Where do we go from here?
At a televised press conference during the Passenger Shipping Safety Conference, a previously scheduled event that began shortly after the Concordia sinking, the head of CLIA said her organization would call on the IMO to implement a comprehensive evaluation of the findings of the Costa Concordia investigation so that the cruise industry remains one of the safest recreational industries globally.

“While there is still a great deal not yet known about this incident, all of our members recognize the seriousness of these events and want to ensure that we apply the lessons learned from this tragic event,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA.

Individual cruise lines are lining up behind CLIA’s call for the comprehensive evaluation of safety regulations. Additionally, many of them are reviewing their own safety procedures. Carnival Corporation & plc, parent company of Costa Cruises and nine other lines including Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, announced a comprehensive audit and review across all of the company’s cruise lines.

They will review all safety and emergency response policies and procedures, officer and crew training and evaluation, bridge management and company-wide response and support efforts. In addition, the company’s Health, Environment, Safety & Security Committee is engaging outside industry-leading experts in the fields of emergency response organization, training and implementation to conduct an audit of all of the company’s emergency response and safety procedures and to conduct a thorough review of the Costa Concordia accident.

Other cruise lines are also informing the public of their already stringent safety standards. For example, Royal Caribbean International released a statement along with a video that lays out its commitment to the safety of the millions of guests and crew that sail on their ships.  Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have also addressed their concern and commitment to safety in correspondence to travel agents and their past passengers.

Historically speaking, other cruise ship tragedies have led to greater safety guidelines across the industry, on everything from the number of lifeboats aboard ships, to crew experience and discipline, to ship construction.

Travel agents have your safety and well-being in mind
One of the messages that has gone largely unspoken is the importance of utilizing a travel agent. While no travel agent could have predicted or prevented what happened aboard Concordia, travel agents are your first line of defense when travel plans go awry. Thousands of passengers stranded in Italy needed assistance in finding a way home. This included arranging hotel, airline or train tickets, or car rental. Anyone who left their passport or other travel documents behind in the chaos, or incurred water damage, faced an extra layer of complexity and inconvenience. A good travel agent would certainly move you to the top of their priority list and assist in helping you get home as quickly and as safely as possible.

I have been following the Costa Concordia disaster with great interest and if you wish to discuss this accident in particular or ship safety in general, please contact me.

Until next time,
Bon Voyage

For more information, tips and ideas talk with me,
Ole Nordhavn, Cruise Holidays, “your personal cruise expert.”
email: onordhavn@cruiseholidays.com
Visit my website: http://www.cruisewithole.com for an almost endless amount of general cruise information.
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithole
Facebook “cruisewithole”: http://bit.ly/kceOpy