On one of our early days at sea, the captain came up with a great idea. He proposed showing the guests what the crew experiences when they first come on board and need to learn about safety aboard the ship. I’m sure there is lots more training that goes on but we got to see several demonstrations and the film that is shown to new crew members.
The film gave an overall view of things from a crew perspective and what they were to do should there be an emergency at sea. Once we viewed the twenty minute film which reminded many of us of those safety films on airplanes but this was much more specific covering things like reporting a man overboard, using a fire extinguisher, reporting emergencies, etc.
When the film was finished, the doctors (we have three on board) went over again the importance of hand washing and the symptoms of the Noro virus. They stressed the importance of catching it quickly and staying in isolation for a couple of days to assure it has less chance to spread. The doctor said that at least on a world cruise you are only missing a few days of a long voyage. Many cruisers complain about isolation if they are on a shorter cruise. The captain pointed out that if the virus is not quickly contained to the few who might get it, the whole ship would have to be emptied and wiped down. A process none of us would appreciate.
|Captain Egil Giske oversees safety demonstration|
From the movie theater, we moved to a back corridor of the ship where it was closed off and there was theatrical smoke they filled the corridor with as you walked through. The crewman kept telling us we needed to get low as if we were in a real situation. I said if it was real I’d crawl but there was no way I was going to do it this time around. While it got very dark and was nearly impossible to see, the comforting part was that you could clearly see the line of lights to follow and the crewman showed us how they go up the wall to indicate an escape door.
Out of the smoke, we headed for the back of the ship where they were demonstrating the fire equipment. We watched two of the three types of extinguishers they used for fires.
There is one that is a fine water spray, one that is CO2 for electrical, and a fine powder spray that was for flaming liquids and of course, the fire hose. The crewman in charge of the demonstration was very detailed and pointed out that should anyone ever need to use one of the fire extinguishers they needed to keep their face away from the top when they pulled the plug and popped the button. Sure enough when another crewman demonstrated, the fire extinguisher jumped about six inches in the air.
From the back of the ship we went starboard to look inside one of the lifeboats and see all the equipment that was stored in them. Medical kits, all sorts of ways to signal for a rescue, water, and then with a smile, the crewman held up a small box that was about nine inches square and maybe three inches thick. He told us how many kilograms of energy it held (calories) and that it would last a few days at least. “But not as tasty as the dining room food.”
Our last stop was at the pool on Deck 12. The crew had inflated one of the rafts that are used as well. The outside said it could hold 25 people but it would be cozy I think. The idea was to show us how if the raft was overturned, it would right itself. The problem was, try as they may, the crewmen in the water couldn’t get it to turn upside down. That was comforting enough.
It was a really great morning and if we had ever needed a confidence booster for our safety that was it. Those in charge obviously know what they’re doing. It would be a great activity to continue on other cruise ships.