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Mon 8:35pm: Fire breaks out aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship

May 27, 2013
The Associated Press , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

BALTIMORE - A fire that broke out aboard a Royal Caribbean ship Monday did enough damage that the rest of the cruise was canceled and the company said the more than 2,200 passengers will be flown from the Bahamas back to Baltimore where the trip began.

The fire that began at 2:50 a.m. Monday was extinguished about two hours later with no injuries reported. A cause wasn't immediately known. The Grandeur of the Seas, which left Baltimore on Friday, never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon. It had been planned to be a seven-night cruise.

Royal Caribbean said on its website and through social media that executives met with passengers in port and that the cruise line is arranging flights for all 2,224 guests on Tuesday. It said passengers will receive a full refund of their fare and a certificate for a future cruise.

Aboard ship early Monday, the captain announced that passengers needed to go to their muster stations, rousing Mark J. Ormesher from his stateroom. Ormesher said in an email to The Associated Press that immediately after the announcement, his room attendant knocked on the door and told him and his girlfriend to grab their flotation devices. The attendant said it wasn't a drill.

Ormesher, a native of England, who lives in Manassas, Va., said he and his girlfriend smelled acrid smoke as they went to their muster station, the ship's casino. The crew quickly provided instruction.

"This encouraged calm amongst the passengers," he said. Passengers were required to remain at their stations for four hours, he said, and the captain "provided us as much information as we needed to stay safe."

Ormesher, who is 25 and on his first cruise, said the air conditioner had been shut off, and as the hours passed and the ship got hot, bottled water was distributed. The crew and passengers remained calm, and helped those who needed it. Crying babies were given formula and held while their parents used the bathrooms.

 
 

 

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