Update: Carnival says that Freedom will be out of service due to the fire onboard earlier today. The cruise line plans to cancel the upcoming sailing of another ship and use it to get passengers back to Port Canaveral. See Carnival’s update below:
“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 departure of Carnival Freedom from Port Canaveral has been cancelled.”
A fire on board Carnival Freedom has damaged the ship as it is docked in Grand Turk. While details are scarce on the cause or impact of the fire, dramatic images posted online show a large fire that engulfed the funnel before being extinguished this morning.
A passenger who says she is aboard Carnival’s Mardi Gras next to Carnival Freedom shared photos and video of the blaze on Facebook:
Once the fire was put out, the damage seemed extensive. Photos shared on another Facebook page — MSC Cruises Fan Club — show the fire and the aftermath when it was extinguished:
Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald said in a statement online that “all guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore.”
But the big question that many have is if the ship will be fit to sail. Freedom is on a five-day cruise from Port Canaveral, and there is no word yet on if the ship will be able to return home due to the damage.
According to John Heald, “I know you will have questions so we’re working on all the scenarios and I promise I will share any news with you as soon as I can. Can I also say a massive bravo to the crew who did an incredible job to extinguish the fire. And again most importantly there were no injuries.”
As for now, passengers are said to be onshore in Grand Turk.