Safety on board, Security Guide, CVSSA, Crime Response - FAQ (2023)

A cruise isn’t just one of the most luxurious and relaxing ways to see the world, it’s also one of the safest.
That’s because every cruise ship has to be built, equipped and operated in accordance with the strict requirements of the international maritime treaty known as the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, developed by the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency responsible for shipping.

As a result, for example, all cruise ships must have regularly-checked lifeboats, life rafts and life preservers for every person on board, plus a specified minimum additional capacity.

The ultramodern ships in the MSC Cruises fleet go substantially above and beyond what is required, carrying backup mechanical, navigational and safety provisions. And of course our crews undertake extensive training and refresher training, certification and regular drills for emergency situations, including the evacuation of a ship.

So you can cruise in peace with total peace of mind.

Safety Security and Code of Conduct

Before we depart, there will be a compulsory emergency drill (or briefing, if you embark in a secondary port)
In accordance with the international Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS), you are all required to take part in the emergency drill, where you will learn the correct way to put on your life-jacket and the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.

Children 0-12 years
If you are travelling with infants or children under the age of 12 years, on embarkation they will be provided with an ID wristband which must be worn for the entire duration of the cruise. In the unlikely event of an emergency while your children are involved in children’s club activities, our staff will escort them to the Children’s Pick-up Area where they will wait for you to arrive and proceed with them to your Muster Station/Assembly Station.

Security protection
Guests are protected by a comprehensive system of security, such as the MSC Cruises Access Control and Screening System, which requires proof of identity to access with tickets and on a pre-approved list. Also all luggage must pass through strict check-points, cabins are protected by locks and individually equipped with safe boxes, public areas are monitored by cameras, and highly trained Ship Security Officers continuously patrol the ship and are on emergency call 24/7.

Code of conduct
We want every Guest to have a truly enjoyable cruise experience. Therefore, MSC Cruises does not tolerate any behavior affecting the comfort, health, safety, and security of other Guests or our crew. Please refer to the contract conditions for more details on this important policy.

How is Safety on board managed ?

All cruise ships are designed and operated in compliance with the strict requirements of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that mandates global standards for the safety and operation of cruise ships through adoption of treaties, regulations and resolutions, codified in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

Safety-related regulations and requirements are rigorous – and ships often go substantially above and beyond what is required, for example carrying backup mechanical, navigational and safety provisions.

Ships crews undertake extensive training, certification, drills and scenarios for emergency situations, including the evacuation of a ship.

All cruise ships have lifeboats, life rafts and life preservers for every person on board as well as additional capacity.

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When and where are the drills held?

Upon embarkation in the main ports, all guests are requested to participate in a one-hour safety drill conducted in the 6 languages.

The Safety drills involve the entire crew and simulate the evacuation procedure, with guests requested to take their respective life jackets from their cabins and go to the assigned Muster Station where they receive additional safety instructions.In secondary ports, before the ship's departure, a detailed safety briefing is also held for all newly-embarked guests.

The safety briefing is normally held in a dedicated area (usually the theatre or a Muster Station) and does not involve all the crew, being conducted by a group of social hostesses and animators that helps guests to familiarise themselves with the safety equipment and procedures.

The Safety briefings and drills are all fully compliant with the strict SOLAS requirements.

Are there any maps or other instructions?

Safety instructions on how to reach the relevant muster station and where to find the respective life jackets are available in all cabins, in 6 languages (ITA, ENG, GER, FRA, SPA, PORT, RUS), in the cabin information booklet and behind the cabin door (in 6 languages), where fire instructions and a map are also displayed, showing “You are here” information and the primary and secondary escape routes to the muster stations.

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What other enhancements does the line use to ensure safety, i.e. maps showing routes to the nearest lifeboats, etc.?

Maps on the location of the different muster stations are displayed in all public areas and staircases etc. All public areas also feature arrows showing the way to the muster stations and indicating the staircases to reach them.

In addition, a safety video (in Italian and English) is broadcast 24/7 on the in-cabin television system on channel 1.

How is our crew trained to operate the life boats?

The crew receive regular training ashore, before embarkation and on board. The comprehensive on-board training coordinated by the ship’s Safety Officer consists of 4 two-hour modules, as follows:

A. Preliminary
B. Emergency instructions
C. Fire-fighting
D. Life-saving

A significant part of Section D is dedicated to management of the lifeboats. All crew members directly in charge of lifeboats receive additional and specific training on how to prepare, lower, pilot and maintain the lifeboats.

How frequently is testing carried out in which the life boats are lowered?

Every week the crew conduct a general emergency drill with fire simulation and evacuation, including an abandon ship drill with lifeboats.

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What are the industry regulations on fire safety on board or cruise ships?

The cruise industry adheres to the rigid regulations contained in the International Convention for the Safety Of Life at Sea (SOLAS) as developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

These regulations include fire prevention, fire protection and extinguishing systems, crew training and fire emergency response.

Whare measures are in place to prevent fires on board MSC cruises' ships?

MSC ships have been designed to allow the isolation of fire and smoke and the MSC Cruises’ fleet, like all cruise ships complying with industry standards, are equipped with a variety of passive fire-and smoke-fighting measures, including fire-rated interior doors and partitions, fire dampers and ventilation systems. Ships include smoke management systems with fire and smoke dampers and, in addition to fire doors, segregation of ventilation, and pressurized hallways to contain smoke and prevent it from spreading.

Rules and regulations to prevent and to contain smoke and fire are in place and strictly followed on board all MSC cruise ships.

The MSC Cruises’ fleet uses several different systems for the prevention of fire. The main system for prevention is the Consilium System which consists of different types of detectors located throughout the ship and divided by the type of the area to be monitored. This prevention system is supported by Fire Patrol, a patrol operated by on board firemen 24 hours a day, in four hour shifts. The patrol is recorded by a digital system with several points located in various areas of the vessel.

What systems are in place to control fires on board if they do break out?

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The MSC Cruises’ fleet uses several different systems to control the spread of fire and smoke including fire-rated interior doors and partitions, fire dampers and ventilation systems.

The main fire fighting system is the Hi-Fog, high-pressure water mist fire protection system, which suppresses and extinguishes fires by discharging a fine water mist at high velocity. The water mist is made by the system when it activates, pushing water at high pressure through specially designed, sprinkler and spray heads.

Do the crew receive fire training?

Crew members are extensively trained to ensure that they react effectively and appropriately in case of fire or smoke. In line with the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) 1995, all crew must take Basic Safety Training (BST) – which includes basic firefighting.

A fire drill is also carried out on board each MSC ship every week, in a different area of the ship.

The emergency plan for controlling fire on board MSC vessels is executed by our four Fire Patrols, one of which is dedicated to engine room fires, and two cooling teams. All teams are trained and coordinated by the onboard Safety Officer.

Security Guide: How to report a crime on board

To report a missing person or criminal activity during your cruise we recommend to immediately dial tel. 99 for prompt support. For a missing U.S. national and serious incidents, as per the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (homicide, suspicious death, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, sexual assaults as defined by federal laws, firing or tampering with the vessel, or theft of money or property in excess of $10.000) the incident must be reported to the F.B.I. as soon as possible and to the U.S. Coast Guard, see the following contact numbers:

BOSTON F.B.I. (857) 386-2000
U.S.C.G. (617) 223-5757
PORTLAND, ME (incl. Bar Harbor) F.B.I.(857) 386-2000 U.S.C.G.(207) 767-0320
CAPE CANAVERAL F.B.I. (813) 253-1000 U.S.C.G. (904) 714-7558 SAN JUAN F.B.I.(787) 754-6000 U.S.C.G. (787) 289-2041
KEY WEST F.B.I. (305) 296-3093
U.S.C.G. (305) 292-8713
ST THOMAS F.B.I. (340) 777-3363 U.S.C.G. (340) 776-3497
MIAMI F.B.I. (754) 703-2000
U.S.C.G. (305) 535-4472
TAMPA F.B.I. (813) 253-1000 U.S.C.G. (813) 228-2191
NEW YORK F.B.I.(212) 384-1000 U.S.C.G.(718) 354-4037

There requirements apply to incidents in U.S. waters, on the highseas or in foreign waters if the assailant/victim is a U.S. national, where the F.B.I. can assert jurisdiction. Each of thenations visited and the vessel’s nation registry may also impose further requirements. MSC Cruises reserves the right to report any criminal allegations to any law enforcement. In addition, for incidents in foreign waters/ports, you may contact the closest U.S. Embassy/Consulate listed below.


refer toCURACAOin Willemstad
(5999) 461-3066
BAHAMAS, OCEAN CAY 42 Queen St. Nassau (242) 322-1181
BARBADOS Wildey Park, St Michael B8-14006 W.I. (246) 277-4000
BELIZE Floral Park Road Belmopan, Cayo (501) 822-4011
BERMUDA Crown Hill 16 Middle Rd Devonshire (441) 295-1342
CANADA 490 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8 (613) 238-5335
COLOMBIA Carrera 45 No. 248-27 Bogotà, D.C. (571) 275-2000
COSTA RICA Calle 98 Vía 104, Pavas, San José (506) 2519-2000
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Av. Republica de Colombia #57, Santo Domingo (809) 567-7775
GRAND CAYMAN 202B Smith Rd 150 George Town (345) 945-8173
GRENADA Lance Aux Epines St. George's (1473) 444-1173
HONDURAS Avenida La Paz Tegucigalpa, MDC (504) 2236-9320
JAMAICA 142 Old Hope Road Kingston 6 Jamaica, W.I. (876) 702-6000
MARTINIQUE Av De Arawaks, 97200 Fort de France (596) 596-730621
MEXICO Reforma 305 Cuauhtemoc 6500, Mexico City (55) 5080-2000
PANAMA Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Laka Av Clayton (507) 317-5000
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 15 Queens Park West, Port of Spain (868) 622-6371

We remind you to immediately contact Reception - Guest Service to assist you, tel. 99. We trust you experience a safe, enjoyable and secure cruise.

Cruise Line Incident Reports


What is the Cruise Vessel security and Safety Act CVSSA? ›

It was the first piece of legislation designed to improve safety and security of passengers aboard cruise ships. The CVSSA addressed the following issues: information, penalties; staff training and certification; victim privacy; record keeping; reporting; prevention; and intervention.

What is the safety session required by law for all passengers and crew on a cruise ship called? ›

A muster drill is a mandatory safety exercise with the objective to familiarize all guests and crew with the location (muster station) where they are to assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency.

What is public law 111 207? ›

To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels, and for other purposes.

When was Cvssa implemented? ›

With the enactment of the CVSSA in 2010, cruise vessels that visit U.S. ports were required to meet certain security and safety requirements, such as having rail heights of at least 42 inches and reporting allegations of certain crimes to the FBI.

What does security level 3 mean in cruise ship? ›

Security level 3 means the level for which further specific protective security measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a security incident is probable or imminent, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target.

Is cruise security strict? ›

Unlike intrusive airport screening, cruise security is much more relaxed. You don't have to remove clothing like shoes or belts. Instead, you simply walk through the magnetometer. If it beeps, you will have additional screening to see what the cause is.

What are the safety requirements onboard ship? ›

Seek permission before entering. Wear appropriate safety clothing and a safety helmet. Take great care as the cargo may have shifted during the voyage, particularly if the sea has been rough. Remember: refer to your national legislation and guidance when working in this dangerous environment.

What are safety policies onboard ship? ›

Safety instructions must be followed and the cargo must be labeled and segregated according to its nature. The containers must regularly be checked for any spills or leaks as they can prove to be hazardous. Goods on the ship, if not kept properly, are at a risk of moving and falling.

Who are responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers onboard? ›

Seafarers and other personnel on board passenger ships have a role to play in ensuring passenger safety.

What is public law 105 244? ›

An act to extend the authorization of programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes.

What is public law 81 874? ›

One purpose of Public Law 81-874 is to minimize the fiscal inequities caused by both the presence of tax-exempt Federal lands and the burden of providing suitable free public education to federally connected children. Under title I, section 3, of Public Law 81-874, as amended (20 U.S.C.

What is public law 85 874? ›

AN ACT To provide for a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts which will be constructed, with funds raised by voluntary contributions, on a site made available in the District of Columbia.

What is the 46 US Code 3507? ›

46 U.S. Code § 3507 - Passenger vessel security and safety requirements. The vessel shall be equipped with ship rails that are located not less than 42 inches above the cabin deck. Each passenger stateroom and crew cabin shall be equipped with entry doors that include peep holes or other means of visual identification.

What is the safest level on a cruise ship? ›

Lower Decks

This is because this part of the ship, its lowest and most central area, is the most stable during rough sea conditions. A central cabin on one of the lower decks is the best place you can be when you're feeling nauseous. Note that these cabins can feel a bit claustrophobic, though.

Are cruise security armed? ›

Though unlikely, hijackers or pirates may try to take control of a ship. Cruise companies see the risk of this kind of terrorism. In response, many cruise companies place armed security on each of their ships. These trained professionals are ready to defend the passengers on board.

What does security level 4 mean? ›

Level IV – Facilities have a secure perimeter with internal and external armed coverage and housing units or cell block housing with cells non-adjacent to exterior walls.

How much do cruise ship security make? ›

As of Mar 6, 2023, the average annual pay for the Cruise Ship Security jobs category in the United States is $43,934 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $21.12 an hour. This is the equivalent of $844/week or $3,661/month.

Are condoms allowed on cruise ships? ›

Some cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and MSC, do allow guests access to condoms, pregnancy kits and lubrication. P&O, Cunard and Princess provide the morning after pill. Another shocking find: one in five of those polled admitted to cheating on their partner while on a cruise.

Do cruise ships check your carry on? ›

When you arrive at the Port Authority Security in the cruise terminal, you will pass a security checkpoint where all carry-on luggage goes through X-rays and other baggage is checked in. All checked bags on cruise ships are scanned.

What hazard is the most common onboard a ship? ›

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are one of the most common accidents that occur on ship's deck. Slips can easily take place at any moment and likely during an activity on deck. Falls are most common while working on heights such as on masts, lashing bridges, hatch covers, cargo holds and working aloft or outboard.

What are the 4 pillars of Imo? ›

The four pillars of IMO are the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

What are the 5 ways to maintain safety on board? ›

what are the five ways to maintain safety onboard?
  • Put on your personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Always check line pressures before you open any close space.
  • Vent any in close space before entering.
  • Read instructions very carefully before using any equipment onboard.

What is the difference between safety and security in ship? ›

Overall, maritime safety encompasses the protection of ports, ships, and their communities against unintentional dangers and harms (e.g., storm at sea), whereas maritime security encompasses the protection of ports, ships, and their communities against deliberate dangers and harms (e.g., piracy).

What are the 6 elements of the ISM Code? ›

Major elements of the ISM Code
  • General which includes definitions, objectives and application of the ISM Code.
  • Safety and environmental protection policy.
  • Company responsibility and authority.
  • Designated person ashore.
  • Master's responsibility and authority.
  • Resources and personnel.

What are the 3 objectives of ISM Code? ›

1.2. 1 The objectives of the Code are to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury or loss of life, and avoidance of damage to the environment, in particular, to the marine environment, and to property.

What are safety measures? ›

Safety measures are activities and precautions taken to improve safety, i.e. reduce risk related to human health. Common safety measures include: Chemical analysis. Destructive testing of samples. Drug testing of employees, etc.

What is public law no 115 182? ›

To establish a permanent community care program for veterans, to establish a commission for the purpose of making recommendations regarding the moderniza- tion or realignment of facilities of the Veterans Health Administration, to improve construction of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to make certain improvements ...

What is the definition of public law 588? ›

In 1953, Congress enacted Public Law 83-280 (67 Stat. 588) to grant certain states criminal jurisdiction over American Indians on reservations and to allow civil litigation that had come under tribal or federal court jurisdiction to be handled by state courts.

What is 105 17 public law? ›

105-17 codifies the previous interpretation by the Department of Education that educational services may not cease for children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled. Final regulations, issued by the Department of Education on March 12, 1999, elaborated upon these statutory requirements.

What is US Public Law 31? ›

Public Law 111 - 31 - An act to protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, to amend title 5, United States Code, to make certain modifications in the Thrift Savings Plan, the Civil Service Retirement System, and the Federal Employees' ...

What is 116 92 public law? ›

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2020 for military activities of the Depart- ment of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Depart- ment of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

What is Public Law No 116 214? ›

An act to make certain improvements relating to the transition of individuals to services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, suicide prevention for veterans, and care and services for women veterans, and for other purposes.

What is US Public Law 106? ›

The Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, sometimes called "P.L. 106-107", was passed by Congress to improve coordination among grant-making agencies. Lawmakers also wanted to make the application and reporting process more consistent for people and organizations seeking Federal awards.

What does public law 73 10 mean? ›

AN ACT To relieve the existing national economic emergency by increasing agricultural purchasing power, to raise revenue for extraordinary expenses incurred by reason of such emergency, to provide emergency relief with respect to agricultural indebtedness, to provide for the orderly liquidation of joint-stock land ...

What is Public Law Title 42? ›

No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. (Pub. L.

What is U.S. Code 13? ›

It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business such, including names, addresses (including GPS coordinates), Social Security Numbers, and telephone numbers.

What is 47 U.S. Code 253? ›

No State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement, may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.

What is Title 51 U.S. Code? ›

Title 51 of the United States Code (51 U.S.C.), entitled National and Commercial Space Programs, is the compilation of the general laws regarding space programs. It was promulgated by U.S. President Barack Obama on December 18, 2010 when he signed PL 111-314 (H.R. 3237) into law.

What does the Cvssa stand for? ›

Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA)

What is the purpose of the Maritime Security Act? ›

Essentially, the MTSA set mandates for the control of vessel traffic. The MTSA resolves several key security elements within the maritime industry, most notably by designating the line of authority and guiding the creation of organizational structure.

What is the Maritime Transportation security Act 2002 and the Safe Port Act of 2006? ›

In the United States, the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and SAFE Port Act of 2006 were enacted to, among other things, implement the ISPS Code and SAFE Framework, with the Coast Guard given the lead in enforcing the former and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the latter.

What is the ports and Waterways safety Act CFR? ›

The Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1072 (PWSA) authorizes the U.S. Coast Guard to establish vessel traffic service/separation schemes (VTSS) for ports, harbors, and other waters subject to congested vessel traffic.

Who is responsible for maritime security? ›

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) supports the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the allocation of federal grants to State, local, and private sector maritime industry partners as a means to enhance port security throughout the United States.

What is considered the most significant threat to the maritime transportation system? ›

Large container ships and high-speed ferries likely will have the most significant impact on maritime transportation in the foreseeable future. These developments along with several others will continue to pose maritime safety challenges for the United States.

Does U.S. use maritime law? ›

Through the Judiciary Act of 1789, the U.S. Congress placed admiralty and maritime law under the jurisdiction of the federal district courts. Parties may not contract out of admiralty jurisdiction and states may not infringe on admiralty jurisdiction, either judicially or legislatively.

What is Marsec security Level 1? ›

MARSEC Level 1 means the level for which minimum appropriate security measures shall be maintained at all times. MARSEC Level 2 means the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a transportation security incident.

What are ports law? ›

Port bylaws are generally well considered and provide very detailed regulations relating to the conduct of vessels, safety, and order in the port area; the protection of the environment; the use of pilots; documentation of disembarking passengers; loading and discharging of goods; and crisis management.

What is a declaration of security between a ship? ›

According to the SOLAS, the Declaration of Security (DoS) is an agreement reached between a ship and either a port facility or another ship with which it interfaces, specifying the security measures each will implement.

What are the 14 types of inspected vessels regulated by the US Coast Guard? ›

The following categories of vessels are subject to inspection under this part:
  • (1) freight vessels.
  • (2) nautical school vessels.
  • (3) offshore supply vessels.
  • (4) passenger vessels.
  • (5) sailing school vessels.
  • (6) seagoing barges.
  • (7) seagoing motor vessels.
  • (8) small passenger vessels.

What is hazardous condition 33 CFR? ›

Hazardous condition means any condition that may adversely affect the safety of any vessel, bridge, structure, or shore area or the environmental quality of any port, harbor, or navigable waterway of the United States.

What is a captain of the port 33 CFR? ›

Captain of the Port means the Coast Guard officer designated by the Commandant to command a Captain of the Port Zone as described in part 3 of this chapter. Commandant means the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Deviation means any departure from any rule in this subchapter.


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