Some guests onboard cruise ship Carnival Sunshine had a difficult experience last week, as severe weather not only caused a delay in the ship returning to port, but also left several cars in cruise car parks ruined following flooding.
The severe storm fronts around the port of Charleston in South Carolina and the surrounding oceans had already caused the ship to be delayed back to the home port, which can cause difficulties for passengers who have pre-booked travel arrangements.
But then, on arrival, dozens of passengers returned to their cars to find them severely damaged from floodwaters caused by the storms, with saltwater ruining the engines in many cases, writing the cars off.
Guests found that support was limited, though the cruise line did help passengers to get in touch with their insurance providers. Ultimately, Carnival is not responsible for the shoreside car parks, and even the South Carolina Ports Authority that owns the car parks is not liable for the damage, as cars are left at owners’ risk.
The port employees did still help passengers to speak to their insurance partners and, where possible, arranged tow companies, helped jump-start cars that could still drive, and assisted with pumping water out of vehicles.
The port has also allowed guests to leave damaged cars in the parking spaces without racking up further charges.
This serves as a reminder for guests to research their car parking facilities when booking cruise parking, and to ideally aim for a secure facility. Ideally, guests should aim to leave their car in a sheltered multi-storey car park and on a higher floor, to minimise the risk of storm damage such as this.
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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.