Cruise ships have always been one of the safest and more enjoyable ways to holiday. Multi-billion dollar cruise lines, like Celebrity Cruises, Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises and P&O, invest massive amounts of money and time into security and safety measures to protect their passengers, as well as their reputation.
However, in recent years there have been a few tragic incidents that have caused people to wonder if cruises are really as safe as they say.
Here, we face the facts and reveal six reasons why cruise ships are safer than ever:
- Cruise lines follow the rules
Cruise lines are governed by the strict regulations of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), not to mention the stringent requirements of US and international law. On top of this, the cruise industry has its own regulatory body, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The point of all these regulatory bodies is to keep the cruise lines and the wider industry in check, so that the safety and security of passengers is always the number one priority.
The year 2010 was a major watershed for cruise lines when the IMO passed a number of important new regulations, known collectively as SOLAS 2010, or “Safety of Lives at Sea”. These regulations covered things like fire safety and prevention, crew training, evacuation procedures, and more. The good news is most cruise lines go above and beyond these regulations.
- High surveillance
Cruise ships are fitted with high-tech security surveillance, which are controlled and monitored from a central security centre so that any risks are identified and dealt with quickly. They’re also wired with high-tech systems used to identify and account for passengers and crew.
- Evacuation Procedures
The first thing you will do when you get on board a cruise ship is take part in an evacuation briefing. This is mandatory for all passengers – which is more than we can say for other holiday resorts.
- Fire prevention and safety
According to the CLIA, the average cruise ship weighing around 97,000 gross tonnes, carrying 800 crew and 2700 passengers will have at least 5 trained firefighting teams, 500 fire extinguishers, 4000 smoke detectors, and 5000 sprinkler heads throughout the ship. Most cruise lines also do not allow smoking on balconies.
- Lifeboats and life jackets
We've come a long, long way since the Titanic. Today, every cruise ship is stocked with lifeboats, rafts and lifejackets for every single person on board, and more besides.
- Crew Training
Underneath all the fun, the ship is run by very professional crew dedicated to keeping the ship and passengers safe. Crews today are far better trained in safety and security than ever. Every crew member, without exception, will have received training in all emergency procedures, first aid, man-overboard procedures, safety and security. Plus, on most ships, they are required to take part in an “abandon ship” drill and fire drill every month.
While the cruise line and crew will take every step they can to protect passengers, there’s only so much they can do. Passengers have a responsibility to look after themselves, their family and friends too. That’s the key to the fun and safe holiday you’ve been dreaming of.