Freedom of the Seas Fire Falmouth JamaicaA hoax is defined as a "deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth."

Royal Caribbean engaged in a hoax when it characterized the big, dangerous fire on the Freedom of the Seas which engulfed the little port of Falmouth with billowing black smoke as just a "small fire."

Cruise lines used to be able to get away with these shenanigans, before social media took over the internet and exposed the truth. Now everyone has an iPhone and can record what happens in real time for all to see.

The video of the fire which I posted on my YouTube page (taken by former Royal Caribbean crew member and Jamaican Kevin Chambers) has been viewed over 1,000,000 times on Facebook. It speaks for itself. 

Some of the world’s foremost maritime experts have chimed in on Royal Caribbean’s misrepresentations.  

Captain Michael Lloyd said: "There is no such thing as a ‘small fire’ except in the minds of the PR reps in the cruise line offices. At sea especially, every fire is serious regardless of the whereabouts and size. Any Merchant Navy officer or fire officer for that matter knows that. I suppose in cruise line jargon someone has to be killed for it to be serious."

Captain Bill Doherty of Nexus Consulting commented: "That’s one major fire! Why wasn’t there a proper Flag state and Class post casualty survey done prior to sailing?"

former officer at a senior level within the cruise industry remarked: "This practice is all to common. The crew may be drilled on a regular basis, when it boils down to it, safety will play second fiddle to profit and keeping the passengers onboard. Why the classification society would allow the vessel to sail without inspection I don’t know – there is a genuine risk of deficiencies that may invalidate the vessels P&I coverage. How the senior officers onboard sleep when signing their names to the paperwork I don’t know."

A Chief Marine Engineer said: "Judging from this image, that kind and size of smoke suggests a big and serious fire in the Engine Room. The vessel should have not been permitted to sail without a thorough investigation of the cause and the integrity of her sailing out once again have been established."

A reader of this blog sent us several photos of the internal damage to the Freedom of the Seas today. Take a look here

A "small fire?" Ha!

July 28 2015 Update:  The video below taken by Kevin Chambers has been viewed over 1,000,000 times on our facebook page.

The word is out that this was no small or quickly extinquished fire.  Falmouth cruise ship blaze was no ‘small fire’ – US Maritime Lawyer.

Have a comment?  Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Freedom of the Seas Fire Falmouth Jamaica 

Photo Credit:  Facebook 

  • Steve Spencer

    This is just another reason my we don’t go on cruises anymore!!!!

  • Allan

    Engine room is below tween deck so if the fire broke up to the Viking Crown funnels as it can be clearly seen in the photos it means the fire was so intense it went trough 12 levels!, if it didn’t spread to other areas is because the ship is divided in vertical fire-zones, so it’s a MAJOR fire to go trough 12 levels of the ship, and then sail without being re-stocked of fire-retardant materials and inspected is MAJOR violation!, word is crew are already being lectured to keep it quiet and not disclose the true magnitude of the event

  • Jean Blumenthal

    We are booked to go on a cruise on this ship in November 2015. Will it be safe to go? I am a bit nervous about it.

  • Robert

    Engine room? I think not. This was a technical space yes, but it was not an engine room fire. The smoke is to be expected up top with all the synthetic materials in use. The only concern I have is the deformed bulkheads. That suggests a long, hot burn. I can’t speak to the fire rating if those bulkheads – I’m guessing maybe A15 – but the fire was certainly not a small one. That said, a fire that is contained in the upper most decks, inside one small technical space is very unlikely to cause any structural issues or create an unsafe condition with which to sail.

    I read the original statement, and it indicates that the fire was extinguished by the on board automatic systems… Meaning the crew did the after for overhaul and likely focused their efforts on containment. Not a situation anyone ever wants to be in, but I don’t think this is a big an issue as many people are making it out to be.

    Just the opinion of one engineer….

  • Michael Alden

    Robert, with all due respect, you were not on the ship. I was.

    The fire started in the engine room and transversed all 15 decks of the ship — the captain said as much and I have a videotape of his message posted on the CC TV stating precisely that.

    The fire was NOT extinguished by an automated system…it burned for nearly an hour before they had it under control. Many men with fire hoses. Dozens of men. As the captain stated in his video, they were battling the fire in 2 primary location as they were simultaneously turning the ship and docking. Now, does that sound like a small fire put out by the ship’s fire suppression system?

    I recorded the flames shooting out of the top of the crown while we were still 20 minutes from the dock and we saw smoke from our stateroom 10 minutes before we went out on deck 12 to record. And, as you can see from video posted from shore as we docked, the fire was far WORSE by the time we got to the dock than when I was recording VISIBLE FLAMES 20 minutes earlier. So it was FAR from a brief (or small) fire.

    I, too, am stunned we sailed forth on that ship. There is no way on God’s green Earth they could say with certainty that ship was safe to continue. It was all about dollars and cents. Very shameful on RC’s part.

  • Tricia

    I am also booked on this ship for an October sailing. We are a family of 5 travelling from Canada so I am with Jean. It is not so much a safety concern but I just can not now bring myself to board that ship at all now. The thing is I come from a family of generations of Fire Fire Fighters even the first female my little cousin, my Dad was also a fire fighter. So the thing with me is I have already made my last payment which I would NEVER have done had I known this prior. I just learned of this today fishing around for excursions. So I am now left with what can I do and what are my options? So upset about the whole thing. Reading the above statements confirms my doubt.

  • Barry Lane

    The BIBLE teaches me that” The Love Of Money Is The Root Of All Evil” and RCI has proved that to be very true in this case. I was on the ship during this cruise and the fire, water damage to our luggage, unbearable smell after fire, and loss of amenities were just a few things we endured. RCI still not wanting to make things right with compensation. I would suggest everyone look at what Carnival done for their guest after the Liberty fire on 11/7/15 and move your business to Carnival.

  • Brian Boyle

    I was on the ship that day with 20 other family members. That was my first commercial cruise and probably my last. When they ordered us to our muster stations, we were forced into the main stairwell which was full of rising smoke. Thousands of people crowded into that stairwell and I saw kids crying and some adults panicking too. I bumped into some mechanics in white overalls early in the morning while walking the deck. They said they were replacing the scrubbers underway. As a former US Navy Boiler Technician, I can tell you that is something we would do in the shipyard, not underway. In my opinion, Royal Caribbean put profit before safety on that ship and should pay a price for their greed. The captain and the crew however did a good job of getting the fire under control. The rest of the cruise the entire ship smelled like smoke. I am shocked that RC did not offer to return funds. I will never travel on Royal Caribbean again.