Passengers on a recent cruise between Charleston, South Carolina, and the Bahamas could not leave the boat due to bad weather, effectively turning it into a "cruise to nowhere." The ship in question was the Carnival Sunshine, which has a 3,000-passenger capacity.
"Cruise to Nowhere" is an unofficial nickname for any journey that leaves port, travels for a time in international waters, then returns home without ever stopping at a second destination.
Business Insider reports that Sunshine left Charleston on January 12, 2023. It traveled for two days in chilly, windy weather and was about to dock in Nassau, The Bahamas, on January 14, complete with eager kids in bathing suits waiting to leave. That was when the crew made a snap safety decision at the last minute not to allow passengers to go ashore. The captain announced the bad news over the ship's PA: it was too gusty for the vessel to dock. Business Insider reported winds on the 14th were gusting up to 30 miles per hour.
Passenger Kat O'Donnell told Business Insider that she, her husband, and her children felt like they "missed out" and didn't get what they were there for. O'Donnell said that although the situation was "very disappointing, she understood "the safety concerns."
"I'm glad they were keeping us safe," she said.
A Carnival spokesperson told Insider that passengers received refunds for their port fees, taxes and shore excursion expenses. Kat O'Donnell added that each occupied stateroom was given a $100 onboard credit and a voucher for a discount on a future cruise.