Since the Costa Concordia accident more cruise lines have been stepping up procedures to keep its passengers safe. Yesterday, John Heald, cruise director for Carnival, announced on his Facebook page that there would be changes to the muster drill aboard the cruise line’s ships. Mandatory head counts would be a part of the drill.
This is the announcement that Heald says is going to be made at these mandatory muster drills:
“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.”
While some see this change as a good thing some see it as a nuisance and inconvenience. But many other cruise lines have already been doing this for years. In fact, some cruise lines like Princess and NCL will even scan your card when you enter the muster station and keep tract of those who did not attend the drill so they can have a private drill later.
When sailing with Royal Caribbean I remember them doing a head count and calling out each room number to make sure they were present, so the fact that Carnival is just starting to do head counts now is a bit behind the times when compared to the cruise industry as a whole.
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. 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.
So we want to know what our readers think about this new change with Carnival. Think it’s a great idea? Or is it a terrible idea that just takes away the fun of cruising? Let us know with a comment below.