Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) –Some passengers of the Baltimore-based Royal Caribbean Cruise ship that caught fire while in the Bahamas are still making their way home.
The cruise line has already chartered multiple flight, sand this afternoon more returned to BWI-Marshall airport Wednesday afternoon.
Derek Valcourt spoke with some of those passengers about their ordeal.
Some of them are still waiting to get back.
There were 2224 passengers on board, so it’s no surprise getting all of them home is not easy and not always fast.
Baltimore grandmother Linda Brown erupted into tears hugging her family on her return to BWI.
What was supposed to be a relaxing cruise took a tense turn when the Baltimore-based Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas caught fire.
“It was very intense. There was one point where we thought we were going to die,” said Olga Brizuela.
It was around 2:30 Monday morning when passengers woke to alarms and were forced to rush out of their rooms in life vests and head to the life boats.
Among those left nervous was Bang Warren, of White Marsh, who’s still waiting to get home.
“They started lowering the lifeboats, and that’s when it really became frightening. I literally thought i was a gonner,” said Warren.
It took nearly four hours for the crew to extinguish the raging fire in the ship’s aft mooring deck and then give the all-clear for passengers to return to their rooms.
Bang Warren snapped photos of the ship’s captain as he explained the situation to passengers and praised the crew for their bravery.
“Everybody on the ship was just clapping. It was an amazing thing,” said passenger Ann Purdy.
The rest of the cruise was canceled.
Many had no idea how bad the blaze was until they disembarked and saw the damage for themselves.
“It was unbelievable. I don’t know how we didn’t go into the lifeboats. But there was a lot of help,” said Alice Javersak.
“The crew did a fantastic job in getting everyone organized and making sure they got to where they were supposed to be,” said Judy Richards.
Most passengers made it back to Baltimore on specially chartered flights Tuesday and Wednesday.
A small group afraid to fly are being put on trains. They are not expected to arrive back in Baltimore until late Thursday afternoon.
The Grandeur of the Seas next scheduled cruise for May 31 has already been canceled.
The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.