Ship Safety Drills

What do you think of the safety drills on board ships?  Do you have any suggestions for how to improve them?  I have been on some cruises where I could neither hear nor see the person demonstrating how to put on your life jacket.  Other ships, I had to stand the whole time in a hallway. 

Tags: ship safety drills

14 Answers

As long as I know how to put on my life jacket and know my life boat number , I am good

I agree with GTV, Once on board, Monique and I check out our station, check out our life jackets and go the demo. I may be a bit OCD but we map out a couple of routes to the station....just in case....while we are touring the vessel with our punch cards.

I have no problem with the drills. They're for my safety. I haven't had any bad experiences.

I believe they are absolutely necessary. All passengers should participate in the drills, even though one is a seasoned voyager.

All you have to do is read the British Board of Trade's investigation of the Titanic disaster and the gross ignorance of the crew regarding emergency procedures and the ship's pertinent facitlites, i.e. lifeboats, or look at the mayhem that took place aboard the Costa Concordia. It is particularly important that the ship's all have frequent crew only drills. I'm displeased with the procedures I see in place on the mega-ships. Leaves too much to conjecture on the part of the crew and passengers. A steep list to port or starboard or a fire on board smoking up passageways, changes everything in an instant.

I'm from the air transportation game. Everybody goes through the obligatory emergency procedures prior to departure on the heavy air transports, dozens of times, correct? Yet, over 50% of seasoned air travelers when polled don't realize that when the "oxygen mask falls within ones reach" a pull on the mask must be initiated before the flow of oxygen begins. Just because the mask falls doesn't mean its working, its not. So when an aircraft has a loss of pressurization a good portion of the passengers pass out because they don't know this.

The drills have changed over the decades and depending on the line. In the old days we had to go to our cabins, put on our vest and line up at the life boat for instructions and roll call (That was RCCL). It was hot and uncomfortable if you were on the sunny side of the ship but you knew how to put on the vest and where to go. The line also knew you were in the popper place. We were all pushed and packed into formation for the drill.

On Celebrity in Europe we did the drill at assigned meeting places, roll call done but did not walk out to the life boats or put vest on (that drill took a long time because of the different languages they did it in)

On Carnival they take a head count but no roll call, no putting vest on. If you meet in a lounge they do walk you up to and line you up by your life boat or raft (on the glory I was assigned to a raft....... guess that's what you get when you book the cheap cabin). On another Carnival Cruise we had a passenger pass out from the heat during the drill.

In Alaska on Princess we got to the ship late at night and missed the drill, we were told to do the make up drill the next day, we forgot and the line never said anything to us about missing it. I did find out on my own where my lifeboat was.

The drills are not fun and can be uncomfortable if it is hot or too cold out, but look what happens when the drills are not done like on the Costa Concordia. I am happy to put up with the 1/2 hour of not fun at the beginning of my cruise to feel relaxed for the rest of my trip.

I do know that the steward go into each cabin to check that you are not in there during the drill. When I returned several times after drills, I saw the stewards removing tags placed on staterooms that were checked. I know that these drills are very important, I would just like to improve how they are conducted on some ships. The worse part for me is sitting next to passengers that continue to laugh and carry on conversations while the drill is being conducted. Some ships do a better job of enforcing silence than others. Some videos are better than others, too. And some ships make you stand in line in close quarters from many minutes before the drill even start where there is insufficient A/C or a hot sun beating down on you.

One time on RCCL the crew member in charge of our life boat was very cranky and bossy (not a pleasant woman, I nick named her Nurse Ratchet, if you remember One Flew Over the Coo Coo's Nest). Pushing people into lines very tightly next to each other, with life vest on in the sun of CA summer and holding us in that formation for 1/2 hour.

Finaly when she asked if there were any questions? She got mad at me when I asked "Does the life boat had a bar on it ?" She then lectured me for coming to the life boat drill with a cocktail, like I was going to dump a good mixed drink.

Touche--jusme----Love it, made me chuckle for the day.

"(on the glory I was assigned to a raft....... guess that's what you get when you book the cheap cabin). "

To JustMe......

What was the nurses answer to your query?Wink

Many people arrive late, and intoxicated. The last cruise I was on the younger crowd thought it was a joke and actually brought beach balls and started a volley ball game during the drill. The crew was none too pleased.

It's part of the deal, and a requirement, so the sooner it's presented without interruption, the sooner we can get back to the festivities.


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