 1,500 people. Now, how memorable is that? Jack could have totally survived, by the way.


S.S. Eastland

In July of 1915, the Western Electric hosted its fifth-annual employee picnic on the S.S. Eastland on the Chicago River. The S.S. Eastland was known as “the speed queen of the Great Lakes,” and was one of five excursion vessels. Holding over 2,500 passengers, including crew members, on board, the ship tipped over while still at dock. More than 800 people died on the spot, and 22 families passed away.


Seabourn Spirits

Two boats started firing at the Seabourn Spirits after being at sea for about a day. This occurred at the coast of Somalia. It turns out that pirates had attacked the ship. 302 passengers were all forced into the main ballroom, as the ship’s crew attempted to create a path in order to deter the pirates. In 2005, more than 23 pirates hijackings were reported in that  same area.


Norwegian Dawn

During its journey between New York City and the Bahamas, The Norwegian Dawn was hit by a 70-foot wave that made its way up to deck 10 of the ship. A total of 62 cabins were flooded, and two people suffered minor injuries. Talk about reaching the “peak” of your journey, that couldn’t have been fun.


Royal Caribbean

In 2006, while traveling with his friends on the Royal Caribbean ship, Mariner of The Seas, a young man by the name of Daniel Dipiero went missing. 18 hours following his disappearance, his family was alerted of the incident. Slowly, the pieces started coming together as to what had really happened to the young man. Apparently, while very intoxicated, he vomited off of the railing of the ship and slid off.


Carnival Miracle

A young woman was casually drinking by the pool on board, and a waiter presented her with a blue drink (her previous ones were pink and orange) that she never ordered. The woman decided to sip the drink, anyway. After a few sips, she started to feel sick and threw up and blacked out in her cabin. A male called her and asked if she needed more towels in her room. Despite her fuzzy state, she said “no,” after being realizing her room had already been cleaned.


MS Black Watch

On a Fred Olsen Cruise in 2007, bacteria was discovered on the ship. Therefore the trip ended early, according to the UK Telegraph.

But a few days after returning home, passenger Robert Heath felt sick. He was prescribed antibiotics, but died in his home a few days later. It turns out that Fred Olsen Cruises exposed Heath to Legionnaires’ disease. The cruise line eventually paid a sum of over $100,000 in order to settle the case.


Caribbean Cruise

On one journey on a Caribbean Cruise, more than 350 people began to began to vomit, complain of diarrhea and churned  stomachs in 2011. Twenty-seven of the 850 crew members had also complained of the same symptoms. It wasn’t totally clear as to what caused the outbreak, but Norovirus is often the culprit.


Carnival Splendor

The Splendor had left for a seven-day cruise to Mexico, but the engine room caught fire. So, the trip was shortened to only 3 days…of a hellish nightmare. Aside from the lack of power, the 3,299 passengers didn’t have toilets at all for 13 hours, and had only small portions of food to eat because the refrigerators were obviously not functioning. Navy helicopters eventually flew in supplies.


Carnival Freedom

After having trouble falling asleep one night while traveling on the Carnival Freedom, 14-year-old Taylor went to an upper deck to write about her dream vacation in her journal.

That’s when a cruise line employee from Indonesia raped her in an employee-only room. She kept the incident as a secret for a long while before telling her mother.


Costa Concordia

The Costa Concordia was an Italian cruise ship that sank in 2012, and divers still aren’t having any luck finding it. At least 11 bodies have been located, according to the Telegraph, but dozens more are still missing. Navy divers are have used explosives to get access to the inside of the ship to make the most of time.


Haunted Carnival Conquest

On the Carnival Conquest, a woman and her boyfriend woke up in the middle of the night and saw a tall man in what appeared to be a trench coat. He was holding some sort of weapon, and when they turned the lights on, there was nothing. The woman’s boyfriend searched all over the room but found no one, and the same occurrence, along with other noises followed during their vacation in the same room.