Fire onboard STAR PRINCESS

23rd March 2006, 17:17
As the thread title suggests. Sadly one person has died.

Take your pick out of the stories:,,11069-2100168,00.html&hl=en

24th March 2006, 01:50
Hello to all.

The complete description of the fire here:

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre

24th March 2006, 03:48
@#&@ man thats a mess.they should ban smoking on there.just imagine if that was a oil tanker (EEK) but i know you cant smoke there.

24th March 2006, 06:30

Here the company statements:

bob johnston
25th March 2006, 20:17
It is so easy for fire to take place on board by cigarette I still cannot understand why it is not banned on ships. I know it is a habit but in the name of safety it should just be like in restaurants and on planes.

The ship was lucky not to be in more serious trouble and have more fatalities , apart from costing the company thousands of dollars.It must have been frightening to hear the fire alarm go off in the middle of the night and see smoke .It sounds that the Captain had everything under control and kept passengers informed on the situation.

I have experienced fire on board ship and smoke and it still lives with me .

It is good that today they have more sophisticated fire control systems lets hope we see less fires on board and maybe at some stage smoking maybe banned.

Bob ( Sydney )

25th March 2006, 21:46
I wrote about my concerns of fire at sea in previous threads having been on Oriana, and Pride of Bilbao. On both occasions I told passengers off for throwing lighted fags overboard. None had any idea that the fag blows onto the deck below and could start a fire. I wrote to P&O stating my concerns and that there should be more warnings, otherwise they would have a serious fire possibly with loss of life. They replied saying they were happy with their safety procedure. Saying that I told them so does not make me feel any better. I feel so sad that I predicted something they could not seem to foresee.

On this occasion however, it may not have been a fag thrown from a higher deck. A passenger could have fallen asleep seeing that is affected 120 cabins. Although it could have been thrown from a top deck onto a balcony?.

The passenger who died most likely died as a result of stress. It always angers me when people speculate that a person died of a heart attack prior to an autopsy. As a Morbid Anatomist, I would never speculate until we had proved a person died of coronary thrombosis. That is the medical term. We medics never use the term heart attack because it is a loose term that can mean many conditons of the heart, some not fatal. But it would seem that stress killed this person which is very common possibly direct or after a meal or tiredness due to travel, or a combination of the lot so common in holidaymakers causing a clot to form blocking one of the main coronary arteries. It is a snowball effect beginning with extra pressure such as stress, that lead to others factors kicking in.

66 of the British passengers were flown home from Montego bay and will get theeir money back plus 25% off a future cruise. David

25th March 2006, 21:49
Sorry that had to happen..... One question puzzles me though.... Are there no sprinklers on cruise ships these days? So much damage from a cigarette? 1 hour after the fire, they knew this? I'm eager to see the report on the incident in a few months time.

Smoking is banned in Restaurants mostly for air reasons, not safety. On planes, We can all see why. I wonder how the gentlemen in the cigar room would react with no smoking regulations....

I'm a smoker, I've traveled and have never flicked my fag overboard or on the street. Common sense and responsability is what matters. Many people don't have this.


25th March 2006, 22:01
I agree Lanaud. Sadly, other smokers are not as responsible as you are. Therefore, for that reason, smoking must be banned on deck and in cabins on a ship. It is so unfair for people like yourself, but what choice is there?. It only takes one idiot to kill many. David

25th March 2006, 22:43
I agree with your comments gentlemen. however, here in the philippines we have a non smoking policy even in the streets of Davao city. But, there are places where smokers can go, like a special room at a restaurant where the air condition is good, they are called smoke regulated areas. surely a smoke regulatd room could be established on board cruise ships. we even have them on ferrys here. (Shhhh I even worked in an operating theatr complex at one time in the UK and we even had a smoke room there!)
as David so rightly says, it only takes one irresponsible person to affect the lives of many.

Frank P
26th March 2006, 00:42
I think that we all have sympathy for the dead/injured passengers.

I noticed that the company (Carnival) are worried that this accident may affect their future profit,

The following peice is from an American newspaper.. " Cruise safety is an important economic issue for South Florida, where the three largest global cruise brands are headquartered.

Already, the industry is under some pressure from investors because of weaker than expected results. On Thursday, the largest firm in the industry, Carnival Corp., reported lower earnings because of weak demand for Caribbean cruises.

Carnival vice chairman Howard Frank had to break the news of the Star Princess fire on a conference call meant to brief investors on financial matters. Princess Cruises is a subsidiary brand of Carnival Corp."


26th March 2006, 05:24
Its very concerning where you read a story on a vessel where any human life is lost what ever the circumstances. Yet looking between the lines a fire of this size and magnitude started by a disregarded cigarrette seems to be way over the top. The extent of the damage afterwards seems horrendous, surely with a trained firefighting crew or fire systems onboard this should have been contained far earlier. It will be interesting to read the investigation reports.

26th March 2006, 09:04
I don't think the disregarded cigarette is over the top. If it is dropped onto a bed it would flare up pretty quickly, although having said that I thought bedding and armchairs these days were supposed to be flame proof?. Whatever, the fire seemed to spread pretty quickly. Having seen crew drill on modern cruise ships I am not in the least surprised that is was not contained earlier. When I wrote about this last year including a letter to P&O, I felt I was on my own with my concerns and that all others seemed to think modern cruise ships were equipped to handle all these emergencies. I said at the time that the proof would be in the pudding. Well, desert has been served?!. Loss of human life Gydnia in any circumstances happens on just about every cruise or holiday shore side. None of these deaths hit the headlines, but all are avoidable as I have written about before. I named it the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome' because the cause and mode of death was identical in every case. Millions die this way every year. If such deaths were as the result of an accident it would be headlines every day. But just like accidents, all these deaths are avoidable. All it needs it better health education for those who go on holiday. Bascially, they abandon their stable lifestyle at home and go totally mad putting their bodies through it's worst nightmare. I have tried for years for such information to be made public, but as always, it falls on deaf ears. David

26th March 2006, 09:34
As a mere sideline observor, the extent of this fire from small beginnings, demonstrates an unfortunate downside to the economics (or corporate greed) of modern cruiseships - the more cabins you can stack above the waterline the greater the return. To achieve this, modern high-tech lightweight materials are used - many of which burn rapidly at high temperatures, melt and/or distort and give off large volumes of thick acrid smoke. In the meantime, fire-regulations covering these vessels have only advanced slowly and seem to be somewhat lacking; and as emergency equipment is non-revenue generating, shipowners tend to spend only on what is required to meet the rules. One can only imagine the outcome (probably very tragic) if this fire had occurred in winds of force 6 or more.

26th March 2006, 10:25
I don't think the disregarded cigarette is over the top. If it is dropped onto a bed it would flare up pretty quickly, although having said that I thought bedding and armchairs these days were supposed to be flame proof?. Whatever, the fire seemed to spread pretty quickly. Having seen crew drill on modern cruise ships I am not in the least surprised that is was not contained earlier. When I wrote about this last year including a letter to P&O, I felt I was on my own with my concerns and that all others seemed to think modern cruise ships were equipped to handle all these emergencies. I said at the time that the proof would be in the pudding. Well, desert has been served?!. Loss of human life Gydnia in any circumstances happens on just about every cruise or holiday shore side. None of these deaths hit the headlines, but all are avoidable as I have written about before. I named it the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome' because the cause and mode of death was identical in every case. Millions die this way every year. If such deaths were as the result of an accident it would be headlines every day. But just like accidents, all these deaths are avoidable. All it needs it better health education for those who go on holiday. Bascially, they abandon their stable lifestyle at home and go totally mad putting their bodies through it's worst nightmare. I have tried for years for such information to be made public, but as always, it falls on deaf ears. David

I agree with your sentiments. Having already been in a major fire this January in Egypt(Red Sea) on a construction barge where fortunatly there were no fatalities or injuries and having to abandon by helicopter. Reason it never made headlines was the tragedy of the Egyptian Ferry around the same period of time. We are just small fish in an ocean David and sadly we dont have the powers to go up against these large cruise companies as they have you lost straight away in their Legal Departments. As you said it goes up against deaf ears as my interview after the incident took 20 minutes and with it being a Government connection critisism was not to be accepted.Even SN members who work in the adjacent area on this website quoted they had not heard of the incident so it shows how these things can be swept under a carpet.

26th March 2006, 11:01
I agree Gdynia, and being involved in such a recent incident you can speak with more authority. I often wonder why we are fighting wars to stop dictators when we have them on our own doorstep?!. I always said the NHS was worse than the old Soviet Union because if we spoke our minds in public we were sacked. It now seems the entire country is under Soviet style rule?!. As for cruise companies, although their legal departments would beat us, bad publicity is not good for them and it is within their own best interest to listen sometimes. That is why I make copies of all letters when warning about something including their replies if that something eventually happens. In fact, in the latest magazine from P&O they say thay have made some changes when we are on board by upgrading cabin information. I suggested this last year, but whether they have taken up any of my ideas remains to be seen. I doubt it very much, but they did say this is due to passengers helping identify areas and ways to improve. So perhaps they do listen?!!. David

26th March 2006, 13:04
This was on the Hi-Fog website, the company that made the sprinklers for the Star Princess.

Fire onboard M/S Star Princess

On Thursday 23 March 2006 around 08:10 GMT a fire broke out on the cruise ship M/S Star Princess. Star Princess belongs to Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corporation. According to a statement by Princess Cruises, the vessel is presently safe and fully operational and continues to provide passengers with full services.

The vessel is equipped with an approved HI-FOG water mist fire protection system. Based on the limited information presently available to Marioff, it appears that the
HI-FOG system has performed as intended. The fire seems to have started on a cabin balcony, an area not required by SOLAS to be protected by a fixed fire protection system. The fire has spread along the outside balcony structure and has not spread into the interior of the vessel.

Marioff Group is naturally shocked by this incident and very sad because of the fatality of one passenger. As the safety of passengers and protection of property are of paramount importance, Marioff Group will continue to support the enhancement of fire safety.

Marioff want to emphasize that this statement is based on public and unofficial information, not on confirmed information from the ship owner. More information will be provided, as it becomes available.

26th March 2006, 17:01
That is useful information Newda898, and looks very much like my original fear that a fag was thrown from a deck above landing on the balcony. David

26th March 2006, 17:40
Fine, but are those dang balconis made of?

Mad Landsman
26th March 2006, 17:59
It is probably the furnishings & fittings that spread the fire.
I am currently in process of constructing an extension to my house - I wanted to incorporate a balcony but gave up on the idea because of all the regulations, and that is a private house, not a ship! I cannot imagine that the structure would be inflamable but I might be wrong.

On the point mentioned by David about death on holiday I can say that when the British Transport Police worked Southamton docks virtualy every major cruise ship had to be met to deal with the 'sudden death(s)' which had occured on the voyage. That was never ever news.

26th March 2006, 18:47
You are right Clockman. My colleagues at Southampton General were busy due to cruise ships. But during the line voyage era we did the autopsy on board and burried the body at sea. This no longer happens as the ship as proper storage facilities enabling the body to come home. Countries were not too keen to let us in if we had a body in the cold store?!!. David

Frank P
26th March 2006, 19:15
Hello David,
on the Royal Viking Star the passengers were mainly elderly, and during the long cruises we had the occasional death (natural causes), and we had 3 custom built fridges in the fore peak, were the bodies were stored until they could be returned home.
The only burial at sea that we did, was for an American passenger who commited suicide, and none of his family would accept his body back, we buried him at sea in the Pacific Ocean just outside Panama.


27th March 2006, 10:32
This is my whole point Frank. Because they died of natural causes, the reasons for that is never researched or indeed made public. All the deaths I dealt with whether at sea or shore side with would NOT have died when they did despite the death being natural causes. Their death was brought forward due to the lifestyle they were leading prior to death. The mode of death in holydaymakers were identical as follows:

All had just had a massive meal. All had exercised dircetly after that meal. That excercise could be anything from a walk around the Prom Deck on a ship, or along the sea front shore side or worse still up a hill to watch the sunset. It could also mean a dance. In some hotels shore side dance floors are next to the eating area. The amount of autopsies I have performed on people who died on the dance floor runs into the hundreds. Not all these people were old. 35 upwards was very common especially amateur footballers or runners who ate too much before a game or became dehydrated. Being elderly does not mean death is seen as natural.

This is basically what happens to the body. I say basic because it is more involved, but for the lay person, this is bascially what happens. Digesting food means that the heart has to work faster. The more food they eat, the harder the heart has to work. People on holiday are renonowned to be to be gutty. They gulp their food so as not to miss anything, especially shore side where more is going on in different locations. They eat so fast that food is not even chewed. And they eat as if they have starved all year to get their monies worth. So they walk or dance after a meal either to walk the meal off, or not miss something. Walking a meal off is the most crazy thing you can do. You may as well jump off a cliff, it is just as suicidal. With the digestion of food, plus the exercise be it walking, or dancing or worse still running, the heart is working overtime. Every single person from 30 upwards, often younger these days has a certain narrowing the the coronary arteries due to our modern lyfestyle. Fatty deposits develop on the walls of the artery which harden producing a condition called sclerosis. They enlarge into plagues (raise circular areas). When you eat, especially large amounts and indeed fatty food, lipids are present in the blood stream. Clots also form lodging between the plaques. When the blood is rushing through the arteries due to the combination of food digestion and excercise, blood clots break off, and often in combination with the lipids, block the one of the two main coronary arteries often the left causing instant death. Every single person I dealt with including the elderly with know heart trouble would have survived had they rested after their meal, or not eaten so much, and chewed it properly and STILL rested. Their coronary arteries was not bad enough to kill them at that stage had they not pushed their heart beyond its limits due to atheroma etc. They survived quite well at home by not doing any of the things they do on holiday. People do not understand how simple medical matters are, and Governments never give simple advice mainly because research like mine never see the light if day. The coroner sees death by natural causes in the report, so doesn't research into it further. Our reports were left to gather dust. Therefore, the public will never get to know that a few simple measures will save their lives, even if elderly with KNOWN heart conditions. Narrowed arteries cannot cope with the rush of blood, so you get a flow back which causes pain known as angina. Also known as Ischaemia due to spasm or obstruction. Amateur footballers or rugby players in their 30s and 40s and runners in marathons fall foul to this either by eating too muach before a game or race or do not drink enough. The yong often get no more than cramp or feeling ill when execising after a meal, but from 30 upwards in particular, you may not bee so lucky especially if overweight and eating all the wrong things even in small amounts over the years.

So when an elderly person dies on holiday be it on a cruise or at home, don't just write it off as natural causes because the mode of death most certainly was not natural. We can all go on holiday and have a good time and come back safe whatever our age if we are sensible. Another thing people forget when on holiday is getting too tired. Plan your trip to avoid getting over tired because this too can kill you. The ailing body cannot cope with fatigue the same as the younger body. Fit people come home tired needing another holiday to get over the first one. So imagine how an ailing body would feel?. You may have had a great holiday mentally, but your body has had its worst nightmare.

So don't let my findings over the years put you off a cruise or holiday. Just be sensible. For instance, when we have a lot of rain, and the drain can't cope and overflows, we think nothing of it. But when we push our bodies, and too much blood is trying to get through the artery, we wonder why we feel ill or die. Medicne is not the rocket science some people seem to think it is. Just a few simple rules of how not to push yourself for whatever reason is often the difference between life and death. David

27th March 2006, 10:58
hello sad about the person that died but i agree with ex sailors comments as a ex volunteer firefighter myself.2 questions.

why didnt the fire sprinkers go off?did that ship have those.and the fire crew on board???were they to slow to turn out?i might be just quess work but when the reports come out we will see?hate the qm2 to have a fire with all those upper decks.any thats my comments

Harry Nicholson
27th March 2006, 11:01
That was illuminating. Thanks David for giving us the benefit of your experience. I don't over eat usually, I've been vegetarian for 16 years and am used to getting thin pickings on holiday. I've recently given up dairy also which leaves me regarding food more as fuel than pleasure (which is probably what it should naturally be). Even so I do tend to be active straight after eating and will heed your advice in future.
ps. all I really miss are kippers, the smokehouse man down Henrietta St. in Whitby says he will let me know when he comes up with a good veggie kipper.

27th March 2006, 11:13
hello i dont over eat but i tend to snack on foods which i know is bad for i am a chef by trade.i try and let me food settle down before i go anyway ie for 30 mins before running or any fast i bet its tough beening a sister in law is and she hates salt as well (Night) sometimes.its hard to cook for her.

27th March 2006, 11:18
Nothing wrong with a kipper Harry. Vegetarian diets are not what some people seem to think they are health wise. I am not too keen on any diet. It is not so much what food you eat, but the amounts. The body needs a certain amount of the so-called bad foods. It is bascially a case of eating sensibly, and with regular exercise but NOT straight after a meal. So get the kippers out Harry. You have made me feel hungry now wanting a kipper for lunch?!. David

27th March 2006, 11:24
true making me hungary now bacon on toast with baked beans and sausages yumies (Thumb)

fred henderson
27th March 2006, 16:15
Princess have reported that Star Princess is now on her way to Bahamas Shipyard for repair. They state that the cause of the fire is still being officially investigated. At no point have they blamed a cigarette, that came from a media report and is therefore, suspect. I think we all need to wait for the official report.

I think the following points are worth remembering however: -

1. The sprinkler manufacturer's report states that its system worked perfectly, but the fire spread through the balconies, which are are an open area and outside the coverage of the system.
2. This report contradicts the earlier report that some of the cabin door locks melted.
3. The entire superstructure of Star Princess is made from steel. The main load bearing structure of modern cruise ships is located internally, usually the twin main cabin corridor bulkheads. The cabins and their balconies are cantilevered out from these central casings. This arrangement produces a much more rigid and stronger girder structure, than the old wedding cake, liner hull, with the main load being carried by the outer superstructure.
4. A major source of stability in the classic liners was the large weight of cargo, carried low in the hull. (Capetown Castle for example usually carried over 10,000 tons of cargo). When passenger ships began to be built for cruising the designers often needed to fit all aluminium superstructures to restore stability, whilst still retaining the traditional shape of the ship. QE2 and Vistafjord both have all aluminium superstructures. Both have problems with cracking around windows and openings. A major problem is that aluminium will burn in an intense fire. A good reason to avoid old ships.
5. The balconies on the Grand Class of Princess ships have wooden decking and plastic or wooden chairs and tables. It is difficult to see how these caused so much trouble.
6. Star Princess was delivered in 2002 at a cost of $425 million. It is a very profitable ship. No Company will skimp to protect such a major investment.


27th March 2006, 17:13
Great information as always Fred.

If it was a cigarette, would they tell us?. I don't recall being told not to throw lighted fags overboard which is why I brought this up. So would they own up if they had not warned passengers not to throw lighted fags overboard?.

Having said that, an electical fire seems more likely. Certainly on the old Arcadia, I was walking through an empty public room and saw smoke coming out of an electrical box. Being trained in firefighting on board, I went straight fot the CO2 put the fire out, then rang the bridge. Had I not seen this, or not known what extinguisher to use it could have been very nasty. David

27th March 2006, 17:44
Wightlinks' safety announcement says not to throw lighted cigarettes overboard, so I find it hard to think a cruise company wouldn't.

27th March 2006, 18:01
I certainly remember the captain telling you never to throw anything over the side of the ship as it could get sucked back in during P&O lifeboat drills.

Mad Landsman
27th March 2006, 18:27
Having attended a minor fire on board a Sealink ferry as the result of a steward emptying ashtrays with a vacuum cleaner I can believe anything, particularly when another steward said "It often happens but we usually notice it straight away"

27th March 2006, 19:33
Carrying the debate one step further, I find it strange that so much much damage was caused to the ship structure if the cause of the fire was a discarded cigarette landing on an external balcony presumably while the ship was travelling at 15+ knots in between port. However it is equally difficult to see how this could have started in a cabin as smoke detectors should have picked up the smoke, and raised alarm on bridge, long before the sprinklers should have gone off ( as sprinklers are heat sensitive devices) therefore a well trained crew should have been able to limit damage, although this did occur in the dead of night.

The 3 cruise ships I have been on Arcadia, Emerald, and Thomson Spirit all made it very clear that nothing is to be thrown over the side especially cigarette ends due to the danger of fire or injury to others on open decks, and a lifeboat drill is carried out although I did not see what the majority of the crew were doing at the time ( there is a difference between a boat drill and a fire drill ) the main priority amongst crew was to account for passengers which in all cases was very well carried out, although a fire drill was not very evident on any of the above, ie hoses run out, BA training etc probably not to alarm the passies.
With the tight turnrounds on these vessels and the possibility of new crew members joining weekly could it be time to review the way they carry out their Board of Trade sports days.

Although I am not familiar with the hi fog system ( I am a sprinkler system service engineer ) as they are not generally used ashore, I have seen a similiar system in use and they are extremely effective.

27th March 2006, 20:23
Fire drill on P&O at least is all part of the weekly crew boat drill. Don't be confused by names. The entire drill is the same thing with different drills including fire drill going on ending up with crew lining the decks by the lifeboat they would be in when abandoning ship. I was a coxswain of one of the boats on the old Arcadia and my job was a roll call of my crew. I forget how many crew members I had on my boat, but I had something like a 100 passengers. You would not see the fire drill. It would almost certainly be in the bowls of the ship testing the crew to the very worst and most awkward scenario. Yes, hoses would be reeled out etc, and as you say the aim is not to alarm passengers, but at the same time the drill must cover all eventualities including putting a lifeboat over if in port and decks roped off.

I am not an expert on fires, other than knowing what type of extinguisher to use for which type of fire. But if this was an electrical fire, sprinklers would be of no use surely?. If you squirt a water hose at an elecrical fire who will have a bit of a shock?!. Passengers also make the mistake of opening outside doors. They do not seem to understand that the door open into an air conditioned ship is like standing in a wind tunnel. Perhaps both balcony and cabin door was open. Something like that must have happened for the fire to spread so quickly however it was started. David

27th March 2006, 20:45
Hi again David, yes i agree with your comments re boat drill and especially the open door scenario, it will be very interesting to hear what the passengers have to say when they are interviewed, and the result of any enquiry, at the moment all we can do is guess.

I just hope for the sake of all people at sea, passengers and crew alike that the true facts come to light. I too was at sea and was involved in a cabin fire ( Cigarette in wastepaper bin ) and I cannot think of a worse situation to be in especially in the middle of the night,than to be in a smoke filled alleyway and probably not being familiar with the layout of the ship not to mention possibly being elderly and not so mobile. Full marks to the crew for what appears to be a well executed reaction to an emergency.

Lets hope that sense prevails over corporate image and profit and thank whatever god you believe in that it wasnt worse.

Fergus 62
27th March 2006, 21:21
I had the good forture to sail on the Star Princess two years ago on a 12 day cruise.
Other than cross channel ferries this was my first sea going experience since coming ashore in the late 60s as a second mate.
Firstly I have to say that I never expected the experience to be remotely like the experience of sailing/working on what we all would call "real ships" ie the cargo liners of the 1950/60 era. That was an experience we were all greatful to have lived through. The ships were of that time, the places we sailed to bear no resemblence to how they are today, tourists hadn't found them, and we lived life to the full. Port times could be measured in weeks/months rather that todays hours and days.
Simply it was a different time and the world was a different place.
We would not consider comparing a "Tiger Moth" with a B747 ! Therefore I for one accept the modern cruise ship for what it is, dont have to like them!
I am bound to say that the whole experience of 12 days on the Star Princess was totally acceptble and we had a great time.
At no time did I feel uneasy as regards both the ships safety and my own personal safety. My whole working life has been in an extremely safety conscious environment.
Boat and fire drills were exercised before we sailed on day one. To be truthful I cannot now remember the details re throwing cig ends over the side,however getting the message clearly over to 2000 plus passengers cannot be easy. In any group that size there will always be some who do not abide by the request no matter what it is.
As with any incident/disaster it is very dangerous to "assume" the cause immediately after it occurs and before any sort of expert enquiry has been carried out. Unfortunately in many cases the first assumption (usually made by the media) is the one that sticks. I am sure if we all think hard about any incident we have personal experience of or hear about the final outcome when it is published differs from the initial news statements. In many cases there is a time lapse and we never hear the final outcome, but the first news sticks.
I am not knocking or defending any one's point of view but that is simply how I see this type of news in the world we presently live in.

Fergus 62

28th March 2006, 08:34
You are right Furgus 62, we were at sea in different era, and it is not always good to compare life at sea during our time with today. But in my medical job, I was dealing with the same mistakes in ALL era's be it sea or land connected. On some issues people never ever learn whatever the era. And when we golden oldies predict something today based on comparing the same with our day, AND get right, surely we are not as out of date as some people would have you beleive?!. David

fred henderson
28th March 2006, 15:13
Princess have announced that Star Princess is to proceed to Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven for repairs and will resume operations by undertaking her scheduled, first European cruise from Copenhagen on 15 May. No further information on the cause of the fire.

Fred (Read)

5th April 2006, 07:22
Very interseting comments, shipmates, but I think we are getting a bit away from the topic, like fires have not got anything to do with the size of passengers nor their eating habits!!!
Lets face it accidents happen due to Bloody CARELESSNESS or as some would say Slackness.
Recently returned from a "Diamond Princess" cruise from Oz to NZ I was impressed with the boat drill on evening one and the fact our cabin was fitted with a sprinkler in the ceiling.
NO SMOKING in cabin signs were everywhere, and the pax in our immediate area who were smokers, went out on to their balconies to have a fag.
The balcony furniture consisted of a PVC Table and 2 Chairs + 2 Deckchairs with Blue and White striped custions. In other words EVERYTHING was made of plastic!!
Moreover the design of the ship is such, that the cabins on the deck below ours being slightly larger meant that their balconies extended (say) 1 or 2 meters beyond ours, and of those above us,-- a flicked butt could easily be drawn in to thes eand possibly start a fire as with Star Princess, on the outside funiture maybe.

5th April 2006, 16:36
I'm going right off these cruises, seems a lot people either die from overeating, walking or dancing, get burnt to death or get robbed or raped or both. Think I'll stick to Barbados again this year.

5th April 2006, 18:14
Don't be put off a cruise Mermaid, it is a great holiday. People don't die from overeating, it is what they do an hour or so afterwards. It's so simple to avoid, but as always, my advice is totally misunderstood by the reader.

And don't worry about crime on board a ship. You are more likely to win the lottery than be a victim of crime at sea. I have just booked another cruise and can't wait. But then of course there is the SN trip in September on Pride of Bilbao where we will all have a great time. David

fred henderson
5th April 2006, 20:10
I'm going right off these cruises, seems a lot people either die from overeating, walking or dancing, get burnt to death or get robbed or raped or both. Think I'll stick to Barbados again this year.

Whilst, I am sure that the chance of being burnt to death, robbed and/or raped on holiday in Barbados is rather low, you will be in much, much greater danger in Barbados than on a cruise. The death risk from dancing or indulging in other activities after overeating is the same on both holidays.

Crime in shore resorts is so rampant that it is not newsworthy. Crime on cruise ships is so rare that it is news.

Fred (Thumb)

5th April 2006, 20:39
fred the hotel I stay at is very safe

Frank P
5th April 2006, 23:51
According to the news media, crime on cruise ships is so rarely reported because the cruise companies do their upmost to keep it quiet, i.e. paying the injured parties and getting them to sign a contract of non disclosure.

I have quoted the above statement from an American newpaper article

While I agree that crime on the cruise ships is lower than in cities ashore, the crime rate on the ships is probably not as low as the companies make out.

If you get 3,000 people in one place (cruise ship), the law of averages tells you that a few of them are going to be a bit dodgy.


6th April 2006, 05:45
Very interesting how the thread has gone from a fire at sea to the advantages (or otherwise) of different diets and or exercise.
Having just returned from a Diamond Princess cruise from Oz to NZ I would like to share with the shipmates a few observations.
Our cabin was equipped with a sprinkler and the Bedspread and Seat coverings appeared to be made out of natural materiels.
There were a number of signs about the no smoking in cabins and on the balcony door a sign warned about not throwing ANYTHING overboard.
Our balcony was big enough to contain a round PVC table and 2 chairs, plus 2 outdoor lounges of the same materiel complete with blue and white padded covers in a synthetic materiel.
The design of the ship is such that our balcony overlooked those of the deck immediately below us,so the pax in these cabins had no real privacy whilst outdoors, taking in the views and sea air.
There were smokers on either side of us, and in a number of the cabins below---all smoked outside their cabins, and used the ashtrays provided in each of the non-smoking cabins!!,so at least they all appeared to be abiding by the rules.
The Food and Beverage Intake.
My wife and I have taken a number of cruises, many of which have included citizens of the USA over 65 years of age (We fit into that category), and we never fail to be astonished at the habits at the table of these "senior citizens"
Folks who only drink Coke at EVERY meal including breakfast. Others who load up their plates at the buffets with all manner of hot AND cold food (all stacked on the SAME plate) and push it aside only 1/3 consumed. The plates supplied in the Buffet Restaurant were really huge oval platters about 16" x 9' which held an enormus amount of food, much of which was wasted. I sat opposite a WW2 vet one breakfast and he returned to the table with Danish Pastry, Hash Browns,Slices of Watermelon, Scrambled Egg, French Toast, Coffee Scrolls (2) pastry, 2 little sausages, something called (I learnt later) Grits,and some dried out slices of Bacon, ALL ON THE SAME HUGE PLATE. This was washed down by 2 big glasses of Coca Cola!! This guy would have to have been in his 80's, and his selection was not unique in my experience.
On another occasion I viewed a woman in her middle age arrive at the table adjacent to ours with her platter loaded so high with hot and cold selections that she had to carry it in both hands. It was only when she sat down in front of this melange that she really began to examine the choice in order to ascertain actually what it was she had collected during her rounds of the Buffet prior to the act of actual consumption.
How would these characters react at the time of an emergency one wonders , and as many of the shipmates have observed, when 'you know what' hits the fan in an emergency, will anybody help them make it to the muster stations, when we all know that a basic human instinct is to save onesself first regardless.
I would like to hear some comments on my observations.
By the way, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience on this Huuuuuge ship.
David D

6th April 2006, 08:13
I really enjoyed your observations David and laughed out loud when I read how much these people were eating. This is exactly what I have been saying. Some people (and note the word some having been told off for saying most in another thread!) on holiday or a cruise whatever their age are really greedy eating huge amounts. They are litterally playing Russian roulette. Some will get away with it, while others won't. Peoples greed tend block out any common sense. When they see all that lovely food, they shovel it down thinking their stomach is a bottomless pit?!. Mind you, I am not much better on a cruise, but at least I rest for two hours afterwards. It is not so much the eating, but what you do directly afterwards. That is my main point.

It is good to know that there are signs warning not to throw anything overboard, and that people are using ash trays. It also seems that cruise companies are aware that not all passengers may not stick to the rules, so if a lighted fag did land on the balcony, there would be nothing there that could catch fire.

Diamond Princess sounds very nice David?. And a nice trip from Oz to NZ, my old home. I envy you!. I was looking at her web cam the other day while in NZ. I think one of my former doctor collegues may be on her, a doctor called Deryk Gowland. Does that name ring a bell?.

I have always been concerned about how people will react in an emergency situation which I have written about in other threads. As you say David, it is basic human nature to save oneself. Add that to some people not knowing where to go or understanding nautical instructions, I am concerned. However, it seems that passengers were at muster stations quickly on Star Princess, so hopefully my concerns are unfounded. I would rather be wrong any day, than right.

By the way, I have had a lot of e-mails not to stop posting having been upset by another member. So I will carry on. David

6th April 2006, 15:15
What gets me is when they return with the mountains of food and order a DIET coke!

9th April 2006, 07:10
To Pompeyfan and other shipmates,
I really am enjoing some of the comments,[0pinions?] from the shipmates. Being new to the site as this is early days for me, so I am not up to speed as to the ramifications of all of the posts by members. I have in business dealings and personal life, always tried to "call it as it is" and offer OBSERVATIONS whereever possible.
Yes David we had a terrific cruise on the "Diamond Princess", even though she had over 2700 pax, she is so big, with so many bars,lounges,and pools with outdoor relaxing areas one is not aware of any 'crowding' any time. Not counting ones own cabin which is so well designed that it is NOT just like being in your bedroom at home, but someplace to relax and[say] read a book
or have that quiet Pimms or a G&T in your own space.
David D

14th April 2006, 10:05
Here's a link to some pictures taken onboard of the fire damage. Certainly looks serious.

Paul UK
14th April 2006, 19:34
Wow, Now I know why she will be out of action for 6 weeks and amazed they only lost one person.


14th April 2006, 20:23
It is certainly worse than I had thought. Whatever started it, it clearly spread very quickly. I said in an earlier post a balcony door may have been open in the cabin where the fire started causing a wind tunnel. This would explain why it spread so quickly, and why sprinklers would not have been effective. The heat would have been immense in no time at all. Hopefully, the truth will come out in the official report and anything learned is put into action if possible because something certainly started this whether is was a cigarette, an electical fire or whatever. David

fred henderson
24th April 2006, 22:36
I have just spotted the following Princess press release: -

Update on Star Princess Fire -- April 13, 2006

We would like to provide a preliminary update on the Star Princess situation.
Although no definitive cause of the fire has yet been determined, we can confirm that the fire did start on one of the ship's balconies, and spread to other balconies.
We believe the fire is an isolated incident, and would like to stress that our company has been safely operating ships with large numbers of balconies for over ten years. This is the first such incident that has occurred.
Nevertheless, after the fire we immediately put in place on all our ships precautions designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event of a similar situation happening again, we would be able to quickly detect and extinguish the fire.
To that end, we implemented a 24-hour fire watch of our balconies, introduced specific training and fire response procedures for our crew in handling fires on balconies, enhanced communication to passengers regarding fire safety, and changed certain crew housekeeping procedures on balconies.
We want to assure our passengers that with these measures in place, they should not be concerned, and can feel confident that their safety and well being aboard our ships is not compromised.
Further to the immediate precautionary measures already in place, we are moving quickly to provide long-term and permanent measures to improve fire safety on our balconies. We are well advanced with the development of these permanent measures and, naturally, will be taking fully into account the requirements of the regulatory authorities in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Fred (Read)