Passengers “upbeat” following Azamara Quest fire
Azamara Club Cruise is being lauded for its quick response and public transparency during an eventful weekend, when a fire broke out in the engine room of Azamara Quest.
The cruise line’s PR team was quick to post updates regarding ship conditions and efforts to restore propulsion on their official Facebook page, where passengers and crew soon chimed in with their own news and questions once power was restored.
The fire broke out in the ship’s engine room at 8:19 PM Frday, March 30, four days into a 17-night sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore. The fire was quickly extinguished and no guests were injured; however, several of the crew suffered smoke inhalation and required hospitalization.
Engineers were able to restore propulsion to one of the ship’s engines and the ship set course for Sandakan, Malaysia, where it arrived Sunday evening. President and CEO Larry Pimentel flew to Sandakan to personally meet with Azamara Quest guests and crew, according to information posted on Azamara’s website.
“I would like to sincerely thank our amazing Azamara Quest guests for their patience and understanding,” said Larry Pimentel, president and chief executive officer of Azamara Club Cruises. “We understand that this was a difficult journey, and we appreciate their upbeat and positive attitude. We look forward to welcoming them back soon.”
“I would also like to commend the crew onboard Azamara Quest, not just for their valiant and courageous efforts during the fire, but for the way they have worked tirelessly to make our guests as happy and comfortable as possible until the ship arrived in port. The entire crew has been absolutely brilliant, and I couldn’t be prouder of the exemplary way each and every one of them responded to this incident.”
The cruise line also set up a hotline for family and friends of guests onboard to receive updates, and offered guests the option of staying onboard the ship while it was docked in Sandakan, or transferring to a local hotel. Passengers were offered a variety of compensation choices, including continuing their vacation in a luxury hotel in the Asian city of their choice, with Azamara providing a $150 daily stipend per passenger for food and other expenses. They will also receive a full refund, a free future cruise, and airfare reimbursement.
Azamara guests praised the actions of the crew on Facebook, thanking them for the professional way the situation was handled and for the prompt updates as the events unfolded.