At Royal Caribbean International, the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority and fundamental to our operations. Our marine safety record over our 42-year history clearly illustrates our commitment to the safety of the millions of guests and crew that sail on our ships. The measures we take in the interest of safety are many, with our ships often exceeding what is required by regulatory authorities - these are all part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in every aspect of our business.
At the beginning of every cruise, all guests and crew must complete a drill known as the "muster" drill, to ensure they are familiar with what to do and where to go in the unlikely event of an emergency. To further ensure they are aware of their specific muster location, we identify it on each of guest’s card keys. The location also is prominently noted on the back of every stateroom door.
In addition to the muster drill for our guests, our officers and crew conduct weekly, monthly and annual drills on every ship, and complete extensive training, certification and scenarios in preparation for the very unlikely event of an emergency, including training on ship evacuation procedures. All of our ships have sufficient lifesaving craft to accommodate every guest and crew member onboard, as well as additional capacity in reserve.
All of our ships are designed and operated in compliance with the strict requirements of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that sets global standards for the safety and operation of cruise ships, codified in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. Safety-related regulations are rigorous – and we often go above and beyond what is required; for example, carrying backup mechanical, navigational and safety provisions.
In addition, our vessels, regardless of where they sail in the world, comply with the U.S. Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) requirements, including railing heights, access control, closed circuit TV, medical preparedness, crime allegation reporting and crew training. Our own requirements generally exceed those specified within the CVSSA. We work closely with regulatory authorities to improve safety laws, and regularly participate in discussions and studies to inform legislators of current practices and offer our perspective on regulations and standards to assure safety.
Flag State authorities and other maritime safety regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, from each country our ships visit also regularly inspect our ships. Their examinations focus on life-saving equipment and safety and environmental protection items and these officials have the authority to prevent our ships from sailing if we fail to adhere to regulations. In addition to these inspections, ongoing system of internal as well as external (independent) marine expert audits also helps us remain vigilant, safely operate our ships and maintain effective systems.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is committed to the safety and health of our guests and crew. We are closely monitoring the Zika virus situation and are aware that the CDC has issued a travel alert for certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Royal Caribbean will assist any pregnant women who do not feel comfortable sailing to countries affected with the Zika virus by providing alternate itinerary options. This may include providing guests with a future cruise credit valid for two years so that they may re-schedule their voyage for a later date, with no penalty. Guests seeking additional information on the Zika virus are encouraged to contact their primary care physician or visit the CDC's website.
Royal Caribbean International is committed to preventing illegal activity and treats all allegations seriously. We report all allegations of crimes to law enforcement, regardless of the validity of the claim. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety act of 2010 (CVSSA) requires that statistics for cruise ship crime allegations be posted on the Internet by the US Government for public viewing. This public reporting requirement is unique to the cruise industry, as there is no similar requirement for any other commercial industry, including hotels and airlines.
Cruise lines which operate in United States waters are required by U.S. law to make a Security Guide and certain law enforcement points of contact available to guests. This Security Guide can be found here.
During each voyage, we remain dedicated to safeguarding our guests and crew, as well as the destinations and marine environments where we operate. We invite you to read more about our efforts on our corporate site.
One of the most amazing parts of your cruise vacation experience will be the many rich and varied cultures represented among our guests. This diversity offers a chance to learn about different parts of the world and to make new friends. But just as a new friend can enhance your vacation experience, some guests may behave in ways you find unusual or undesirable. Since our guests do come from different and diverse backgrounds, it is important that everyone have a common understanding of the behavioral standards in place on Royal Caribbean International ships. We invite you to review our Guest Conduct Policy, which sets forth behavioral standards to help you participate in a safe and enjoyable cruise experience.
For more information on this topic, read other frequently asked questions about safety.