Operational Safety

  • Securing Heavy Objects

    CLIA’s members recognize the differences in structure of vessels and operations which exist among cruise lines, and that the on board and shoreside management of each cruise line therefore determines its best practices under the circumstances presented.

    CLIA’s oceangoing members have adopted a policy to incorporate procedures into their Safety Management Systems to help ensure the securing of heavy objects either permanently, when not in use, or during heavy/severe weather, as appropriate. Under this policy, a person or persons are to oversee a deck by deck inspection to identify unsecured and potentially hazardous heavy objects. Integral to the procedures is a list of identified objects which have a significant potential to cause injury.

    Shipboard personnel should apply good seamanship in identifying additional items to be secured. Attention should be given to muster1 stations, evacuation routes, and lifeboat embarkation stations as a ship emergency could give rise to conditions that differ from ship motions caused by heavy/severe weather.

    Consideration should also be given to development of a guidance document to assist in the identification of heavy objects and the most adequate methods for securing them. An example of this guidance document is attached in the annex. This annex is only intended to provide an example for one method of implementing this policy.

    Practices and procedures for securing heavy objects should be monitored by each Head of Department and/or as otherwise specified by the ship’s command structure, and during routine shipboard inspections and audits.

    Heavy/severe weather should be clearly defined under the company policy taking into account the size of the ship, operational profiles, and other information. In defining heavy/severe weather, appropriate deference should be given to the judgment of the Captain.


    Annex to Securing Heavy Objects

    Guidance document(s) should consider the following three elements, in addition to any other relevant information.

    Heavy Objects. The following list is an example of some heavy objects that may be identified and secured in accordance with company policy. In this sample listing, the objects are grouped by those that should be permanently secured, always secured when not in use, and those to be secured in heavy weather. Heavy objects that have been identified include, but are not limited to, the following:
    Heavy objects that should be permanently secured.
    Heavy plant pots, sculptures, TVs, cash machines, laundromat equipment, slot machines, and game machines such as in teen recreation areas.
    Display stands and racks.
    Treatment tables, heavy standalone product displays, treadmills, exercise weight racks, and weight lifting machines.
    Pianos, lounge speakers, and back-stage scenery equipment.
    Heavy objects that should be secured at all times when not in use.
    Trolleys and forklift trucks.
    Paint rafts, gangways, and deck trash containers.
    X-ray scanners.
    Cylinder heads, pistons, charge air coolers, heavy chemical containers, and heavy fan impellers.
    Gas bottles (refrigerant, oxygen, acetylene, CO2, etc.)
    Heavy objects not otherwise secured that should be secured for heavy weather.
    Loose objects on display.
    Temporary decorations.
    Items brought aboard temporarily as part of shows.
    Materials/equipment onboard as part of repairs/refurbishment.
    Securing Methods.
    Consideration should be given to the strength and appropriateness of each point of attachment to which the heavy objects are secured.
    Consideration should be given to the following list of securing methods. Additional securing methods appropriate to the objects to be secured should be identified and used as necessary. Examples are as follows; however, additional methods should be identified and included as appropriate.
    A−Latch type gate hook and eye bracket mounted on bulkhead or vertical surface.
    B−Ratchet strap and eye brackets mounted on bulkhead or vertical surface.
    C−Rope secured to object and adjacent suitable securing surface.
    D−Contained in metal rack-type shelving system.
    E−Suction cup and bracket, ratchet strap, chain, etc.
    F−Permanent securing such as bolting to bulkhead or deck.

    Various. A list of specific heavy objects that have been identified by the company during surveys and inspections and that require particular attention.

    1The terms “muster” and “assembly” are used interchangeably and therefore are synonymous for this purpose.

  • Location of Lifejacket Stowage

    CLIA's oceangoing members have adopted this additional policy to reflect best practices for the stowage of lifejackets onboard newly-constructed cruise ships. Under this policy, a number of lifejackets equal to or greater than the number required onboard under the relevant international and flag State regulations, are to be stowed in close proximity to either muster stations or lifeboat embarkation points, and be readily available for use in case of emergency. Implementation of this policy will continue to result in spare lifejackets being carried in excess of the number required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

    For the purpose of this policy, “newly-constructed cruise ships” are defined as those cruise ships for which the building contract is placed on or after July 1, 2013.

  • Harmonization of Bridge Procedures

    Operational safety can be enhanced by achieving substantive consistency in bridge operating procedures among commonly owned ships, for example by providing that bridge personnel who may rotate among such ships can be familiarized with a common set of procedures.

    CLIA's oceangoing members have adopted a policy that bridge operating procedures are to be harmonized as much as possible, both within individual companies and among brands within a commonly owned and operated fleet. Under this policy and best practice, each CLIA cruise line operating multiple ships and each cruise line brand that is commonly owned and operated with another brand is to harmonize their respective procedures for bridge operations, taking into account any unique operating characteristics of specialty ships (e.g., expedition ships; sail powered ships; etc.)1

    1And giving due regard to any relevant flag State requirements.

  • Recording the Nationality of Passengers

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter III, Regulation 27 requires that all persons on board be counted prior to departure; details of those who have declared a need for special care or assistance in an emergency be recorded and communicated to the Master prior to departure; names and gender of all persons on board, distinguishing between adults, children and infants be recorded for search and rescue purposes; and that all of this information be kept ashore and made readily available to search and rescue services when needed.

    To further facilitate the effective and immediate availability of key information in the event of an emergency situation, CLIA oceangoing members have adopted a policy that, in addition to the information required by SOLAS, the nationality of each passenger onboard is also to be recorded, kept ashore and made readily available to search and rescue services when needed.

    1The terms “muster” and “assembly” are used interchangeably and therefore are synonymous for this purpose.
    2And giving due regard to any relevant flag State requirements.
    1And giving due regard to any relevant flag State requirements.

  • Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter III, Regulations 8 and 19, require musters and emergency instructions to be provided for passengers. In addition to the legal requirements, CLIA oceangoing members have adopted a policy that musters and emergency instructions are to include the following common elements:

    1. When and how to don a lifejacket
    2. Description of emergency signals and appropriate responses in the event of an emergency
    3. Location of lifejackets
    4. Where to muster when the emergency signal is sounded
    5. Method of accounting for passenger attendance at musters both for training and in the event of an actual emergency
    6. How information will be provided in an emergency
    7. What to expect if the Master orders an evacuation of the ship
    8. What additional safety information is available
    9. Instructions on whether passengers should return to cabins prior to mustering, including specifics regarding medications, clothing, and lifejackets
    10. Description of key safety systems and features
    11. Emergency routing systems and recognizing emergency exits
    12. Who to seek out for additional information

  • Excess Lifejackets

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as well as flag State regulations, requires that passenger ships on international voyages carry an approved lifejacket (Personal Flotation Device–PFD) for every person onboard the ship. SOLAS requires that lifejackets suitable for children must also be carried in a number equal to 10% of the number of passengers onboard, provided that the number of children's lifejackets carried must not be less than the number of children onboard. Lifejackets must also be carried for the persons on watch and must be stored on the bridge, in the engine control room and at any other manned watch station. An additional number of lifejackets equal to 5% of the persons onboard must also be carried and stored in conspicuous places on deck or at muster stations. Under certain circumstances, additional lifejackets must also be carried, and stored at muster stations or in public spaces, when it is likely that persons may not be able to return to their staterooms to retrieve the lifejacket stored there. Some flag States have similar requirements for domestic or non-international voyages.

    CLIA's oceangoing operators have adopted a policy of carrying additional adult lifejackets onboard each cruise ship in excess of these legal requirements. Under this policy the number of additional adult lifejackets to be provided must not be less than the total number of persons berthed within the ship's most populated main vertical fire zone. Implementation of this policy should result in spare lifejackets being carried in excess of the number required by SOLAS.

    Some smaller oceangoing cruise ships may be constructed with only one main vertical fire zone that is utilized for accommodation spaces. For these vessels, CLIA's policy is that the maximum number of excess lifejackets provided need not exceed fifty percent of the total number of persons carried by the vessel. Extra lifejackets for children in excess of legal requirements, in a number equal to 10% of the number of passengers berthed within the most populated main vertical zone, must also be carried on international voyages under this policy.

    All of the additional lifejackets addressed in this policy are to be stored in public spaces, at the muster stations, on deck or in lifeboats, and in such a manner as to be readily accessible to crewmembers for distribution as may be necessary in the event of an emergency. Lifejackets carried for persons on watch are to be carried in accordance with SOLAS and other applicable flag State regulation.

  • Passage Planning

    Since 1999 CLIA’s oceangoing cruise lines have been subject to international guidance concerning passage planning in accordance with IMO Resolution A.893(21), Guidelines for Voyage Planning, adopted November 25, 1999. CLIA has adopted a policy that the guidance elements set forth in this resolution are deemed to be the mandatory minimum requirements in the development of passage plans by oceangoing members.

    Under this policy, applicable to oceangoing ships, each passage plan is to be thoroughly briefed to all bridge team members who will be involved in execution of the plan well in advance of its implementation. The passage plan will be drafted by the designated officer and approved by the master. CLIA’s policy is that all members are to take steps to help ensure bridge team members are asked and encouraged to raise any operational concerns without fear of retribution or retaliation.

    In addition, CLIA’s policy recognizes the Bridge Procedures Guide published by the International Chamber of Shipping as a compilation of best practices that should be utilized by all ship operators, either as a component of their Safety Management Systems or Bridge Resource Management procedures.

    1 The terms “muster” and “assembly” are used interchangeably and therefore are synonymous for this purpose.

  • Bridge Access

    To minimize unnecessary disruptions and distractions to bridge team members in accomplishing their direct and indirect duties during any period of restricted maneuvering, or while maneuvering in conditions that the master or company bridge procedures/policy deems to require increased vigilance (e.g. arrival/departure from port, heavy traffic, poor visibility), CLIA’s oceangoing members have adopted a policy that bridge access is to be limited to those with operationally related functions during these periods. Further, members are to take steps to prevent distractions to watchkeeping during these periods.

    Any deviation from this policy requires prior approval of senior management ashore.

  • Passenger Muster

    Current legal requirements for conducting a muster of passengers are found in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and mandate that a muster for embarking passengers occur before departure, or after departure from port. Notwithstanding the legal requirement, CLIA’s members have identified a best practice that calls for conducting the mandatory muster for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. On occasions when guests arrive after the muster has been completed, CLIA’s policy is that they be promptly provided with individual or group safety briefings that meet the requirements for musters applicable under SOLAS. This practice exceeds existing legal requirements and has been adopted by CLIA’s membership as a formal policy to help ensure that any mandatory musters or briefings are conducted for the benefit of all newly embarked passengers at the earliest practical opportunity.

  • Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes

    To facilitate training for lifeboat operations, CLIA oceangoing members have adopted a policy that at least one lifeboat on each ship is to be filled with crewmembers equal in number to its certified number of occupants at least every six months. Under this policy, for safety considerations, the loading of lifeboats for training purposes is to be performed only while the boat is waterborne and the boat should be lowered and raised with only the lifeboat crew onboard.1 Lifejackets should be worn. All lifeboat crew and embarkation/boarding station crew are to be required to attend the lifeboat loading drill. If not placed inside the lifeboat, those crew members are to observe the filling of the lifeboat to its certified number of people.

    This policy applies to ships with crew sizes of three hundred or greater, with lifeboats installed. Ships with crew sizes of less than three hundred are to conduct similar and equivalent training evolutions, at appropriate intervals, that are consistent with operational and safety considerations.

    During the period of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, this policy, or elements thereof, may conflict with public health guidance. When performing this training presents an increased risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or other pandemic health concerns among passengers or crew, interim measures may be substituted for the aforementioned policy requirement. Where alternative compliance methods are used, CLIA Members are to develop and implement a mitigation strategy to facilitate continued familiarity with lifeboats and how to effectively load them.

    1 Attention is drawn to the IMO guidance found in MSC.1/Circ.1578.