Small Fire Breaks Out Aboard World's Largest Cruise Ship

Icon of the Seas
File image courtesy RCL

Published Jun 26, 2024 5:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

The world's largest cruise ship, the newly-delivered Icon of the Seas, sustained a "small fire" on Tuesday while it was in port in Costa Maya, Mexico. 

The crew's fire teams mustered and quickly extinguished the fire. There were no injuries, and the incident had a minimal impact on board, operator Royal Caribbean confirmed. 

The blaze caused a brief blackout until backup power came online, the cruise line said. Some passengers estimated the duration of the outage at about 20-60 minutes, with intermittent periods of power. One individual captured imagery of a small plume of black smoke coming from one of the vessel's twin stacks, and several reported on social media that they felt "shudders" at about the time of the loss of power. 

Passengers were alerted to an ongoing incident and kept updated, but were never mustered for emergency purposes. 

The fire did not affect Icon of the Seas' itinerary, and the vessel has departed Costa Maya en route to Cozumel. 

Minor fires are an occasional occurrence for all maritime operators, and cruise ships are no exception. Earlier this year, a fire on the exhaust stack aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' vessel Carnival Freedom forced the operator to cancel several sailings and divert the vessel to a shipyard for repairs. 

Icon of the Seas is a brand new vessel, and just entered commercial service on January 27. She is nearly 1,200 feet long, and can accommodate up to 7,600 passengers - making her larger than most American towns when she has a full complement on board. 

The ship lost power once before, on May 19, according to cruise-enthusiast website Cruise Hive. During that incident, the Icon was at sea, and the power loss included a temporary loss of propulsion.