Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship catches fire

Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship catches fire

Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship catches fire

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by SUSANNA KIM

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Updated Monday, May 27 at 11:29 AM

(ABC News) --  Passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas were awakened and sent to their muster stations after a fire on one of the cruise ship's decks early Monday morning. No injuries were reported.

Royal Caribbean International said the fire was discovered at 2:50 a.m. ET on the mooring area of deck three of its 11 decks. The company said the fire was extinguished and the affected area was cordoned off. Guests were allowed to return to their staterooms, the company said around 7:15 a.m. ET.

The extent of the fire was not immediately clear but RCI said all systems were still operating on the ship.


Medical staff reported two guests were treated after fainting, with one report of high blood pressure and another of cramps.

"In an abundance of caution, the captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations. All 2,224 guests and 796 crew have been accounted for, and there have been no injuries of guests or crew reported. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority, and we will continue to focus on their needs and concerns," according to a statement from the company.

The incident follows a series of high-profile cruise ship mishaps. The Carnival Triumph was idle for nearly a week at sea in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine room fire on its way from Galveston, Texas, to Cozumel, Mexico in February. In April, it broke away from its mooring in Mobile, Ala. while 800 people were on board.

 Grandeur had just begun to sail earlier this month out of the Port of Baltimore after $48 million in upgrades. Its new amenities, including a 220-square foot poolside movie screen, is among Royal Caribbean's two largest classes of ships, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Grandeur of the Seas was en route to CocoCay, Bahamas, as part of a seven-night trip that left Baltimore on May 24. It arrived in Freeport, Bahamas, "for further evaluation" at 10:15 a.m. ET today, the company tweeted.

The itinerary included port calls to Port Canaveral, Fla.; CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. It wasn't clear whether passengers would have to leave the ship when it docks.

Just last week, the Cruise Lines International Association introduced a cruise passenger bill of rights, stating when cruise lines will issue full or partial refunds for canceled or interrupted voyages, which many companies already offer.

In April, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. reported first quarter profit of $76.2 million, up from $47 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased 4.2 percent to $1.91 billion. The line has 21 ships and brands including Celebrity, Azamara, Pullmantur and CDF Croisières de France.

Catherine Banks of Legacy Travel said initial reports seem to indicate the ship is functioning normally.

"If this had happened by itself and not in the shadow of everything that's happened, it wouldn't be on anybody's radar," Banks said referring to recent cruise industry troubles.

Entering peak travel season, the cruise industry is especially sensitive to negative publicity, though RCI has not reported any major problems.

Carnival, the largest cruise operator, which has also had the most ship malfunctions, had recently lowered its earnings outlook based on cancellations. And with much of a cruise company's revenue collected from on-board expenses, fewer people on board will crunch their bottom line.

"Carnival will do whatever they have to do. They will not sail with empty cabins," Banks said.

 

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