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nolou525 March 23rd, 2006 02:32 PM

Photo of Star Princess---how sad
They believe it was started by a CIGARETTE

Tide Pride March 23rd, 2006 03:25 PM

Wow ! That is considerable damage. Can't believe there wasn't more loss of life.


Lynne&Trevor March 23rd, 2006 05:27 PM

We were just on the Star in October. It makes my heart ache! Lynne

Thomas March 23rd, 2006 06:14 PM

I'm real interested in hearing the results of the investigation and why the sprinkler system didn't contain it to a much smaller area. I may be skeptical but I find it difficult to believe a cigarette fire would have done this much damage if the sprinkler systems were 1) adequate in capacity and 2) functioning properly.


rollerdonna March 23rd, 2006 06:48 PM

One more reason I abhor smoking....


Tide Pride March 23rd, 2006 06:56 PM

First person account from MSNBC.
By Susan Lim
Updated: 4:36 p.m. ET March 23, 2006 business editor and producer Susan Lim and her husband, Caleb, were aboard the Star Princess when the fire erupted. Here is her description of what she saw:

Susan Lim


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I think I'm still shocked at what happened last night. Caleb and I were actually awake watching a movie when some messages to the crew were broadcast around 3 a.m. ET, followed by the emergency call for everyone to get their lifejackets and head to their designated muster stations.

When we headed down to the muster station we could smell smoke. As we gathered, the crew started to tell everyone to calm down and sit down until further directions.

Over the next three hours, we got messages over the speaker system from the captain telling us what was happening. They spent awhile putting out the fire and trying to contain it. During that time, they had all the lifeboats out and ready in case we had to use them. It got hot in the gathering areas. Once the fire was out and contained, they began asking if anyone needed to get medicine from their cabins. The elderly people looked tired and confused.

Story continues below ↓


By late Thursday afternoon, the captain announced the cruise had been terminated, and said all the passengers would be rerouted. We don’t know yet how we are going to get to Jamaica or back to Ft. Lauderdale for our flight home. The captain took the time to thank the crew members for their efforts in the fighting the fire and keeping everyone together. Immediately, there was applause from passengers.

Back to main story
The latest developements on the cruise ship fire

The crew members maintained a very positive tone throughout last night to try to keep everyone's spirits up. I took a stroll around our gathering area, and people looked very miserable. People were sleeping on the ground in their PJs, robes, etc.

Our friends had a cabin that was near the fire. When they opened their door to leave, black smoke came out and they had to crouch to get to the stairs.

A little after we landed at Montego Bay, the captain gave the OK for half the passengers to head back to their rooms, but everyone on the fire side had to wait for at least two more hours. But they had prepared the dining rooms and people were able to go and eat some breakfast.

Within an hour, some people had showered and were even sunbathing on the top deck. The buffet line was up and running and people were again carrying around their beach bags, ready to hit the beach.

Later in the day, I passed a few people who had smoke marks on their arms and legs, and I saw quite a few pieces of luggage that were charred. I heard some people lost everything in the fire. The captain told us that the fire that melted locks on some of the doors. We can still smell the smoke throughout the ship


Y2C March 23rd, 2006 07:04 PM

I agree with Thomas, something seriously wrong.
How about the cabins, etc?
Was it contained to just the balconies?
And what about the fire doors inside the ship?
There are sprinkler systems on the balconies.

Last news was all passengers are being flown home from Jamaica.

Lynne&Trevor March 23rd, 2006 08:57 PM

I should probably check into my son's program coming on at 9 on MSNBC (directs Rita Cosby) to see the latest news. She's usually pretty up to date. Plus, since we were on that ship in Oct. it will be doubly interesting to see what is happening. As I said on the other thread, friends we met on the Oct. cruise were in one of those burned cabins. Plus, we as a group were in it as part of one of our activities.
One never knows when it can happen to us on any ship. It pays to pay attention to those muster drill instructions and look at the maps on the door.

tkela2 March 23rd, 2006 09:15 PM

As an ex seilor (20 years navy) I have to tell all you cruisers that a fire is a seamans worse fear. I read a post on another board from a person who felt sorry for the people whose curise was interrupted. Very nice sentiments. and a kind thought. However all those aboard should be thanking God that the fire didn't further and also thanking Good for aLl those crewmen that paid attention at firefighting school.

richstacy March 23rd, 2006 09:30 PM

The word "sad" seems strangly out of place here. More appropriate words would be: frightening, unbelievable, and inexcusible. The cruise lines (all of them) spend far to much time on glitz and puff, and far, far to little on basic safety and security for the cruising public. No ship should be allowed to sail that is constructed of materials that are so flammable as to allow a fire to spread like that. Less flamable construction materials are available, but I guess they are a little more expensive. The cruise industry is getting some very bad press of late, and it is very well deserved. Maybe some of the greedy moguls will actually be forced to think of safety and security for a change. Nah, who am I kidding, they subscribe to PT Barnum theory that there are thousands of suckers (read people who are either to naive or too timid to demand better treatment) born every minute. Security and safety will imporve on cruise ships when we demand it, and not one minute sooner. :( :x

Cruise Cynic March 24th, 2006 01:27 AM

Is the damage confined to the outside cabins, or are the interior cabins damaged as well? How far towards the center of the ship does the damage extend?

DougR. March 24th, 2006 08:35 AM

When I quit smoking I swore that I wasn't going to become one of those crusading "born again" non-smokers. I was the world's happiest smoker and at 3 packs a day I had never, ever tried or intended to quit. At age 41 I was informed that my tests conducted at my military retirement physicial showed signifcant reduction of lung function and the doctor could just about guarantee that I would be hauling oxygen along in about 10-20 years. I quit and have been smoke free for 15 years. I was so addicted to smoking that I never accept the weak excuse that people give that they can't quit or that they enjoy it. Yeah, I really enjoyed the coughing and smelly clothes. I smoked becuase I was addicted.

Having said that, it is now time to expand the crusade against smoking. The incident on the Star is proof positive that this filthy, disgusting habit indeed hurts more than just the smoker. Not only were thousands placed in danger because of this smoker, thousands of future vacations were ruined thanks to one careless smoker. While we cannot and should not ban it entirely, we should continue to make it so difficult and inconvenient for the smoker to find an acceptable place to smoke that thier numbers continue to drop. On cruise ships this could include a ban in the cabins, leaving them only able to smoke on the designated side of the ship and in the casino.

Flame away smokers, I have had my say and I do not care. You say you are a careful smoker??? Yes you may be but having puffed the killer weed for 25 years (yes I started when I was 16), I have had lapses, so that excuse only goes so far. You still insist you only hurt yourself? Bull!!! If not from the fires caused by careless smoking, how about the grieving families left behind when many of you die prematurely? How about the strain on our medical resources?

Please quit!!!! If I could, anyone could.

Edited fer bad spellin.

Kuki March 24th, 2006 11:09 AM

I think it's a big mistake to take a horrific accident such and the Star incidident and turn it into a "politicial discussion" about the evils of cigarettes.

Take the same mentality, and we should bad any activity that's caused the death of any person under any circumstance. We'll have to bad wheels on cars, have cruise passengers take physical exams, and blood tests at embarkation, ban buses in places where roads are deemed damgerous, ban the sail of alcohol everywhere because so many people cause foolish and unnecessary damage to materials and other people.

There are risks inheritant in every thing anyone does both inside and outside their homes. We go begging or lobbying for rules and regulations to cover every evenutallity for harm and we're asking for a society much different than most of are used to living in.

Personally I think the majority of people, not governing bodies, are the ones smart enough to set rules for themselves. Those who think the gov't should institute the rules are in a careful what you ask for abyss.

TBug March 24th, 2006 11:52 AM

Thanks Kuki and glad you posted that. I was thinking the same thing.

Delft March 24th, 2006 12:51 PM

I have to disagree Kuki. Smoking should be banned period in cabins. It is not a political issue, it is a question of safety. Smoking in cabins, in bed, can affect far more than the indavidual self. I dont care if you partake in an activity that affects ones self and ones self alone, even if it leads to death. but smoking affects many, and we know well that smoking in bed is a major cause of fire in homes, and on cruises , it would be no different. It is a hazzard and should not be aloud. I am appauled that it is aloud, and I had just assumed it was not aloud and that if some one lit up in the cabin the smoke detector would go on as well as the sprinkler. I will re think booking a cruise knowing that persons are aloud to smoke in cabins.

DougR. March 24th, 2006 01:19 PM

A rebuttal to Kuki and Tina:

This is not political and certainly does not advocate banning all activities detrimental to life and limb, not even smoking.

My quote:

"While we cannot and should not ban it entirely, we should continue to make it so difficult and inconvenient for the smoker to find an acceptable place to smoke that thier numbers continue to drop. On cruise ships this could include a ban in the cabins, leaving them only able to smoke on the designated side of the ship and in the casino. "

That still leaves plenty space for them to smoke until they drop. They can install the same smoke detectors in the cabins that they have in airplane lavatories, which are so sensitive cigarette smoke set them off.

venice March 24th, 2006 02:05 PM

well if nothing else, people will be going to the lifeboat drill in record numbers for the next 2-3 weeks

also in relation to the incident on Celebrity shore excursions, people will be mindful of booking a ship sponsored tour vs going out on their own

the question in both instances is how long will we be viligant before we go back to "habits"

you can't (and won't ) stop people who want to smoke on the ship to just hope they are mindful of their fellow passengers and the safety issue

TBug March 24th, 2006 04:40 PM

So what, the fire will be in the bar instead of the cabin?

Delft March 24th, 2006 04:59 PM

At least if a fire starts in a bar, there are usually people around and hence action can be taken quickly, this is why house fires from smokes in bed are usuaally more devastating, people are asleep, no one is around etc, C02 is disabling, there fore fires that start in the night are usually more devastating with more loss of life than for example kitchen fires that occur in the day. That is not personal opinion, that is fact. Fires causes by smoking, at night very often involve alot of loss of pty, as well as loss of life.

Delft March 24th, 2006 05:10 PM

in relation to shore excursions, I have seen a couple of interviews with passengers that took the approved tour and they said had they known the type of road, they would not have gone. They said it was a hair raising riI dont think this is because some one took a tour on their own. The road, if you see it on the news, is very narrow and any sudden move to either side, will mean a drop down as what happened in this accident when the buss swerved to avoid another vehicle. From news reports it did not seem to be an issue of a route never travelled, it was the same road as the cruise operators use, and they hire locals as well. Personally, I dont feel any safer in a cruise sanctioned tour than one I arrange on my own, I can tell you when you go some where in the carribean, the same guy working for a company servicing the ships also runs his personal service. I am thinking St Thomas, where one guy operates a shuttle for the beach, I can tell you as a fact, he works as a taxi on hius own as well, and his skillls are no better thne else. I know him quite well as he is an Antiguan.

rayb March 24th, 2006 07:11 PM

Maybe we should bring back the PARADISE. Carnival allowed smoking on the ship for $$$$. IMO more ships should disallow smoking totally.

Lynne&Trevor March 24th, 2006 11:00 PM

In Anne Campbell's report on the other page, it was the paint on the outside of the ship that was flammable. Since the fire was on the outside of the ship, the internal alarms didn't ring. It went undetected for quite awhile before somebody noticed. Her report is very interesting.
The Investigation will have to show how the cigarette got to the paint--wind? He threw it? Since the ship had been out to see since Sunday, I'm sure the smoker had done what he did with his other cigarettes or butts before that without a problem. I dare say, it was a freak accident that the smoker didn't plan on causing.
Am I a smoker?? NO!!! I don't like smoking in my house. I don't like it when my next door neighbor blows cigar smoke in my face when he's talking to me.
I do agree, that we should see what the investigation brings to the table concerning causation in relationship to the smoker, cigarette, wind conditions and other mitigating circumstances before we start a campaign against smoking and smokers in general. I'm sure that it was the smoker's worst nightmare, too, to set the ship he was on on fire.
This might indeed make him or her look at the habit and end it. Or, it might cause so much stress over the whole experience that the person smokes more to ease the anxiety.

The picture IS very unsettling. All of us who have been aboard this ship are kind of taking it personally. The cabins of two sets of friends who were with me in Oct. were in cabins that have been lost in this fire. There are lots of emotions and judgements flying around right now. Let's wait to see what the investigation shows. Some ships are already altering their smoking policies, and I do have other friends who have been on the Paradise-the none smoking ship. We will all make our choices as to what cruise will be better for us, smoking, non-smoking or mixed as it is now. One way or another we may miss out on meeting some wonderful people if all smoking is banned.

It was most unfortunate, shocking, scary, eye-opening, maddening, but much too early to start judging. Understanding of the circumstances is the point where I am now.

richstacy March 25th, 2006 12:09 AM

I'm with Doug. Like him I was addicted to smoking for 25 years at some 2 packs a day. I quit years ago and it was the best thing I ever did, bar none! I agree that we should make it tougher and tougher for people to keep smoking. It's not a political issue. it's a safety issue and a public health issue. But more than that, I am concerned about the obviously poor construction used by Princess and the lack of sprinklers or effective means to control the fire until it was out of hand. Now that is a safety issue!

LadyInAwe March 25th, 2006 01:41 AM


Kuki wrote: Personally I think the majority of people, not governing bodies, are the ones smart enough to set rules for themselves. Those who think the gov't should institute the rules are in a careful what you ask for abyss
I agree... I like freedom not Communism.

TBug March 25th, 2006 09:24 AM

This whole thing makes me so sad and I have a hard time looking at the photo's. Make's me sick and my heart goes out to all involved.

There is more to this, alot more, than a cigerette as others said. It started on a balcony. No sprinklers, no alarms. I think Lynne is right, wait and see what comes out of it.

Freak accident that will probably never happen again from a smoker that was in a public area.

My heart and prayers go out to the families and passengers of those effected. I will not get involved with a political debate about smokers.

(fyi-I too quit 18 years ago, it was hardest thing I ever did. But has nothing to do with this subject)

Kuki March 25th, 2006 09:57 AM

Fire on a ship is about the most dangerous (and scary) occurance. And the visual impressions left by the pictures of this ship clearly elevate the fear.

However, my thoughts come from over 30 years in a over governed industry (hotel and liquor business). The building that I own that houses these businesses is almost 100 years old, and we've never had a fire... and smoking is allowed in both guest rooms and the bar (though with new "government" over regulations that is going to be changing to).

We also own some residential property, and the ONLY incident we've had that created any serious damage was a fire caused by a faulty wire in a toaster... a freak accident.

This incident to was a freak accident. And if the public demands the cruise industry take an approach that it must regulate to cover EVERY eventuality
the public will end up being "not very happy customers". For example ships would have to quit serving any alcohol (and search every passenger boarding to be certain none is being brought onboard) to be sure passengers wouldn't get drunk and injure themselves or others. Any type of electrical appliance from curling irons to laptop computers would have to be banned to ensure against any electrical fires. The lists of "necessary measures" would truly be endless.

We certainly need to expect the industry to act reasonably to ensure our safety. But, in my view, to overreact to this horrific accident heads us running quickly towards a very slippery slope.

Lynne&Trevor March 25th, 2006 10:18 AM

Are there cameras mounted on the bridge to monitor the sides of the ship? Trevor was thinking that a camera would have picked up the fire sooner. He's also suggesting fire-resistant paint. How about a fire watch around the perimeter of the ship from the Promenade Deck? This comes from Trevor's Navy experience. Webcam shows the ship from one perspective. Maybe a side view can be implemented. Trevor's question-why didn't a camera pick up this fire? Or why wasn't it seen? Heat sensors on the sides of the ship?

Thomas March 25th, 2006 10:59 AM

I don't think banning smoking is the answer. First, I find it hard to believe a fire can be started on a balcony of a moving ship by igniting paint on the side of a metal ship. It's too far fetched.

I spent 4 years as the Safety Engineer in an explosives manufacturing plant. We had every imaginable safety system in place and fire containment construction known to man. We manufactured high grade explosives for the Department of Defense and all of NATO countries. In my opinion it is doubtful a cigarette could ignite paint on a moving ship.

Like Kuki, I too am an owner of an over-regulated business. My belief is there can be an equitable balance between smokers and non-smokers wants without the government stepping in. If you are in favor of less government then you should believe it also.


richstacy March 25th, 2006 03:34 PM

Dear ladyinawe, I can't believe you said what you said. I'm a pretty conservative guy myself, but for your information, government regulations that require functioning sprinkler systems, fire resistant construction materials, smoke alarms, and fire training for crews are not considered "communism" by the vast majority of rational human beings in the Western World. Surely, those things don't offend you, do they :roll: :?: :-?

richstacy March 25th, 2006 03:41 PM

And by the way, ladyinawe, if some idiot flips a cigarette overboard and endangers the lives of everyone on board, I don't think he's " enough to set rules for..." himself --do you :?:

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