Coming out of the winter months means calmer waters for cruise passengers. The winter months brings rough weather and the captains of our ships do a good job to keep us safe.

Passengers aboard the Carnival Spirit and Pacific Explorer recently endured rough seas.

While passengers were dining at Angelo’s Italian restaurant on the Pacific Explorer, rough seas caved windows in on diners.

Chris Faull, a passenger aboard, was sitting at one of the windows. “I was facing the window in Angelo’s when the two windows exploded in followed by the water very scary we helped each other out soaked nearly to our waist,” he wrote on Cruise Passenger’s Facebook page.

P&O made an official statement after the incident and when the ship safely arrived back in Sydney.

“After departing from Sydney on Saturday, she encountered higher than forecast swells. Although conditions on Saturday night were well within Pacific Explorer’s capability, the Captain changed course to maximise passenger comfort.

As conditions improved, the Captain made a public address announcement in which he thanked his crew for the way they had cared for guests, to which there was spontaneous applause from guests.

As posts to Cruise Passenger stated, three restaurant windows – one in the Waterfront restaurant and two in Angelo’s – were damaged and quickly secured with storm shutters. Guests in the immediate vicinity were assisted by restaurant staff. ”

P&O’s sister company Carnival Cruises’ ship Carnival Spirit also endured wild weather last weekend. Passengers posted photos on social media of hundreds of plates smashed across the floor.

Judith Spence who was on the ship said that many people were ill and the seas were incredibly rough.

“We had the most horrendous night on the Carnival Spirit last night. We had 12 metre seas, sometimes 15 and 100km/h winds. So many people sick today. Thought we were going to roll over. Broken glasses in nearly every cabin,” she wrote on Facebook.

Another passenger Roslyn Hay Taylor thanked the captain and the crew in the sticky situation.

“I applauded the Captain for his expertise in controlling his vessel and making it safe for all on board,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We also applauded the calmness and compassion afforded to all passengers by his diligent crew. I was one of the very sick and still would cruise again.”

So if you’re booking a cruise and trying to avoid rough seas, here some of the best times to go.


There are several places around Europe to avoid during autumn and winter due to winds and storms. The Mediterranean tends to have high swells during this time but regular cruisers have seen rough weather during the summer and spring. The North Sea is another region which can be affected by bad weather.

North America

During Hurricane season, it’s best to avoid places like the Bermuda and Bahamas if you don’t have your sea legs. Generally, the seas are quite smooth but you may get some squalls that arise on the Atlantic Ocean. Cruises that sail to Canada generally stay close to the shoreline so the journey tends to be a bit smoother.


Most of the cruises in Alaska are in sheltered and protected waters of the Inside Passage. But cruises sailing to Seward, Whittier or Anchorage that must cross the Gulf of Alaska may endure some rough weather.


The Caribbean is known for smooth sailing but some areas can get choppy in areas where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Also, tropical depressions, hurricanes and storms also affect cruisers from June to November.

South America

One of the roughest passages in the world is the Drake Passage which is the body of water between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Most travellers experience rough weather but the voyage is worth it to see Antarctica.


From July to November, typhoon season hits the Pacific Ocean around Asian countries but storms can occur any time of the year. If you are unlucky enough to get a storm in the South China Sea, you might skip some ports.


There are some rough patches in the Bass Strait so if you’re sailing to Hobart in the winter months, you might get some rough weather. Also, the Tasman sea between Australia and New Zealand can be rough all year round.