Friday, December 3, 2010

What Types of Security Protocols Are In Place?

With the recent news that a cruise ship passenger was able to gain access to and then engage the ship's anchor, it makes you wonder how safe you really are on your cruise.  What safety protocols are in place?  Here is how some cruise lines have decided to answer that question:

"Certainly, the safety and security of our guests is our highest priority and we take matters of this nature very seriously," said Disney Cruise Line in a statement. "However, we do not talk about the security protocols, given that doing so could compromise their effect."

Britain-based Fred. Olsen said only that its safety and security policy meets all applicable international and national legislation. "Shipboard precautions against internal and external intruders are well-implemented and regularly reviewed, and include physical restrictions, such as signs, barriers and locks."

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCCL), parent company of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara cruise lines, added a few specifics about its safety plans. "All doors that lead to restricted areas are either marked 'crew only' or are locked," the line said in a statement. "Doors that are used as a means of escape during an emergency cannot be locked, for safety reasons. Some doors, such as those that lead to the engine rooms or where CO2 is stored, are always locked." RCCL spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez added that not all Royal Caribbean ships have stern anchors. "Those that do are behind closed doors -- the door might not be locked, for safety reasons," she added.

(Fred. Olsen, Crystal Cruises and Seabourn also indicated that ships in their fleets are not equipped with stern anchors.)

Luxury lines Seabourn and Crystal provided additional details about how their forward anchor equipment is secured. Captain Andrew Phillips, director of safety and security for Seabourn, told Cruise Critic that the anchor equipment near the bow is in an area that is locked whenever crew are not present. All work areas are also locked.

"The anchor-handling gear for the two forward anchors is located on mooring decks that are very remote from guest areas," reads a statement from Crystal Cruises. "These locations are routinely monitored by roving fire/security personnel as well as observed by closed-circuit television. In addition, each set of anchor-handling gear has three independent means to prevent the anchor from being dropped, all of which are engaged while the ship is at sea."

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