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Raleigh Family Just Finished 4 Days on Burned Ship

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RALEIGH — A Raleigh family had just departed from the Carnival cruise ship that burned Monday. Their vacation ended just hours before other travelers got on board for the fiery cruise.

Randy and Diana Peedin passed by passengers in the Raleigh Durham International airport Monday morning. Those passengers were on board the Ecstasy when it caught fire off the coast of Florida. Monday night, the Peedins watched in disbelief as the cruise ship they just spent four days on went up in flames.

The Peedins had just enjoyed a three day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas. They didn't know about the fire until they got home from the airport, and found a frantic message on their answering machine.

"And she said 'Diana and Randy, I hope you're okay, I just turned on the news and saw that the ship that you're on was on fire,'" said Diana Peedin.

The Peedins, and all of the other passengers on board during their cruise, had to participate in a fire drill during the first few hours of the cruise.

"You had to go to your room and get your life-vest and come back up and you had to have it on," said Randy Peedin.

Even as the Peedins watched video of the flaming, smoking ship, they believed its passengers would return safely. They say the crew was organized, and safety-conscious. Both felt they could have escaped the ship safely during an emergency.

"I'd go today," said Randy Peedin. "Maybe not on that damaged ship, but I'd get back on another one. I'd go on another Carnival cruise, and I'm just not saying that. I felt very safe there."

This was Randy Peedin's first cruise. He says he'll remember the experience for a number of reasons.