I was fortunate to go on a carnival cruise recently. I went on the carnival spirit the ship with the green thunder water slide that goes out over the side of the boat over the ocean 12 floors up from sea level.
On day 1 before we set sail we had our evacuation drill training to complete. The ship was set to leave Sydney Harbour at 6:30pm 1 hour before this at 5:30pm we were asked to go to our muster station. The muster station was relative to your room, in my case directly down 2 levels to muster station C. Within minutes we were all organised into about 8 or 9 rows from the side of the ship out to the edge of the ship. Smallest people were kept in the front line, I did not see women and children first but it was definitely children first.
All kids under 11 had to wear a wrist band that could not be removed. The wrist band had details about which muster station the kids belonged to, in our case it was muster station C. No mater where the kids were on the ship in the event if an emergency all crew would assist the kids to get to the correct muster point based on the wrist band.
With around 2200 passengers and 900 crew it was amazing to see how quickly we were all put into position ready to evacuate the boat if needed. Each of the large evacuation boats held 140 passengers with 10 crew. Each boat had a captain, food and water and the boat was unsinkable even when flooded full of water. Knowing boats take a lot longer to sink I was feeling a whole lot more comfortable than when I fly and we go through the drill of getting your life jacket on in the event of an emergency. Most plane accidents these days your life jacket does not even get on when disaster strikes.
If we here the evacuation drill sirens we all need to go to our room, collect our life jacket and go directly to the muster station. We do not go looking for the kids as they will be bought to the correct muster station for all kids under 11 based on the wrist band.
Feeling very comfortable with the evacuation procedures we all had a great first night and slept as well as you could sleep when worn out from the days activities. First thing next morning which happened to be Father’s Day we went to the gym for some exercise. The gym by 7am was very busy. While at the gym on board the cruise ship I went onto the running machine for some aerobic exercise and had the most amazing feeling as I ran with the ship going up and down to the swell of the ocean.
The gym was forward on level 9 with the view directly out of the front of the boat.
As the swell rose to its peak I would take a couple of steps that felt like I was walking on air. If you could ever feel like you were walking on clouds this was the closet feeling I could imagine. Every time the boat rose with the swell there was 1 or 2 strides that would make you feel like you were walking on clouds. As the ship went down of the peak of the swell you could feel the heaviness of your feet on the running machine.
After spending the last 6 years helping companies with evacuation management I have never felt safer with evacuation procedures than I felt on this cruise with carnival spirit.