Parties kept spirits high on blaze-hit cruise ship

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SANDAKAN, Malaysia (AP) -- Passengers of a blaze-hit cruise ship endured tense moments when smoke crept through their doors during dinner.

But a swift halt to the fire's threat, a hardworking crew and barbecue parties on the deck kept spirits buoyant after the luxury vessel spent a day adrift in Philippine waters.

After the Azamara Quest safely reached a Malaysian port with 1,000 people aboard, its passengers voiced relief Monday that their experience hadn't been as harrowing as what happened to other accident-hit cruise liners this year.

Diane Becker Krasnick of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, says "everybody was joyous that they were alive."

Flames engulfed one of the ship's engine rooms Friday night, injuring five crew members who suffered smoke inhalation.