Late Thursday, Carnival Cruise Line canceled Saturday’s planned Carnival Freedom voyage from the port of Canaveral. after the ship got on fire during a stop at the port of call in Grand Turku.
Carnival told passengers that Freedom instead of passengers would sail without passengers to a shipyard in the Grand Bahamas or for repairs.
A fire in the ship’s funnel area will also delay the return of passengers on a cruise that was due to return to the port of Canaveral on Saturday. Instead, these passengers will return to the port of Canaveral on another Carnival ship, the Conquest, on Monday morning.
The cruise ship Carnival caught fire with 3,500 on board. Here’s what we know
In a statement by Matt Lupali, senior public relations manager at Carnival Cruise Line, the company said: “On Thursday morning, while in port at Grand Terk, the Carnival Freedom emergency response team quickly stepped up and put out the fire in the ship’s funnel. All guests and crew are safe, and all other services of the ship, hotel and guests, as well as security equipment are fully operational.
The statement said that while most Carnival Freedom guests went ashore in Grand Turku (Thursday), the Carnival technical team completed an initial assessment of the funnel and related functions, and the coastal team fulfilled a plan to return our guests to Canaveral port. ».
There are 2504 passengers and 972 crew members on board.
Why did Carnival cancel the cruise?
Carnival said it had decided to cancel the next Carnival Conquest cruise, which was due to depart on Friday from Miami. This ship will instead be deployed to Grand Turk to transport Freedom passengers back to Port Canaveral.
The Carnival Conquest is scheduled to arrive in Grand Turk on Saturday at 4pm, and passengers aboard the Carnival Freedom will board the Carnival Conquest – a cognate Freedom ship – to return to the port of Canaveral, which will arrive on Monday. .
The Carnival Conquest will then return to Miami, and the scheduled May 30 flight will be shortened by one day, and guests will depart on May 31.
After the passengers are transferred from Carnival Freedom, “the ship will go to Freeport to repair the funnel,” the statement said.
Saturday’s scheduled departure for Carnival Freedom – a five-way voyage from the port of Canaveral – has been canceled.
Carnival said passengers booked for affected voyages on Carnival Conquest and Carnival Freedom flights have been notified of the changes.
“Carnival apologized to all the injured guests and expressed special gratitude to the crew, which effectively and in accordance with safety protocols dealt with the situation on the ship,” – said in a statement.
In an email to passengers of the current Freedom cruise, Captain Mario Imbimba said, “extra cruise days and tips at our expense,” and beverage and Wi-Fi packages will be extended free of charge for passengers who have purchased such packages. The cruise line will also give passengers a $ 100 credit per cabin on board; pay up to $ 200 per person for airline costs to change fees; and will pay additional parking fees to Port Canaveral.
The ship sailed from the port of Canaveral on Monday and was to return on Saturday.
“We understand that this prolongs the time you have planned to be away from home, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this delay may cause you,” Imbimbo wrote. “Also, since we’d like to celebrate more than congratulating you on your return, you’ll get 50% off future cruise loans.”
A carnival cruise ship fire: what happened?
Among the Freedom passengers were Jenny Fleming and her mother Carol Reich, both from Palm Bay. Fleming said they were among the first to report the fire.
“My mom and I were sitting on the balcony drinking coffee when we moored, and some weird people at the (Carnival) Mardi Gras next to us started yelling at us that there was a fire,” Fleming said. “Mom runs inside and calls 911, and we were apparently the first to report it.”
Fleming said they reported the fire at 7:30 p.m. Everyone was ordered to report to their collection points within 20-30 minutes while the Carnival crew assessed the situation. Passengers were able to get ashore at 8:40 p.m.
“The whole crew informed us perfectly and made sure we knew where we needed to go,” Fleming said. “Many passengers were upset, and at first there was chaos. But then, when everyone got to the collection point, order was restored.”
Katie Bushnell of Batan Rouge, Louisiana, was on Mardi Gras, another ship from Port Canaveral, which was standing near Carnival Freedom in Grand Turk, and witnessed the incident.
“We woke up around 7:30 a.m. and I hear people shouting in our room,” said Bushnell, who was on a cruise with a number of family members. “I go to our balcony and people say, ‘The ship is on fire!’ I look up and see black smoke coming from the ship, and I thought it was ours. ”
Soon “we realize that people were shouting from our ship to another ship. I’m starting to try to get a right look at another ship, and of course we see their ship on fire. It was raging, melting more and more. I was so scared. because it was just beginning and the staff had just been warned. So we watched this and tried to warn others on their balcony on another ship. “
In a Facebook post describing the fire, Bushnell wrote: “Freedom firefighters have gained control and now everything is fine. Thank God. Watching this was insane and I was really scared for the Freedom passengers. The wind was blowing very hard and the fire he seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. I didn’t know how they were holding him back. But the staff is very well trained. “
A cruise ship funnel usually serves as a chimney to raise emissions above deck, thus away from passengers and crew.
Grand Turk is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, located north of the island of Espanola, an island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti.