Craziest Cruise Ship Disasters In History

Going on a cruise ship is supposed to be relaxing and fun, right? Well, these cruise ship disasters prove that it’s not all calm out at sea. These are the most insane cruise ship disasters of all time.

Poseidon

Some people believe that the S.S. Poseidon, which is the main focus of the shipwreck tale The Poseidon Adventure, is one of the worst shipwrecks of all time. The film based on the story of the capsized ship was incredibly popular among many different audiences. But, there seems to be one problem. The S.S. Poseidon was a fictional ship, even though many people believe that the movie was based on real events.

Poseidon

The film itself conveys a story about a priest who leads a group of people to safety out of a capsized ship. The story is also one of the disaster cult classics out of the 1970s, which are an inspiration today for directors like Quentin Tarantino. Even though the S.S. Poseidon is a fake tale, this ship’s legacy lives on as one of the widest known disaster stories.

Food Poisoning for Everyone

Royal Caribbean cruises are known for being luxurious and expensive. But, don’t trust any food you get on a cruise. During a Royal Caribbean cruise in January of 2014, 630 passengers and 54 cruise workers came down with a norovirus, which resembles the common stomach bug. The outbreak was due to poor cooking and raw meat used in the food of the cruise ship.

Food Poisoning for Everyone

Many of the passengers didn’t realize just how sick they were because they thought that they were all coming down with a simple case of sea sickness. But, when the cruise ship had to create a makeshift infirmary, complete with bags and buckets for the sickness, many of the passengers complained to the company. Even though this is disgusting, this isn’t the first time a virus has become a passenger on a cruise ship.

S.S. Eastland

The S.S. Eastland first made sail and went out on the Chicago River in 1915. This ship was widely known as “the speed queen of the Great lakes,” but the ship was also extremely heavy for its weight and build. The size of this vessel produced complications when the ship was both making port or setting out on a voyage.

S.S. Eastland

One day, the Eastland had around 2,500 passengers on board, and due to the sheer size of the ship, while leaving the dock, the ship flipped completely over. Due to the flip, more than 800 people on the ship died, while over 22 entire families went missing. This shipwreck was one of the first documented wrecks and was used to redefine the size and shapes of ships.

Costa Concordia

The Costa Concordia struck a rock on the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012. The rock tore a large hole in the side of the ship, which flooded the entire bottom of the ship. Even when the ship landed in shallow waters, many of the crew members would not allow the people off of the ship.

Costa Concordia

The captain of the Costa Concordia didn’t ask people to evacuate the ship until more than an hour after the initial impact. At least 32 people died out of the 3,299 passengers who were on board the ship. Due to the poor evacuation, over five of the crew member were convicted of manslaughter, while the captain himself was also convicted of manslaughter and abandoning his ship. Engineers are still attempting to pull ship parts out of the side of the rock, even four years later.

Seabourn Spirits

Seabourn Spirits was a cruise liner, which was making its way off the coast of Somalia when the ship was under hijack. Somali pirates tried to take the ship by force through the use of firearms and by trying to get onto the ship. The crew members acted incredibly fast when they saw the pirates, and put all of the passengers, all 302 of them, into the main ballroom.

Seabourn Spirits

Even though the crew tried to run over the pirates with the ship, they only lost the pirates when they fake fired on them. The crew used loud acoustic bangs to make the pirates believe that the ship was also firing back at them. Even though there were no fired shots from the ship, the pirates were so scared, that they eventually gave up their attack. In that year, 2005, there were 23 pirate hijackings that took place just on the Somalia coast alone.

Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn was a sailing cruise ship that was set to sail from New York City to the Bahamas before disaster struck. The Dawn was hit by a 70-foot tall wave, one of the tallest waves to ever hit a cruise ship. The wave itself was so massive that it struck up to the tenth deck of the ship, where there were dorm windows. Over 62 different cabins were flooded with water and ocean materials and two people suffered minor injuries.

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Even though the wave didn’t hurt anyone fatally, the damage to the ship was massive and halted the voyage for many days. The captain of the ship did pay people back, though. A passenger stated, “That’s when the captain announced that drinks are free all night. But then there was another horrendous slap on the water.” That’s a good deal.

Don’t Drink Too Much

One of the perks of cruises is that most of the alcohol is either free or it is incredibly cheap in cost. But, that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard, literally and figuratively. During a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2006, Daniel Dipiero went missing and no one could find him anywhere on the ship. The cause of this was that Dipiero was so drunk walking alone that he fell off of the side of the ship.

Don’t Drink Too Much

Even though Daniel’s drink intake was cut off, the Royal Caribbean cruise admitted that they had not been monitoring the video cameras and did not see that Dipiero fell asleep, or fell off of the side of the boat. Dipiero has been missing since the incident and was stated to be dead due to the incident. Royal Caribbean now has very strict rules about alcohol intake.

Carnival Miracle

As a society, we need to teach out men not to rape. And here’s why. During a trip on the Carnival Miracle during a night of drinking, a woman reported receiving a drink from a man, which was blue, while all of her other drinks were pink. She insisted to the waiter that she didn’t order the drink, but the waiter insisted that she did, and insisted that she accept it. After a few sips of the drink, the woman began to feel out of control and upset.

Carnival Miracle

The women then stated that she blacked out and woke up to a phone call from a male worker stating, “do you need more towels ma’am?” The women noticed that her room was already clean, and stated that she had been attacked the previous night. The women stated that she was date raped, and even though she brought it up to the company, the cruise liner had no comment.

M.S. Blackwatch

During a sail on the M.S. Blackwatch, which is a tropical cruise ship, many crew members took ill with the bacteria that causes stomach problems. But, when passenger Robert Heath fell ill after returning home, the problem soon grew worse. Robert Heath contracted Legionnaires disease during the cruise and was prescribed medication just to treat the symptoms.

M.S. Blackwatch

Without the proper medication, Robert Heath died only a few days after returning from the cruise, due to neglect from doctors. The cruise line was sued and was held accountable for the death of Robert Heath. The cruise line paid a settlement over $100,000 to the family of Robert Heath. If you ever get sick on a cruise, it’s best to take action very early.

Celebrity Mercury

Speaking of sickness on a cruise, due to the close quarters, more times than not, one person doesn’t get sick on a cruise, many people get sick. On the Celebrity Mercury cruise ship in 2010, a norovirus outbreak caused over 500 people to get sick, which led to vomiting and diarrhea. Not only did people get sick, but due to the amount of sickness, the toilets overflowed.

Celebrity Mercury

The Mercury had to ask for backup and medical personnel to take care of all of the patients. The ship finally gave out over the counter medicine to many people so that they could get over their sickness, but for some, the norovirus worsened into other symptoms. The issue was so bad that the Celebrity Mercury was sold to a German cruise conglomerate.

SS Morro Castle

This steam driven ship made trips from New York to Havana, carrying around over 1,000 passengers. The steam engine in 1934 had one of the worst disasters of all steam engines at the time. For a mysterious reason, fire spread from a storage locker to the main floor, which consumed most of the ship’s center.

SS Morro Castle

The ship’s power was cut due to the fire and also all hydraulic lines necessary to steer the ship. Passengers were forced to jump off the side of the ship because there was no way of controlling the ship. The deadly fire and loss of ship’s control lost 137 lives and lead to a better understanding of fire safety and shipbuilding practice.s

Carnival Freedom

This one is one of the saddest stories on our list. During a night on the Carnival Freedom cruise line, a girl named Taylor stated that she was raped during her time on board. The 14 year old girl stated that one of the workers trapped her in the employee’s only room and raped her. The girl told the press, “At that point, I just really wanted to die,” she said. “I was angry about that, that had happened to me. We’re supposed to be on vacation.

Carnival Freedom

We’re not supposed to have to worry about somebody trying to murder us or rape us.” Sexual assault and rape is something that happens far too often on cruise lines, due to the close quarters and the nastiness of some humans. We need to change the way we socialize men in our society.

MS Estonia

The MS Estonia is considered a cruise ferry, which is a ship that takes cars and passengers for over two days. It’s not a cruise ship, but it does have many of the amenities.

MS Estonia

The MS Estonia encountered a problem in 1994 when heavy seas and waves critically damaged the car door opening of the side of the boat, allowing water into the ship itself. The entire Estonia ship flipped over 90 degrees and many passengers were now trapped in their tipped over cabins. Even though the Finnish border guard helicopters and ships tried to save passengers, an alarming 852 people out of 989 passengers were killed.

RMS Lusitania

The RMS Lusitania was briefly the largest ship in the world and was one of the contributions to the beginning of World War I. The ship not only held passengers, but also held ammunition, guns, and even firearms for the Allied (British) forces. The German forces clearly stated that they were planning on attacking the Lusitania, but both the United States and England ignored these threats.

RMS Lusitania

Unfortunately, a German submarine hit the Lusitania and caused an explosion. From the lack of lifeboats and explosion, over 1,200 people were killed on the Lusitania. The United States and the British could not ignore this attack, and most people believe that this attack was the reason for the beginning of World War I.

Wilhelm Gustloff

The Wilhelm Gustloff was one of two luxury cruise ships which were created as a Nazi ship. The ship was created exclusively through German funding and was made for the German middle class. At a port in Poland, the ship came under attack and was torpedoed four times by Soviet submarines.

Wilhelm Gustloff

The ship was completely destroyed by Russian forces, mainly because the ship did not have the correct amount of guns to protect its civilians on board. Around 9,400 people were said to have either went down with the ship or have blown up with the torpedoes. This attack was one of the worst attacks to take place during either of the two World Wars.

Dust Storm

In 2009, off of the coast of Australia, a giant dust storm almost took over a cruise liner. This was one of the worst dust storms ever experienced by Australia and affected Australia’s islands heavily. The effects of the storm included a lasting red hue, and a temperature drop, which also affected the temperature of the water.

Dust Storm

The ship had to directly sail right through the red storm, which really affected the quality of the air for the passengers. The passengers, including children, were breathing red dust, instead of oxygen. The red hue and dust storm only lasted for two days, but heavily affected the elderly and children on board.

Le Joola

In 2002, a ferry called Le Joola capsized off of the coast of Gambia in Africa. The ferry capsized due to a heavy wave the lack of skills of untrained workers. Out of the 2,000 passengers, only 64 people survived the capsizing and it is stated to be the second worst non-military maritime disaster of all time. This is due to the ratio of people aboard versus the people who died during the disaster.

Le Joola

The boat was only capsized for five minutes before the entire ship went underneath the water. The death toll is believed to be so high because the crew members were not trained to save lives and were unprepared for a capsizing. This disaster is a representation of why a crew needs to be heavily trained before they are put to the test.

The Harmony of the Seas

This disaster is particularly important for parents. On The Harmony of the Seas, which is a cruise liner, one of the sections of the ship was missing. The children’s play room on the liner was missing a wall where a large picture window was supposed to be. Children were allowed to play in this room freely, way before anyone noticed that half of the way was missing, which could have easily let children fall off of the side of the boat.

The Harmony of the Seas

Even though there was a missing wall, no children fell off of the boat or were injured. During the repairs of the boat, this one missing wall was the first thing to be repaired.

Bye Bye, Environment

Cruise ships are great and are incredibly fun. Sometimes nothing goes wrong, no one gets sick, and all of the walls are intact. But, did you know how badly cruise liners can hurt the environment? These travel ships are filled with toxic waste, including gas leaks and fire, which are put into the delicate ocean.

Underwater

Specifically, cruise liners destroy coral reefs, which are currently going extinct from global warming. Coral reefs are needed to balance out the ocean floor and to keep the ecosystem stable. Before jumping on a cruise line, make sure to do your research and see if the cruise line is environmentally safe.

The Titanic

The Titanic is one of the most famous cruise ship disasters, mainly due to the movie Titanic. The Titanic in real life was a cruise ship for traveling from Southhampton to New York in 1912. The Titanic itself was the biggest and largest ship afloat at the time of its voyage. The ship collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and the impact from hitting the iceberg tore a hole in the ship’s hull.

The Titanic

This hole was so big that the ship gained so much water that it broke in half. Of the 2,234 passengers aboard the ship, from first class to poverty class, over 1,500 people died making it one of the deadliest commercial maritime disasters in modern times. This disaster is also the premise of the movie Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.