Fire breaks out on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Grandeur of the Seas has full power, cruise line says

MIAMI - A Royal Caribbean International ship was diverted to a Bahamas port Monday after an early morning fire prompted the crew to send hundreds of guests to the decks with life jackets under the night sky.

The U.S. Coast Guard escorted the Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship about 35 nautical miles to Freeport after the fire, which the company said began in a mooring area about 2:50 a.m. and was extinguished just before 5 a.m.

Video showed burn marks over a large portion on the outside of one end of the ship.

The ship, with 2,224 guests and 796 crew members, initially was headed to CocoCay, Bahamas, but was diverted to Freeport for evaluation, Royal Caribbean said in a news release.

The company initially reported no injuries. A message on one of its Twitter accounts later said that two guests were treated after fainting and that the medical staff had "1 report of high blood pressure and 1 report of cramps."

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said she didn't have further information about those guests, "but the ship has told us that there are no medical emergencies onboard."

Video captured by passengers Danielle Miller and Katie Coleman shows guests gathered on a deck, wearing orange life jackets.

"We're on deck right now, 3 a.m., in our life jackets. Not a drill, not a joke," a narrator in Miller's video says.

The fire started on the aft mooring deck and spread to the fourth deck at the crew lounge area before it was extinguished, Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo said. Information on the fire's cause wasn't available, she said.

The ship arrived at Freeport at 9:30 a.m., said Owen Thompson, an official with the port there.

"In an abundance of caution, the captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations," the company's news release said. "All ... guests and ... crew have been accounted for, and there have been no injuries of guests or crew reported."

Passengers will be able to get off the ship at Freeport if they choose, Martinez said.

Information from Royal Caribbean's website states that the Grandeur of the Seas Bahamas trip includes seven nights, leaving from the Port of Baltimore in Maryland and calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's "private island paradise" in the Bahamas.

A number of cruise ship incidents have made headlines in the past year and a half.

In January 2012, 32 people died when the Costa Concordia capsized off Italy's coast.

In February this year, an engine room fire left the Carnival Triumph adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, with passengers reporting overflowing toilets and human waste running down the walls in some parts of the ship.

On a March cruise, the Carnival Dream lost power and some toilets stopped working. And this month, authorities say, a man and a woman on the Carnival Spirit fell overboard off Australia's coast; they are presumed dead.

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