Royal Caribbean Fire: Passengers Headed Back To US

Thousands of passengers who were on a Royal Caribbean ship when it caught fire are expected to return to the US on Tuesday (May 28).

A blaze erupted on the Grandeur of the Seas early Monday morning. However, emergency rescues aboard the vessel were able to put out the fire without anyone getting injured. The seven-night cruise was headed to CocoCay, Bahamas, though it ultimately landed in Freeport following the fire.

A report from The Associated Press stated that Royal Caribbean had chartered flights for the passengers who were on the Grandeur of the Seas when the fire broke out. Around 20,000 people are expected to arrive in Baltimore at some point today.

Although the ship never lost power following the blaze, it’s being reported that the air conditioners were shut off. Bottled water was passed around in order to help keep people cooled down. Despite the problems, Royal Caribbean said that all guests and crew members were accounted for.

The passengers will be given a full refund for their troubles. The company is also giving folks vouchers for a free cruise should they be willing to try their luck on the high seas once again. According to 13 News, Royal Caribbean apologized for the incident on its official website.

“[We are] deeply sorry for this unexpected development in our guests’ vacation. We understand that this may have been a very stressful time for them. We appreciate their patience and cooperation in dealing with this unfortunate situation,” the company explained in a statement.

This hasn’t been a banner year for the cruise industry. A few months ago, the Carnival Triumph suffered a crippling fire that left it stranded in the middle of the ocean. The loss of power resulted in “squalor conditions,” which has prompted many to sue the company for their troubles. The ship was eventually towed to Mobile, Alabama.

“I think people are going to file suits and rightly so. What you have here is a) negligence on the part of Carnival and b) you have them, the passengers, being exposed to the risk of actual physical injury,” attorney John Hickey told ABC News.

What do you think about the Royal Caribbean fire? Are you still willing to take a cruise given now much trouble companies have faced this year?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]