May 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM ET
More than 2,200 passengers were flown from The Bahamas to Baltimore on Tuesday after a Royal Caribbean cruise abruptly ended with a fire aboard the ship, the latest troubled waters for the cruise industry.
"I happened to get up and hear...I initially thought it was a drill," one passenger said, as he stepped off a plane at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, according to NBCWashington.com. "Because it wasn't coming through our speakers in our rooms yet. So I thought the crew was just doing a drill at 3 oclock in the morning, no big deal.
"And then of course they came on the speakers saying grab your life vest and get to your muster stations as soon as possible," the man continued. "Nobody got hurt, which is the most important thing. And that staff on that ship...
"...was amazing," another passenger interjected. "The staff was amazing."
Josh Hutcherson, 14, from Akron, Ohio, said he was woken up by his sister, and saw workers "yelling ‘Fire!’, running up and down the hall, pounding on all the doors.”
“I was very nervous," he said. "We’ve been on eight cruises and never had that happen.”
“I would go on a cruise again…but maybe wait a little bit,” he added.
No serious injuries were reported when the fire broke out early Monday on board the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, but the cruise company said medical staff treated several passengers for fainting, high blood pressure, and an ankle sprain. None of the cases were considered a medical emergency, the company said.
The ship left Baltimore on Friday for a seven-night cruise and was headed to CocoCay, Bahamas, when a blaze started on the third deck Monday at 2:50 a.m, spreading to the fourth deck before it was extinguished two hours later.
The cause still isn't known, and the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have flown to Freeport, Bahamas, where the ship was able to sail into port to investigate.
Adam Goldstein, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, flew to Freeport to meet with passengers before they took chartered flights paid for by Royal Caribbean back to Baltimore.
"I apologized on behalf of the company that we disrupted their vacation in this way," Goldstein told TODAY. "We're in the business of delivering outstanding vacations, not disrupting vacations."
He added that the 2,224 passengers will get a full refund for the trip and a certificate toward a future cruise. All of the guests, plus the 796 crew members, were accounted for, according to a company statement.
The incident is the latest blemish for cruise ships, coming on the heels of another cruise line's woes.
In February, the Carnival Triumph lost engine propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico, stranding thousands of passengers aboard without air-conditioning or working toilets. The cruise ship remained at sea for five days as passengers endured the nightmare conditions before it finally limped into port in Alabama.
The Bahamas-bound ship that caught fire on Monday also forced Royal Caribbean to cancel their upcoming voyage, the company said on their website.
"Unfortunately, due to the time needed to repair the damage caused by the fire, it is necessary to cancel Grandeur of the Seas' next voyage, which was scheduled to depart Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday, May 31. We are deeply sorry for this unexpected development in our guests' upcoming vacation," Royal Caribbean said.
NBC News' John Newland contributed to this report.