Fire on board cruise ship leads to sailing cancellations

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A fire on board a Royal Caribbean liner has led the operator to cancel a Bahamas cruise and a subsequent sailing.

Cruise Illness

Over 2,200 passengers were obliged to take part in emergency measures early on Monday 27 May after a mooring deck on the 'Grandeur of the Seas' became engulfed in flame.

According to US media, "terrified" guests, some of whom were sleeping on deck, were asked to don protective clothing and report to muster points. However, the fire was suppressed 2 hours after it started, with no casualties.

The liner was diverted from its passage to CocoCay in the Bahamas to Freeport, where it docked overnight for a damage assessment. Royal Caribbean managers later boarded the vessel to reassure passengers and see first-hand the results of the fire.

On inspecting the damage, the operator decided to cancel both the balance of the tour and a following cruise, due to sail on Friday 31 May. Managers have also offered to reimburse affected guests in full, along with a 50% future cruise certificate.

Meanwhile a joint investigation into why the fire started has been announced by the US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Nick Harris, Head of Travel Law at Cruise Ship Claims specialists Simpson Millar LLP, commented: "Fire related accidents on-board cruise ships can be extremely dangerous and in this case it’s a relief to see that no one was injured. This is an example of what could have been a very serious incident and one I am sure that Royal Caribbean will want to investigate thoroughly."

"Whilst some accidents can have life changing consequences others can be more minor in nature. Our holiday claims team has seen them all from very serious injuries to minor bumps and bruises and not forgetting the holiday food poisoning illnesses that can occur eg salmonella etc. Tour operators have a duty to ensure the safety of passengers on the ship at all times."


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