Azamara Quest fire cuts short one sailing, cancels another

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An engine room fire on Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara Quest forced the line to cut short one sailing and cancel the next.

The fire on the 694-passenger ship started March 30, four days after it left Hong Kong on a 17-day cruise to Singapore.

The April 12 departure from Singapore was canceled.

The blaze, which was contained in the engine room, injured five crew members and caused the ship to lose propulsion power about 200 miles off Borneo. Engineers on board repaired one engine, and the ship was able to travel to Sandakan, Malaysia, under its own power.

The Quest arrived there April 1, and cruise line officials are assessing the damage.

It was the second high-profile cruise-ship fire this year. An engine room fire on the Costa Allegra on Feb. 27 left the ship adrift in the Indian Ocean, off Tasmania. The ship eventually was towed to a port in the Seychelles; company officials later decided that the ship would not return to service.

Azamara CEO Larry Pimentel traveled to Sandakan early last week to greet the passengers whose cruise was cut short.

"I would 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," Pimentel said.

Azamara said it would provide passengers on the interrupted cruise with a full refund.

Also, it will give each of those passengers a future cruise certificate for 100% of the cruise fare paid for their sailing.

Passengers booked on the April 12 cruise also are receiving a full refund and a certificate, equivalent to 30% of the cruise fare they paid, for use on a future sailing.

For cruise news and updates, follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly.

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