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Fire on Noordam at 3.10am


danceman
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I think it's fairly flippant and a huge assumption to state that....

 

"Trust me when I say that the crew is far, far, more concerned with fire prevention onboard than the guests are, because the crew lives onboard for longer than the week the guests are there, and because the crew are the ones who will be on the business end of the fire hose facing the flames if a fire breaks out."

 

I don't really think it's relevant at all. The vast majority of people are concerned about fire and danger to some degree. Training and awareness aside, some crew will be less or more bothered, as will some passengers.

 

Also, when you describe the removal of items that may spark, that alarms me! If I thought this was all done manually and relied on a person, no wonder there is an increased risk of spark/fire. Seems to me like a fundamentally flawed system. I realize HAL are trying to be environmentally friendly, but dare I suggest that it may be better to process this waste off ship. Just a thought.

 

And yes, if the fire was caused by the cigarette example, I would still expect an apology. Not for the fire. For the distress. A little good customer service, that's all. It makes some of us feel a little for at ease with a situation that we found distressing.

 

First of all I agree this would have been most upsetting to happen - especially during the night. I feel bad the passengers had to go through this. I do wonder why, if passengers were told to stay in their cabins that they disobeyed and went running for lifeboats wearing vests? That's just crazy. They could have encountered danger going out of their cabins. I don't think they listened during the safety drill.

 

Regarding your comment, can I suggest the next time you sail a HAL Vista ship, you spend the $$ on the Behind the Scenes Tour if it is offered. You may learn a lot about how things run on a cruise ship - like how trash/recycling is dealt with.

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We were on the Noordam on that cruise also.

 

I agree with the OP regarding most of what he says.

 

I don't have an issue with the fire itself and how it was handled, although, I do tend to agree with what some say here in that there seems to be far too many incidents. You don't hear of fires this often on other cruise lines from what I read. Yes, some, but not as often.

 

Also, a bad aspect of this incident for me was not being given any mention of this before disembarkation. I still think that's very bad form.

 

My more major concern is in relation to people leaving their staterooms whilst being told to stay in their cabin. Most of the corridor next to us left wearing life jackets. I'm not talking about a couple of people, a good few. Minutes later when I looked out into the corriodor again, a crew member told me to stay inside, but HE was wearing his life jacket also!

 

We were on deck 4 and had a balcony overlooking the Promenade Deck. People were congregating wearing life jackets. It was all quite confusing, compounded by being dark of course.

 

I wonder why the crew allowed people to leave the rooms with life jackets. Is there a policy on this, when having been instructed NOT to do that.

I myself felt....should I stay in or go? As it was, I stayed, but it would not have taken much more for me to go too, given the mixed messages and actions.

 

I think HAL should at least apologise for not acknowledging the incident the following morning, if for no other reasons than to reassure and also apologise for the many who may likely been frightened and could not sleep afterwards.

 

I totally understand that safety and security is the number one priority, but after that there is still the important aspects of good customer service and even just a little common sense maybe.

 

So JULIA...the apology is not specifically that the fire occurred. It's simply a recognition of lack of rest, being frightened and providing a little reassurance. I also find your blunt tone rude, but everyone to their own. You weren't present.

 

My guess ... the crew did say (as they did to you) stay in your cabins ... and the passengers you saw decided to ignore instructions and do their own thing. I'm pretty sure the crew probably had no control over them.

 

And of course the crew had their lifejackets on. That would be, I would think, standard practice. I just noticed ellieanne's post, and she would be correct.

 

I am puzzled that a "we are so sorry you were disturbed last night" announcement was not made prior to disembarkation.

Edited by Linda&Vern
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The crew member was wearing his life jacket because that's what he is supposed to do when the emergency alert sounds. HE will not have time to go back to his designated area to get his life jacket in the event an abandon ship order is issued. HE has to be prepared for that event long before passengers need to be. Have you not watched the safety drills on board? The crew is prepared for their role in the emergency, and for most that means being ready to board lifeboats/liferafts at the start of the emergency, not the end. That crew member's job was to direct passengers to safety. He was wearing his lifejacket for the same reasons firefighters have oxygen and hardhats -- to be prepared and to have them before they are needed.

 

Me pointing out that a crew member was wearing a life jacket whilst we were told to stay put was not suggesting he was in the wrong and not simply fulfilling his role. I described how it made us unsure, and that's just a fact.

 

Also, of course we take notice of the emergency drill, but I think anyone would be foolish to think that the drill covers telling you that a crew member will be in the accommodation corridor wearing a life jacket and telling you to stay inside whilst others are clearly leaving. That was my point.

Edited by richardukcruise
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Not to alarm anyone further, but fires onboard are a fairly common occurrence. It's just that the guests are usually unaware of them. When a fire is reported to the bridge, a "code" announcement will go out to the crew, and the emergency teams will muster and attend to the emergency/fire. There will be an "on scene commander" (generally the Staff Chief Engineer or Chief Officer) who will advise the Captain whether the situation is serious enough to warrant sounding the alarm and mustering the guests. Many fires are dealt with before even all of the fire teams have arrived on scene, and then things return to normal. I'm a bit surprised that an incinerator fire was announced that quickly, but the 30-40 minutes between the alarm and the Captain's announcement would be normal, as the fire teams need time to determine if the seat of the fire has been extinguished, and to check for hot spots to prevent re-flashing of the fire.

Ok with you.

 

Other than perhaps having the Captain apologize for waking all the guests in the middle of the night (as a courtesy), there is nothing to apologize for. To say that the crew should be "careful not to start fires in the first place" denigrates the company's policies and the crew's training (in fire prevention as well as fire fighting).

 

Trust me when I say that the crew is far, far, more concerned with fire prevention onboard than the guests are, because the crew lives onboard for longer than the week the guests are there, and because the crew are the ones who will be on the business end of the fire hose facing the flames if a fire breaks out.

 

To say that HAL has many fires in crew areas "that are under their control", and this shows that they are somehow negligent is false. The reason there are fewer fires in guest areas is because the lines try to remove as many possible sources of fire as they can, yet they still allow hair care appliances and smoking, which are the two most common sources of fire in guest areas.

I don't remember saying negligent, but at least I think that it shows bad procedures/bad manteinance at the least. I can understand that sometimes you can not control passenger behaviour, but crew should have adequate training and procedures.

 

Let me explain about incinerator fires. Every day, the ship generates about 6-10 m3 (cubic meters) of paper and cardboard trash. This is shredded and stored in a silo until the ship gets underway, and the incinerator can be started at sea to burn all this trash. The crew is very conscious about trash sorting, and go through everything they take from your cabin wastebaskets (and their own, and all other trash receptacles) to ensure that not only is as much as possible recycled, but that no metal is left in the paper trash. This metal, when sent through the shredder, can spark, and this spark falls on a fine source of flammable material, the shredded paper in the silo. I have seen a silo fire caused by a single AA battery going through the shredder. This spark will ignite some of the paper, but as more paper is shredded and dumped on top of the smolder, it gets buried, and waits. At night, when the incinerator is being run, the smolder will gradually work its way towards the air as the shredded paper is dropped into the incinerator. This is when the smolder bursts into flame, and there is a fire in the silo. This will set off the fire alarm, and there are fire suppression means built into the silo to fight the fire. However, the fire teams will still need to open the silo doors, and using thermal cameras rake through the shredded paper looking for remaining hot spots before the all clear will happen. This can take a while.

 

If that is the case then there is a clear case of bad procedures! You can install a thermographic cam to monitor the smoldering before it gets critical, you can install metal detectors before shredding, you can store the paper and shred it on land. There are multiple ways to prevent what as per your indication seems a common thing.

 

Yes, fire at sea is a serious business. I've been at sea for 40 years, and seen my share. Yes, fire prevention is the most important aspect of fire fighting, and the crews are probably more aware of fire prevention than anything else in their shipboard life. To those of you who are asking for an apology from the line for the fire happening, would you expect an apology from them if the fire had started in a passenger cabin from a cigarette butt in a trash can?

No, this is clearly impossible to them to prevent! Passengers can and will be careless, so I don't expect them to apologize for that.

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I think it's fairly flippant and a huge assumption to state that....

 

"Trust me when I say that the crew is far, far, more concerned with fire prevention onboard than the guests are, because the crew lives onboard for longer than the week the guests are there, and because the crew are the ones who will be on the business end of the fire hose facing the flames if a fire breaks out."

 

I don't really think it's relevant at all. The vast majority of people are concerned about fire and danger to some degree. Training and awareness aside, some crew will be less or more bothered, as will some passengers.

 

Also, when you describe the removal of items that may spark, that alarms me! If I thought this was all done manually and relied on a person, no wonder there is an increased risk of spark/fire. Seems to me like a fundamentally flawed system. I realize HAL are trying to be environmentally friendly, but dare I suggest that it may be better to process this waste off ship. Just a thought.

 

And yes, if the fire was caused by the cigarette example, I would still expect an apology. Not for the fire. For the distress. A little good customer service, that's all. It makes some of us feel a little for at ease with a situation that we found distressing.

 

First off, I did state "and go through everything they take from your cabin wastebaskets (and their own, and all other trash receptacles) to ensure that not only is as much as possible recycled, but that no metal is left in the paper trash", which I thought explained that a person does manually go through every piece of trash, no matter how nasty, to sort it out before it is either incinerated or otherwise dealt with for recycling. And where would all of this trash be stored until it could be removed for processing off ship? If you've taken the behind the scenes tours, you've seen the rooms full of stuff to be recycled that has accumulated just in mid-cruise when the tours happen.

 

When you say that most people are aware and concerned about fire danger to some extent, let me ask you this. Does your workplace have training in fire prevention for every employee? Will your company discipline someone for inadvertently doing something that MIGHT cause a fire? Are your employees monitored by cameras to see if they are following company guidelines for fire prevention? How many placards are there in your workplace regarding fire prevention? Do your employees live in the same building where they work? How many have had their personal belongings threatened by a fire that happened at the workplace? Do your employees get weekly training and discussions about fire prevention? Do your employees get inspected by the government as to their knowledge of fire prevention and emergency equipment, regardless of whether they are designated to use this equipment in an emergency?

 

How often does the average cruiser think about fire onboard? The average crewmember is reminded about it weekly, and most have to think about it daily.

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At this point it appears that now HAL should say that they are sorry for not having said they were.sorry. Generally, it seems that the crew handled things much better than the passengers - who decided not to abide by what appears to have been fairly clear instructions to remain calm and stay in their cabins.

 

Of course, it is unfortunate that the thing happened - but once it did, was there any failure to properly respond on the part of the crew?

 

Perhaps significantly more time and effort should be spent on emergency drills - to emphasize the importance of following instructions in event of problems. It seems that some of the elements of panic were developing - for significant numbers to be putting on life jackets and milling about - of course, any expansion of emergency drills would be grounds for complaint.

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First off, I did state "and go through everything they take from your cabin wastebaskets (and their own, and all other trash receptacles) to ensure that not only is as much as possible recycled, but that no metal is left in the paper trash", which I thought explained that a person does manually go through every piece of trash, no matter how nasty, to sort it out before it is either incinerated or otherwise dealt with for recycling. And where would all of this trash be stored until it could be removed for processing off ship? If you've taken the behind the scenes tours, you've seen the rooms full of stuff to be recycled that has accumulated just in mid-cruise when the tours happen.

 

When you say that most people are aware and concerned about fire danger to some extent, let me ask you this. Does your workplace have training in fire prevention for every employee? Will your company discipline someone for inadvertently doing something that MIGHT cause a fire? Are your employees monitored by cameras to see if they are following company guidelines for fire prevention? How many placards are there in your workplace regarding fire prevention? Do your employees live in the same building where they work? How many have had their personal belongings threatened by a fire that happened at the workplace? Do your employees get weekly training and discussions about fire prevention? Do your employees get inspected by the government as to their knowledge of fire prevention and emergency equipment, regardless of whether they are designated to use this equipment in an emergency?

 

How often does the average cruiser think about fire onboard? The average crewmember is reminded about it weekly, and most have to think about it daily.

 

Yes you did state that. That was the basis of my response. Basically leaving such rubbish items to be separated from paper for example via human/visual means only is bound to be flawed.

 

Secondly, I don't doubt that HAL do scheduled regular training. I've never questioned that at all.

 

Also, you can't assume to know how often a passenger thinks about a fire onboard, or even safety in general. That will differ greatly of course. Don't forget that, as you say, we all have to take part in a drill. If there are issues that are not clear, maybe they need to add some more to that? Personally, I don't think so, but that's just my opinion.

Edited by richardukcruise
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Our Alaska cruise this last May was interrupted at 3AM on the last night with a fire alarm. The captain announced a fire in a location that I really don't remember. When the fire was put out an all clear announcement was made.

 

Certainly it was dark out and it was unsettling. However, the crew put the fire out according to their training, we did not get back to sleep and we were tired for our day in Vancouver the next day. It was not our first fire alarm experience on a HAL ship and it won't be our last. We were thankful it was dealt with efficiently and that everyone was safe. It did not even cross our minds to write a letter of complaint. If the OP thinks a letter is in order it should be to commend the crew for taking swift action to keep her and her family safe.

 

The whole original post could be boiled down to "The crew put out a fire in the middle of the night and saved our lives. I was tired. Should I complain?" How silly does that sound?

Edited by sapper1
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Ok with you.

 

 

I don't remember saying negligent, but at least I think that it shows bad procedures/bad manteinance at the least. I can understand that sometimes you can not control passenger behaviour, but crew should have adequate training and procedures. Even with the best possible training and procedures, take a Navy pilot for example, mistakes and accidents can happen. If the pilot bails out and his plane crashes into an apartment complex (which has happened), do you blame bad procedures/bad maintenance?

 

 

 

If that is the case then there is a clear case of bad procedures! You can install a thermographic cam to monitor the smoldering before it gets critical, you can install metal detectors before shredding, you can store the paper and shred it on land. There are multiple ways to prevent what as per your indication seems a common thing. Perhaps the one thing I didn't mention about an incinerator fire, is that it is considered to be a "contained" fire. With the fire suppression means installed in the silo, I have never seen a fire that could not be extinguished by these systems, without any danger of fire outside the silo. The problem then becomes what to do with 6-7 tons of wet paper/cardboard. This is why we generally take the trash and feed it into the incinerator, where it is supposed to burn, while monitoring the silo for hot spots. Metal detectors and fixed thermal cameras may be a good idea, but they will require additional personnel to either resort the garbage when metal is detected (not a bad idea) or reset the system everytime there is a false alarm of the thermal camera. As I responded to another poster, where are you going to store the material that is not incinerated, if the ship generates 6-7 cubic meters a day, that is 42-49 cubic meters per cruise. Many ports will not accept ship's garbage, so it might have to be kept around, and storing flammable paper/cardboard can present fire hazards as well.

 

 

No, this is clearly impossible to them to prevent! Passengers can and will be careless, so I don't expect them to apologize for that.

 

When I say that the crew is more aware of fire prevention than passengers, that goes towards training as well, because they are trained in fire prevention and fire fighting, they are more aware of it than most passengers.

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Also, of course we take notice of the emergency drill, but I think anyone would be foolish to think that the drill covers telling you that a crew member will be in the accommodation corridor wearing a life jacket and telling you to stay inside whilst others are clearly leaving. That was my point.

 

I didn't mean the LifeBoat Drill held for passengers. I meant the emergency simulation drills the crew performs during the cruise. Many are on port days, but I have been on board when there have been drills on sea days as well. During those drills, there are often crew in the accommodation hallways wearing life jackets and directing traffic.

 

On the last cruise I was on, the simulation drill actually was a fire in the incinerator that got out of control and an abandon ship order was issued. It confused many passengers, who may not have paid attention to the notices that it was a crew drill.

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At this point it appears that now HAL should say that they are sorry for not having said they were.sorry. Generally, it seems that the crew handled things much better than the passengers - who decided not to abide by what appears to have been fairly clear instructions to remain calm and stay in their cabins.

 

Of course, it is unfortunate that the thing happened - but once it did, was there any failure to properly respond on the part of the crew?

 

Perhaps significantly more time and effort should be spent on emergency drills - to emphasize the importance of following instructions in event of problems. It seems that some of the elements of panic were developing - for significant numbers to be putting on life jackets and milling about - of course, any expansion of emergency drills would be grounds for complaint.

 

Although an expansion may be deemed feasible by some. There are some obvious issues with that:

 

There is only so much a person can remember during a one off 30 min briefing. It needs to be brief and clear. Detail could confuse.

 

Extra drill time = time and money. HAL wont like that.

 

There will be many more I'm sure!

 

One further point which I failed to mention earlier. If the prime concern is for safety and security of passengers, crew and vessel, should that not have been another major reason for the Captain (or other officer) to take a few mins that morning before disembarkation to reinforce what passeners were asked to do, whilst making the disturbance apology at the same time. I think the majority of people would prefer some specific feedback and basic reasoning, rather than nothing. Surely when it's safety and security the porential offending of a few passengers goes out of the window. People might have appreciated being reminded what the right thing to do was. Just a thought.

Edited by richardukcruise
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I didn't mean the LifeBoat Drill held for passengers. I meant the emergency simulation drills the crew performs during the cruise. Many are on port days, but I have been on board when there have been drills on sea days as well. During those drills, there are often crew in the accommodation hallways wearing life jackets and directing traffic.

 

On the last cruise I was on, the simulation drill actually was a fire in the incinerator that got out of control and an abandon ship order was issued. It confused many passengers, who may not have paid attention to the notices that it was a crew drill.

 

We try to make the crew drills as realistic as possible, and this will include the use of "Hollywood" smoke generators borrowed from the production show crew. Unfortunately, we cannot do this in passenger cabin areas, for just the reasons you state, so it is done in crew accommodation areas. We will, however, frequently drill in the theaters, or dining rooms using smoke, and there will always be some confusion, as guests will not have paid attention to the announcements regarding the drills. Many times we have to detail security to keep guests away from the drills, because they are there taking pictures on their phones, which distracts the crew, and doesn't add to the realism of the drill.

 

Most crew drills will "get out of control" to the point where the ship needs to be abandoned, as this is how they blend the fire/emergency drill with the abandon ship drill, both of which are required. We normally watch the gangway passenger count to hold off on drills until the pax count is as low as possible onboard.

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Even with the best possible training and procedures, take a Navy pilot for example, mistakes and accidents can happen. If the pilot bails out and his plane crashes into an apartment complex (which has happened), do you blame bad procedures/bad maintenance?

 

Yes! Of course I do. I'm sure the navy has a procedure for bailing out on populated areas, and it includes trying their best to avoid it. Bailing out in general and over population in particular. In fact in my country is severely discouraged to have military flighs over cities for the same reason.

But in any case, we are not talking military ships. There is a different risk involved in that case.The most approximate thing would be a commercial jet, and when there is a fire, there is always an apology, as you are not expected to have to endure it. It doesn't matter that the procedures were perfect, and the crew managed perfectly. They will apologize because in the end it was their plane what broke up.

 

Metal detectors and fixed thermal cameras may be a good idea, but they will require additional personnel to either resort the garbage when metal is detected (not a bad idea) or reset the system everytime there is a false alarm of the thermal camera.

 

So lets go back to open flame cooking. It's a little bit inconvenient to reduce the risk, so lets ignore it.

 

As I responded to another poster, where are you going to store the material that is not incinerated, if the ship generates 6-7 cubic meters a day, that is 42-49 cubic meters per cruise. Many ports will not accept ship's garbage, so it might have to be kept around, and storing flammable paper/cardboard can present fire hazards as well.

In the same place than organic residues. You mash it with water and just dump it. It's safe, biodegradable and not a fire risk.

I'm sure there are other solutions.

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I too have been on a cruise where a fire alert was announced.

 

I am so very grateful for the professional way in which the crew dealt with the alarm and that, should the worst have eventuated, I was alerted early enough to act without being half asleep.

 

I wouldn't be expecting an apology, but everyone is different.

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To the OP, I think both. You should thank your lucky stars that the fire was put out and you should complain. You experienced a very frightening event in the middle of the night. It was great that HAL crew kept you informed on what was happening. I am sure you felt some relief when the Captain announced that the fire was out. What was missing from your story was the Captain acknowledging that this was a very negative experience of this cruise and the possible negative effect that it may have had on 1900 plus passengers. The human element was definitely missing from your update.

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Me and my 80 year old mother were also on this cruise, but I have to say that my experience with the fire alert was quite different from that of the other posters that were there.

Well frankly I wasn't too bothered and slept sort of through it all. Never did I hear any noise coming from the corridor indicating there were people there running around in their life jackets (we were on deck 6) or otherwise worried passengers. I didn't even cross my mind to get out of bed. I just figured that in case of something serious word would get out over the intercom. I was also really surprised to hear there were actually people at the life boats.

One more thing: The OP mentioned the fire was detected on deck 3. It wasn't, it was on C-Deck( I heard that much), and that's a long way from most decks.

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People do not seem to understand the difference between the "fire is under control" and the fire is out! the reason for taking what seems an eternity to stand people down is not just to make sure the fire is out but also to make sure that it does not re ignite.

 

As people have already said there is no reason for complaint it appears the ship crew did what they had to do in order to extinguish the fire, had you arrived in port late and missed a flight then that would be a different matter.

 

Put it down to experience and on any future cruises maybe try and get cabins closer together at least that will lessen some of the anxiety of the kids being further away.

 

One thing i would say is do you have a fire action plan at home should there ever be a fire? if not make one with an escape route, if you have any worries about it contact the local Fire station who will be only to happy to come out and discuss it with you and if need be fit smoke alarms .... :) even on a cruise ship or hotel stay you should consider having an escape plan just in case.

 

 

 

 

Excellent Advice :)

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Not to alarm anyone further, but fires onboard are a fairly common occurrence. It's just that the guests are usually unaware of them. When a fire is reported to the bridge, a "code" announcement will go out to the crew, and the emergency teams will muster and attend to the emergency/fire. There will be an "on scene commander" (generally the Staff Chief Engineer or Chief Officer) who will advise the Captain whether the situation is serious enough to warrant sounding the alarm and mustering the guests. Many fires are dealt with before even all of the fire teams have arrived on scene, and then things return to normal. I'm a bit surprised that an incinerator fire was announced that quickly, but the 30-40 minutes between the alarm and the Captain's announcement would be normal, as the fire teams need time to determine if the seat of the fire has been extinguished, and to check for hot spots to prevent re-flashing of the fire.

 

Other than perhaps having the Captain apologize for waking all the guests in the middle of the night (as a courtesy), there is nothing to apologize for. To say that the crew should be "careful not to start fires in the first place" denigrates the company's policies and the crew's training (in fire prevention as well as fire fighting). Trust me when I say that the crew is far, far, more concerned with fire prevention onboard than the guests are, because the crew lives onboard for longer than the week the guests are there, and because the crew are the ones who will be on the business end of the fire hose facing the flames if a fire breaks out.

 

To say that HAL has many fires in crew areas "that are under their control", and this shows that they are somehow negligent is false. The reason there are fewer fires in guest areas is because the lines try to remove as many possible sources of fire as they can, yet they still allow hair care appliances and smoking, which are the two most common sources of fire in guest areas.

 

Let me explain about incinerator fires. Every day, the ship generates about 6-10 m3 (cubic meters) of paper and cardboard trash. This is shredded and stored in a silo until the ship gets underway, and the incinerator can be started at sea to burn all this trash. The crew is very conscious about trash sorting, and go through everything they take from your cabin wastebaskets (and their own, and all other trash receptacles) to ensure that not only is as much as possible recycled, but that no metal is left in the paper trash. This metal, when sent through the shredder, can spark, and this spark falls on a fine source of flammable material, the shredded paper in the silo. I have seen a silo fire caused by a single AA battery going through the shredder. This spark will ignite some of the paper, but as more paper is shredded and dumped on top of the smolder, it gets buried, and waits. At night, when the incinerator is being run, the smolder will gradually work its way towards the air as the shredded paper is dropped into the incinerator. This is when the smolder bursts into flame, and there is a fire in the silo. This will set off the fire alarm, and there are fire suppression means built into the silo to fight the fire. However, the fire teams will still need to open the silo doors, and using thermal cameras rake through the shredded paper looking for remaining hot spots before the all clear will happen. This can take a while.

 

Yes, fire at sea is a serious business. I've been at sea for 40 years, and seen my share. Yes, fire prevention is the most important aspect of fire fighting, and the crews are probably more aware of fire prevention than anything else in their shipboard life. To those of you who are asking for an apology from the line for the fire happening, would you expect an apology from them if the fire had started in a passenger cabin from a cigarette butt in a trash can?

 

 

 

Great post.

 

I am a fire department dispatcher for 30 years and your post rang so true.

 

Of course a fire on board a ship is scary. And there is fine line between keeping passengers informed and reassured , and causing a free for all panic.

 

 

It sounds like it was handled pretty well in the OPs case

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We have been on three cruises in the past four years where there was a fire alarm. Twice it was in the incinerator room and the other time, an electrical short in the Lido. The last alert was I believe in May on the Zuiderdam, as we were woken up about 4 AM.

 

It has become a common occurrence for us on our Alaska sailings.:eek:

 

I remember that lovely 4 am wake up call in May well.

 

You know- I think I will write a letter to our good friend Christine Ferris and complain about it. they really do need to start scheduling their fire alarms at more appropriate times. :D

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Should i make a complaint or just thank our lucky stars it wasnt worse?

So, you want to file a complaint because the cruise line woke you up for a fire and you were a little tired the next day because you couldn't sleep after they told you you could go back to bed? Really?

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I remember that lovely 4 am wake up call in May well.

 

You know- I think I will write a letter to our good friend Christine Ferris and complain about it. they really do need to start scheduling their fire alarms at more appropriate times. :D

 

They could have waited until at least after breakfast. :D

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Just got back from 11 night med cruise on Noordam. On the 25th August we got to bed at 1.30am after putting our luggage out for the last collection at 1.00am

On the last night of the cruise, at 3.10am the fire alarm sounded while we were fast asleep in our cabin. We didnt actually realise it was the fire alarm as we were disorientated and sleepy initially but then the officer of the watch came over the speaker in our cabin to say that a fire had been located on deck 3 aft and that fire crews were being dispatched and to remain calm. We have been on over 100 cruises and have never had this happen before so we felt it must be serious to have made the announcement in the middle of the night.

We were on deck 6 aft....so the fire was below us!....i went out onto our balcony to see if i could see any signs of a fire....there were several other people out on their balconies also looking around...couldnt see any fire...we were still sailing at normal speed...it was a dark night with the sea rushing past below.

15 minutes later the captain came on over the speaker to say there was indeed a fire in the incinerator room which had not yet spread to the passenger areas....that we are to remain calm and await further updates.

My stomach turned over and i felt rather sick at this announcement and i had visions of us getting into the lifeboats. I opened our cabin door and there were several other people also looking down the corridor and some were walking/running wearing life jackets!

Two of our children were in a cabin with an aunt at the other end of the ship (she had them dressed and in their life jackets by this time...they were frightened)

We remained in our cabins although others went to the life boats.

After approx another 30/40 minutes the captain came back on to say that the fire had been put out and that fire crews would stay in the vicinity for a while to make sure it was safe, and that we could now go back to bed!

Needless to say....none of us got any sleep after this.

It was a frightening experience and spoilt the end of our cruise. There was no announcement next morning or apology.

We spent our next day in Rome as we had booked a hotel so we could do some sightseeing before flying home but we were so tired and exhausted this day was spoilt.

In relation to some other cruise horror stories and the costa concordia sinking this is nothing of course....but all the same it was still very frightening and upsetting to us all.

Should i make a complaint or just thank our lucky stars it wasnt worse?

 

 

 

You could have spent the next day in Rome identifying remains and arranging to have them shipped home for burial. I hear that will spoil your day and make you miss your tour bus to The Vatican.

 

I think you should just thank your lucky stars.

 

I would say you should be thanking your lucky stars

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I understand that this was an unsettling and scary experience, and it sounds like it ruined the end of your cruise (possibly your entire impression of the cruise) and your next day in Rome. I think it's human nature to want some sort of 'justice' for times when things don't go according to plan.

 

But I have to agree with the majority of the other posters, that this situation does not warrant a complaint. It sounds like it was handled by the book (other passengers aside :eek:), and as we all sadly know (Costa Concordia), this isn't always the case during emergency situations.

 

I do think HAL should have acknowledged it the next day and this seems to be a bit of a miss on their part, but not truly complaint worthy since crisis was averted and that's what you really need in situations like this.

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