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Carnival Sunshine sails through storm in rare occurrence for cruise ships

Travel agents say cruise ships can often avoid bad weather, especially when they are not cruising through the Atlantic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A stormy ride for passengers onboard the Carnival Sunshine made headlines over the Memorial Day weekend. 

The boat was headed back from the Bahamas to Charleston when it hit bad weather. 

Passengers in their cabins captured the big waves they were sailing through. 

Those passengers say the waves were so big, items fell out of cabinets, glasses broke and some ship hallways flooded. 

Carnival said no one on board was injured, but the trip was delayed getting back to port. 

A Greensboro travel agent said it's rare for cruises to experience bad weather. 

"Let's say you're out at sea and there is a hurricane headed for Jamaica, they can just turn course and go to Cozumel. A lot of times the captain can see a rain storm or thunderstorm above, he can just deviate and get around," said Shane Lawrence, co-owner of Imagine Travel Vacations. 

You can also pick a cruise that could handle some small storms and big waves compared to other ships. Think of newer and bigger ships that go through the Gulf of Mexico. 

"The Carnival Sunshine is a much older ship, it's also sailing out of the Atlantic, so if you go out of a cruise say out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, you are much less likely to have any kind of issues as they had," said Lawrence. 

Even with a chance for storms, data shows people are choosing to go cruising. 

Data from the Cruise Lines International Association shows in 2023 around 31 million are expected to go on cruises. That number will grow to an expected 39 million by 2027. 

While ports in Florida and in Texas remain the most popular, there are lots of options. 

Carnival Cruises is expanding its trips out of the Port of Norfolk in Virginia, just a 4-hour drive from Greensboro. 

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