I,ve been on my fair share of cruises and was in the US Navy for 7 years and am quite familiar with lifeboats, drills, and abandoning ship BUT...I still attend them every time if for no other reason to see just what boat I am assigned to and who is assigned with me, that may be useful infomation later. You can also watch those around you and pretty much figure out who would be a problem if the unthinkable happens. Knowledge is power, remember that.
It's all about keeping your head about you when those around you are losing theirs.
The people who don't attend the boat drills, the people who don't pay attention during boat drills? Guess who's going to be helping them? I suggest it might be you and me. Because we paid attention. And because of our histories.
How many people don't look at the posters on the back of hotel room doors about what to do in case of fire?
Maybe it's a way to contemplate infinity. But I think I can say, with a reasonable degree of certainty, if the unthinkable were to happen a lot of people would be grateful for those who DO pay attention and understand the necessary rules and precautions.
Along those same lines of thought, how many times do you see people roaming around looking for info. about where they are supposed to be for their shore excursions, etc.?
Just human nature I guess that some don't want to pay attention.
It is just another part of cruising. Just go to the drill and pay attention. It won't hurt for long. Might even save your life some day.(God forbid you need it) There are rules for everything in this life. Do you just ignore the ones you don't feel pretain to you. How Sad! Char
I just completed a 5-week cruise on the Marco Polo where they did alternate muster drills and boat drills every week. They took a very no-nonsense approach, keeping us at our stations for a half hour at a time to do repeated roll calls and to allow the crew to perform its emergency exercises. The ship's watertight doors clanged shut on all the lower decks. You wouldn't have wanted to be standing in the way. They checked every cabin, too. I verified it by inserting a bit of paper in the door frame on the way out. After the first couple drills the captain lectured us on what to do in an extreme emergency - like how to jump from the ship when lifeboats weren't available.
I think compliance was close to 100% and there were, surprisingly, few complaints. Maybe it was because we were in remote seas for much of the cruise far away from rescue vessels. I think boat drills are much more useful than the 'safety lectures' we have learned to tune out on airline flights. I wonder how many lives those flotation collars have actually saved? If a plane goes down over the ocean, a prayer card would be a much more useful device.
I assure you Carnival and the other cruise lines do care. There are an average of 2 to 3 thousand people on the ships. They are not able to take each one by the hand and lead them to where they are suppose to be. It is up to individuals to do as they are expected to do.
Sometimes people miss the drill and for reasons that are justified. It is the individual's responsibility to learn what to do in the event they miss the drill.
During a drill I heard some people remark that the whole thing is stupid an a waste of time. I wanted to tell them how NOT stupid or NOT a waste it is. But I didnt.
Those of you who don't want to attend muster drills, please do stay in your cabins, and stay in your cabins as well, if an emergency notice is given to go to muster stations. I don't want you not knowing where to go and to get in my way getting off the ship in an emergency. Bon Voyage.
Mustering is the only manditory assignment a passenger must do on a cruise. The staff open every passenger cabin door, search every deck, and clear every passageway in order to maintain compliance to law.
Only those persons who made previous arrangements to not muster are excused.
They will announce how the mustering is to take place. They even tell you when to clear the public areas and go to your cabin.
Once all the public areas are cleared, they sound the signal and you are to take you, and your life jacket to your station. Your station and directions are posted on your door.
If you do not comply, and are not excused, you will either pay a fine or be put off the ship at the next port ( if at sea) at your own expense.
All of this will be in your passenger contract.
Also, you only muster once per cruise. The staff have a special mustering of their own on each and every cruise!
You really can not muster if you weren't on the ship, now could you!
I am a very big advocate of everyone attending lifeboat drills and yes it is required under SOLAS and the USCG and I think anyone that misses the drill is missing a few brain cells but, I have never seen, or heard of anyone being fined or put off at the next port for not attending. Yes they may come to your cabin and stage a 'special' drill for you to insure compliance and your knowledge but I just don't think those dramatic claims are true nor fair to tell others.
I actually skipped the drill when I went on the Fantasy. About twenty minutes after the drill ended our cabin steward showed up and had us sign a release or something. I told him that I was very seasick and could not attend. he informed me that we were still in port.
MARINER OF THE SEAS 10/31/2004
Fantasy 1991 AND 2002
A drill is one thing but:
If my Muster station is on the side of the ship that is listing toward the water forget it! There are different situations that must be considered. If the ship is on fire I'd say your muster station is the best bet. Yes I do attend the drills but If I thought there was an immediate problem I would run to get our life vests and get out of Dodge as quickly as possible.
On Adventure of the Seas last October, they checked the number on every vest. When they figured out they were missing some, I heard them talking about it on their radios. And, we all stood there until the stragglers showed up. I'm not sure it's policy but it appeared that the drill would not be completed until EVERYONE was in position at their muster stations ( and I was told, all cabins were in fact, verified empty)
The fire in that bar out east a few weeks ago is a perfect example of why to attend the life boat drills. If you have aver been in a public emergency situation, fire, sinking etc., you will note how soooo many people panic. If everyone knows where to go and what to do it will certainly make everthing run a little smoother. I know some people will still panic but I want all in my group to know where to go and what to do as I don't want to have to look all over the ship to find them in case of emergency. I even think it's kinda fun. Watch Titanic before your next cruise, lifeboat drills are a good thing.