by CASEY BENZI Staff Writer
A fire blazed at 2:50am on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Grandeur of the Seas, on Monday, May 27, startling all of the ship’s members and crew.
The ship has a total of 11 decks and the fire started on the third deck of the ship in the mooring area. This area is located at the very end of the boat towards the middle levels which allowed the fire to engulf an entire dining area.
“I opened the door and just see people running around with life jackets on and we were being yelled at to get our life jackets on and run up to a deck that was two floors above us,” said passenger Danielle Miller, 23. “But we didn’t know what was going on because when we were going to bed it was really stormy, so we honestly thought the boat might have been sinking. And we were just panicking and running upstairs. And we didn’t know for about a half hour that there was a fire two decks below where we were at.”
There were 2,224 cruise members aboard the ship, and they were terrified to wake up to extreme chaos and the panic of not knowing the true danger of the situation. All passengers were required to wear life vests and all gathered on the opposite deck of the fire in the main deck areas of the ship.
The passengers claimed that the 796 crew members aboard the ship remained calm and handled the situation very well while trying to keep everyone organized and safe.
“The crew was going the extra mile and then some to make sure we’re taken care of,” says Fire Chief Brian Goss who was on the ship with his wife, three boys, and three friends of the boys’.
Luckily, no one on the ship was harmed during the fire and it did not even lose power. Since the mishap caused scheduling issues for several passengers, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line refunded every ticket for the trip, flew all the members back to Baltimore from the Bahamas where it took port, and they also included a voucher for all the passangers to attend another Royal Caribbean cruise.
My family and I are supposed to go on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas from July 25 to August 3. Just the fact that there was a fire on a cruise ship in general makes me hesitant to step on any ship, let alone a Royal Caribbean ship. I am not too worried though, because there are only five recorded fires in Royal Caribbean Cruise Line history out of their 41 working ships, including this recent one.
The RCCL has had far fewer issues compared to Carnival Cruise Lines, which have struggled with many more ships. Also, passengers have complained about disgusting conditions on Carnival ships while passengers on Royal Caribbean ships have come back saying how wonderful the staff was and how they did not even lose power.
“Carnival ships do not have even as nice of an appearance as Royal Caribbean ships and considering I have been on both cruise lines, I would say RCCL has much better staff and your stay is much more enjoyable,” says freshman Andrew Isola.
The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph experienced a fire in the engine room, which was most likely caused by workers not inspecting all of the machines and materials properly. Royal Caribbean experienced engine room fires themselves, but have always had better fire containment systems and very efficient protocol when it comes to emergency situations. To me, Royal Caribbean seems like a more reliable cruise line, even with the recent fire.
Freshman Ashlyn Petersen feels differently: “I think it’s very unfortunate and scary, also considering that I took a cruise on that exact boat last August. I personally am very scared to take a cruise again because of all the incidents that have been happening recently. These incidents have started to become a pattern for cruise ships which is very frightening for frequent cruisers.”
If you had to choose, would you travel on a Royal Caribbean cruise or a Carnival cruise? Why?