Muster drill changes on Royal Caribbean cruise ships coming - Ships Nostalgia
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Muster drill changes on Royal Caribbean cruise ships coming

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  #1  
Old 31st May 2009, 18:52
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Lightbulb Muster drill changes on Royal Caribbean cruise ships coming

Not sure how well this will go down with those of us who either cruise alot or are current/ex crew who usually take a sharp intake of breath at the antics of some passengers when it comes to muster drill.

On Majesty o/t Seas there is a trial going on of a new way to conduct the muster drill. It is being tested with a view to introduction across the fleet in time for the start of the Oasis class ships later this year.

Essentially, there will not be any lifejackets in the cabins, as per the norm now. Muster drills will be done within the usual public rooms and a roll call taken...however, only a handful of crew will demonstrate the wearing of the lifejacket, passengers are not being given the chance to try it for themselves. Lifejackets are to be handed out in an emergency only and passengers assisted in putting them on at that point.

Now I can see some big problems with this plan. The ship that is being used as the guinea pig is tiny by comparison to the Oasis class...Majesty having 2744 lower berths and Oasis 5400 lower berths. The Oasis class ships are attracting many first time cruisers too, purely on their novelty value. But that aside, if this is rolled out across the fleet as a whole, I am not sure it would be very sensible since many passengers have trouble getting their lifejacket on properly in the non emergency situation of the drill, so should the real thing happen, all I can see would be blind panic.

Lifejackets stowed in wardrobes don't take up that much space so I fail to see why they have to be removed from the muster drill scenario.

Thoughts??
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Old 31st May 2009, 21:09
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Ally

A very bad idea as you would expect me to say, and I would hope that seasoned passengers and former and current crew would agree?.

Practice makes perfect, and that goes for any walk of life at sea or otherwise.

I have sailed on two RCI ships, Navigator and Independence of the Seas. Both giants. Each time we mustered on deck under the life boat allocated as shown behind our cabin door. There was also a roll call, just as I did as coxswain of my own boat at crew drill aboard Arcadia. And our life jackets were checked having been shown how to put them on.

I was very impressed with RCI, far superior to P&O I am afraid. But this would be a step in the wrong direction.

You are quite right Ally, passengers have trouble getting their life jackets on in the one and only drill. It does not take much imagination to work out that passengers could panic if a ship was in trouble making a simple task much harder if not practised. Even when you know how to do something, it suddenly becomes harder if under extreme stress fearing for your life.

Like that brown stuff, it looks good on paper. Crew at hand with life jackets helping passengers put them on. It sounds really good. However, in practice, I can see nothing but even more mayhem such as passengers running like headless chickens clambering towards crew members handing out life jackets. It will be the survival of the fittest. Those who are less active will be trampled on as they try to get a life jacket. And those who know how to do it still need to grab one. Far better to each have their own, which is why in my opinion they should remain in cabins.

Passengers can practise putting them on, and should be encouraged to do so when the life jacket is in the cabin at any time, not just at the drill, but spare a few moments each day to practice and memorise safety notices. And remember, it is your one and only life. Being on holiday does not excuse learning basic safety, and being responsible for your own actions, not relying on others. Watching a member of crew demonstrate without trying it shortly after as is the case at present is crazy.

Naturally if passengers are not in their cabins, they should proceed to their muster station where life jackets will be handed out. But to do this as standard is crazy in my opinion.

I wonder what fool comes up with these ideas. Not nautical professionals I would hope?.

And anyway, who is to know that the crew will cope with the mayhem of passengers coming at them in a mad rush, and having time to help them put the life jacket on as well. And who is to know they will even be there?.

A story went around P&O many years ago that the alarm bells sounded. I think it was Canberra. Suddenly, there were no Asian crew in sight. They were found later in the lifeboats complete with sewing machines after it was proven to be a false alarm. All were well trained at crew drill, so used those skills to save their own skins. Quite how true this story is I do not know, but human kind being what it is in life threatening situations, some people think only of themselves. That is why I think it essential that passengers are taught as much as possible without spoiling their holiday so that in a real emergency, they do not have to rely on the crew to save them, or the design of the ship.

If terrorists targeted a large passenger ship she may not survive however well designed she was with all the modern technology. And hitting a container fallen of a container ship at full speed would not do the ship much good either, could easily cause a big hole. All kinds of things could make these state of the art ships as vulnerable as the rest. Nothing will ever be unsinkable, and there will never be a substitute to practise should the worst occur.

David

Last edited by Pompeyfan : 31st May 2009 at 21:16.
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Old 31st May 2009, 21:18
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The other idea currently being tested on Majesty seems even more dangerous to me, dispensing with the muster map on the back of the cabin door and just having the muster station or lifeboat number printed onto the sail pass card that is used for opening the doors, shipboard purchases etc.

Now again, t'is all very well having a number on your card but when on a 220k tonne ship with around 7000 other people in an emergency, just how long will it take to go hunt the lifeboat or muster station?

Olsen's print the lifeboat number on their cards, so do NCL and Costa but they certainly have not dispensed with the muster maps or lifejackets....and as good as the designers might think Oasis of the Seas is...erm...they said that about another liner in 1912 too. Really does smack of sheer complacency and irresponsibility to me.
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Old 1st June 2009, 20:55
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It seems surprising to me that the USCG will allow this to happen. The results in an accident could be catastropic.
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Old 1st June 2009, 22:58
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just back today from 14 days on the ARCADIA.LIFEBOAT DRILL (ON DEPARTURE DAY IS A BIT OF A FARCE,i MET SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO STATED THAT THEY HAD NOT GONE TO THE DRILL.
MY CABIN WAS UP ON B DECK ,WAIT FOR THE ALARM, GO DOWN THE FWD STAIRCASE ALL THE WAY TO THE THREATRE ON F DECK ,GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS,NOW IF IT WAS A REAL EMERGENCY THEN EVERYBODY WOULD HAVE TO FILE BACK UP THE STAIRS TO THE PROM DECK,AWASTE OF TIME ,DRILLS SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT ON THE BOAT DECK( WHAT SAY YOU POMPEY FAN?)

jim
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Old 2nd June 2009, 18:41
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Boat drills should be on boat deck, any where else must be a joke.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 19:54
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There was an instance of the USCG doing one of their annual check ups on a Holland America Line ship and they decided to test whether the crew could evacuate the ship in the allotted 1/2 hour time span using the liferafts , now this is a difficult proposition at any time and they failed , the USCG threatened to hold the ship so the did it until they passed. now the crew are normally fairly fit and athletic as far as the passengers are concerned if they sound the alarm bells and then start handing out lifejackets I find it hard to believe that they would even get close to evacuating the ship in 30 minutes.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 20:25
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Never sailed on a cruise or a pasenger liner, except "Norway", on trials from Hamburg to Southampton, there was no boat drill on that trip. I have sailed on tankers for some time and have seen, "Fire Below", dozens of times, the result being that when ever I stay anywhere other than at home I figure out the quickest exit route and memorise the nearest extinguisher positions in a hotel. As has been said earlier, Boat Drill - is on the Boat Deck! it's Safer
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Old 3rd June 2009, 12:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimthehat View Post
just back today from 14 days on the ARCADIA.LIFEBOAT DRILL (ON DEPARTURE DAY IS A BIT OF A FARCE,i MET SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO STATED THAT THEY HAD NOT GONE TO THE DRILL.
MY CABIN WAS UP ON B DECK ,WAIT FOR THE ALARM, GO DOWN THE FWD STAIRCASE ALL THE WAY TO THE THREATRE ON F DECK ,GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS,NOW IF IT WAS A REAL EMERGENCY THEN EVERYBODY WOULD HAVE TO FILE BACK UP THE STAIRS TO THE PROM DECK,AWASTE OF TIME ,DRILLS SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT ON THE BOAT DECK( WHAT SAY YOU POMPEY FAN?)

jim
Jim

I agree entirely, thank you for your post. The whole thing is a farce which is why it concerns me so much. The real thing just does not bare thinking about.

Other than the drill, how did you like Arcadia, the adult only ship?. Was Steve Burgoine aboard?.

David

Last edited by Pompeyfan : 3rd June 2009 at 12:17.
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  #10  
Old 3rd June 2009, 18:27
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Lifejackets are normally stowed adjacent to the lifeboats. I've not sailed on any ship in the past 20 years where they were still stowed in cabins. If your lifejacket is in your cabin and you forget it, you either abandon ship without it or take your chance and go back and get it - neither is a good option.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 18:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Pete View Post
Lifejackets are normally stowed adjacent to the lifeboats. I've not sailed on any ship in the past 20 years where they were still stowed in cabins. If your lifejacket is in your cabin and you forget it, you either abandon ship without it or take your chance and go back and get it - neither is a good option.
Cruise ships across the lines currently have lifejackets in the wardrobes and spares in boxes on the boat deck...incase you are unable to go back to your cabin for any reason in an emergency.

What RCI are doing is placing all lifejackets in boxes near the lifeboats and not letting passengers try them on, get used to them etc during the mandatory drill.

Jury is still out as to whether or not the trial will be adopted fleetwide, however from several passengers reports they love the experience of not fighting to get the lifejacket on and spoiling their hairdo's etc
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Old 5th June 2009, 20:38
Albert Bishop Albert Bishop is offline  
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Problems in most cases. Its possible to be a long way from your cabin on larger cruise ships, and in an emergency I'm not sure a long journey down below to pick up my jacket would be a wise move. No easy answer. Albi
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Old 6th June 2009, 00:23
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On my ship, lifejackets are stowed at the muster stations. The crew have thiers in their cabins. But like other people have said, we seldom get time to fetch them. We may well be working when an emercancy happens, so we look after the passengers in the initial part of the emergancy. The passengers are fitted with them at the muster stations, then taken to the boats or rafts. There is now a home made video on the TV screens onboard showing passengers what to do, & how to put one on.
During drills, if we have to have a lifejacket, we get one from the muster station.
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Old 7th June 2009, 09:03
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Just Back From a Alaska Cruise Where We Had life Jackets In Our cabins And We mustered In Three Lounges Around The Ship Where Passengers Wre Shown hoe To Fit And Adjust Belts To Give A proper Fit Then We Were Directed To A Lifeboat Which Was To Be Our Boat If Required. This At Sanfrancisco Aboard Celebritys Infinity With 2000 Passengers. With Life Jackets Been Given Out If Needed Could End Up In A Stamped As Stated In These Threads. Jim.
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Old 14th June 2009, 15:50
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On another site which concentrates on cruising, a member has openly admitted to being on Carnival Fantasy in January and skipping the muster drill. They decided it would be a good time to unpack and settle into their cabin and since they had cruised before, they didn't feel it necessary to go through the drill again.

The thread is 9 pages long, it has a variety of replies to this admission...ranging from anger to others also admitting to skipping the drill.

It is not the first thread about this subject, nor will it be the last, that I have seen, but by openly admitting to skipping a drill that is mandatory and getting away with it is something that worries me a great deal...others in the thread have admitted doing so and almost all have been on Carnival ships.

I have posted on the thread with my thoughts, which will no doubt get well and truly BBQ'ed as I am absolutely against such blatantly selfish, moronic behaviour.
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Old 14th June 2009, 16:19
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Sounds to me like a disaster waiting to happen, Lifeboat Drills are there for a reason, and while in a real emergency passengers could easily panic (as could crew) at least if they know how to put the jackets on and where to go to muster then there will be a greater chance of survival.

The idea of not having jackets in cabins is sheer lunacy.
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Old 14th June 2009, 16:49
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Ally

This proves what I have been saying all along about the apathy of the new type of cruise passenger I speak of and have seen so much of on cruises.

They do not see the ships as a ship. They see a cruise as an extension to a holiday shore side. Cruise companies have gone out of their way to attract this kind of passenger by making the ship into the destination itself. They are on holiday from the moment they board the ship, and want to unpack as soon as possible for the holiday to begin in earnest. Passenger drill gets in the way of this. In the buffet, it is full on boarding, everybody, often with hand luggage piling in to fill their faces. Once the cabin is ready, they go to it, stomachs full to unpack, then watch the ship sail away usually with a glass in hand. Passenger drill is just a bloody nuisance. Those who go take little notice anyway, talking to each other, and in party mood.

During the line voyage era, it was different. Passengers were not on holiday, they were going somewhere. They were on holiday in the sense that they were emigrating, so the trip itself was a holiday, but they had their worldly goods on board, so more keen to comply with rules and regulations, not seeing drills as a nuisance, taking up a minute of their precious holiday. Also of course, passengers using a line voyage as a cruise were experienced at passenger drills, just as those today who cruise on a regular basis. They know they are aboard a ship, they know it rolls badly, they know it could catch fire, they know it could sink however well designed. They are nautically experienced, where others are not. It is as simple as that.

As I have indicated before, it will not be until there is a major disaster at sea on one of these giants that cruise companies realize that more needs to be done to educate passengers who have never been aboard a ship before, that being miles or even days from land is different to being close to emergency services. Yes, they have well rehearsed drills, crew drills, well designed modern ships, but you sense that passenger drills is just routine, something they have to do than want to do. Some passengers know nothing of the ship such as the passenger on deck aboard Oriana in April and could actually see it, asked me where the front of the ship was. This total lack of understanding of the lay out of a ship is when blindly obvious is very common on cruise ships these days.

Cruise companies need to do a lot more to ensure passengers understand the drill, and understand the ship, and ensure they attend drills.

However, like I say, passengers are on holiday, these drills are just a nuisance. They don't want to miss a single moment of their holiday. That is why I saw so many deaths each year here on the holiday resort of the Isle of Wight. Nothing to do with ships or the sea, just attitude. I saw at least 90 deaths that were totally avoidable. They died because they did not want to miss a second of their holiday. That is why I called in the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome'. On top of that of course, we had the needless seaside deaths, people cut off from the tide etc stranded on cliff. We have already had a few of the latter this season. And the main holiday season has not kicked off yet.

I will not go into the reasons again of the 'Holidaymaker Syndrome', but passengers who skip drill so that they can unpack is typical of the mentality I have seen so often where enjoyment comes before anything else. And in some cases, it costs them their life.

David

Last edited by Pompeyfan : 14th June 2009 at 17:00.
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Old 14th June 2009, 16:58
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This is what I have posted on the other site's thread...surprisingly it has yet to be replied to, unlike previous replies of a similar nature in the thread...

...A cruise ship sinking is a rare event - thankfully.

However, when it comes to your own safety and those of people around you, taking a few moments of discomfort standing in a lifejacket whilst having safety instructions given to you is a very small price to pay compared to that which your family, friends and loved ones will pay for the rest of their lives should the worst happen and you die in a cruise ship sinking because you just could not be bothered to go to muster drill.

If you decide that you have heard it all before and that you don't need to hear it all again, that's fine, you stay in the cabin and unpack....enjoy yourselves, why don't you, eh?

Just remember one thing, whilst you are splashing about helpless in the sea, drowning slowly without your lifejacket on...cos you were nowhere near the cabin when the ship got into trouble and you didn't know where to go or what to do cos you were so busy unpacking and having fun.....your family will be left behind wondering why you were so damn foolish, selfish and downright moronic to think that carrying out a muster drill did not apply to you.

What a great epitaph to place on your memorial stone...

'lost at sea cos he/she was too busy to go to muster drill cos he/she didn't think it was necessary, cos it was boring, cos he/she had done it all before...'


I've said this already, next year I will be cruising for 40 nights, it is a combination of 3 different cruises in one, so there will be 3 muster drills done. I will be at each muster drill..not because it is LAW to be there but for my own peace of mind to be there. My safety is MY responsibility.

I do agree with you David in regards to the ship being the destination, the designers have made ships into floating hotels and in the thread I mentioned a few have said they cannot accept the possibility of a brand new cruise ship ever sinking, or indeed the need to use the muster for real. Complacency....sheer complacency and it is that complacency that will inevitably be the greatest killer.
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Old 14th June 2009, 19:58
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Recently at a cocktail party - the commodore of the local yacht club- who had recently returned from one of the last QE2 cruises -elegantly adorned in a nautical jersey was recalling his days aboard. Making conversation I inquired what he thought of the boat drills during his passage. Turning with a scowl he said -" Boat drills! Boat drills these are for first trippers and novices I don't have to put up with that B,,,,,,,t."
I was not surprised at his attitude but how do they get away with it? I don't suppose you can log a passenger?
JC
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Old 14th June 2009, 20:30
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Most lines do take some form of roll call at muster drill...whether it be checking your name off against cabin numbers or calling out the cabin number and you verbally acknowledging your presence by replying.

However, it does seem that an increasing number of Carnival ships...and those owned by Carnival Corporation - such as Cunard - are becoming a bit lax in the roll call department and not physically checking off passengers to cabins.

The line I cruised with last year and will again next year is part of Carnival Corporation but they still hold onto their strict regime very tightly in regards to safety at sea. The company, Costa Crociere, is registered in Genova and are certified by RINA, and have a string of safety & environmental certificates to live up to. So even if their 'parent' is getting a little too laid back, I seriously doubt that Costa themselves would jeopadise their own position in that respect.
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Old 14th June 2009, 23:56
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just completed my 5th cruise with p&O and there is definitely NO roll call of any kind on any of the ships that i have been on.It is very much a cavilier approach to safety,but whether having 2000 odd pax or more out on the prom deck is a good thing is open to discussion.

jim
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Old 15th June 2009, 08:25
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P&O is another in the CCL stable...so maybe the lax approach is sweeping the fleet...all bar Costa, Iberocruceros & AIDA for reasons stated above.

I am frankly amazed that the USCG and the UKCG allow such lax behaviour like this...maybe they just don't know that it is going on?

Perhaps its about time that they did?
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Old 15th June 2009, 09:07
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Joined Costa Fortuna at Naples for 7 day cruise, lifeboat drill took place at Savona last evening of our cruise, accessed boat deck via stairs immediately aft of Bridge, arrived at boat station "B" first but was told off by crew member for not using passenger stairs midships, her other roll on the ship was that of a shop assistant.
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Old 19th June 2009, 15:33
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Now this sort of attitude really makes me spit feathers...

Quote:
We rarely go to the muster drill, my FIL talks to the cabin boy before hand and slips him a "few". They usually don't bother us.
But on one last cruise we were having a party in my FIL suite when they tried to make us with that muster drill thing. We told the person we didn't have to go but they insisted. Well things got kind of ugly, we demanded to see the Captain but they said he was "Too Busy". Needless to say, we did attend but we refused to wear those life preservers. Now thay I have been to it, I won't need to go anymore on my next cruise.
It is from the same site but a different thread as mentioned above. And within 24 hours of Royal Princess declaring an emergency off Port Said due to an engine room fire.

My reply to the above character...

Quote:
hmmm...your funeral and you're welcome to it mate...just make sure you don't take anyone else with you who might happen to value their lives more than you do...talk about selfish
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Old 19th June 2009, 20:51
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Now this sort of attitude really makes me spit feathers...



It is from the same site but a different thread as mentioned above. And within 24 hours of Royal Princess declaring an emergency off Port Said due to an engine room fire.

My reply to the above character...
Absolutely incredible Ally, but totally in keeping with so many passengers I came across. With such apathy, and such selfishness that was so widespread on the cruises I have been on, it is surely only a matter of time before a major disaster made worse by these morons.

David
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