May 28th, 2013: Royal Caribbean have announced that Grandeur of The Seas will return to Baltimore today after the fire in the three deck mooring compartment at her stern. The line has also stated that all passengers on board will receive a complete refund on the cost of their cruise, plus a one hundred per cent value for a future cruise. All passengers will be flown back to Baltimore from the Bahamas.
Passengers on the now cancelled May 31st departure will also receive a full refund, plus a fifty per cent cruise credit for any subsequent Royal Caribbean cruise.
It will be interesting to see the media reaction to what has been an almost text book master class in crisis management, both on board the ship herself and in the PR department of the company. CEO Adam Goldstein flew with a team of specialists to meet the ship and talk to both passengers and crew. Royal’s PR department kept up a constant stream of immediate, almost real time information via Twitter, Facebook and other media outlets that took any guessing- and doubtless much potential for lurid speculation- out of the equation.
The fire itself appears to have been contained fairly quickly, within around two hours. It was kept well away from any passenger cabins or public areas. The ship lost no motive power or back up support services, unlike the recent Carnival incidents that induced such a rabid media feeding frenzy.
This could play out slightly negatively in the short term; I expect a slew of hysterical headlines over ‘another’ cruise ship accident.
But, on the other side of the coin, the response from Royal Caribbean- at all levels- has been so wide ranging and effective that it should garner the line enhanced credibility. It is also worth noting that the rival Carnival Sensation stood by within hailing distance, ready to go to the aid of Grandeur if required. All credit to Carnival for being ready to assist if required, too.
Grandeur of The Seas is operating a programme of five to nine night Bermuda, Bahamas and Caribbean cruises from Baltimore through the year. The ship received a substantial renovation of her on board facilities in Cadiz in 2012.
There is no doubt that the next voyage- maybe even a few- will have to be cancelled while repairs are made. Having sailed Grandeur of The Seas in the past, I can attest to the fact that she is a very well run ship.
Here’s wishing fair seas and smoother sailing soon to a fine ship and her excellent crew.
Royal Caribbean has just announced that the next six sailings of Grandeur of The Seas are cancelled as a result of the fire damage. The ship is anticipated to return to service on July 12th.
Repairs to the fire damage sustained by Grandeur of The Seas have been completed, and the ship has returned to Baltimore.
She will host an overnight media cruise tonight (July 11th) before resuming normal, year round service from Baltimore, with the first sailing due to leave tomorrow.
The Vision-class Grandeur- extensively refurbished in Cadiz in 2012- has been out of action for six weeks, following a fire in her aft mooring cable compartment that necessitated a visit to the Grand Bahama shipyard for repairs.