In the wake of Carnival’s news, I’m remembering my cruise ship fire and rescue

By Shell R.

With the recent headlines about the fire aboard Carnival’s Cruise Ship, Splendor, I have been remembering the Achille Lauro cruise ship fire in 1994, which I was traveling on.

Achille Lauro Cruise Ship

Actually, I was working as an entertainer on board when the ship caught on fire 125 miles off the coast of Somalia. (You might remember this ship from when it was hijacked in 1985. The hijackers shot and killed a disabled American tourist and threw his body and his wheelchair overboard. They made a movie about it so I guess you can say this ship is famous.) We were rescued by several ships and sailed a few days to Mombasa. While being towed in, the ship was engulfed in flames and eventually sank.

Achille Lauro Cruise Ship

I filmed this short video while aboard and thought I would share…several news outlets also picked it up a few times back when it happened. This will give you a glimpse into what happens when everything doesn’t go exactly as planned when on vacation.


  • Thanks for reading the blog. Also a BIG THANK YOU for your service and for coming to our aid! Your job as a US Navy pilot makes a significant difference to people who are in need. I know first hand just how it feels to see those helicopters coming to help. It's very much appreciated!!

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  • Dear Shell
    I was on the Achille Lauro as Shop Assistant during this time. I would love to get the full version of your video, if this is possible. It’s amazing how time flies, 19 years ago today we had been saved. I am celebrating this day as my 2nd birthday and it brings back memories every year.
    Thanks for sharing this with us, since we’ve lost everything on board.
    Please let me know how I could get a copy of this video in full lenght, thank you.

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