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HomeCruiseCarnival Cruise passengers return to totaled cars after coastal storm

Carnival Cruise passengers return to totaled cars after coastal storm

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – Dozens of Carnival Cruise passengers returned to their parked cars totaled on Monday after the devastating coastal storm hit the Lowcountry last Sunday.
Passengers from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia returned to their cars on Monday completely damaged from inches of saltwater soaking into their engines.
Two of those passengers, Stephanie and Wesley Royal, traveled to Charleston from Brevard, North Carolina for a five-day cruise before the holidays.
They say the entire trip was filled with rough seas from the storm, making them excited to be back on dry land.
When getting back to the Carnival parking lot on Monday, they faced a situation they say was unlike anything they had ever seen before.
“Everybody had their hoods up, it was crazy. The folks parked next to us had informed us that the cars had flooded, and that the engines were history, and nobody’s car was starting,” Stephanie Royal said. (Stephanie Royal)
“We got to the cars, and honestly, we’ve never seen anything like it,” Stephanie says. “Everybody had their hoods up, it was crazy. The folks parked next to us had informed us that the cars had flooded, and that the engines were history, and nobody’s car was starting.
“We weren’t really sure what was going on. When I checked my car, it was flooded, the water had come up at least three to four feet,” she says.
Dozens of passengers’ cars were completely totaled from inches of saltwater getting inside of their cars, stranding the Royals for hours with little to no answers.
“When we got back to the parking lot, and found this, we were basically stuck,” Stephanie adds. “Nobody really knew what to do, and both of our phones had very little charge on them.”
Eventually, the Royals rented a car to travel back home to North Carolina, leaving their totaled car in Charleston. But they say the financial burden wasn’t the hardest part of the situation, it was the stress and lack of communication.
“By the time we got back to the port to pick up our belongings, there were people still stranded there and that was almost 6:00 in the evening,” Stephanie says. “Some folks were still waiting on their insurance company to get hold of them or were still waiting to get their cars towed.”
Many of the passengers were not from the area and did not know about the flooding that occurs in downtown Charleston. The Royals also explained that they could not receive current news while out at sea.
“It would have been nice if they had informed us that this had occurred, and if they had some assistance out there,” Wesley says. “Assistance would have been more appreciated by me and my wife, and other people to guide us on what to do because we don’t live in Charleston. We’re out of town.”
Carnival Cruise Line’s Public Relations said the following about the situation:
We regret that some of our guests’ vehicles parked in the garage were impacted by the recent storm. We have let officials know that people were unhappy, and we suggest you contact the parking authorities. We assisted in some ways where we could, for instance with helping guests connect with their insurance providers, but ultimately this was not our facility.
S.C. Ports Authority also provided a statement regarding Monday’s events:
The recent record high tide and unprecedented flooding that occurred throughout downtown Charleston resulted in some cruise passenger vehicles being impacted. The South Carolina Ports team worked closely with passengers to provide assistance from the moment they arrived until the last passenger departed the terminal. Port police ensured passengers had the necessary reports to document damage for their insurance companies. Passengers were not charged for additional days to use the parking lot and are able to leave their vehicles as long as necessary. Port staff worked around the clock to call tow companies on behalf of passengers, assist with jumping vehicles and pumping out water, and helping them find transportation to area hotels. While SC Ports does not assume liability for vehicles or personal property left in the passenger parking areas, we are committed to continuing to support our valued cruise customers.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.



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