What I have learned from Costa Concordia and Cruise Ship Safety

Know the code – Cruise Ship Safety and Me.

What I have learned from Costa Concordia

A week has passed since the Costa Concordia tragedy. And just when I thought that the news had peaked, one more body has been found by divers searching the Costa Concordia shipwreck. The death toll is now 12.

Safety First

With every news report, email, query, tweet, post, status update or comment I encounter brings me right back to square-one asking myself, “what would I do?”

I cruise a lot. In fact when I am not on a ship, I am writing about cruising, pitching a new cruise related story, or dreaming of new cruise itineraries. Now since the Costa Concordia tragedy, I have had to put myself on mute while I wait for facts and confirmed news.  As much as I want to, there is little I can do to help the search and recovery efforts, and for some reason I have not been asked to fly to Italy to interview the Captain (but I am available.)  So I wait.

Drilled. But how much will I recall in a real emergency?

My little cruiser on a boat in Cabo

@CruiseJess: all dressed for mustering: compliant and ready to "fall-in."

I ask myself “how much do I really know about cruise ship general emergency procedures?” Sadly, the answer is not much beyond what I have learned at mustering, which does not really answer my deeper questions, which are:

  1. Do I go collect my kids at kids club? I know the protocol is no. But do I really think that I can resist? What about the wrist band? My kids have tried taking those off only to be quickly returned to a staff member to get one on.
  2. Do I go to the cabin to get my life jacket? How about my valuables in the safe? At what point do I not do that and head to the muster location? But which muster station?
  3. If the ship is listing and the electricity is out, what should I do? Do I jump in and help everyone or do I fall-in and follow instructions? What is the chain of command?
  4. Is there really an announcement that says “abandon ship?”
  5. If I hear everyone shouting “abandon ship” what does that mean? Jump overboard, head to a lifeboat?
  6. At what point does a tender become a lifeboat?

Where to get more information about cruise ship safety


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