Back on U.S. soil, Cruise Critic members who were passengers onboard the May 24 sailing of Royal Caribbean‘s Grandeur of the Seas took to the message boards to praise, place blame and recount their experiences of the ship fire.
At 7:12 a.m. May 27,2013, less than three hours after the fire was extinguished, member Dharma517 posted from onboard Grandeur that there had been a fire, passengers spent about four hours standing by at their muster stations, but all were O.K. Dharma517 continued to post thoughts and information throughout the course of the ordeal, following up with her final thread Wednesday morning:
“Wow…getting out of Freeport was a nightmare,” she wrote. “Not sure RCCL could have done any more than they could though. Our 4pm flight finally arrived around 11 something last night in Baltimore. There are going to be horror stories…one plane sat at Freeport airport filled with passengers for five hours and I don’t know why. An entire flight had their baggage lost.”
Dharma517 did note Royal Caribbean representatives were at the airport to greet them as they arrived.
Other members weighed in with short and sweet posts praising the way Royal handled the situation, citing “professionalism, concern, and care.”
Member jchiefs13 even wrote a blog recounting his “100 percent positive” experience and linked to photos of his damaged balcony. Despite descriptions of the fire and a loud noise just before 3 a.m., jchiefs13 said, “We, at no time, were afraid.”
Korianto, a member staying in an aft balcony suite that “overlooked Grandeur fire,” wrote more than 4,000 words describing the experience of being in an decidedly “affected cabin” and also noted the sound of an explosion that occurred during the fire.
Despite feelings that “The crew did a fantastic job, however, in my opinion, they could have done better, much better,” Korianto also noted that “The muster crew leaders did a wonderful job of keeping order — I did not see any groups of ‘panicked passengers’ nor any groups of ‘freaked out passengers’ that I read about on the news wires.”
According to members, telephone and Internet connections were made available free of charge after the fire.