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Carnival Freedom Cruise Ship Catches Fire, Refuses Refunds

Last week, footage emerged of a Carnival Cruise ship ablaze in the port of Grand Turk. The funnel system started bellowing thick black smoke and flames, completely destroying one half.

Most of the 2504 guests were not on board when the fire broke out, and will be transferred to a sister ship, Carnival Conquest, for a 2 day trip back to Miami. The Carnival Freedom’s cruises will be cancelled while the ship heads to Freeport for repairs, and the Conquest will delay one of it’s planned cruises for a day.

While the cause of the fire has not been disclosed, the cruise line put out an official statement Monday morning:

Friday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. ET 

On Thursday morning while in port at Grand Turk, Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnelAll guests and crew are safe, and all other ship, hotel, and guest services, along with safety equipment are fully functioning.

While the majority of Carnival Freedom’s guests went ashore in Grand Turk today, Carnival’s technical team completed an initial assessment of the funnel and related features, and the shoreside team completed a plan to get our guests back to Port Canaveral.

There are 2504 guests and 972 crew on board. Carnival Conquest’s next cruise, departing May 27 from Miami has been cancelled and that ship will be deployed to Grand Turk to transport Freedom guests back to Port Canaveral.  Carnival Conquest will arrive to Grand Turk on Saturday, May 28 and guests aboard Carnival Freedom will transfer to Carnival Conquest for the voyage back to Port Canaveral, arriving on Monday, May 30.  Carnival Conquest will then return to Miami, and her May 30 departure will be shortened by one day, with guests embarking on May 31.

Once guests are transferred from Carnival Freedom, the ship will proceed to Freeport for a repair to the funnel.  The May 28, June 2 and June 6 departures of Carnival Freedom from Port Canaveral have been cancelled. Guests booked on the impacted sailings on Carnival Conquest and Carnival Freedom voyages have been notified of these changes.

Carnival apologized to all those guests who are impacted and offered special thanks to the crew who handled the situation on the ship effectively and according to safety protocols.

While the cruise says the fire was “extinguished” by the crew, video of the incident shows crewmembers attempting to hoes down the funnel with streams failing to reach the flames.

The Carnival Freedom’s cruise being nearly over, the company did not offer refunds, and instead extended all benefits to cover the additional travel time aboard the Carnival Conquest. This includes a $100 credit to use onboard during the extra days, and a 50% future credit to get a discount on a future cruise. The company is also waving any parking fees incurred due to the delay in return, and will be reimbursing up to $200 in any non-refundable air travel expenses.

Workers accessing damage aboard Carnival Freedom

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