how do muster stations and lifeboats "actually" work?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by love280mickey, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. love280mickey

    love280mickey Mouseketeer

    Jun 4, 2012
    Another thread on splitting up families into different cabins got me to thinking about this. It was said that different cabins, possibly even those right next to each other might have different muster stations.

    In the event of an actual is this really handled?

    Do you have to show up at your muster station and can only get on your lifeboat? In a real emergency, will they really tell you no, this is not your lifeboat?

    I'm thinking of the Costa Concordia where one side of the ship was not useable.

    I am not the worry wart type of all and don't usually think of things like this in advance...I save all the worrying for my DH, seriously. But that thread got me to thinking about it all.

    On our upcoming cruise our dd will be 12, turning 13, probably the first time in 3 Disney cruises that we will allow her to "run" the ship, so to speak. Now it's got me thinking about what happens in kids' clubs etc if something were to happen.

    Not freaking out here, just wondering what really happens?
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  3. reimero

    reimero DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    My understanding is that, yes, you must show up at your muster station and board only your lifeboat. In a Costa-like event, there are extra rafts to handle the overflow. Also, part of the problem with the Costa is that they waited so long. A quicker response would have allowed at least some of the lifeboats to be released from both sides. But I digress.

    Your KTTW has your muster station listed very clearly. It's arguably the most clear part of your KTTW. Each lifeboat can hold a very specific number of passengers, and they assign muster stations and lifeboats with these numbers in mind. By trying to get on a lifeboat that's not yours, you run the risk of endangering others. Cast members also have lists of passengers assigned to muster stations. In a disaster, there is a lot of confusion, so being at the right muster station will enable DCL to account for you and prevent a lot of misinformation.

    It sounds strange, but modern cruise ships are engineering marvels. There is no such thing as "unsinkable", but they are designed such that there is ample time for emergency evacuation in a calm, orderly manner. You don't have to sprint for the nearest lifeboat. You'll have time to grab your family, go to your muster station and be instructed on what to do.
  4. MD Dad55

    MD Dad55 Earning My Ears

    Dec 19, 2012
    Unless your cabins are separated on different decks and/or far away from each other on the same floor, they will not split up families into different "muster" stations. I asked this very same question prior to our 1st cruise.
  5. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    Not true. On our first MR cruise, DH, DS23, and I had our muster station in the WDT. DD and her BF (room next door) had their muster station outside midship on deck 4.

  6. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    Well, the closest DCL got to a "real" emergency was the "thermal anomaly" when the captain had everyone go to lifeboat to some extent, no one has seen the "what if" situations.

    Cabins that are near each other are at the same lifeboat station. Of course, there has to be a line somewhere (cabin XX80 might go to one station while XX82 goes to another). As above, we have been told that they do try to keep families at the same muster station.

    In the event of an actual emergency, you are expected to go to YOUR station with YOUR life jacket. There are procedures for events when some lifeboats may not be able to be launched--extra life jackets are available at muster stations, there are extra rafts and possibly boats available. Unless your cruise is full (and probably even then), all lifeboats are not full even though guests are spread out among the muster stations.

    We've been on the Magic when there were 1500 guests (capacity is 2700) and on the Fantasy when they were more than 1000 guests below capacity. Obviously, safety regulations require lifeboat space for FULL capacity; a less that totally full cruise would provide for flexibility in a real situation.

    Bottom line--they attempt to keep families together. But in the unlikely event of a real emergency, guests need to shut their mouths, open their ears, and follow instructions from the captain and/or their evacuation team leader. The time to ask the family question based on your stateroom assignment would be at the muster drill at the beginning of your cruise.
  7. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2010
    Well siad!..........AKK

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