Cruise Ship Fires, Cruise Ship Law, Maritime Matter of the Week

Another Cruise Ship Fire?


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Carnival might want to start thinking about changing their slogan from the “Fun Ships” to the “Fire Ships.” Just as the hype surrounding the Carnival Triumph cruise ship fire debacle was finally starting to die down, the maritime industry has been rocked yet again by another fire incident onboard a Carnival Corp.-owned ship, but exactly how serious was it?

According to Cruise Critic message board posts, a small fire broke out on the Coral Princess, a Princess Cruises vessel in the Carnival Corp. fleet on Wednesday evening. Passengers sailing on the ship explained that a plastic material caught fire inside a storage room, which created a significant amount of smoke and a terrible smell that permeated across several decks, lingering well after the fire was extinguished. However, there have been mixed reports as to exactly where the fire took place. Some passengers reported the fire occurred on deck 2 while others have mentioned deck 9 was affected.

“We had some excitement at 10:45 PM last night when the bells rang into our room, voice said for assessment only to deck 2, but the regular 7 short and one long sounded. Voice said it was not for passengers, but passengers get nervous,” wrote a Cruise Critic member. “The captain came on shortly after to say there was a small fire and it was being assessed. Several other announcements were made all by the captain until about 50 minutes later when he said everything was under control, ship in perfect condition and we were continuing normally. Lots of passengers were out in the hallway; not us. I stayed nervous in my cabin.”

All in all, it took about an hour for the fire to be put out, but the antics weren’t over all that quickly. The sprinkler system in zone 5 of the ship allegedly went off, affecting several cabins and possibly soaking anyone who was in their room trying to relax. But unfortunately, “relaxation” is a far cry from what Carnival Corp. ships have offered passengers as of late.

There has been no confirmation from Princess thus far about the exact details of the incident or if anyone’s belongings were damaged following the sprinkler activation. However, given that Princess operates under the Carnival Corp. umbrella, passengers should expect to wait a while before seeing any compensation for damaged belongings or for the impromptu sprinkler shower.

No injuries have been reported thus far, but given the scarce details regarding the fire accident, there may very likely have been a few injured crew members or passengers. Although it was not a large fire, it was still a fire nonetheless and just goes to show that yet another week has gone by in the cruise industry without companies doing anything to create a safer shipboard environment for both passengers and crew members.

The Coral Princess kept sailing on as if nothing happened, which is often common practice for cruise lines. One hour hardly seems like sufficient time to investigate a fire incident or clean up, but, as they say, the show must go on.

Photo Credit: Coral Princess –

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