What exactly is this all about? Can it be avoided? I know that is a rather shallow thing to ask, but my parents have a cabin located on the upper deck, this means they would have to walk up 3 flights of stairs. My mom could not do that, so is there any way around this ...
The life boat drill could save your life. I have a friend who did not attend the life boat drill on the Big Red Boat. In the middle of the night the ship became very quiet and this woke my friend from a sound sleep, the next thing she heard was the emergency signal to go to your designated life boats with your life jackets on. My friend and her family did not know what to do and when they started searching for their life jackets guess what? They did not have enough life jackets in their cabin. Also, they did not know where to go. Can you imagine needing to know what to do and where to go when it is time to abandon ship? This is why I attend the life boat drills, and if you think about it the life boat drill represents the beginning of the cruise. The ship begins to move right after the drill is over. It is amazing to see how smoothly the ship moves out to sea.
This is a mandatory thing, you cant skip it. They will let people who are not able to walk up stairs to use the elevators for the drill. But in a emergency you would not be able to use the elevators. It is a pain, but very important. You need to know where to go if something goes wrong. It lasts about 30 min and then your fun cruise begins Its not that bad.
It's ironic that you are concerned that your mom may not be able to walk the 3 flights of stairs for the drill and yet you're not concerned if it were a real evacuation. If she can't make the drill then she will definetly not make the real thing. ( However, this will depend on where she is onboard at the time of the real thing).
If this is bothering you and her so much, you should consider a higher deck. Or my advice "Don't worry, be happy"
Lifeboat drills are mandatory and should NEVER be avoided. We have done two dozen cruises and still go to them every time. In addition I spent 7 years in the USN and have owned boats most of my life and usually lived on or close to the water. I would still NEVER consider missing a drill. It is that important.
In the event of the 'real thing' there are people able to assist with getting you to the muster station. You then know the routes to the muster station.
Also, sometimes the muster station is not where the lifeboats are, and there are usually seats. On Paradise about 1,400 of the 2052 passengers muster in the show lounge on decks 8/9. Most of the passengers are on decks 4-7. You walk from there up to deck 10. They split up the thing quite nicely.
They also tell you that the drill is imminent, so they can start on their way in advance, take it at their own pace, and get to their station.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
I think the writer of this question was probably inquiring if there are alternatives to train for this. Like on airplanes, you get alittle talk and that's about it, you don't go through and actual crash senario. I also believe that this is very important, so don't misunderstand. My mother, in her late sixty's, also suffers with breathing problems with over exertion due to an illness, so I have sympathy. We intend to use the elevators and if there were a real emergency, my husband would pick her up and carry her if need be. That may not be an option for all, but something to think about. We will probably be at our station early so she won't be stampeded by the crowd.
On Glory - 05-06-06
Sensation,Jubilee ,Maj.of the Seas,Conquest, Victory.
I have only cruised once before and actually looked forward to the muster because it was a sign that we were just about to set sail.
So the muster on my first cruise was part of the adventure. It was funny too, I was travelling with my employers on a business cruise and they were the only ones who didn't show up to our muster station.
We all thought that it was a nice example they set for their staff, "rules don't apply to us", which is pretty much how they live their lives. Mind you they've also taken three children completely contageous with chicken pox on holidays to Club Med only to be completely indignant when confined to their rooms because the staff questioned them.
Rules do apply!
For your mom, as others have suggested, start towards the muster station early for the practice. It is a worthwhile exercise.
Be Prepared , you may not get assistance from the crew in the event of a disaster. They may have already left the ship . It may be every man for himself.
This happened in 1991 when the Greek registered cruise ship " Oceanos" sank . The crew abandoned ship leaving the passengers to fend for themselves. It is reported the Captain left the ship leaving the passengers on board. You may have seen videos of this ship going down by the bow on TV. It has been shown many times.
FHall, very true. The same phenomenon happened when fire spread out of control on the Prinsendam in 1980. Although the officers tried to keep order, some crew members scrambled into life boats ahead of passengers. In the confusion, 40 people, both passengers and crew, were left on the burning ship after ALL lifeboats had been launched. Luckily, they were rescued by the Coast Guard. It is foolish to believe disaster is not possible on any ship.
on the Oceanos the captain was one of the first people to jump ship. one of the comedians ended up on the bridge talking to the coast gaurd and assisting them with the evacuation. the captain has since lost his licence and was tried for some criminal charge. after that we never heard what happened to him.
Just find out where your muster station is going to be and take the elevator up there early. Some of the older ships you meet in the lounge so you can just get a drink on the way and relax watching everyone show up.
The Conquest we actually did stand in ranks in front of the life boat which felt very realistic.
I was recently on Voyager with 2 seniors in wheelchairs. Although they could do some walking, they would never be able to climb 2 flights of stairs. The crew will assist in this case. To answer your question, No, they did not make them participate in drill as we had a representative from each cabin going.
Freedom of Seas 1/10, Carnival Freedom 1/08, Carribean Princess 1/07, Navigator of Seas 1/05, Voyager of Seas 7/04, Conquest 12/03, Explorer of Seas 1/02, Victory 12/00, Triumph 9/99, Paradise 12/99, Big Red Boat 12/94, Noordam 1/90, Volendam 5/82
I have experienced four of these drills and have never enjoyed a single one of them. Anybody who does must just be too excited about the cruise. However I also see them as a necessity and the 15 minutes spent are well worth it in case there is an actual emergency.
One word of caution. One can become very claustrophobic during the drill. My wife is 4' 10" tall so most everybody towers above her. During one of the drills we were packed in on the deck like sardines. We happened to be in the middle of the pack. Picture yourself...4'10" tall wearing a life jacket that covers most of your body, standing in a crowd in 95 degree humid air with a hundred towering giants closed in around you sweating even worse than you are. If you are in a wheel chair or if you have small children I would hope that the crew would permit you to situate yourself on the fringe of the pack during the drill.
Needless to say, our fist stop was the bar after the drill.
I knew I would be slammed for this. Interesting that some would think that I was not concern for her safety in case there should be an actual emergency. As I and my father will be on the cruise as well, we will be there to help her. Trust me, no one is more important in my life then my mother. She has GIST and I know that each and every day is a gift. I am just trying to make this a really fun, relaxing time for her. I am also trying to avoid things that will make her uncomfortable or cause her discomfort. Sorry if my post made it seem that I was just looking for a way to get out of the drill.
None meant any harm in their posts I think. Everyone just wanted you to know
how important it is. Let her take the elevator for the drill and she will be fine. You can
always request a wheelchair for her if she cant stand that long. Good Luck
Can't say I ever really "enjoyed" the drills.....but we always get a good laugh -- and a few great photos! -- seeing everyone in their life jackets! I usually look like a turtle that can't get its head out of its shell!