(4:15 p.m. EST) -- In what seems like a recurring nightmare, it turns out another Carnival Cruise Lines ship has sailed into a pier while attempting to dock. The latest accident occurred last Thursday when Carnival Ecstasy collided with the passenger gangway at the Galveston terminal -- the same day Carnival Miracle bumped into a dock in St. Kitts, which left a 30-square-foot gash in the forward port side of its hull.
According to a statement from the line, no injuries were reported in the Galveston incident, and there was "minor damage to some glass balcony railings on the Carnival Ecstasy," which has since been repaired. There were no itinerary-related issues, and the ship continues to operate its year-round schedule of four- and five-night voyages to Mexico from Galveston.
Cruise Critic member Formerfuzz witnessed the incident via Web cam. "It just kept backing up," he wrote on the Carnival forum, "then as it bumped you could see the smoke come out of the smoke stack as he gunned it forward."
According to Galveston County Daily News, the accident knocked the $1.8 million passenger gangway out of commission, possibly for weeks, though this won't impact cruises -- passengers will simply use a dock typically reserved for crew with no changes or delays. The piece also noted that the United States Coast Guard is investigating the incident; a spokesman told the paper that it has ruled out drug and alcohol use as the cause of the crash.
Port officials have yet to respond to a request for comment and confirmation. Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen tells us, simply, "we support the U.S. Coast Guard's investigation and are cooperating fully."
Carnival has been plagued by a series of accidents in the last six months, beyond this year's bang-ups involving Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Miracle. In December, while the Carnival Splendor was maneuvering in the Puerto Vallarta harbor, that ship's stern struck the tender pier causing some damage. And last September, Carnival Legend collided with Enchantment of the Seas in Cozumel, resulting in cosmetic damage to both ships.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
Carnival Cruise Ship Collides with Dock in St. Kitts
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Another Carnival Cruise Ship Docking Accident
February 3, 2010