Carnival Magic and Carnival Cruises take muster drills seriously

Things have changed since the Costa Concordia, there is no doubt. I am sailing on the Carnival Magic out of Galveston and have settled nicely into my cabin and have been checking out the ship facilities. Soon after, about two hours into the voyage and instructions start coming over the tanoy to prepare passengers for the muster drill. As this is a Carnival cruise, we had been given a hilarious and wacky welcome on board, getting everyone in the mood for a party. This all changes when the emergency drill blasts start with everyone being moved on briskly to their various drill stations. Even a bride and groom in all their finery had to attend. I think most people were startled when absolute silence was demanded before the emergency instructions and the lifejacket demonstration would take place. And quite right that they wanted everyone’s attention! And even though we were sitting inside, it was easy to see which lifeboat you would need to use as they were all pretty much in view. Reassuring.
When I requested a bridge tour, which I frequently do when I am on a cruise, my request was not considered. Not that I mind; if this is a move toward more and better security on ships I am all for it. But me and my sister are able to meet Captain Giovanni Cutugno and several of his officers, including chief officer Giuseppe Seccia, when we are invited to dinner. The informal evening is informative, interesting and good fun. Hotel Manager Sam Ackrill joins us as well and we eat, appropriately, at the Cucina del Capitano. Our ‘Capitano’ completely relishes being the head of the table, dishing out appetizers to share, giving suggestions on the entrees and encouraging everyone to try out the tipple. Excellent food and service, as well as company, created an exceptional evening.