June 18, 2009
Update, 5:44 p.m. EDT: The latest from Princess is that the fire has been extinguished, but passengers will remain at their muster stations until further notice. The ship is currently operating on emergency power and lighting. We'll keep you posted.
(3:23 p.m. EDT) -- A fire broke out in the engine room on Princess Cruises' Royal Princess at 8:10 p.m. local time on Thursday as the ship was departing from Port Said, Egypt. No injuries have been reported, but one passenger was taken to the ship's medical center after complaining of chest pain.
A statement from Princess says that passengers aboard were called to their muster stations, and fire teams were deployed. All 733 passengers and 393 crewmembers have been accounted for. Royal Princess is currently in the middle of a 12-night Holy Land sailing from Rome to Athens and is now anchored off the coast of Port Said.
Princess spokeswoman Karen Candy said there is no word yet on whether the incident will delay any of the ship's remaining calls in Ashdod (Jerusalem), Haifa, Kusadasi or Patmos Island. Royal Princess is due in Athens on the 25th.
Princess has established phone lines to field inquiries from family members of passengers and crew aboard the ship. For inquiries about passengers, dial (800) 693-7222. For inquiries about crewmembers, call (661) 753-2804.
We'll keep you posted as further information becomes available.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor