While returning to Galveston at the end of a 14-night sailing, Carnival Dream encountered such severe weather that both guests and crew members were confined to their staterooms until conditions improved.
The poor weather also resulted in the cancellation of a popular loyalty event as well as several entertainment options, but the ship did return to her homeport safely.
Carnival Dream Encounters Severe Storm
On the last day of a 14-night cruise that included a visit to the Panama Canal, Carnival Dream encountered such severe weather in the Gulf of Mexico that all guests, as well as the ship’s crew members, were asked to return to their staterooms. This was done as a precaution for what could have been unsafe conditions on decks and in stairways.
The confinement for guests lasted just about one hour, which also included time for crew members to check for damage and other hazards after the ship cleared the severe squall.
Poor weather did continue past that point and all aboard were urged to use caution when moving about the ship. The outer decks remained closed, which is standard procedure in any foul weather.
Unfortunately, the poor weather did lead to the cancellation of some evening entertainment, as the motion of the ship could have been unsafe for performers.
Some localized flooding occurred on the ship in different areas, as well as disarrayed furniture and other minor issues. Crew members were quick to respond and clean up the affected hallways and public areas, and no significant damage was reported.
Rough weather is common in the Gulf of Mexico during the winter months, though the severity of storms can vary considerably. Squalls and other storms can happen anywhere at any time, and often lead to some incidental flooding and other instances, such as happened on Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas at the beginning of the ship’s ongoing Ultimate World Cruise.
Loyalty Event Cancelled
Also cancelled was the much-anticipated Diamond and Platinum Party, a get-together for the highest levels of Carnival Cruise Line’s VIFP guests. Guests were informed of the cancellation with letters delivered to their staterooms.
“As you know, we experienced unfavorable weather earlier and, in an abundance of caution, guests and team members were asked to return to their staterooms until conditions improved,” the letter explained. “This prevented the team from completing the set up to host our VIFP Diamond and Platinum appreciation event.”
To make up for the cancellation of the VIFP event, all Diamond and Platinum guests were given a $25 (USD) onboard credit to their Sail & Sign accounts, “so you can enjoy something on us.”
Because Carnival Dream was enjoying a Carnival Journeys voyage to Panama – a highly desirable itinerary popular with many long-time cruise travelers – it is likely there were a higher-than-typical number of both Diamond and Platinum passengers aboard, though exact numbers have not been released.
The 128,250-gross-ton Carnival Dream can welcome 3,646 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,633 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is homeported from Galveston, Texas year-round, offering mostly 6- and 8-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with occasional longer voyages on her schedule.
The impacted cruise had left Galveston on Saturday, January 13, and despite the poor weather, was able to return as scheduled on Saturday, January 27. The ship’s next 14-day voyage is not until mid-October, and does not include Panama as a destination.
Carnival Dream has already departed on her next sailing, an 8-night cruise scheduled to visit Key West, Freeport, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau before returning to Galveston on Sunday, February 4. Cruise Hive hopes everyone aboard enjoys smooth sailing!