Cruise Ship Ghost Stories

If you’re looking for a holiday that’s all about rest and relaxation, chances are, you’ve considered cruising. However, for a select few, what started out as a laid-back break spent lounging by the pool on deck and leisurely exploring the ports of call turned into something a lot more interesting and mysterious.

Ghost ship
Ghost ship via Flickr, Russ Allison Loar / CC 2.0

Cruise Ship Ghost Stories

The following tales are summaries of some of the most intriguing cruise ship ghost stories reported by travellers at sea on cruise holidays. Whether you decide to take the stories at their word or with a pinch of salt, is up to you. But remember that your mind can easily play tricks with you if you take full advantage of the all-inclusive drinks package or indulge a bit too much in the midnight buffet!

Listen for ghostly compliments on the Carnival
Listen for ghostly compliments when getting ready on the Carnival Conquest via Flickr, Sascha Knauf / CC 2.0

Everyone likes a friendly ghost

A woman staying in Cabin 6412 on board the Carnival Conquest was getting ready for dinner in her cabin when she heard a male voice say, “You look beautiful tonight.” She turned around, expecting to see her husband, but saw that he was on the balcony with the door shut. Thinking the voice probably came from the hallway, she brushed it off and carried on getting ready…only to hear the compliment more clearly a second time. She rushed onto the balcony and asked her husband if he had heard or said anything – he hadn’t.

At least someone is appreciating all the effort she’s going to!

Cruise Ship Ghost Stories: Tina's touch on Carnival Conquest
Be aware of Tina’s touch on the Carnival Conquest via Flickr, Alessandro Capurso / CC 2.0

Tina’s touch

Another traveller cruising on the Carnival Conquest went to dinner solo, leaving his wife – who was feeling ill – to rest in the cabin on her own. When he got back, his wife asked what he’d popped back for – only he hadn’t come back at all. His wife was certain someone had touched her leg and woke her up.

After their holiday, the couple attended a séance with two other women, one of whom bizarrely asked if anyone had any strange experiences on a cruise recently. After the couple told the two woman their story, one replied that her aunt, Tina, had died on the same boat two years ago, just two cabins along. According to the woman, Tina only reached out and touched the traveller’s leg in an effort to comfort her.

That’s enough to make anyone get out of bed and go to dinner – no matter how bad you’re feeling!

Cruise Ship Ghost Stories: Watch out for shadows on Brilliance of the Seas
Watch out for shadows on Brilliance of the Seas via Flickr, mattwi1s0n / CC 2.0

Apparitions, TVs, locked doors and rotten eggs…

A mother and daughter duo cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas in the same cabin. The mother woke up in the night and saw a shadow of a person stood in the middle of the room. She called out, assuming the shadow was her daughter – but she was asleep on the sofa.

Later that day, the pair were getting ready in the cabin when the TV turned on by itself and the cabin was suddenly filled with the smell of rotten eggs. Freaked out by this, the mother ran outside the cabin and saw two staff members trying, unsuccessfully, to open a door. After she heard one of the staff saying, “It’s like someone is in there holding the door shut!” the women decided enough was enough, quickly packed up her and her daughter’s things and headed for the meeting place for departure an hour early!

Maybe Royal Caribbean doesn’t want lazy travellers hogging their cabins and uses this as a (very effective) tactic to get everyone out early!

Have you had any strange experiences on cruise ships? Leave us a comment below – we’d love to hear your spooky stories!

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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