Cruise lines have agreed to set mandatory policies relating to issues of safety, sanitation and operation procedures, The International Council of Cruise Lines announced today.
Maintaining industry standards via these guidelines will be required to continue membership in the organization. Currently, U.S. and international regulations require cruise lines to comply on a variety of safety, environmental and health issues; the ICCL says its standards will exceed those regulations.
One hotly debated example is, for instance, the ICCL’s requirement that cruise lines install smoke detectors in every passenger and crew cabin as well as in public lounges. Cruise lines had fought that measure, saying that they weren’t necessary and could interfere with on board electronics systems. According to the new standards, smoke detectors must now be installed in all cabins.
Other safety measures involved in the agreement involve standardization of policies regarding life jackets, helicopter pick-up areas, infant personal flotation devices, waste management policies and procedures, staff qualification requirements for medical positions, and security programs which call for zero-tolerance on shipboard crime.
ICCL is a cruise industry trade association that represents the interests of 16 passenger cruise lines (all the majors) in the North American cruise market and more than 65 cruise industry suppliers. ICCL member lines carry more than six million passengers each year and account for approximately 90% of the North American passenger cruise line industry.