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Muster drills...lounges, boats & lifejackets...what are YOUR thoughts?

Ally

Deckhand
It is an inevitable fact that after the loss of Costa Concordia the implementation and the method of muster drills will be carefully examined and in all probablility changed.

Some cruise lines use jackets, others do not...some use lounges and others use the actual lifeboat stations...some are tougher on those who skip...and others are a little less rigid.

Cruise lines who have done "bus stop" type itineraries such as Concordia's have always followed the IMO 24 hour rule, even though it could mean people being on board for a night without being mustered....it may seem irresponsible...but it IS perfectly legal.

Cruise lines such as NCL are due to start "bus stop" type itineraries this summer with Norwegian Epic....it remeains to be seen as to whether they will go ahead or change proceedures ahead of the commencement of the scheduled itineraries.

So.......what are YOUR thoughts on this...do YOU feel that the current muster is perfectly fine as it is and does not require changes?

Would you prefer to muster outside under your lifeboat instead of the comfort and somewhat informal surroundings of a lounge or bar?

On you next drill, will you tell the person nearby who is busy chattering through the instructions to "shut up"...or are you one who feels that you've done it so many times, there is no point in listening?

The experts are saying that any changes to the SOLAS rules about muster drills could take anything upto 2 years to implement...would you hope that cruise lines will change things on their own accord before any rule changes come into force?

What are YOUR thoughts and opinions about the future of muster drills and where you would like things to change?
 

Ally

Deckhand
On my cruises aboard Allegra, the musters were in lounges but they were very professionally done and jackets were required along with all names/cabin numbers taken.

Aboard Victoria last year the musters were done under the allocated lifeboat outside with men at the back and women & children at the front...30 persons wide x 5 deep for each boat.

Those who missed, tried to miss or took a long time to get to muster were pretty much frogmarched to their allocated muster station or boat.

The hosts/hostesses read the instructions in their respective language...on Allegra this was repeated twice on my 14 day cruise in 2008, 6 times throughout the 2010 cruise and Victoria in 2011 it was 3 times.

As to whether or not changes are needed....I am not entirely comfortable with doing a muster without the jackets, as many people require help in geting them on the right way at muster when there is no emergency or stress, I dread to think how people would react if an emergency did happen on a ship where "jackets are not required"...personally I think it would be bedlam.

Bus stop cruises will always be a problem when it comes to musters...as much as logic says that yes it should be easy to adopt a muster procedure before every departure, since many bus stop cruises have late night departures and thus later embarkation times, passengers may well be less willing to go through a drill at 7pm for a 9pm sailaway when evening meal is at 6 or 9pm when they want to socialise in the bars and so forth. So some passenger education may well be in order there.

Despite the legislation taking 2 years, I think that the whole industry got a shock and a wake up call with Concordia, so I feel that the cruise lines are likely to make changes on their own and tighten things up before any rule changes come into force and then bring those changes of the own into line with the new rules...whatever they turn out to be.
 

tjandluke

Deckhand
I think that a muster with jackets is important.
On both the Classica and Romatica it was similar to what Ally described on the Allegra. Our cards were scanned- I am not sure what happened to those passengers who did not arrive- I am guessing that they were followed up when it was discovered that they were not there.
I did find a lot of passengers rude- after their language was done they began to talk rather loudly making it difficult for other languages to hear the instructions. This was addressed quickly by the hosts in various languages. The English host basically said that this could go on for ever until the crew/ officers were satisfied that it was correctly done and that talking could just ensure that the process took longer than was needed. I am guessing the hosts in other languages said the same. I figure that if I can keep a then 4 and 5 year old child quiet and attentive through the process then at least other adults should have the same courtesy.
The Captain did attend Musters to check that all was well. Luke also received special attention from Officers to ensure that his child's life jacket was fitted correctly- he must have been checked by 4 different people.
 

jack100

Deckhand
Don't know if snyone else has noticed this but I've noticed when at the muster with lifejackets on you might see an officer pass by and they are not wearing a lifejacket. If cruislines want us to take the muster seriously then an officer passing or inspecting should at least make an effort and wear a lifejacket along with everyone else. Any comments ?
 
L

lancashire lass

Guest
I think we will see many changes in the Muster drill. I must admit to being pleased that we did not have to don the life jacket on our recent cruise, but I take these drills seriously. We have a sailboat and wear our Jackets and inspect fire hoses and extinguishers before every cruise be it a day sail or a week. I do think the cruise ships drills should be on the same day of the sail and held at the muster station for each cabin.
 

onlyrocknroll

Deckhand
I do think there will be a return to lifejackets being required at muster again. A shame that something like the Concordia tragedy would cause it, but I think it's actually safer.


Secondly, the muster drills should *always* be the day of embarkation.That's the way it's been on every cruise ship I've ever been on.
 

sidari

Deckhand
Hello All, back a few hours ago from our Jade cruise to the Canaries,the Muster drill on the Jade seemed just like all the others we have been to apart from the fact that like Princess it was held inside but without life Jackets. Everyone had their names checked against a list held by a Team leader, they then went through how to put the Lifejacket on. The Lifejacket is slightly different on the Jade to the others we had seen having an extra piece that goes around the neck and fastens onto itself although it is attached to the main body of the Lifejacket.

The Jades officers were seen a number of times during the Muster drill and afterwards they had a lifeboat lowered to the side of the ship and the safety Officer was there to answer any questions people had which is the First time we have seen that done.
 

Boy Blue

Deckhand
I believe you have to be aware of your own safety, no one knows in an emergency situation how they would react.
Will muster drills help, if they are done with or without life jackets on deck or inside.
I think the crew need to be on top of their game as they should guide passengers.
I DON'T think cruise lines should use muster drills as a way of making money with a photo call, which as happened with us on certain cruise lines we have travelled on.
I was involved in an hold up at work, the person who I thought would be a rock just fell to bits, where I went into angry mode, I never thought I would react in that way.
 

Boy Blue

Deckhand
Hello All, back a few hours ago from our Jade cruise to the Canaries,the Muster drill on the Jade seemed just like all the others we have been to apart from the fact that like Princess it was held inside but without life Jackets. Everyone had their names checked against a list held by a Team leader, they then went through how to put the Lifejacket on. The Lifejacket is slightly different on the Jade to the others we had seen having an extra piece that goes around the neck and fastens onto itself although it is attached to the main body of the Lifejacket.

The Jades officers were seen a number of times during the Muster drill and afterwards they had a lifeboat lowered to the side of the ship and the safety Officer was there to answer any questions people had which is the First time we have seen that done.
Welcome home sidari hope you had a good cruise :biggrinbounce2:
 

Ally

Deckhand
Hello All, back a few hours ago from our Jade cruise to the Canaries,the Muster drill on the Jade seemed just like all the others we have been to apart from the fact that like Princess it was held inside but without life Jackets. Everyone had their names checked against a list held by a Team leader, they then went through how to put the Lifejacket on. The Lifejacket is slightly different on the Jade to the others we had seen having an extra piece that goes around the neck and fastens onto itself although it is attached to the main body of the Lifejacket.

The Jades officers were seen a number of times during the Muster drill and afterwards they had a lifeboat lowered to the side of the ship and the safety Officer was there to answer any questions people had which is the First time we have seen that done.
Welcome home, Dave :joy::joy:
 

Boy Blue

Deckhand
After being on the Favolosa, I dont think how or when you do a muster drill, would make any difference.

While waiting to board the tender back to the boat in Dubrovnic, one tender filled leaving me first in the queue for the next tender, a very pushy spanish lady ran past me, and tried to get onboard the tender, but she was in such a rush her leg ended up between the tender boat and the quay side, just could not believe it :crap:

Do you really think someone like that would form an orderly queue with life jacket and the correct muster station, to board a lifeboat, because I know that she wouldnt.

I know this is just my personal opinion.......

Mel
 
L

lancashire lass

Guest
Doesn't sound like she would line up in an orderly manner, I think its a cultural thing.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Many cruise ships are not designed with public lounges on the same deck and/or with a direct exit to the Promenade and life boats. So, these ships must have muster outside.

It's been the law for many years that any ship embarking out of US waters must conduct muster before sailing, whether the ship sails early or late. Many ships sail late (10:00pm) out of San Juan and must muster before sailing so it can, and is, done.

I'm a proponent of inside musters. I've had many outside musters and seen people faint from heat, the elderly forced to stand, been drenched from rain, or frozen stiff. I have never had an outside muster when instructions could be heard clearly. Either bullhorns are pointed in the wrong direction or the speakers were tinny and hard to hear. If heard many people remark, "I like knowing exactly where my lifeboat is." Great. How do you know whether it's even safe to go to that lifeboat? You don't.

I've been on a ship when the general alarm went off at 2:00am. It was one with outside muster. Even experienced cruisers didn't know what to do or where to go. They were running up and down the hallways in PJs asking other equally-confused passengers. Some even went so far as to grab their lifejackets (still in just PJs) and nothing else and made their way to their lifeboat. It was chaos. After about five minutes, the Captain came on the PA to tell everyone to stay in their cabins. It was a fire in the transformer in the buffet cooler.

This experience emphasized several things to me. One is that you really, really need to go to muster and pay attention. Two, outside musters tend to confuse people because in a real emergency, they're not sure if they should really be outside in the elements. Three, communication is a lot clearer and passengers easier to manage if they have a comfortable muster. Even the Concordia had over an hour and a half to muster passengers and communicate with them. The Captain (who should be tarred and feathered, then smeared with honey and staked out in the path of African ants) chose not to muster passengers for far too long. If a muster is inside, he could have had people muster in lounges without the panic that occurred.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.
 

sue87

Captain
For the ships that have the life jackets stored at the muster stations in big boxes on deck, they should continue to have enough life jackets in the cabin as well. Depending on the severity of the situation, or the deck where the issue is, passengers could need the life jackets just to get to the muster station.
 

BOOPSAHOY

Deckhand
NCL went to no jackets and to having the muster inside-well for my cabin category anyway. I think inside is better as you are comfortable and can listen to the speeches-outside you are standing there sweating wishing it was over and not paying attention!
 

TX Cruiser

Deckhand
you dont have to put on your life vests for muster drill now on carnival they had so many problems with seniors wearing them and some have tripped over the straps, it's a good safety move and they show you how to put them on I would suggest trying them on in your cabin and getting familiar with them, maybe the coast guard did away with that! anyways after so many drills with them on you already know how to put them on!;)
 
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