Agents should “tell their customers about the safety record of the cruise sector”
In the wake of the Costa Concordia grounding, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has revealed plans to improve its three lines’ onboard emergency drill procedures. All ships belonging to the company’s three brands – Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara Club Cruises – will now have all of their muster drills taking place before leaving port.
“On 99.5% of departures, the drill takes place before the ship leaves port, but there are sometimes difficulties if there are late arrivals because of plane delays,” Captain Bill Wright, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice-president of marine operations, said during a conference call with travel agents. “In light of Concordia, all drills now take place before departure.”
Royal Caribbean operates weekly drills, he added, and every crew member has a responsibility. He urged agents to be “proactive” in reassuring customers about cruise ships’ safety. Cruises have carried more than 117 million people since 2005, he said, with just 21 fatalities. “Agents should absolutely be going and telling their customers about the safety record of the cruise sector.”
[pictured: Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas]