(3:00 p.m. EDT) -- Cyberspace is abuzz today with reports of a fire onboard Carnival Cruise Lines' new Carnival Breeze but the reports are, shall we say, somewhat overblown.
Cruise Critic's Dan Askin, currently aboard the ship, told us that "an alarm went off in a crew space. While it wasn't a false alarm per se, it didn't amount to much. No one batted an eye or stopped swimming and lounging, but John Heald, Breeze's cruise director, and Captain Vincenzo Alcaras updated us twice."
Indeed, Carnival spokesperson Joyce Oliva sent a statement that "a fan belt inside an air conditioning unit in a crew area overheated and started generating smoke. There was not an actual fire and no smoke entered guest areas. The ship's crew responded immediately and all is well."
Reports of the fire, tweeted on Twitter, published on numerous blogs and even in a major trade magazine, were triggered by the summons of the ship's Alpha team (a fire squadron) at 8 a.m. ship time over Breeze's public address system as it was cruising at sea on its way to Dubrovnik.
In the second and last announcement, the captain assured passengers that the ship was back to normal.
-- by Dori Saltzman, News Editor