Royal Caribbean will add lifeguards to all of its cruise ships in an effort to improve onboard water safety.
Cruise Critic reported the change, which will see Royal Caribbean add licensed lifeguards that are trained through a partner company, StarGuard Elite. At least one lifeguard will be stationed at every pool (including the Solarium) during all open hours, and will be noticeably visible in bright red and white uniforms. All have been hired specifically as lifeguards and will not serve in any other role onboard.
In addition, Royal Caribbean will present a 15-minute water safety presentation during the Adventure Ocean open house session on embarkation day.
The lifeguards and water safety program will be deployed to all of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships over the next four months. The program debuted on Oasis of the Seas this week, and will be added to 14 ships by mid-April. All remaining cruise shops will have lifeguards added by June 15.
Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas was kept in port through Tuesday morning, after U.S. Coast Guard inspectors forced the ship to remain in port until an issue with the lifeguards was resolved.
Cruise Critic reports a spokesman from the U.S. Coast Guard cited the delay stems from the ship's older life jackets, "generally speaking, problems with older life jackets can include fraying straps that could break when a person was in the water or disintegrating foam that will not float in the water."
Royal Caribbean sent messages via Twitter to convey the company is working around the clock to fix the issues.
@rockytopinfl We're currently working around the clock to get all issues resolved. All future sailing will not be impacted by this.
Royal Caribbean sends its more than 11,000 Filipino crew through safety training at its facility in Marongondong, Cavite, Philippines.
Friend of the blog, John Roberts, sent us these photos from his recent tour of the facility. The campus offers courses on Basic Safety Training, Advanced Firefighting, Survival Craft Operations, Water Rescue and other related courses designed to help build the competencies of cruise staff in a wide range of maritime skill sets.
The conditions created during the exercises simulate actual shipboard scenarios.
The 7,000 square foot training center launched in 2012 and cost $6.5 million, where the bridge facilities have been replicated for a safe place to train Royal Caribbean junior officers on how the real thing works.
The computer simulations displayed on high-definition screens include some 200 ports visited by Royal Caribbean ships, with all their landmarks, buildings and seaside facilities. As various conditions and perils are brought to bear, trainees respond using controls just as they exist on their actual ship’s bridge.
Officers here can practice and refine their skills onshore to handle any situation that may occur at sea.
“Most simulators in the world are generic,” says Captain Patrik Dahlgren, Royal Caribbean vice president for marine operations. “This simulator is made up to look and feel and work the same as a real bridge on board our specific vessels. You actually have the physical consoles and all the equipment looks exactly the same as it does on board the vessel.”
Quantum of the Seas is the first cruise ship to ever win the award in the 155-year history of the RINA.
The annual award, recognizing “an individual, company or organization which has made a significant technological contribution to improving maritime safety,” was presented to Royal Caribbean for the design and implementation of an integrated Safety Command Centre (SCC) onboard Quantum of the Seas
The Safety Command Centre breaks down incident response, physically and functionally, into a collection of “pods,” each with its own specialty, which can act separately or as part of an integrated response as each incident requires.
Professors Dracos Vassalos and Tom Allan, who are RINA fellows and sit on Royal Caribbean's Maritime Safety Advisory Board, say Quantum of the Seas' Safety Command Centre addresses a need for cruise ship safety.
Going above and beyond safety compliance is a priority for Royal Caribbean International. Find out more about the groundbreaking technology and award-winning design behind the Safety Command Center onboard Anthem of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein spoke with CNBC about safety in the cruise industry as part of an effort to set the record straight.
Royal Caribbean has had some negative attention lately after twocruise passengers went overboard from their cruises.
In an exclusive intereview with CNBC, Goldstein spoke about the work Royal Caribbean's crew does every day to provide a safe cruise experience for its guests, "I having been in this cruise business for over 25 years now, my frame of reference is two and a half decades of an, extraordinarily safe of track record of great duration. Tremendous attention to detail and training that prepares the crew and the officers to do everything that they need to do from to delivering satisfaction to the guests to being extremely safe and environmentally responsible. "
"And so there's no question in our minds, in my mind, that the last two or three years have been an anomaly, and that given the foundation of discipline and attention to detail, the cruise industry will resume its long-term very safe track record. "
Goldstein's reaction to the negative news forced Royal Caribbean and the whole cruise industry to change how it looks at the guest experience, "It was very off base and we don't want to see it anymore. The cruise industry, as a whole, has stepped forward as worked together in a different and better way than before the sequence of incidents. We are much more proactive as an industry on the safety front.
"The second thing though that we took from the sequence of incidents that occured in the industry is to do even more to ensure guest comfort while we were keeping them safe. We looked for redundancy of comfort systems, making sure the air conditioning, the heating, the toilet systems, the food provision, everything could continue even under very difficult circumstances. "
"And we've made progress in that regard, and i think the whole industry has."