FRIDAY, JUNE 29: Two new cruise safety regulations have been adopted as a result of the Costa Concordia disaster.
Cruise Lines International and the European Cruise Council is hoping the new procedures will make it more likely fewer lives will be lost in the event of an accident at sea.
The first change is that cruise lines will have to record the nationality of each passenger and make them readily available to rescue personnel if needed.The second includes the dreaded muster policy.
In the new muster policy, the 12 specific emergency instructions given to all passengers include:
• When and how to don a life jacket.
• Description of emergency signals and appropriate responses in the event of an emergency.
• Location of life jackets.
• Where to muster when the emergency signal is sounded.
• The method of accounting for passenger attendance at musters both for training and in the event of an actual emergency.
• How information will be provided in an emergency.
• What to expect if the master orders an evacuation of the ship.
• What additional safety information is available.
• Information on whether passengers should return to cabins prior to mustering, including specifics regarding medications, clothing, and life jackets.
• Description of key safety systems and features.
• Emergency routing systems and how to recognize emergency exits.
• Who to seek out for additional information.
I remember my first cruise of having to stand out on the deck at my muster station with my life jacket on while a crewmember checked me as attending the drill.
The last one I did, I only had to show up to my station sans life jacket as they would provide one if needed.
A crewmember swiped my sail and sign card and checked me off on an electronic list.
We never had to put the jacket on. I’m sure in a real emergency that might be a problem for some people as they would struggle to figure out how to do it.
Some lines have been more vigilant since the Concordia disaster and have kicked people off the ship for failing to attend the muster drill.
An elderly couple — she was 84 and he was 90 — were reportedly kicked off the Seabourn Sojurn for failing to do so.
It was the second leg of their trip and they had already attended the drill on the first leg.
They were even repeatedly asked to attend the drill and refused.
The ship kicked them to the dock.
I have to admit, the muster drill is probably my least favourite thing about cruising, but I understand the importance of it.
The Concordia disaster is going to affect how muster drills are perfomed much the same way terrorist attacks have made flying a bit more inconvenient.
Another seat sale is on, this time to New York and Baltimore.
C Travel is advertising on its website one-way fares to New York for $74 and one way fares to Baltimore for $98.
There are other destinations available.
Return travel must be completed by October 31 and you must purchase your tickets seven days in advance.