Cruise ship guests left 'terrified' but safe after a fire on board the Grandeur of the Seas
Terrified guests were shaken from their beds when a fire broke out on the aft mooring deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
The 280m ship Grandeur of the Seas caught fire early on Monday morning (27 May 2013), when guests were woken in their rooms and told to prepare to evacuate onto lifeboats.
“My first thought was that we were sinking,” passenger Danielle Miller told ABC News. “I opened the door and just saw people running around with life jackets on and we were being yelled at to get our life jackets on and run up to a deck that was two floors above us.”
The fire was extinguished two hours later with all guests and crew safe and accounted for.
Surveying the damage to Grandeur of the Seas
Some passengers reported that guests were so terrified they were ‘passing out with fear’. Others were reportedly throwing up, crying and having anxiety attacks.
However, other guests have praised Royal Caribbean on their management of the emergency. One couple on the cruise ship said the captain and crew were organised and professional, kept the passengers calm and were extremely transparent about what was happening. Others took to Twitter to compliment the way Royal Caribbean handled their social media account during the fire, sending regular updates and sharing photos of the damaged ship.
Grandeur of the Seas was able to sail into port at Freeport in the Bahamas, where passengers were flown back to Baltimore and offered refunds and gift cards for another Royal Caribbean cruise.
The U.S Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the cause of the fire.