Cruise lines have bumped up their already-high focus on safety by going beyond legal requirements in many areas. Since the grounding of Costa Concordia, the industry has looked at what they do and improved on it, just to throw in an extra measure of caution. Mandatory muster drills for cruise passengers are no joke. In the olden days, a $20 to a cabin steward or hiding in the shower would get passengers out of it, no problem. Very quickly, joking about the muster drill to a crew member will get about as warm a response as telling a TSA officer you have 3oz of gasoline mixed in with your shampoo, mouthwash and toothpaste.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Carnival Cruise Lines’ commitment to safety has always been paramount and at this time I need your cooperation please. Before I continue with the safety briefing and information on how to save your life in an emergency we need to simulate what would happen if such a situation arose with the crew members at your muster station passing amongst you in order to do a head count.
“This is what would happen in a real emergency and, as I would then, I will ask you now to please stay in your current position. Please do not move, and parents and guardians I ask you to please keep your children close by as well so we can make this an accurate count.
“Thank you in advance for your cooperation and I am sure you all understand the importance of this critical exercise. Once the head count is over I will continue with the briefing. Muster station supervisors……please start the count.”
And so begins a head count that will no doubt leave no lounge chair or closet door uninspected should some passenger come up missing.
Is this a bad thing? Not if you’re one of those in attendance at the MANDATORY safety instructions. Did you catch that “mandatory” part? Yes. Important. Got it. Move along now.
Other lines handle it differently too.
“Hopefully Carnival will do card scans and not just head counts as this will not accurately tell them who is missing if the numbers don’t match up at each station,” says CruiseFever.net, adding ” Although this is a step toward the line trying to step up safety protocol not everyone agrees with the decision, even if it is way behind other cruise lines and how muster drills have been handled for years.”
Important? You bet. A big deal? Not so much.
Flickr photo by atomiclizard