SANDAKAN, Malaysia — Passengers of a fire-damaged luxury cruise ship lauded the captain and crew Monday for maintaining order and bringing them safely ashore in Malaysia after 24 hours adrift in Philippine waters.
The Azamara Quest was stranded off the southern Philippines with 1,000 people aboard after flames engulfed one of its engine rooms Friday, injuring five crew members. It restored propulsion the next night and reached the harbor of Sandakan city in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island late Sunday.
More than two hours after the ship docked, buses took passengers — many smiling despite looking tired — to hotels at around midnight. Malaysian police and consular officials from countries including the U.S., Britain and Canada were also present.
The fire, which was immediately extinguished, knocked out air conditioning on the ship. Passenger Diane Becker Krasnick of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, said conditions were very hot.
28 February 2012
Stricken Costa cruise ship off Seychelles changes route
The Italian cruise ship left adrift with more than 1,000 people on board after a power failure now faces a longer journey before reaching land.
The Costa Allegra is being towed to the main island in the Seychelles, rather than a nearer island, and is not now due to arrive until Thursday.
A fire in the ship's generator room on Monday caused it to lose all power.
The ship is from the same fleet as the Costa Concordia, which capsized off the Italian coast in January, killing 32.
A statement from the ship's owners Costa Cruises said that after checking with maritime experts, it had decided that the planned disembarkation on the smaller-but-nearer Desroches Island could not go ahead.
The vessel has no air-conditioning or cooking facilities and an emergency generator powering the radio "could fail at any minute", the Italian coast guard says.
The only cruise I'd be interested in is along the shores of the Alaskan coastline.