Carnival Cruise Passenger Falls to His Death on the Fantasy

Fantasy Cruise ShipMultiple news sources are reporting that a 26-year-old American passenger aboard a Carnival cruise ship fell to his death.  

The incident occurred on the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship.  The man apparently fell from the upper levels all the way down to the lobby level of the cruise ship

The cruise ship docked in Nassau, Bahamas last night.  Its departure today was delayed due to an investigation into the casualty. 

Bahamas police said in a statement today that the passenger was from South Carolina.  

The ship departed Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday for a five-day Bahamas cruise.  It is still scheduled to return to Charleston on Monday.

Were you on the cruise?  Do you have information regarding what happened?  Please leave a message below.

 

 

Video:  ABC News Charleston

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Comments (31) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
1st time cruiser - January 30, 2012 11:51 AM

What this article is omitting is that the cruise line had us stranded in Nassau after our thrusters sucked in another cruise lines ropes, after our ship and the Carnival ship next to is dropped our lines at the same time and we became tangled. They had to fly in divers to get us untangled and the divers didn't even leave until well after the young man fell. We were going to be lucky if we made it to Freeport. Sad that Carnival is blaming our delay on this horrible incident.

No more Carnival - January 30, 2012 1:04 PM

We just got off the Fantasy this morning. I would like to add that we would have absolutely made our port in Freeport had the careless mistake of tangled lines not happened. We wereset to leave Nassau at around 6pm. The tragedy happened closer to midnight, what would have been 6 hours into our trip to Freeport. What I find more appalling is the cruiselines lack of responsibility to the amount of alcohol one can consume and be served without pause from the staff. We saw the man 5 minutes prior to the accident. He appeared extremely intoxicated enough to make our whole party take notice of his behavior. It is a horrible accident and was deeply saddened the remainder of our time. It was a deeply disturbing scene. My thoughts our with the family and friends that were on board.

Claudia - January 30, 2012 5:02 PM

The ship was untangled at midnight.. The boy fell from the Casino level two stories down to the Atriam marble stair case. We had to stay in port so that the authorities could investigate the incident. We were kept informed and remained in Nassau an extra day. The captain even wrote us a letter the next morning. Carnival cannot be blamed for this and should not be faulted becaus the othe ship crossed our lines. We were docked first. I feel sorry for the captain he had a rough week.

Amy - January 30, 2012 9:35 PM

Claudia, that is not correct. I was on the ship and heard the announcement that the ropes had been freed and we were going to depart, this was before the young man fell. Either way, though the death was unavoidable, I do believe we should have had better comminication. We went to bed that night having no idea what was going on or where we would be the next morning. I do know the investigators were gone before 3am and if we had left then, we would have made it to Freeport. We were headed back that way anyway, passing it as we went into Charleston. It made no sense why we did not go. Additionally, the only "credit" we received from Carnival was $10, which was BS!! This was my first cruise and I have no desire to go again with Carnival. I guess what we have been hearing is true about this cruise line!

Laura - January 30, 2012 11:13 PM

I received many free-events with our Bahamas cruise: broken boat, dead 26 year old, drug dogs, chairless sunbathing and a skipped port of call with a $10.67 credit.

My heart was broken after the young man fell. I walked up on the scene minutes after it happened.

At this moment, I cannot imagine ever cruising with Carnival again.

Leslie - January 31, 2012 8:03 AM

I was on the ship also. Personally, I had the time of my life and cannot wait to book my next cruise. For those people who are blaming Carnival or saying they'll never sail with Carnival again- really?! You think that vacations are exempt from mishaps? Will you not sail with Royal Caribbean either because they had a woman die this week also after falling down stairs? How can you blame Carnival for a man who willingly chose to drink himself to death? The same alcohol is available to everyone but as adults, we have to choose to drink responsibly. I feel terrible for his family but maybe they should have been more responsible and babysat him at the bar. He was hammered all night and made a spectacle of himself for several hours. And exactly what other credits do these people want? Payment for non perfection? Things happen, mistakes occur, life goes on. They fully refunded shore excursions and even credited the $10 to everyone. Just accept the fact that they did the best they could with a horrible situation and tried to keep everyone happy. I think they did a great job and will be cruising with them again.

Leslie - January 31, 2012 8:04 AM

I was on the ship also. Personally, I had the time of my life and cannot wait to book my next cruise. For those people who are blaming Carnival or saying they'll never sail with Carnival again- really?! You think that vacations are exempt from mishaps? Will you not sail with Royal Caribbean either because they had a woman die this week also after falling down stairs? How can you blame Carnival for a man who willingly chose to drink himself to death? The same alcohol is available to everyone but as adults, we have to choose to drink responsibly. I feel terrible for his family but maybe they should have been more responsible and babysat him at the bar. He was hammered all night and made a spectacle of himself for several hours. And exactly what other credits do these people want? Payment for non perfection? Things happen, mistakes occur, life goes on. They fully refunded shore excursions and even credited the $10 to everyone. Just accept the fact that they did the best they could with a horrible situation and tried to keep everyone happy. I think they did a great job and will be cruising with them again.

Chuck - January 31, 2012 8:08 AM

I was also on the ship during this cruise, and agree that people get way too drunk on these ships...If these people were in American bars, they'd be cut off after a certain point...My condolances to the young man's family.

Carolyn - January 31, 2012 8:57 AM

This was my first cruise. I think the unplanned incidents were handled well. I will likely cruise Carnival again for an inexpensive, short and relaxing vacation. I will also check out additional cruise lines for longer cruises that offer more on-board activities. This cruise seemed to cater to drinkers and gamblers.

anna - January 31, 2012 9:10 AM

You can't blame Carnival. All these unfortunate events can happen on ANY cruise line or at ANY vacation destination. People zero in on the bad and don't remember the good.

Ron - January 31, 2012 9:34 AM

I was impressed with the communication process the Carnival Staff used to inform the passengers of the tragic events. I heard many folks complain about a lack of detail and lateness with announcements. I think these folks forgot that the boy's mother and family were on board and steps had to be taken to accomodate them first and foremost. Read the fine print in the agreement when you sign up to cruise...they can change anything they want during the cruise. The staff did a fine job with an impossible situation.

As far as managing the amount of alcohol passengers consume - good luck on that. The only way to accurately manage this is perform breathalyzer tests...it is the responsibility of the passenger to manage their alcohol intake, not Carnival. The vast majority do, there are a few who don't...the problme is that the few who don't trend to stick out more...

This is our third cruise with Carnival and we will definitely cruise again with them. Lighten up people...

thecrystallady1965 - January 31, 2012 10:32 AM

I was on this cruise. We were part of a large group (about 100)that a SC company sponsored. I met him and talked to him on several different occasions, including Friday night.
We all thought that we were still docked in Nassau the next morning, because when the ship next to us was leaving on Friday afternoon, the mooring ropes got tangled in our propellers! Apparently, the ropes were criss-crossed with the other ships' ropes, and when they took them off, our ropes fell into the water and got tangled in the propeller. They called divers in to remove the tangled ropes. I saw divers in the water at approximately 11:00 pm. (I learned on Saturday morning that they had gotten them untangled and removed late Friday night As I said, we assumed that we were still in port because of the ropes.) The next morning, we were told about the accident. We were in shock! My husband, myself, and about 30 others in our group were having drinks with him that night. My husband and I went to bed about 11:00 or so, and the accident occured sometime after midnight.
There are so many things that just don't make sense about this accident, and there are so many rumors floating around about it. but, out of respect for the family, I WILL NOT post anything on this site or anywhere else, other than general information. What I WILL say is this; it was a horrible accident, and I truly grieve for the family. It had been a wonderful cruise, and we all were having a great time - until this happened. Saturday morning, it was very quiet on the ship, and the mood was totally somber and sad. There was so much gossip and speculation about what happened. I understand that it's normal to be curious, but it really angered me to hear what some people were saying about it, and everywhere I went, people would come up to me and ask a lot of questions - and, because some people knew that he was with our group. I refused to talk about it with anyone that wasn't with our group because I didn't want to add to the gossip, and most people were just being nosy and spreading rumors! So, I just replied that I didn't know anything about it.
I pray for his family every single day. I hope that they find the answers that they seek, and that GOD comforts them during this time of great loss...

Darlene Marshall - January 31, 2012 11:34 AM

We too were on this ship during the tragic death of this young man and the recklessness of the two Carnival ships involved in the tangled ropes. This ship rocked the whole crusie and I mean literally rocked back and forth during the full 5 days other than of course when the ship docked those few hours at Nassau. I have crusied before with different cruise lines and I was so disappointed with Carnival Cruise Lines. I found the Captain to not tell the correct story..never showed his face from day 1.. never showed to meet passangers at the meet the captain dinner...never apologized that the trip was literally cut in half...yes there was a tradegy...however the trip to freeport could still had happened or full or partial credit should have been made. We had members of the crew walk in our room in the middle of the night...constant loud bangging noises coming through our stateroom walls from crew mwmbers working in the adjacent room and walking, rolling carts,laundry etc over our heads in an area not seen by passangers all night long...no sleep....I really am disgusted with the slap in the face of a 10.00 refund we rode this rocking ship for 5 days and docked 1 time Carnival obviously does not care for customer service Will not refer them to anyone as all in the world can see they do not care how you feel---ITALY TRADGEDY STILL UNFOLDING one would think communication and customer consideration should have been a priority in all respects. I sure hope the family of the young man that died is not going through this disrespectfull attitude...the reason the ship did not set sail for freeport had nothing to do with the young man it was the recklassness of the carnival ships docking so close and tying up the lines to the point of needing divers to untie...horrible trip

Darlene Marshall - January 31, 2012 11:53 AM

NO MORE CARNIVAL- We took this cruise and it was so ba d that we will not travel with them again...to start the ship rocked back and forth during the whole trip other than the time we docked at Nassau. The captain never showed his face even during the meet the captain dinner...communication was very poor. Our room was next to an area for employees to go through and enter an area not seen by passengers. It had a stairway that led to an area between decks that they traveled and carried laundrey,dishes etc...which was above our heads in the cabin...the doors slammed day and night...banging carts caused a no sleep trip. We had a crew member come into our room late at night while we were in the bed..we had no privacy lock on our door...our ship as well as the carnival ship that docked close to us at nassau were very recklace with the closeness and caused the lines to become tangled...i too feel that the poor young man that died was a convienence for carnival to blame their error on our departure time not being met so they felt they did not owe the rest of the ship an apolgy and credit other than you will loose half of your trip and get a 10.00 refund slap in the face...now get off our ship attitude man what customer service!!!!! SCAREY PEOPLE

bahama mama - January 31, 2012 1:34 PM

Have sailed on the Fantasy out of Charleston 3 times. Been to Freeport 2 times. You did not miss anything. Carnival can not babysit every passenger on the ship. Watch the ambulance chasing lawyers start circling.

Ruth - January 31, 2012 1:37 PM

My husband & I were on that cruise. I am very sorry for the family's loss. I do believe Carnival handled it as best they could. Accidents happen (ropes getting tangled up). As well as other accidents. Again our prayers are with the family. This was our 5th cruise with them & I'm know it won't be our last.

M - January 31, 2012 2:12 PM

This was my first and last cruise with Carnival......not really because of what happened onboard but afterward. It's true that we were detained first because of becoming tangled with another ship. If this had not happened, we would have been well on our way to Freeport before this man made a bad decision that effected over 2000 people. I understand both the tangling and the death were both out of the captain's control. The bottom line is, I didn't get what I paid for. Carnival has a CYA policy like no other company I've ever dealt with. We called customer service after we were home about inquiring into some sort of compensation (not even necessarily monitory) and the lady we spoke to, Patrice, was very hard hearted about the situation. She told us Carnival is in no way responsible for ANYTHING that happens to you or your things no matter what the circumstance and we should have read the fine print. I asked her where that fine print was....it is NO WHERE in the printed material. It was online under a microscopic link. It was Carnival's lack of care or concern that did me in for a future cruise. Once they have your money and you are done spending money onboard, they do not care at ALL at your money (at least part of it) was essentially wasted. I paid for a cruise with TWO ports. Patrice stated this was Carnival's policy and she was sorry if I didn't take it upon myself to read the fine print. I retorted with "I can call my bank and put a stop on the debit payment from my onboard expenses as that was my policy when I don't get what I pay for.". I got a very smart "You can do as you wish". NEVER again Carnival and you can thank Patrice for that!

Tracy Mitchell - January 31, 2012 5:58 PM

I am responding not as an apologist for Carnival, but as a seasoned cruiser who has been on 16 cruises since 2000 and 15 of those on Carnival. This january has been a horrific time for Carnival plc and the cruise industry as a whole. We forget the hundreds of thousands of people who have cruised over the years without incident. I personally (knock on wood) have to yet to experience anything close to what has occurred on cruise ships this month. The sea is a dangerous place, cruise lines do not control the weather, choppy seas occur this time of year, thousands of people gathered in a confined space. Common sense and vigilance are the watch words of the day. Good travel insurance helps too. Similar events have occurred on every cruise line that operates in the Caribbean. Cruising is safe. I strongly suggest being realistic about what you are getting when you cruise. I am sure many of you first time cruisers may find that cruising is not for you, I am sorry you did not have the wonderful experiences I have had cruising the last 12 years. I suggest give it another try, a bit wiser, a bit more realistic about what can happen, and with the intent of making the most of the experience.

Robin - January 31, 2012 10:29 PM

I was on this same cruise. I am really sorry for this man's family but when his accident would have happened whether we were docked or at sea. I never noticed people being too drunk and disorderly on this trip. My husband and I don't drink and we found plenty to do. The cast and crew have great shows and wonderful entertainment. We saw the captain, actually quite a few times. I really think it was the death that kept us from leaving port although I think communication should have come a little quicker than it did. I have sailed both carnival and royal carribean and have enjoyed both cruises. It may seem dangerous but how many people are killed on highways every day and we still get behind the wheel of our cars.

claudia - February 1, 2012 12:45 PM

I am not sure what some people are thinking. No one is perfect. Carnival gave us two days at port instead of us being sent straight back to Charleston or worse wait in sea on authorities. I would much rather have stayed where I was than the other options. I also thought the ship had plenty of options of things to do with or without alcohol. Remeber it was called "The Fun Ship". There were plenty of quite areas to go to if people drinking alcohol affected you, but my suggestion is not to get on any cruise ship because they all serve alcohol. It is very unfornuate what happened to the young man and my thoughts are with the family. However, Carnival cannot control how much someone drinks, and accidents can happen with out alcohol. Take a look at the news a lady tumbled down steps.

KMS - February 1, 2012 5:32 PM

I was on this cruise. I can not believe some of the stuff that i am reading on this blog. Yeah, the boat rocked a little, and we missed Freeport, but what can you do. It is the sea and it can be rough. I was on the top rear of the ship at 6pm hoping to watch us set sail. We were the first ship in port to be released. The mooring lines went down, before any other ship. But we did not move. After about 2-3 minutes, they started tying the ship back to the docks. At around 9pm, the passengers were informed that the ship was tangled and we were waiting on divers to cut us free. While I was waiting to sail, and watching all of the other ships sail, I had the priveledge to meet the young man that fell. We had a very nice, long conversation about each other and our traveling parties. It was around 12:30am when his accident occured. I was at the pool bar when the emergency code was called on the ship. Very few people witnessed the accident, myself not included, but we did witness the medical staff attending to him. It was such a sad moment. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this man. I thought that Carnival did about as good of a job handling these complicated events as anyone could. This was my first cruise and I am glad to say that I can not wait until the next. These things happen people. Get over it. Hats off to Carnival and especially the staff for making this a very fun, relaxing vacation.

J - February 1, 2012 8:34 PM

I was on this cruise, also. My husband and I both watched the emergency squad board the ship & leave with an empty gurney around 1245, then about 15 min later watched the divers place their gear in the back of a gold mini van. So, I do believe we were ultimately held over due to the divers and not the death & I think Carnival should have been honest about that. However, upon returning home and doing so price cOmparisons, we would have not been able to afford a cruise On some of the other cruise lines, so what if we missed a port!! I have always received wonderful service w/Carnival, this was my 4th cruise w/Carnival & I am already planning the next.

Pam - February 1, 2012 11:22 PM

This was my first time to cruise. I booked this cruise for a overdue vacation. I was dissapointed not getting to Freeport. I really felt that Carnival should offer the passagers another cruise at a discounted rate for not making Freeport. I agree that $10.69 was a slap in the face. If the lines hadn't got entangled in the propeller would have made our other port of call.

Al - February 2, 2012 2:53 PM

I was on this cruise playing poker at the time of this unfortunate death. We were fortunate to have a minister at our table that lead us in prayer for the young man, family and his friends, during the next evening meal. As stated earlier there were numerous rumors and I am glad they are not being posted.
I too, wish Carnival had communicated to everyone earlier by some method, i.e. via a note at our cabin, that we would remain at Nassua and depart at 3pm to Charleston. It was around 10am before we knew for sure that our freeport trip was cancelled. If I had known earlier or had a later departure, I could have booked another excursion. As it was, I did not feel like rushing off the ship to visit the local gift shops with just a few hours to get back.

As to the $10.69, I was told that this was the port tax refund for Freeport not some slap in the face compensation for missing Freeport.

D - February 3, 2012 3:56 PM

I too was on this cruise. This was my second cruise on Fantasy in the last year. My husband and I had an awesome time. There were plenty of things to do besides drink at the bars. It was not Carnival's fault that the lines got crossed, or that the young man fell. I don't really know how it is possible to accidently fall over as the rails are very high, you would have to either be lifted up over the rail and dropped or literally get on top of the rail and jump. This young man was on our floor and we saw him several times sitting in the hallway talking on his ipad, he was always complaining and whining to whoever he was talking to and he had a very flat affect. I don't know what really happened but you can't blame Carnival for his bad choices. Will cruise with Carnival again.

As for the rough cruise, we only had one night of rough cruising and that was Sunday night on the way back to Charleston, the rest of the cruise was very smooth. I don't really know how these people complaining were on the same cruise.

Terri - February 4, 2012 9:58 PM

Like so many others, I was on the cruise -- not my first Carnival cruise and probably not my last because the price was right. I doubt that anyone on the ship paid more than $400 for 5 days. My family missed seeing the man dead on the ground because we were watching the divers come up with the ropes. We heard the "bright star" (code for the emergency) just moments before we watched the divers, so I'm certain of the timing. "Stuck" in Nassau was a heck of a lot better than being in the middle of the ocean when that family needed to get off the ship, so the delay was a blessing. Further when a ship is unable to make a port of call, they owe the passengers nothing -- read the documents. The $10-$11 we received in credit was port tax (again, read the documents). I've been on shps and missed a port before -- weather, etc. I only saw a few people behaving in such a ridiculous manner and it was mainly due to lack of fresh bananas.

The captain was at the captain's reception -- I can post a picture of my sister with him if need be. And really, I'd rather have the captain at the helm than having a martini with the passengers.

Basically, quit compaining. You had a $400 cruise and the ship rocked (hello, water?). I imagine most bar bills were higher than their cruise bill. It was affordable and what you make it to be.

As for your personal suffering regarding not going to Freeport, quit complaining and be thankful that no one in your party died away from home.

Gah! Quit belly-aching.

Pat - February 7, 2012 6:02 PM

My husband and I were also both on this cruise. We went to early dining at 6pm assuming the ship would leave port during dinner. We were surprised when we got back to our room and saw we were still in port at Nassau. We went up to a higher deck to see if we could find out what was happening to delay our departure. It was not until 8:30pm that the captain came on the speaker to inform us of the entangled rope. That part upset me that we waited two and a half hours for any information. Had the rope mishap not occurred, we would, indeed, have been on our way to Freeport. This was our first cruise as well. Although it was a nice vacation weather-wise, we were extremely disappointed both of our in port activities were cancelled. That was a large part of why we went. I felt SO BAD for the young man's family and friends traveling with him upon his unfortunate death. I agree the ship's mood Saturday morning was very somber. Nothing compared to what his family was going through. We will sail again; not sure it will be with Carnival, though. I wasn't impressed with the lack of prompt and honest communication.

Ryan - March 4, 2012 9:38 PM

what all of you are implying is that this was completely on accident but i asked my dad about it and his understanding was that this person was drunk. not to be offencive but you are blaming this on the captain and staff but he was driving the ship not worrying about 1 passenger and the entangled lines... that again he couldn't have known im going on the carnival fantasy and i am not put off by this besides from my uderstanding you are complaining about staying in a beautiful port for an extra day and to amy would you rather have $10 or none

Joe - September 6, 2012 8:31 PM

I have been to Freeport from the Carnival Fantasy, and I can honestly say you missed NOTHING.

Trish Ryan - January 22, 2013 1:48 PM

I am a survivor of a Carnival Cruise line the Tropicale. July 5, 1989 I fell approximately 65-70 feet through an open staircase, falling through the center, but my leg hit a railing at the bottom and hung me so that my head never hit the floor. The ship left me in Puerto Vallarta for dead, and told us there was a fully equipped hospital. There was a dirty clinic with bugs flying all over me because of the blood.4 months after me a 72 year old man fell through the same staircase (they left his body in Mexico) and died on impact, and 11 months after that a 12 year old boy fell through and was killed instantly. His body was the only body reported because it was in the San Pedro Harbor. Carnival NEVER assisted me or my boyfriend at the time. Investigation showed the railings were below US standards, but didn't matter because they are under Maritime Law.

The Cruise ship passed around lots of rumors of how I fell to cover themselves from all liability. I wonder if they are doing the same here... most likely yes. They did the same to the two people who died after my accident.

annaballe - May 6, 2013 8:26 AM

I was on this cruise when this happened, i was 13 at the time. All i remember was in a room that had music playing very loud and it sounded like a gunshot going off when he hit the floor. I ran down to right next to him and he was dead at the scene. He was extremely intoxicated he could hardly hold him pants up. He ran by my parents in the casino and then went to the railing and tried to do a handstand,(this is what i was told) and fell off. Everyone was praying for him that night. It was the most disturbing scene.The captain came on the speaker that morning and said that he had passes. There is no way he could have just leaned back and fell, because the railing was above my head. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

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