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Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers returning to US after fire

A ship fire burned on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship early Monday morning. More than 3,000 people were onboard at the time, including passengers and crew.

May 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than 2,200 cruise passengers are expected to begin flying home Tuesday after a fire aboard a Royal Caribbean ship cut their vacation short.

The Grandeur of the Seas left Baltimore on Friday on what was supposed to be a seven-night cruise to CocoCay, Bahamas. But a fire broke out early Monday, forcing the disabled ship to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, with its entire backend scorched.

The fire was extinguished about two hours later, and no injuries were reported. The cause remains under investigation.

The ship's crew tried to stop passengers from taking pictures of the fire and chaos. Carrie McTigue told ABC News that "even when people put their cameras up to photograph the sunrise, they were told, 'no photos.'"

Royal Caribbean said the cruise line was arranging charter flights for all 2,224 guests. Passengers will get a full refund of their fare and a certificate for a future cruise.

"Royal Caribbean International is deeply sorry for this unexpected development in our guests' vacation. We understand that this may have been a very stressful time for them. And we also know that it has significantly impacted their vacation experience," the company said in a statement.

This is the second time this year that a fire at sea has aborted a cruise ship's voyage. The Carnival Triumph was disabled during a February cruise by an engine room fire in the Gulf of Mexico.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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