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Heath Barnes experienced a frightening event on board the Carnival Freedom cruise ship when a fire broke out on the port side of the ship’s exhaust funnel. The fire was reportedly caused by lightning, although the exact cause is still being investigated. The ship’s captain turned the ship towards an area of heavy rain in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. Despite the fire, there were no reported injuries to guests on board, but two crew members were treated for minor smoke inhalation. The ship was about 20 miles off Eleuthera Island, Bahamas, when the incident occurred.

Passengers were initially asked to remain in their cabins following the fire until about 5:40 p.m. This was Barnes’ 18th Carnival Cruise trip, and he described it as the most interesting one due to the unexpected nature of the incident. Carnival conducted a thorough assessment of the damage during the ship’s visit to Freeport and found that the damage was worse than initially reported. As a result, Carnival Freedom cruise trips scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral on March 25 and March 29 were canceled for immediate repair of the damaged funnel. Passengers on these canceled cruises were offered full refunds and future cruise credits.

The ship’s fire response team was able to extinguish the blaze about two hours after it ignited, and the fire appeared to be contained. The port side portion of the exhaust funnel fell onto deck 10 of the ship as a result of the fire. Despite the damage, passengers were still able to attend dinner as planned on Saturday night. The US Coast Guard was notified about the incident, and Carnival Cruise Line is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire. Barnes noted that while the incident was unexpected and caused by Mother Nature, he held no ill will toward the cruise line.

The Carnival Freedom cruise ship was on its way to Freeport when the fire broke out. The cruise line later reported that the ship had completed its visit to Freeport for assessment and repair, before returning to Port Canaveral for further repairs. The damage was more extensive than initially thought, requiring the ship to undergo immediate repairs in order to stabilize the funnel. The ship will then be taken to the Freeport shipyard for the necessary repairs. Despite the disruption caused by the fire, passengers’ safety and well-being remained the top priority, with full refunds and future cruise credits offered to affected passengers.

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