|Photo by Susan J. Young|
UPDATE: At about 1:45 p.m. Eastern time today, a Carnival spokeswoman told TravelAgentCentral.com that onboard Carnival Breeze, which was sailing toward Dubrovnik, Croatia, "a fan belt inside an AC unit in a crew area overheated and started generating smoke.
"There was not an actual fire and no smoke entered guest areas," she said. "The ship's crew responded immediately and all is well."
Earlier, TravelAgentCentral.com had reported on an announcement by the cruise director and then the ship's captain about the situation.
Here's that earlier report, based on what both individuals told the passengers onboard.
Shortly after 8 a.m. Eastern time, or 2 p.m. ship's time, crew members from Alpha team, a special fire squadron onboard the new ship, Carnival Breeze, were summoned via the ship's public address system to a forward portion of the crew area on Deck O.
Firescreen doors in the forward section of the ship closed as a precaution after smoke was discovered in the crew area, which caused an alarm to sound on the bridge.
Subsequently, both John Heald, the ship's cruise director, and then Captain Vincenzo Alcaras, spoke separately to guests over the PA system about what was happening. Heald spoke first as the captain was dealing with the potential emergency and then Captain Alcaras spoke after an update was available.
The updates were broadcast both in public areas and within guest staterooms.
Captain Alcaras explained to guests that the alarm had indicated the possibility of a fire in the forward crew area. He said that when the fire team arrived they found a rubber belt within the electrical system smoking.
The captain said the team "extinguished it immediately" and the "ship is now continuing on as normal." He also told guests that the fire doors in the forward part of the ship would reopen soon.
"Our intention is to always keep guests informed," said Captain Alcaras. "Thank you and I will see you at dinner." The latter statement, in particular, put guests at ease that the incident was over, and that the ship was proceeding normally to Dubrovnik.
All is back to normal on Carnival Breeze, which is in the midst of a 12-night Mediterranean cruise roundtrip from Barcelona.