Nightly News | May 28, 2013
>>> this time a fire on board a royalbahamas. the ship docked safely. the company flew all the passengers back to the u.s. with a full refund and a certificate for another complimentary cruise but it's drawing attention all over again the safety in the industry. our report from nbc's tom costello.
>> reporter: in the bahamas a badly charred royal caribbean grandeur of the seas in port after a harrowing ordeal. early monday morning passengers donned life vests after crews battled a fierce fire.
>> i was nervous, i was scared.
>> reporter: amazingly all 3,000 people walked off the ship safely.
>> we're very sorry that we disrupted so many vacations of so many people.
>> reporter: it's the most recent in a string of cruise ship mishaps. in february, the carnival "triumph" floated dead in the gulf of mexico for four days. passengers went out air conditioning , lighting and working toilets. in march the carnival "dream" lost power in the caribbean. in january 2012 the " costa concordia " sank off the coast of italy, 32 people died. month later" costa allegra " floated without power in the indian ocean and in 2010 had to be towed to the u.s.. 17 million people will take cruises this year on ships that are registered in small countries like the bahamas , panama, or malta.
>> cruise ships use convenience because to avoid regulations and laws in the countries they operate out of it, the other reason is from taxes.
>> reporter: the industry adopt adopted a passenger bill of rights promising food, water, restrooms and spelling out when customers are entitled to refunds or hotel stays. the industry insists its safety record exceeds that of other forms of transportation used for leisure or holiday travel. back in the bahamas applause for the captain and crew that fought the fire. now, a coast guard investigation into what went wrong. tom costello, nbc news, washington.