Update: The Azamara Quest has safely reached Sandakan, Malaysia where the passengers are staying in luxury hotels. A charter flight, paid for by the cruise line, will take the passengers to Singapore on Tuesday.
Passenger Diane Becker from St. Thomas told the AP, “It was unfortunate, but the crew was totally, utterly amazing, taking care of us, making sure we were safe, pulling double duty. I would still highly recommend the Azamara.”
The luxury cruise liner, Azamara Quest, reported a fire in the engine room on Friday at 8:19 pm local time. Azamara is a unit of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were 5 crew members sustained injuries in the accident. The crew members were treated with smoke inhalation and 4 of them are doing fine. The 5th is in need of “urgent” medical attention” at a hospital.
Azamara has reported that the atmosphere on board the ship was calm and passengers were briefly mustered to their assembly stations as a caution. The Quest was currently running on generator power until full power could be restored to the engine room.
By late Friday, the ship had restored power to one of the ship’s engines. The ship had air conditioning, refrigeration, running water, bathroom facilities, and food was able to be prepared in the kitchen. However, the ship does not yet have enough power for propulsion.
All passengers will be given a full refund and the rest of the cruise will be canceled. Passengers will disembark the ship when they reach Sandakan. Azamara’s CEO, Larry Pimentel, was planning on flying to Sandakan to personally meet with the passengers.
Passengers were offered a variety of compensation from staying in a luxury hotel in Singapore or any other Asian city of their choice. They are also offered $150 per day for meals and incidentals. In addition to receiving a full refund of their cruise fare, they will also received a credit good for a future cruise that is valued at 100% of the price they paid for their current cruise. Passengers will also be reimbursed for airfare.
The ship was 4 days into the sailing of a 17 night cruise that left Hong Kong on Monday, March 26. The ship was scheduled to stop in ports Manila, Philippines; Palapo (Sulawesi); Komodo, Indonesia; Sandakan (Sabah), Malaysia; Benoa (Bali), Semarang, and disembarks in Singapore on April 12.
This incident comes a little over a month after the Costa Allegra had a fire break out in it’s engine room on February 27, 2012.
The Azamara Quest is a luxury cruise ship that carries 710 passengers and 410 crew members. 300 of the passengers on board this sailing were Americans.
Cruise Fever will continue to bring you the latest updates as more information becomes available.