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Fire disrupts sailing of Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas

May 27, 2013 3:57 pm

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Thankfully there were no injuries reported in the fire, the cause of which has not been disclosed. The incident is not exactly what the cruise industry needed after a string of mishaps.

— Dennis Schaal

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Jenneva Russell  / Associated Press/The Freeport News

The fire-damaged exterior of Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship is seen while docked in Freeport, Grand Bahama island, Monday, May 27, 2013. Royal Caribbean said the fire occurred early Monday while on route from Baltimore to the Bahamas on the mooring area of deck 3 and was quickly extinguished. All 2,224 guests and 796 crew were safe and accounted for. Jenneva Russell / Associated Press/The Freeport News


UPDATE: Following is Royal Caribbean’s statement on the fire, although the line has given no indication yet what cause it.

“Unfortunately, the damage caused by the fire on Grandeur of the Seas will require us to cancel the rest of the voyage.  We are currently working on making the necessary arrangements to return all guests to Baltimore, Maryland.

“Royal Caribbean International will provide each guest with a full refund of the cruise fare paid.  Royal Caribbean would also like to provide guests with the opportunity to sail with us again.  We will be providing each guest with a future cruise certificate for 100% of the cruise fare paid for their May 24, 2013, Grandeur of the Seas sailing.

“Royal Caribbean International is deeply sorry for this unexpected development in our guests’ vacation.   We understand that this may have been a very stressful time for them.  And we also know that it has significantly impacted their vacation experience.  We appreciate their patience and cooperation in dealing with this unfortunate situation.

“A dedicated telephone hotline has been established for family members of guests at 1-888-824-0012 or internationally at +1-408-916-9000. The cruise line requests that only families of guests use the telephone numbers in order to help ease call volume and ensure that they can receive information as quickly as possible.

“Grandeur of the Seas was on a seven-night sailing that departed Baltimore, Maryland, on May 24, and had included port calls to Port Canaveral, Florida; CocoCay and Nassau, The Bahamas.

“Media can stay up to date by following @RoyalCaribPR on twitter.”

The original post follows:

A fire broke out early Monday morning on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that sailed from Baltimore on Friday. All 2,224 passengers and 796 crew have been accounted for, and no injuries have been reported, the company said in a statement.

The fire started at 2:50 a.m. and was extinguished at 4:58 a.m. in the mooring area of deck 3 of Grandeur of the Seas, according to according to Cynthia Martinez, director of global corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Martinez did not disclose the cause of the fire.

The passengers and crew were called to assembly stations as a precaution before the fire was extinguished, according to the Royal Caribbean web site.

“The guests were asked to go to their muster or assembly stations, which is the area where they assemble in the event of an emergency,” Martinez wrote in an e-mail to The Baltimore Sun. “They did not board lifeboats.”

The ship, which was en route to CocoCay, Bahamas, was diverted to Freeport, Bahamas, for further evaluation.

It is sailing in calm seas with full power, the company said.

By noon, Royal Caribbean tweeted that the ship will dock overnight in Freeport.

“Some guests are staying onboard, while others have chosen to spend the day on shore,” the company tweeted.

A number of guests in affected staterooms will be put up in hotels in Freeport, the company also announced via Twitter.

When asked if the fire would delay the return of the ship; if customers would be issued refunds; and if the ship had a history of problems, Martinez responded: “We do not have this information at this time.”

The ship departed Friday from Baltimore en route to the Bahamas. The seven-night cruise includes stops to Port Canaveral, Florida, CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas.

The Grandeur of the Seas just this month returned to Baltimore after undergoing a $48 million renovation.

The ship had sailed from Baltimore between 2004 and 2009 before being replaced by Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas.

During the renovation, all of the ship’s staterooms were refurbished with new carpet, furniture and upholstery and flat-screen TVs. New onboard amenities include six new restaurants to a 220-foot poolside movie screen.

Last year, more than 240,800 travelers sailed on 100 cruises from the Port of Baltimore, according to Royal Caribbean. Baltimore has 96 scheduled cruises for 2013.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com ___

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