I have been scratching at what is left of my hair for a new gripe, and finally found one. On RCI we have always had to stand on deck wearing those stiff vests, but on Grand Princess, we were able to sit in a lounge for life boat drill. Also, on one ship, the life jackets had soft comfortable collars rather than the stiff ones. If they are just as safe, then all the ships should have them. On cool days they make the little old ladies with walkers stand in front, while the big tall men get to stand on the back where it is less breezy and lean against the wall. I hope none of us ever has to really use the lifeboats.
I agree! We have had the same experiences........Lounge on some and outside on others....some last 15 minutes...some an hour. Each ship does it different. I do believe if we ever needed the boats.......it would be every man for himself. Does anyone really gain evacuation knowledge from the drill ? Its just looked on as necessay evil. So all I can say is.....if we need to abandon ship then slow little old ladies and men.....children....and anyone slower than me had better move aside. Drills should be uniform on all ships.
I'll never forget one life vest I tried on, that absolutely REEKED. Some big smelly guy who perspired a great deal must have had it on on the previous cruise, or the way that thing smelled, every passenger who had EVER worn it up to that point seemed to have had an odor/perspiration problem. I wore it in to the lounge, but took it off while seated and carried it most of the drill.
I can see why lifeboat drills are necessary, and if God-forbid they were ever needed it would help to have a run through, but CLEAN THE LIFE VESTS IF YOU WANT PEOPLE TO WEAR THEM!
Yes, the required lifeboat drills are inconvenient – I could be relaxing in the hot tub, enjoying a Mai Tai.
But let us remember why it is that we participate in them.
The Evening of April 14th, 1912, the crew and passengers of the Titanic were so hopelessly unprepared to evacuate the ship in an efficient manner, that over 1500 persons were lost. Passengers had no assigned lifeboat stations – some lifeboat stations were overwhelmed with passengers, while others were empty. The crew had never lowered a lifeboat until then. All the things that we do in the lifeboat drills are precisely the things that were not done that bitter cold evening.
We honor the all the lives lost 90 years ago by doing everything possible to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated.
I'm afraid we're still unprepared. The lifeboat drill instructions alone don't make much sense. They say to go to your cabin, get your lifevest then proceed to your muster station. If in a real emergency, everyone running to their cabin at the same time then trying to get to their muster station would be total chaos. I'm sure there's lifevests elsewhere on the ship, but they don't even mention where they are or what to do if you can't get to your cabin or your muster station. What if there was a fire and access was limited?
Lifeboat drills are just great in 'theory'. Yes, I participate and do pay attention BUT on your next cruise during the drill, just look around and see how many people are chatting, drinking and having fun because they are now on their cruise. Marnie brings up a good point about everyone running to their stateroom, putting on their vest and making their way to their muster station. We have all been to the drill but 'real life' is a horse of a different color. No different than the airplane briefing before we take off. I feel so good knowing I have a floatation device under my seat and oxygen over my head. BUT if I am flying over water and live thru the crash I will probably be eaten by sharks anyway. If I am flying over land, well you know the answer to that one. It is nice to be prepared, but it is certainly something to think about if there is a fire onboard and there are 2000 plus passengers running in the companionways to find their cabin in the smoke, to find their life vest and then make it to their muster station. Our friends were on Carnival Ecstacy a few years back and were not able to even get to their cabin, let alone find their life vests. We should be prepared, but don't think that a lifeboat drill is the best possible source for you to save yourself in an emergency. We all should have a 'plan'. When hubby and I board the ship we already have decided where to meet in case we are separated at the time of the emergency. We do our 'own' lifeboat drill several times during the cruise. Might sound stupid, but we feel that if we are prepared we just might be able to save our lives.................
Having been a flight attendant, I noted how few passengers paid attention to the emergency announcements given before take off. The same applies to all safety demonstrations. Believe me if a problems occured, I knew how to help myself and many others escape if necessary, and I believe the crews of these ships are trained the same way. There is no way to tell passengers everyhting, or the ship would never leave port.
If you pay attention to the areas around the lifeboats, you will see that there are cupboards FULL of lifevests - also, there are lifevests on the lifeboats. If you don't make it to your cabin to get yours, there are more available. If you paid attention during the lifeboat drill, they usually tell you this. Not everyone will be in their cabin in case of an emergency, and there must be enough for everyone.
Who cares whether the vests are stiff or not? Or where the "drills" are held? And I'd rather smell a little honest sweat than have to breathe in the effluvium of the over-perfumed woman next to me.
In the case of a real emergency, your muster station may be quite different and you may not be able to return to your cabin. SOLAS regulations require (I believe) that live vests be availalble on deck as well as in the cabins.
As to the Titanic, there were not sufficient seats in lifeboats for the entire passenger and crew complement. Even if everyone HAD been drilled, some souls would still have perished.
It's only 15 minutes out of a whole cruise. Go with it and don't complain.
When we are cruising im always amazed at the quality of the lifeboats on modern cruisehips and how they are constently maintaining and testing them. The modern lifeboats today are equiped with ample seating, enclosed for adverse weather conditions, modern electronics and outside view windows. They are even equiped with many amenities such as windshield wipers, heating systems and even CD players. I checked them out one night on the Explorer of the seas with Heather, and I'd say we were impressed. If an emergency did occur at least we would get on one of these fine vessles because we paid attention to our Muster Drill. Rix
p.s. Don't blow the whistles who knows who did that before you.
You haven't really been listening then. <G> They state that if you are in or near your stateroom then grab your vest, if you do not have time then report directly to your muster station as there are vest available there. You also must remember that this is not a requirement of the cruiselines but a requirement of the USCG under SOLAS rules. It is the fault of the passenger if they do not pay attention and it is those that will suffer most but also they will hurt those that do pay attention should a real emergency ever happen. I say pay attention and learn as much as you can, and ask questions if you want to. It is your life you are talking about. Yes the drills are uncomfortable and a general pain on the a@@ but they are necessary and "I" pay close attention to what they say and my surroundings and learn my way around the ship as fast as I can just "in case". I am also an experianced cruiser and served in the US Navy for 7 years. I learned that this is probably the most important thing you will do and learn about during your entire cruise so it behooves one to pay attention.
There was absolutely nothing to listen to. They gave no information about what to do in an emergency other than to get your vest and report to your muster station. Pretty poor muster drill, I thought.
I'm asking because on every one of my cruises they demonstrated the vest, talked about how many blasts of the ship's whistle meant to muster, and the fact that in an emergency to report to the muster station (this last one sums it up in a nutshell). Ever since the fire aboard Ecstasy they've also mentioned on every ship I've been aboard to report directly to muster stations if you aren't near your cabin especially if there are smokey conditions below deck.