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Travel Tip: On-Going Cruise Safety Issues

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A year after the tragic crash of the Costa Concordia, the cruise industry is trying to find ways to improve on safety, but there are some issues out there.

There is one regulation that the cruise industry put into place almost immediately after the crash: muster drills now have to be held before the ships leave port. Before the crash, those drills had to be held within 24 hours of departure.

After the Costa Concordia tragedy, we learned that hundreds of passengers had boarded just hours before the crash and hadn’t attended the safety briefing.

Members of the cruise industry are now reviewing additional policies, which involve lifeboat training for crew, ample access to lifejackets in public areas, and other safety concerns.

But there’s one major issue that was a factor in the Concordia crash: language barriers. Cruise lines will brag about the many nationalities of their crew, but when passengers can’t understand the information being relayed, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Now, the real bottom line is that cruising remains a very safe form of transportation.

But the industry needs to require better language training for crew members and—in the case of the worst kind of disaster on a ship, better firefighting training for crew as well.

For more information visit the Cruise Travel archives.

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