UPDATE 1-Cruise ship fire leaves guests stranded on Caribbean island
(Adds company, passenger comments, details)
By Greg Roumeliotis
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sept 8 (Reuters) - An engine fire on board a cruise ship operated by Carnival Corp left about 4,500 passengers and crew stranded in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a second day on Tuesday and forced the cruise operator to cut the trip short.
The Carnival Liberty set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday with 3,346 guests and 1,150 crew on board and was a day into a week-long Caribbean cruise when the fire broke out.
The fire was extinguished by the ship's automated suppression system, Carnival said. No guests or crew were injured.
Passengers and crew were told to evacuate onshore on Monday after thick black smoke was seen rising from the ship while it was docked in St. Thomas, a Reuters reporter on board the vessel said. Staff distributed water and snacks in the port.
Passengers were transferred to nearby hotels, where movies were screened and a buffet was served before they returned to spend the night on the ship. On Tuesday, every passenger was offered $150 credit to spend on board and free transportation into town.
Carnival said passengers will get a full refund as well as be offered a 50 percent discount on a future cruise.
"I could feel worse but I still see it as a free cruise," said passenger Elaine Myers, a 21-year-old student from Kansas City, Missouri. "What is important is that nobody died or got hurt in the fire." Continuación...