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TomS December 15th, 2002 11:03 PM

Missing the lifeboat drill
What happens if you miss the ship's lifeboat drill? For example, the drill is conducted at 4:00, but because of an airline delay, you don't arrive at the ship until 5:00 (and the ship holds for you)?

lysolq December 16th, 2002 07:11 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
As already posted, alternate arrangments are made for passengers who arrive onboard after the life boat drill.
The cruiselines take the drills very seriously, and rightly so. They are, after all, responsible for the life of every passenger and crew member onboard. In fact, on one of our cruises, the captain came over the PA system on the morning after the drill and stated how disappointed he was that several passengers had unilaterally decided that they did not need not attend the drill the afternoon prior. He then proceeded to call out the cabin number and name of every passenger who missed the drill, and lambasted them by telling them that they put not only their own lives in jeopardy by not showing up, but also the lives of all other passengers and crew members.

LindaE December 17th, 2002 10:19 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Carnival didn't take any kind of accounting for who was there and who wasn't. This was the Inspiration and shortly before 9/11 so maybe things have changed. We never heard anything else mentioned about the drill either. I was left with the impression that they had the drill to meet rules, but really didn't care if you didn't respond.

LindaE December 17th, 2002 10:31 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
I thought I just responded, but my answer seems to have disappeared. I looked again to see my countdown clock and couldn't find it. So here goes again.

On the Carnival Inspiration shortly before 9/11, I couldn't tell that anyone cared who was there and who wasn't. I was not aware of anyone even checking. I never heard the drill mentioned again either. I got the impression that their attitude was "O.K., we've got to go through this, but if the passengers don't care, we don't care either."

Kathie December 19th, 2002 08:59 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
We missed the muster drill on EOS last Jan. because we were at the check-in counter. We were told to read the instructions in the cabin. I did make it a point to locate our life jackets and find our muster point in case of emergency. I didn't worry about it and was actually glad we didn't have to do it because we were stressed out and exhausted with the trip to get there due to airline delays and missing luggage. At 5:00 we made it to our cabin and collapsed on the bed, fell asleep and missed the sail-away.

pamda December 19th, 2002 09:24 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Sometimes when there is a really late sailaway, the "mustard" drill is held before dinner time and there is a makeup the next day for those who missed it.

We noticed a funny little piece of paper on our door when we came back from the boat drill on the last cruise. We guessed (and it was only a guess) that it was a "check" to see if we were not in our cabin.

It is sort of a ho-hum exercise for folks who cruise a lot, but I think I have only skipped two. One, due to an extremely early morning hour (I sent my Sister Out Law to yell "Here") and one because of, um, well, you know.

I'm kind of surprised at what Kathie said about EOS. All ship's services are to be shut down during the boat drill. Guess it was a shoreside check-in? When people are still shoreside during the boat drill, they are supposedly not allowed to board.

I really like the lambasting Captain.

On a recent cruise there were a bunch of young women who were chattering, chattering, chattering throughout. They couldn't have guessed that I spoke their native language. I couldn't have guessed that the crew member at our station also spoke the language. I read them the riot act -- loudly -- about not paying attention from A to Z. The smile on the crew guy's face was worth a million dollars.

You don't want to know what I say to the people who insist on blowing the ^&$%$%&$ whistles.

reality December 19th, 2002 01:45 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill

I have been on 3 lines and 11 cruises and have only attended 1 drill.

I don't wanna here the do's and don'ts, or the why shoulda's/////

BOTTOM is not required.....or mandatory.........

bites December 19th, 2002 01:51 PM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
"reality" is proof that Darwin was wrong.

Ron December 19th, 2002 06:44 PM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Pamda, the "whistle blowers" don't stop to think that the whistles are NEVER washed or cleaned. Usually I gently remind them that if they just knew how many mouths those whistles had been in and what all had been in all those mouths: That usually does the trick-- and to think, some people blame the cruise lines for getting sick????

lysolq December 20th, 2002 06:00 AM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Neither is it "required" or "mandatory" that you fasten your seatbelt when the captain requests that you do so on a plane, but most people wouldn't think of ignoring the "suggestion." It's just a guess, but I get the feeling reality would be the first one to sue the cruiseline if he got hurt during an emergency.

Auguste December 21st, 2002 08:37 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
When I was on the NCL Dream, i was there but did not hear them call out my name. That night a invitation was slipped under the door to be on deck at 1o in the morning.
There where about 2o or 25 people. So they do take it seriously Auguste

pamda December 21st, 2002 08:43 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill

I say exactly the same thing.

AR December 24th, 2002 10:11 PM

Re: Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Tell you what. Next time you're on a flight into or out of Washington National. . .

They tell you that you can't leave your seat for any reason for the first half hour after departing, or for the last half hour inbound.

Of course that's just a suggestion, not in the least mandatory or required.

I would hope that reality and other like-minded people use that opportunity to test the system. As soon as the pilot tells you the aircraft is "locked down," unfasten your seatbelt, get up and start to walk up the aisle.

Then report back to us about what is and is not mandatory. If you can still type.


Jim Bragg December 24th, 2002 10:55 PM

Re: Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Uh, I do believe that FAA rules do in fact require you to have your seatbelt fastened. Pamda may be able to confirm this as a former flight attendant. I do know that if you refuse the plane will not leave the gate and you will be removed and in these times in all probablility be charged with a felony for interfering with a flight crew!
As for the lifeboat drill, yes it is a fact that it is required by law to hold them and technically I do believe that addendance is mandantory.

pamda December 25th, 2002 09:41 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Jim ...

I always thought (and was told and taught) that seat belts fastened was mandatory.

I used to fly a lot of football team charters (hey, I got free tickets to the game) which was a lot more difficult than herding cats. There was a kicker for the Baltimore Colts. Lou Michaels was his name. He lost a game in Detroit in the final seconds and was being rather a problem. His team mates were not pleased and he wasn't too pleased with himself.

I told him that if he didn't sit down and fasten his seat belt the plane was going nowhere fast. He challenged me. I called the cockpit. The Captain came out and backed me up. "Fasten or leave, Sir."

Then, and this is one of the most stunning moments of my life, a guy named John (as in Unitas) thanked the Captain and said, "She really doesn't look like she needs any help to control this (expletive deleted), Sir. She may be tiny but I think she could really kick a@@ if it were required."

Still brings a smile to my face all these years later. Johnny U was one of my personal heroes. What a gentleman.

I have done a lot of research on boat drills. It IS required by SOLAS that they be held within 24 hours of sailing. Somewhere out there is the ether is a story about it which should probably show up one of these days. People who blow off the boat drills because they "know it all" should be keelhauled, or worse. And they will be the first ones to panic.

Heck, I don't like putting on those smelly jackets and walking around looking like a (insert term here) but I do it. And so does Queeg. If anyone should get a "pass" it should probably be us after so many cruises. But rules are rules, and we abide by them.

Paul Motter December 27th, 2002 09:42 AM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
One does have to ask how many life-boat drills you need to attend before you "know the drill." I worked on ships for 2 years and have been through countless drills. I've even been lowered in the lifeboats and rowed around. I know that the crew will be strategically positioned in corridors to guide people if there is an emergency , and even in a worst-case scenario where the crew decided to abandon ship first all you really need to know is how to find your lifeboat (if it is still there) and that information is posted in your room.

If you know how to put on the life jacket, find your boat, or hold your nose and step off deck if the boat is already in the water there isn't a whole lot more to it.

I have to admit, one of the first things I wanted to do when I first cruised as a passenger was to skip the lifeboat drill, but I still went. Now I continue to go if I am sailing with someone who hasn't seen the procedure before, but if I am sailing with a veteran we usually assign one person in the room to show up and yell "here." I always make a point of looking up the location of my lifeboat later on, however.

thulewx December 27th, 2002 10:39 AM

Re: Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
While I agree that 99% of people SHOULD go to the drills, especially if they're on an unfamiliar ship, I'm going to be on the same ship for 3 weeks in a row and don't plan on going to the same drill for the same cabin on the same ship 3 times...

Sue Sue December 29th, 2002 02:44 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Veteran Cruisers have been though the drill and may be very familiar with the routine, but remember, the crew member that could be the person to direct you to safety may be on his or her first tour. Yes, many of the crew have been there, done that again and again, but as in any job everyone has a first day. Also, what about all of the first time cruisers. It is also good for them to have as many veterans around them as possible, just in case. And yes it has happened, Carnival Ectasy 1998, an hour after the drill, 2500 + passengers and 900+ crew. Maybe the drill helped keep the injuries in check. Disney Magic, a March 2002 5:00 AM fire, imagine being awakened to that emergency without some experience with a drill. And then there is the Windstar-Windsong , 120 + passengers and 90+ crew evacuated, the ship was lost. Even if you don't believe you need the drill, show up so that the crew will get the experience. After all, they have a job to do.

Chyna January 1st, 2003 08:32 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
I was on the Inspiraton on 12/8 - 12/15 and I recall Monday morning running into a couple who got into an elevator with their life vests on and I asked the couple if there was something we all needed to know. They smiled and said they had boarded late and had missed the drill and had to do a "make-up" drill. After reading these posts, I honestly don't recall anyone calling out cabin numbers or having to say "here"...maybe they just checked off the cabin numbers which were stenciled on the life vests????

Inspiration 12/02
Sensation 12/01
Oceanic 5/91

Don G January 2nd, 2003 08:48 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
I would rather have the ship hold a fire drill. That said, you really should attend the life boat muster. They usually use the girls from the chorus line to herd people and check names. My wife uses the opportunity to make new friends. I ***** and moan. Read somewhere that most cruisers make love within four hours of embarking. That would be right in the middle of the life boat drill. I must pay more attention.

pamda January 2nd, 2003 12:04 PM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Don: One of the reasons that entertainers and other such staff are used is because they tend to speak English.

Chyna: I've heard cabin numbers called out plenty of times.

lysolq January 3rd, 2003 05:13 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Even when "attendance" is not taken at the muster stations, crew members check the cabins to make sure they are empty.

Carole Dunham January 3rd, 2003 10:31 AM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Hi Pam,

Wish I'd been there, especially if the language was Spanish which I understand. Way to go girl!


Carole Dunham January 3rd, 2003 10:36 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
Hi Jim,

I fly in and out of National all the time. My daughter lives 10 minutes away. On an earlier flight, some poor guy who didn't understand English got up to go to the restroom and two flight attendants and the sky marshall landed on him. Scared the poor guy to death. My last flight (yesterday) everybody sat still for that first half hour, interesting since the plane was going on to Guatemala with Miami (where I got off) as a first stop. The captain didn't make the announcement in Spanish, just English, but everyone seemed to have gotten the message.


????? January 5th, 2003 09:15 AM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
If the cabins are empty how do you know if they are checked??????????????

Anyways, when i miss the lifeboat drill and am in my cabin i tell the guy i am sick, he says ok, and we have never had to attend another drill. Guess it works different everywhere.

cruisepimp January 5th, 2003 09:42 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
It is mandatory not a suggestion. Coast guard regs require all crew and passengers attend muster for the drill.

AR January 5th, 2003 11:00 AM

Re: Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill

You should be so proud that you've managed to beat the system. Heartiest congratulations.

Will you be tempted to stay in your room during a real emergency too? Or will you be the one trying to figure out where to go?

Of course it "works different(ly) everywhere." But that's not because the rules are different. It's because they are not enforced uniformly.

What you have to remember is that the ship's staff is ALWAYS torn between enforcing the rules and pissing off customers who would think nothing of singling them out on the evaluation form for giving you bad service if they enforced rules you didn't like. So they tend not to "rock the boat" so you won't write them up or, if it's your steward, stiff them on the tip.


carol January 5th, 2003 01:47 PM

Re: Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
I was on the Inspiration 3 weeks ago and there was no accounting of who attended the drill. Of my 12 cruises, Carnival is the only line that actually had you stand in front of your assigned life boat during the drill. Thought this was very impressive!

JIOL January 6th, 2003 12:37 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill

Boy, I would hate to be the one that needs to rely on you in an emergency!

Thomas January 6th, 2003 06:52 AM

Re: Missing the lifeboat drill
C'mon people, the muster drill is for your own safety. You hope you never need the training but if you do you're sure to be thankful you attended. It's only 30 minutes or so and painless.


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