Fire Breaks Out on Royal Caribbean Ship
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Passengers on one of the world's largest cruise ships today were mustered at assembly stations after a fire broke out in a mechanical space.
In a statement sent to USA TODAY, Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the blaze aboard the 154,407-ton Freedom of the Seas was quickly put out by the ship's fire suppression system, and the mustering was done out of "an abundance of caution."
The ship was pulling into the port of Falmouth, Jamaica at the time of the incident and is now docked at the town.
All systems on the vessel are functioning, the statement says. In tweets from its corporate Twitter account, Royal Caribbean adds that it has accounted for all passengers and crew. The line says no passengers were injured, but one crew member suffered a first degree burn.
Royal Caribbean hasn't said if the fire caused damage. A passenger on board Freedom of the Seas posted at cruise fan site CruiseCritic.com that there is a smell of smoke throughout the ship. A video posted at a local Jamaica news outlet shows smoke billowing from the top of the vessel.
Freedom of the Seas is on a seven-night sailing to the Western Caribbean that departed Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 19 and is scheduled to feature calls in Falmouth; Labadee, Haiti; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. In an afternoon tweet, the line said the voyage would continue as planned.
Today's incident comes two years after a major fire on Royal Caribbean's smaller Grandeur of the Seas knocked that ship out of service for six weeks of repairs.
Unveiled in 2006, Freedom of the Seas was for a time the world's largest cruise ship, but it has been eclipsed in recent years by several larger vessels. It's now tied with two sister ships as the sixth largest cruise vessel in the world.
Royal Caribbean hasn't said how many passengers are on board Freedom of the Seas this week, but it can carry more than 4,000. The vessel was just taken out of service earlier this year for a massive makeover that included the addition of 67 more cabins, new restaurants, a Royal Babies & Tots nursery for children under three years of age and an outdoor poolside movie screen.
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