An unnamed passenger or passengers were kicked off the Holland America Westerdam on Sunday Jan 29th, for failing to participate in the muster drill. In the wake of the Concordia Disaster, which killed at least 17 people, cruise line safety has been on the minds of all cruisers. An unconfirmed report on the website Cruise Critic states that several people were disembarked for failing to report for muster including a sound engineer for one of the bands participating in the Jazz cruise. Reports also state that Holland America is now taking roll at musters which will now all be conducted before departure. Those passengers not reporting for the important safety drill will now be escorted off the ship.
The passenger code of conduct and contract states the following about the authority to remove passengers from the ship:
6. Authority to Remove Passengers: We may reasonably determine that for your safety, the safety of the Ship or other means of transportation or the safety or comfort of other passengers or our employees, you be denied transportation either before or during the Cruise, Cruisetour or HAL Land Trip. By way of example, these would include situations where: (a) you are or become in such condition as to be unfit to travel or dangerous or obnoxious to other passengers or employees; (b) you are inadmissible under the immigration or other laws of any country included in the Cruise, Cruisetour or HAL Land Trip itinerary or fail at any time to possess required travel documents; or (c) you fail to abide by the rules or orders of the Master or other ship’s officers. If transportation is denied after departure, you and your baggage may be landed or transported to any port or location that we select, without any resulting liability on our part.
Further reports state that their cabin number were called several times, giving them plenty of opportunity to comply.
Cruise Talks Thoughts:
Cruise Talk applauds Holland America and the crew of the Westerdam for taking this action. The safety and well being of all passengers should be the top priority of the captain and crew. Every passenger must pay close attention to procedures and instruction during these drills. The muster drill only takes about 15 minutes and may mean the difference between life and death in a serious emergency.