The media's microscope is focused on Carnival right now following the large number of recent engine and propulsion problems involving the Carnival Triumph, Dream, Elation & Legend and the Carnival-owner P&O Cruises' Ventura cruise ships.
The defenders of the cruise line are responding to the PR mess by insisting that such incidents are "rare." But you will find no historical perspective, and no reference to a data-base of any type.
Business Insider posted an article today: "A Photo History Of Carnival Cruise Ship Disasters." There were a couple of interesting photographs of the fire which erupted aboard the Carnival Ecstasy in 1998 as the cruise ship was trying to said out of Government Cut at Miami Beach. The two photos below, via Reuters, I have never seen before.
Carnival's passengers and crew members were extremely lucky in that incident. The ship's on-board system did not suppress the fire, which charred the entire stern of the ship. But the incident occurred near the port. Other vessels were able to quickly respond and eventually extinguish the fire. If the fire had occurred just an hour or two later on the high seas and away from the fire boats, the Ecstasy would have burned down to the hull.
The Business Insider article contains a link to the NTSB report of the fire, which is interesting reading.
I was disappointed that the article did not mention the deadly Star Princess cruise ship fire in 2006. This cruise ship was operated by Carnival-owned Princess Cruises. This fire is an important piece of evidence in the history of cruise ship fires. You can see some photographs in our article "Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?"
Photos nos 2, 3: Business Insider / Reuters
Photo no. 4: ForeignPolicy.com