Editor's note: Content was up to date at time of publication.
Members of Cruise Critic's community have, predictably, not been shy when it comes to discussing the scary fire that broke out on Princess Cruises' Star Princess this week. Indeed, numerous threads on numerous boards prevailed -- and the crisis also encouraged some mixing and mingling as folks who typically post on other boards came over to Princess to share commiserations.
We've culled a handful of the many, many interesting comments pertaining to the fire. It was heartwarming to see that the most common topic was concern from readers about passengers and crew and about the state of the ship, too. Many thanks to Carolyn (screen name cjskids), a passenger onboard Star Princess this week, for giving us all a riveting heads-up -- and, inadvertently, launching a virtual "hope all's well" greeting card in which readers could post their thoughts and share their opinions. Click here to add yours.
The thread inspired by Carolyn's quick report has been the most popular, with over 10,000 page views in less than two days, but we also cite numerous postings in a variety of threads that complimented the crew for fighting a fire that -- to judge from this photo -- looks worse than it turned out to be.
We didn't include comments from folks who are worried about upcoming near-term sailings on Star Princess (there were quite a few of you) because we're covering this issue over in our news section. Check back often. And we're also not featuring messages that speculate about the cause simply because even though we all pretty much think we know what it was -- well, we don't, not until they tell us. But keep chatting!
"This was the cruise industry's finest hour. It is truly amazing seeing the pictures that there were not more fatalities or injuries. All accounts I have seen reflect a truly courageous and professional crew. They efficiently went about their duties, while the captain kept everyone informed. I am most impressed by the account that when the fire was out, as the captain thanked his crew, the passengers applauded." -- chasetf
"Personally, when I look at the pictures, I think that it is obvious the ship's fire systems and fire fighting strategies worked ... that was an intense fire on the outside of the ship, and they managed to control it, and it did not spread internally. It's not like they could fight the fire from outside the ship ... think about it, it's not like a fire truck could pull up to the side and spray water." -- MattinFLL
"I am booked on Princess in a few months so it shook me some to hear about the fire. Your account sounds like what I would expect. The cruise line did all it could and validates those darned drills we always have to take before our departure. It shows that practice is worth it. This can happen in any building, ship, place. Princess was as ready as they can possibly be for this." -- Southern Mainer
"I think that it was handled well -- a middle of the night fire in the cabin area while at sea -- kudos for the captain, crew and passengers!" -- Canne12
"It was an accident and if I am ever caught in such an accident, I would want the most capable people in charge. Princess has demonstrated this." -- Cathy Laz
You Are Warned
"I hope anyone who even thinks it's cute or fun to miss the muster drill takes a good look at these photos." -- Mafig
"It just shows you, for all we grumble about boat drill, it's worth going and paying attention! Kudos to the crew of Star Princess, who showed that what they practice so often pays off in an emergency. They are all heroes!" -- Seachase20
While We Don't Know the Cause...
"Posters on this and other boards always advise to bring power strips, coffee pots, scented candles, etc. I would hate to think that a careless passenger caused a death, injuries and destruction aboard this ship. I couldn't live with myself." -- Ethel5
"On my Glory cruise last week, the Captain announced that passengers should not let their ashes drop over the balconies into the water because they could land on other outside structures. I cannot tell you how many times we had ashes coming into our balcony (on my body -- in my face) from the smokers just above and over one from us." -- Iamthesea
"I actually stopped bringing my Glade Plug-In air fresheners on the ship because I heard they were a fire hazard. I love them because they are a night light, extra plug and air freshener all in one but I don't use them anywhere anymore. Not worth the risk." -- Where Next
"I'm also surprised that those balconies weren't constructed of a more fire-resistant (or fire-retardant) material! Fire at sea has been a threat to cruise ships since before the Morro Castle disaster, and shipbuilders and designers are supposed to minimize sources of smoke and flame. While the loss of several hundred balconies has marred the external appearance of the ship, it doesn't appear to have affected the ship's structural integrity and hopefully she'll be back in service in a few months." -- DrWong
Let's Keep Some Perspective, Folks
"I still think of cruising as a safe vacation. Tragedy can happen anywhere, on land, in the air, at sea. But we can't expect to live our lives if we worry about the 'what ifs' all the time. I know the stories we hear are sad and I feel so sorry for all these people and their families/friends. The numbers are still in our favor for a wonderful experience, if you consider the millions of people who cruise every year, only a miniscule percentage experience tragedy." -- Happy ks
"All of this news has been heart-breaking today, but I agree that the number of incidents on cruise ships is minor compared to car accidents, shootings, etc. everyday somewhere in the world. With anything today, we just have to be more aware (I know I will be more attentive at the muster drill) and treasure each day that we do have with those around us." -- Pklopp
The Repair Process
"I think cabins can be removed and replaced like Legos, at least that's how they do it when they build the ship in the first place. Cabins are standard and built completely before they are placed in the ship and hooked to plumbing and electrical. Hopefully this will allow the Star to be back into action quickly. I'd love to know exactly how they do that actually." -- Jolimont
"I can't imagine that they have 150 cabins sitting some where waiting to be installed much less a facility to do the work. There is probably a lot of electrical damage done that would need to be repaired." -- BillPI
Maybe We Do Know the Cause -- A Little Levity to Heal the Spirit
"I have it on good authority (another thread) that someone wearing jeans in the dining room (on formal night no less) Caused the whole thing. Friction from the jeans (they were very tight) caused enough heat that the offending party threw them overboard and, well, you can see the results." -- LivSea2
--Edited and compiled by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief