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Old July 2nd, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Default Safety drill in winter on outside deck of ship uncomfortable

I believe that safety drills are essential and I see their value. The one drill that I recently had to participate in was on the outside deck of the ship in the winter with a cold Baltimore wind blowing. It was not very comfortable.

On the other hand, I have participated in drills that were held inside the ship where a movie presentation was used and that was very effective.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 07:49 AM
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Princess does the inside drill. They say they might muster passengers long before you would need to abandon ship, if at all, so mustering to lounge makes sense. I dislike standing out in that crowd on the open deck
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 01:06 PM
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A great comment from an outstanding person.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 03:45 PM
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I think HAL still does the outside one's which is ridiculous given the age group of their passengers. They really need to update this.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Last cruise on Allure of the Seas, you no longer had to drag along your life vest, made going and leaving the station a lot easier and most likely safer.
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Old July 5th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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One needs to understand the concept of balancing comfort and safety. It's fun to sit in a comfortable warm lounge in t-shirts and shorts (and no lifejacket) while participating in a lifeboat drill in chilly Alaska. But is it safe?

Where is my lifeboat?
We will tell you later.

Where is my lifejacket and how do I put it on?
We will tell you later.

If the lounge we are using as a muster station happens to be burning or underwater in a real emergency, where are we supposed to go?
We will tell you later.

We have all witnessed the relatively high number of cruise passengers who are challenged to simultaneously walk and chew gum.

After they have participated in a nice comfy safety drill in a warm lounge, how do we remind and inform them - in a real emergency - that they cannot show up in shorts and t-shirts, that they MUST locate and properly don a lifejacket, that they must bring necessary medications, and they MUST - at some point - go outside to board a lifeboat.

IF the PA System is working in a real emergency, and
IF the lights are on in the lounge in a real emergency, and
IF there is no fire or obstruction blocking the lounge entrances in a real emergency, and
IF the crew members assigned to guide you out of that lounge show up in a real emergency, and
IF the passengers remember to actually bring their lifejackets to that lounge in a real emergency.........................
everything will probably go just fine.

Although looking at recent history, all these "IFs" didn't work out so well on Costa Concordia. They probably will not work out very well the next time there is a real test.Making safety drills comfortable also makes them complicated and dangerous.
And despite the Concordia "event", whenever we hold any sort of safety drill today, we still have a large number of passengers who refuse to attend the safety drill because they just don't feel like going. Then we have to browbeat them and threaten to disembark them if they refuse to learn how to save their own lives in a real emergency.

So how do we engineer a safety drill to be simple enough that even the dumbest cruse passenger - in a panic - in the cold - in the dark - without power or PA system - without much assistance - can get to a lifeboat and be saved?
We force you to practice the actual event.
We force you to dress for the weather.
We force you to locate and put on your lifejacket.
We force you to go out on the promenade deck - where the lifeboats are located.

Is this a perfect solution?
No.
But sitting in a comfortable lounge and chatting with your friends and family while the crew tries to explain how you can save your life in an emergency is not the answer.
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Old July 5th, 2014, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnyprincecharlie View Post
I believe that safety drills are essential and I see their value. The one drill that I recently had to participate in was on the outside deck of the ship in the winter with a cold Baltimore wind blowing. Itwas not very comfortable.

On the other hand, I have participated in drills that were held inside the ship where a movie presentation was used and that was very effective.
How could you possibly know it was very effective?
Did the ship sink?
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Old July 7th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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I have to disagree with Bruce. I don't believe standing outside by a lifeboat in the middle of the night in the freezing cold does anyone any good. Better to be warm and dry and be led to lifeboats that are safe and out of harms way. What happens when the side of your lifeboat is on fire? What happens when half of your lifeboat doesn't show up? It seems like a lot of cruiselines have moved away from the outside and now hold people inside to be led to a lifeboat. Last month on Celebrity after the presentation we were led outside and shown where our lifeboat station was. HAL seems to be dragging their heels on this and as you used to work for them, I'm not surprised by your post.

As for it being efficient... I know on Star Princess I would have much rather been in a lounge waiting direction than trying to get to a lifeboat on the side that was on fire.

Last edited by BernieG; July 7th, 2014 at 11:33 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BernieG View Post
I have to disagree with Bruce. I don't believe standing outside by a lifeboat in the middle of the night in the freezing cold does anyone any good. Better to be warm and dry and be led to lifeboats that are safe and out of harms way. What happens when the side of your lifeboat is on fire? What happens when half of your lifeboat doesn't show up? It seems like a lot of cruiselines have moved away from the outside and now hold people inside to be led to a lifeboat. Last month on Celebrity after the presentation we were led outside and shown where our lifeboat station was. HAL seems to be dragging their heels on this and as you used to work for them, I'm not surprised by your post.

As for it being efficient... I know on Star Princess I would have much rather been in a lounge waiting direction than trying to get to a lifeboat on the side that was on fire.

You SHOULD be surprised by my post. Most of the ships I managed over the past decade were Princess ships - with muster stations in lounges.
But that system doesn't really work very well.


When muster stations are located on outside decks, international law requires the ship to be able to muster all pax in less than 30 minutes and get them all into boats and away in another 30 minutes.


At Princess, just getting all pax into the lounges and scanning all cabin keys takes one hour under ideal conditions.Then getting them all out to the lifeboat stations takes another 30 minutes. Getting them into the boats and away takes another 30 minutes. That's 2 hours - one hour longer than ships that have outside muster stations. And that's one hour longer than I would like to stay on a burning / sinking ship.
But there is another problem. The bulkheads and large windows in most Princess lounges are rated for only 30 minutes of fire safety. If your ship is burning and you go to your inside muster station, you should pray that the fire moves slowly while the crew takes one hour to locate everyone - or maybe take some marshmallows, hot dogs, and some long sharp sticks.


In my career I have encountered only 3 life threatening situations on nearly 1,500 voyages. 2 of those situations required us to board lifeboats; one in very cold weather, one in very hot weather. Nobody complained about the weather conditions.


Considering that only 32 people have died on sinking ships (all of them on Costa Concordia) over the past 50 years - out of hundreds of millions who have cruised during that same period - the survival odds are pretty good. Perhaps we shouldn't worry so much about that extra hour required to get passengers from an inside muster station to the boats.


Being the cautious sort that I am, I will opt for 20 minutes of discomfort standing on the outside decks in order to more completely ensure I live long enough to collect my pension.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 02:50 AM
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BernieG, Do you think these folks who don't think they should comply should be publicly embarrassed and made to apologize to the rest of us? Do you think it would help if these folks were publicly humiliated that it would do many good?
I don't think any public embarrassment would change these peoples' ways. Selfish, self-centered and rude people will remain so no matter what.....and I can only bet how they would react in a real emergency: Selfish, Self-Centered and Rude
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Old July 14th, 2014, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Alyson View Post
BernieG, Do you think these folks who don't think they should comply should be publicly embarrassed and made to apologize to the rest of us? Do you think it would help if these folks were publicly humiliated that it would do many good?
I don't think any public embarrassment would change these peoples' ways. Selfish, self-centered and rude people will remain so no matter what.....and I can only bet how they would react in a real emergency: Selfish, Self-Centered and Rude
What in God's name are you talking about? no one is saying people should skip the drill. This is a discusion about how different cruise lines handle the drill.
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