How To Prepare Yourself For A Cruise Ship Emergency

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  January 17, 2012  |  7 Comments
Insert Drawing :)

emergency instructions on the inside of your cabin door

1. Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the emergency instructions.

Located on the inside of your cabin door.

Make sure you have the proper number of life-jackets

2. Make sure you have the proper number of life jackets (one per adult) in your cabin.

Ask your attendant for children/infant life jackets if necessary.

Passenger Safety Drill

3. The Passenger Safety Drill is to help you familiarize with routine emergency procedures.

So pay attention!

Don't Panic

4. In The Event Of An Emergency: Don’t Panic.

And don’t rush. People get injured when there is chaos and panic.

Get your life jacket

5. When the emergency signal is sounded, go to your cabin and get your life jacket.

Put on warm clothing, a hat, comfortable shoes and bring a blanket, and any medication you are using. Don’t try to pack your bags as it won’t be allowed on the life boat!

Proceed to your designated Muster station

6. Go to your designated Muster station*.

If you can’t make it to your cabin beforehand, proceed directly to your Muster station, where a life-jacket will be given to you. If you have children and they were with Youth counselors at the time of the emergency, they will be escorted by the staff to their Muster station.

Give your name and stay calm

7. Once at the Muster Station, give your name to a crew member taking attendance.

Then find a seat, stay calm and wait for further instructions and information from the Muster Station leader. Clearly everyone will have lots of questions but the best thing you can do is to sit tight and let the crew members do their job.

More information:

*Muster Station: The location where groups of passengers are asked to report in the event of an emergency at sea (or, as during a Muster Drill). Usually, muster stations are either interior public rooms or open deck or promenade spaces familiar to passengers, not a life boat. Every passenger is assigned a muster station. The location and fastest route to that location is posted within every cabin.

Here is a good article explaining why modern-day ship evacuations are slow. Basically, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea have safety precautions mandated eg. water-tight doors, which prevents a ship from sinking as fast as the Titanic did. This gives us all more time for a safer evacuation.

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About Me

In 2004, I sold everything I owned and left New Zealand to go see the world. In that time, I've run with bulls in Pampolona, watched the Man burn at Black Rock City, volunteered at a special-needs summer camp in New York, hosted & couchsurfed with 100+ people, taught English in Prague, trained with Muay Thai fighters in Phuket, worked on 5 different cruise ships, hugged strangers on streets in 7 countries and this one time, I even hitchhiked naked (but that was back home, so that doesn't really count). I moved to Vancouver, BC in 2012, to embark on new adventures. It's nice here, I think I may stay awhile! Let's connect: @roymarvelous, facebook & RSS.

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  • Leslie

    Useful and timely info!

  • Roy Marvelous

    Thanks Leslie. I see there's quite a bit of concern about safety, since this tragedy and as I've participated in over 100 boat drills, I thought I could share some tips.

  • mynetdude

    You know what's more concerning than getting off a ship? The alarming rate of ships (not JUST cruise ships, but yes even those are alarming too). running aground this is two cruise ships (one in April and one just recently) and then a few months ago a cargo ship ran aground and very recently that ship broke apart in a storm.

    Tell me something here, we know accidents are inevitable and do happen and we need to safely evacuate in an orderly fashion but how the heck can we even be safe if these captains aren't going to be safe to begin with?

    Thankfully not many people are dying of cruise ship accidents but I'm starting to wonder the fate of humanity behind complex machines and I think they are too complex because all you have to do is walk away from the controls while the ship drives itself until it slams into something (but I suppose it was possible before computerized systems on ships were invented so but my point is modernization is making airplane and ship drivers more lazier and confused.

    • Roy Marvelous

      Bear in mind that the industry is growing rapidly so the probability of an accident happening increases. Regardless, I do agree with you – this is a wake up call.

  • Andrea

    I think it's really important for passengers on any vessel (plane, train, ship, car, etc.) to take the responsibility of knowing what to do in case of emergency – great post!
    My recent post What the Heck Am I Doing With My Life?

    • Roy Marvelous

      Indeed. Personal safety is everyone's business!

  • Suzy

    I took a cruise/ferry to Corsica a few years ago and I realized after this Costa accident, I had no clue how to get off the boat if there was an emergency. These are all great reminders for anyone on any boat.
    My recent post This Time I Will Be Organized: Avoiding Last Minute Pre-Travel Chaos