Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was an early arrival back home for passengers on a seven-day cruise out of Baltimore. A fire on board the Royal Caribbean ship cut the trip short, and the 2200 passengers were flown back.
Derek Valcourt was at BWI-Marshall airport, where passengers gave high marks to the ship’s crew.
People on board the scorched Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas returned to the United States ahead of schedule. Many were exhausted after a tense ordeal involving a large fire burning for nearly two hours in the ship’s deck early Monday morning.
Luckily, no one was injured.
“It’s very upsetting. Very, very traumatic,” said one traveler.
“I’m a 72-year-old lady, and this is too much drama for me,” said another.
Alarms woke everyone on board.
Staff instructed passengers to grab life vests and report to their assigned life boats.
“Everyone was kind of keeping it light, so it was fun until they put those boats down and then we were like, ‘Okay, it’s serious,’” said one woman.
Cell phone video shows crowded decks as passengers waited nearly four hours to extinguish flames and check the ship before allowing people to go back to their rooms.
Sharon and Michael Safran of Baltimore were on board celebrating their 20th anniversary and like most passengers, it wasn’t until they were off that ship that they realized how badly it was damaged.
“We had no idea what the severity was. I mean, you had no idea there were flames coming out the back of the boat. The crew just handled it excellent,” said Michael Safran.
The couple said they would be willing to go on another cruise.
Those passengers will get another chance if they choose to take it. Not only will they get a full refund for this cruise, they will get a free voucher for a cruise.
The ship’s next cruise on May 31 has been canceled while the crew’s company looks into repairs.
A Royal Caribbean spokesman said the Grandeur of the Seas is being repaired in the Bahamas. A full assessment of the damage has not been completed.