May 29, 2013
Update: 4:39 p.m.-- Royal Caribbean announced this afternoon it is canceling the next six scheduled sailings on Grandeur of the Seas. The next sailing on Grandeur of the Seas will take place July 12. Passengers booked on canceled sailings will get full refunds of their cruise fares as well as 25 percent future cruise certificates.
(12 p.m. EDT) -- The last group of passengers from Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, which caught fire in the early hours of the morning on May 27, is currently airborne, on its way back to Baltimore, where the ship is based.
Line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez tells us the last of 11 chartered flights from Grand Bahama will arrive in Baltimore today. The first of the flights arrived yesterday morning.
About 25 passengers who chose not to fly will be ferried from Grand Bahama to Fort Lauderdale, where they will have the option of taking a train or bus back to Baltimore.
Martinez also tells us that the ship, which has been docked at the Freeport cruise terminal since Monday, will be moved to Grand Bahama Shipyard, where it is slated to undergo repairs. The duration of those repairs is not currently known, but the line has canceled its May 31 sailing.
Passengers booked on the May 31 sailing will receive full refunds of their cruise fares, as well as 50 percent off a future cruise.
Those who sailed on the May 24 voyage will be fully refunded the amount of their cruise fare, along with a "future cruise certificate for 100 percent of the cruise fare paid," according to a statement from the line.
Royal Caribbean's public relations department says it will announce updates on other future sailings by the end of the week.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which has an Office of Marine Safety, announced via Twitter it will join the U.S. Coast Guard in investigating the fire; no cause has yet been determined.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Associate Editor