Passengers who were nearly evacuated from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that caught on fire on the high seas Monday morning are returning to the U.S. with harrowing tales and video from the scene.
Cruise-takers were roused just after 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning by the ship’s captain informing them of a fire and ordering everyone up to the deck for possible evacuation. As the blaze progressed, more than 3,000 people, passengers and crew, filed the ship’s deck wearing life vests and watching as life boats were deployed in preparation for the worst.
“When they started lowering the boats, like, our mouths just dropped,” passenger Jennifer Allen told a reporter for “CBS This Morning.” “We’re not broken down, we’re on fire in the middle of the ocean.”
The ship, which departed from Baltimore, was diverted to the Bahamas. It docked just after 5 a.m. Crew reportedly had the blaze under control within two hours.
Responding to the crisis, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam M. Goldstein personally flew out to meet with the 2,224 passengers, who were all given a full refund and voucher for another cruise. The company’s damaged vessle, Grandeur of the Seas, was recently renovated at a cost of more than $48 million.
This video is from “CBS This Morning,” aired Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
[“Stock Photo: People Walk Along A Pier Near The Liberty Of The Seas And The Zuiderdam Ships As They Lie Moored January 21, 2008.” on Shutterstock.]