Royal Caribbean cruise ship forced to dock in Bahamas following fire

MIAMI, United States, Tuesday May 28, 2013 – Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines says all passengers on its 917-foot Grandeur of the Seas cruise line were safe after the ship was forced to dock in The Bahamas on Monday following a fire on board the liner.

The US Coast Guard and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines said all 2,224 guests and 796 crew members had been accounted for and were being accommodated at hotels.

The US Coast Guard said that the ship is now being evaluated in Freeport.

It said it received a call on Monday of a “Class A” fire, meaning that the items on fire were wood or other combustible materials.

Officials said at the time of the fire, the ship was 35 nautical miles northwest of West End, Bahamas, and that the fire, which began on the third deck of the aft mooring area, was quickly extinguished,

The cruise ship had departed last Friday from Baltimore, Maryland, on a seven-day cruise to Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay, in the Bahamas.

Official said the Carnival cruise ship, Sensation, and a motor vessel from the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER), the Hagen, were diverted from their paths to help.

The US Coast Guard and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as the Bahamas, whose flag the ship sails under, said they will conduct a joint investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

The fire onboard the Grandeur of the Seas is the latest incident to rock the cruise industry in the past year and a half.

In January, 32 people died when the Costa Concordia capsized off Italy’s coast and one month latea, an engine room fire left the Carinival Triumph adrift  in the Gulf of Mexico, with passengers reporting overflowing toilets and human waste running down the walls in some parts of the ship.

In March, the Carnival Dream lost power and some toilets stopped working.

Earlier this month, cruise officials said a man and a woman on the Carnival Spirit fell overboard off Australia’s coast and are presumed dead. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)