April 19, 2006

Princess Cruises has implemented new balcony fire-safety procedures on all its ships in the wake of the blaze that started on a balcony of the Star Princess on March 23. Among the measures are a 24-hour fire watch of balconies; specific training and fire-response procedures for the crew in handling fires on balconies; enhanced fire safety communication to passengers, and changes in crew housekeeping procedures. The Star Princess fire started during a cruise from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, to Montego Bay, Jamaica. One person died and 11 people were injured; 100 cabins were damaged. Princess canceled six cruises through May 15 aboard the Star Princess so the ship could be sent for repairs in Germany.